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EIU Assessment

EIU Electronic Writing Portfolio: Faculty FAQ

What does effective writing demonstrate?

  • awareness of specific audiences, purposes, genres, disciplines, and professions
  • cogent and defensible applications, analyses, evaluations, and arguments about problems, ideas, and issues
  • clear, well-organized, focused, and cohesive arguments
  • appropriate vocabulary, mechanics, grammar, diction, and sentence structure
  • analysis and synthesis of complex textual, numeric, and graphical sources
  • evaluation of evidence, issues, ideas, and problems from multiple perspectives
  • ethical use of source materials and clear understanding of their strengths and limitations
  • works cited page (does not count towards the 750-word minimum)

What constitutes eligible paper submissions? 

  • Two submissions are required for the portfolio.
  • Papers may come from any writing-centered or writing-intensive course, OR from any other undergraduate course for which students have completed an appropriate writing assignment.
  • Only one submission is allowed from any one course.
  • If a student submits from ENG 1001G/1091G, the student may not submit from ENG 1002G/1092G.
  • Before EWP submission, it is a good idea for a student to discuss plans to submit with the instructor. Instructors have the right to indicate a particular course or assignment is not appropriate for submission.

What are the paper requirements?

  • at least 750 words in length, approximately 3 pages (NOTE: title pages and citations pages are not included in the minimum word count)
  • written by a single student, exclusively; no group project papers
  • written in English
  • written in a manner consistent with the demands of the discipline for which it was written
  • written as a coherent argument that connects ideas within and between paragraphs; NO lists, outlines, lesson plans and other such documents
  • NO creative pieces, such as poems, short stories, or plays

What can I require from students prior to submission?

  • Faculty may require students to provide a hard copy or the graded/marked copy of the paper prior to submission.
  • You may also require students to consult with you; students are encouraged to do so.
  • You may tell students which assignments are appropriate for submission to the EWP.
  • It is a good idea to include these and any other requirements on your syllabus and/or assignment sheets.

What if a student submits the wrong paper?

If there is an issue with a submission—the student submits a paper that was not written for your class or one that you said was not appropriate—please contact and alert us to the issue. We will contact the student and remove the paper.

What is the deadline?

  • All papers must be submitted the semester a student is enrolled in a course: deadlines schedule.
  • Students may not submit papers for courses after the semester ends.
  • Faculty members may set their own deadlines in their courses. On your ratings page, click "Deadlines" (calendar icon button) in the left-hand menu and set a custom deadline.
  • If you do establish a deadline, please alert the EWP office at and include this deadline on your syllabus or assignment sheet.

How will I rate papers?

  • All ratings will be done online. The deadline for ratings is usually one week after finals week.
  • Automatic emails will be sent each week to all faculty who have papers to rate; however, you may log in to the system at any time to check for papers to read.
  • Simply click on the link provided or follow the link from the assessment page.
  • Submissions may be rated on a scale from superior to unsatisfactory.
  • The suggested EWP rubric is available here.

How will my ratings be used?

  • Ratings will be used to determine how well students write. Ratings are used for university assessment, with results published in an annual report
  • Students whose submissions are primarily “superior” will be given a “writes with distinction” designation on the transcript. This requires an overall average score of 3.75.

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