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University Writing Program Portfolio

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The University Writing Program at UW-Eau Claire consists of four versions of the Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing: WRIT 114, 116, 118, and 120. Students are automatically placed into one of these courses based on scores on the UW English Placement Test (UWENGL), Advanced Placement credit, or incoming partial college composition credit.

Students may submit a portfolio to attempt to modify his/her placement in the college writing (WRIT) courses at UW-Eau Claire. Students may also submit a portfolio to attempt to fulfill the University Writing Requirement altogether, thereby not needing to take any WRIT course at UW-Eau Claire (like a "test out" or "credit by exam" option). The fee for WRIT credit through portfolio is $75, which is nonrefundable.

Credit by Portfolio is limited to new students and transfer students in their first year. Portfolios will not be accepted from students beyond second semester. (Exceptions may be made for students in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program.) The priority deadline for portfolio submission is July 1st. Others will be considered on a rolling basis until September 15th. The main deadline for Spring 2016 will be January 15th.

By submitting a portfolio, you agree to postpone taking your University Writing Requirement until the next term.

Scores will be out before registration for the next term begins.

 Fall SemesterSpring Semester
Deadline for SubmissionAugust 15January 15
Notification of ResultsOctober 15March 15


Should I submit a portfolio?

General Information

Any incoming (first year or transfer) student with any kind of background or experience is welcome to submit a writing portfolio. There are no set criteria students must meet to submit a portfolio for review.

Before submitting a portfolio, determine your initial placement in WRIT courses at UW-Eau Claire (which you'll receive during summer orientation, or you can determine from your UW English Placement Test/UWENGL score using the guidelines below). Discuss this placement with parents/guardians, teachers, guidance counselors, and/or college advisors to determine if you should attempt to modify your placement.

How Am I Placed into WRIT Courses?

Students are automatically placed into one of these WRIT courses based on the UW English Placement Test (UWENGL), Advanced Placement credit, or incoming partial college composition credit.

UWENGL score of 404 and below

-WRIT 114: Intensive Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing • 5 credits

UWENGL score of 405 to 549

-WRIT 116: Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing • 5 credits

UWENGL of 550-594 • AP English Language and Composition of 3 • Literature and Composition score of 3 • University Honors Program Student

-WRIT 118: Accelerated Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing • 2 credits

-WRIT 907L (This will appear on the degree audit for students transferring in a college composition course credit from another university.)

-WRIT 120: Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing for Transfer Students • 2 credits

NOTE: Placement into these courses is mandatory based on the above criteria; students may not simply select to take a different course. However, students can attempt to modify their initial placement by submitting a University Writing Program Portfolio.

Guidelines for Students: Should I Submit a Writing Portfolio?

Students who are the most likely to modify their placements through this portfolio process tend to have some or most of the following characteristics. Please check all that adequately describe you:


___ I like writing and English classes.
___ I generally feel confident about my writing skills.
___ I am confident helping others with their writing.
___ Other relevant attitudes: _____________________________________


___ I have had relatively positive experiences with writing in and out of school.
___ I have earned a 3.5 or higher average GPA in my high school English courses.
___ I took AP English.
___ I graduated in the top 10% of my class.
___ I took other college prep classes (AP, IB, other advanced/accelerated courses).
___ I took a college course (e.g., dual enrollment, Youth Options, Academic Alliance, CAPP).
___ Other relevant experiences: _____________________________________


___ I easily comprehend long, complex readings on a wide variety of topics and issues.
___ I generally feel comfortable moving through difficult course material at a rapid pace, meeting short deadlines and producing polished writing quickly.
___ I have some familiarity with rhetorical terms and concepts.
___ I am highly competent at summarizing complex texts in academic prose.
___ I am highly competent at finding, evaluating and integrating a variety of source materials into a substantial documented research project.
___ I can accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of my own writing.
___ Other relevant skills:_____________________________________

If you checked at least half (9) of these boxes across all three categories, you're likely a good candidate for submitting a portfolio. You are encouraged to consider these characteristics carefully. We encourage you to discuss these characteristics with parents/guardians and teachers in order to help you determine if you should submit a portfolio.

