Showcase your best work! A good portfolio will help you get into college or even get a job. The process of putting together a writing portfolio will also give you the chance to reflect on your own work and how you have grown as a writer. You will step back and notice your own original approach to subject matter and your distinct personal voice and style.

One effective way to organize your work is by genre. However, you could arrange your portfolio chronologically.


You should include:

1. A title page with
* Your name
* Your city and state
* A title



2. A table of contents listing the title, category, and date of each piece (see sample table of contents for reference)

3. An introductory essay focusing on why you chose these particular works and addressing your approach to writing. As you write your introductory essay, keep in mind these guidelines:


This portfolio highlights your writing so make the writing in your introduction vivid and alive like the writing in the pieces you include.

Here are some questions to consider when writing your introduction. You do not need to answer all of the questions but you can use them to guide your writing:
• What is your philosophy on writing?
• When and where do you write?
• What subjects do you write about?

Discuss each piece individually. Here are some guiding questions. Choose one or two to address per piece:
• Why did you include the piece in your portfolio?
• What did you learn through writing this piece?
• What skills did you work on when writing this piece?
• How did you brainstorm, revise, and edit?
• Who gave you feedback and help?

4. A conclusion reflecting on what you learned from reading the compilation of your works. Use these guidelines as you write your conclusion:
Read all of your pieces.

Wait a couple of days and read through your pieces a second and third time.

Here are some questions to consider when you write your portfolio conclusion:
• Reflect on your own personal style and voice. What do you notice about your style and personal voice in your pieces?
• What subject matter do you write about? How do you treat the subject matter?
• How have you evolved as a writer?

• What are your future writing plans?


Seniors in high school are eligible for The Scholastic Art & Writing Award's Writing Portfolio competition, as well as The New York Times James B. Reston Portfolio Award. Portfolio Awards are designed to acknowledge the breadth and quality of student's writing. Learn more about The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.