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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

What constitutes eligible paper submissions? 

  • Three 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 the EWP office 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.
  • 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 3 submissions are primarily “superior” will be given a “writes with distinction” designation.
  • Students whose first two submissions are “unsatisfactory” and/or “needs improvement” may be required to take a diagnostic test to help determine if further writing improvement help is needed.

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