What do I submit for the portfolio?

General Information

Whether you are submitting a portfolio in order to modify your placement or to attempt to fulfill the University Writing Requirement, the requirements for submission are the same:

  1. a self-assessment essay,
  2. an analysis paper,
  3. a documented, research-based project, and
  4. writer's choice.

Please read carefully the required elements for what to include in the portfolio.

These components must meet the following requirements:

  • All of these elements must be wholly original, representing your own work and ability.
  • All of these elements must have been written within the past two academic years.
  • You can select work that you produced in or out of school during this time period.
  • The work you submit does not need to be restricted to assignments written for English classes. You can include relevant papers and projects completed for other courses.
  • Submit clear electronic copies of your work (without any teacher comments or grades). Feel free to revise your work before submitting it.
  • Please remove all identifying information from your work.

Successful Student Portfolio Samples

The following samples are from students that successfully tested out of their WRIT course requirement.  They show the range of acceptable submission content.

Sample #1

Sample #2

Sample #3


Details on the Required Elements

Your portfolio must include the following elements:

1. Self-Assessment essay.

This is a very specific kind of essay you will write exclusively for this portfolio. You are asked to select five (5) of the learning outcomes for the writing program at UW-Eau Claire and explain how the work in the rest of your portfolio (elements 2-4) clearly demonstrate these skills. Approximately 1500 words or four pages.

Please look over the learning outcomes for the writing program and select five of them to discuss in your essay. Here are three example self-assessment essays, written by students in WRIT courses: Sample 1. Sample 2. Sample 3. Please note that these are meant as fairly strong examples of what students have produced in the past, not as perfect examples.

2. Analysis paper.

This paper should demonstrate your textual analysis skills. These kinds of papers typically have an argumentative and analytical thesis supported by clear and compelling textual evidence.

Here are three example papers written by students at UWEC as examples of strong analysis papers: Sample Literary Analysis 1. Sample Literary Analysis 2. Sample Rhetorical Analysis.

3. Documented, research-based project.

The paper or project should demonstrate your ability to do college-level research; to find, evaluate and integrate relevant source materials; and to write a sustained, research-based discussion or argument.

4. Writer's choice.

This can include one stand-alone paper/project, or it can be comprised of up to four shorter pieces (e.g., another paper or digital project of any genre, such as blogs, podcasts, journalistic pieces, creative work, writing for community organizations, etc.).

Elements 2-4 together should total 12 pages minimum. There is no maximum page limit for your portfolio, but you should remain within reasonable limits.

Please remember that all of the work you submit must be your own original work, and that all submitted portfolios will be subject to annual randomized checks for plagiarism. Please know that a lack of familiarity with plagiarism and academic dishonesty, UW System policies for academic integrity, or the Blugold Code does not exempt anyone from any penalties at any time.

How do I submit a portfolio?

General Information

All portfolios must be submitted electronically. No paper or emailed portfolios will be considered. You will need the following materials:

  • Your UW-Eau Claire email account as well as Blugold ID#. Contact New Student Orientation if you do not have these via email ( or phone (715.836.5053).
  • Clean copies of your work (without any teacher comments or grades). Feel free to revise before submitting. Remove all your identifying information from your work if possible. Remember that all the work you submit must be your own original work, and that all submitted portfolios will be subject to annual randomized checks for plagiarism.
  • A check or money order for $75 payable to UW-Eau Claire to the following address:
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Cashier's Office
P.O. Box 5000
Eau Claire, WI 54702-5000
ATTN: University Writing Program Credit by Exam

Payment must be postmarked by July 1 for the PRIORITY deadline. All other portfolios will be considered on a rolling basis if payment is postmarked by September 15.

Go to the WRIT Credit by Portfolio Submission Form. After you submit your portfolio, print out this form, and mail your check or money order along with the form.

For more assistance on completing the form, watch this video tutorial.   (Please note that video is in the process of being updated and still reflects old submission deadlines).



Contact Kate Aho, Interim Co-coordinator of composition / 715-836-3070 / Department of English / Centennial Hall 4307