Your portfolio needs a total of four annotations (or five, if you turn in an optional piece) – one at the beginning of the portfolio (the "global annotation") and one to accompany each of the three required essays.

The Global Annotation should focus on who you are as a writer: what are your strengths and weaknesses? How have you developed as a writer while at Eckerd?

The Individual Paper Annotations should focus on contextualizing the paper: what was the class and assignment for which you wrote the paper? How did you revise the paper to make it ready for the portfolio? How does this paper exemplify the category? What citation style are you using (if applicable)?

Faculty readers regard the annotations more seriously than you may realize. The reasons that readers weigh the annotations heavily are:

  • Annotations showcase your most recent writing.

  • Annotations reflect your ability to communicate with a particular audience – in this case, faculty members evaluating your Writing Portfolio for graduation.

  • Annotations reveal your intellectual maturity as a critical thinker and literate citizen.

  • Annotations highlight your metacognitive skills, that is, your ability to think about your thinking and write about your writing.

  • Annotations give your readers enough information to make sense of the papers that follow.

Tips for Writing Your Annotations

If you’re at a loss as to what to write in an annotation, remember that these are contextualizing statements for your papers. Give your readers the class and assignment for which you wrote the piece originally, share with the reader how this paper fits the category, the revisions that you have completed to prepare this paper for the portfolio (more than just "I spent three hours," but the actual revisions you made), and, if applicable, the citation style you are using.

Other tips to consider:

  • Imagine the professors reading your annotations and your work.

  • Ask yourself, "If I were a professor, what would I need or want to know about the creative process of this portfolio? What would I need to know to make sense of each essay."

  • Remember that professors at Eckerd care about more than just mechanics. When surveyed, they have indicated that they care about the following:

    • genuine interest in the subject matter.

    • honest consideration of alternative theories (healthy skepticism).

    • thorough support, evidence, and development.

    • intellectual passion; the pleasure of discovery.

    • awareness of an audience’s needs and perspectives.

    • awareness of the conventions of the field.

    • clarity, logic, and comprehensibility.