Humboldt State University

The Senior Portfolio

The Senior Portfolio, required for all pathway options, is a place for you to collect sample materials written during your time as an English major at HSU.  It asks that you assess and reflect upon your selections.  When completed, your portfolio will provide a record of your achievements in the major across time and highlight your ability to think and write carefully about literature and language.  Pathway A and B students should sign up for the English 490: Senior Portfolio Seminar (2 units) where a faculty member will advise you on making selections and writing the reflective essay.

Because some students may wish to complete an independent long critical essay as part of their final work (for instance, you may want a lengthy essay if you plan to pursue graduate studies in English), there are two options. Please pick the most appropriate option for your goals.

Contents of the Senior Portfolio

  • Option One
    • A written assignment in one of the core courses of the English major;
    • A sample mid-term or final exam that includes a written essay (from either a literature or a linguistics course);
    • A sample from any upper division course in the student’s chosen major track/pathway;
    • An essay using research and secondary sources; and
    • Your own reflective (self-assessment) essay of approximately 4-7 pages. This essay discusses the pieces in the portfolio and your growth and development as you have completed the English major. You are expected to make connections between the various aspects of the English major and to assess where you encountered both pleasures and difficulties.
  • Option Two
    • A written assignment in one of the core courses of the English major;
    • A sample mid-term or final exam that includes a written essay (from either a literature or linguistics course);
    • A long critical essay (20-25 pages) written under the supervision of a faculty member (if you select this option, you should also sign up for English 499: Independent Study with the instructor who is supervising your essay); and
    • Your own reflective (self-assessment) essay of approximately 4-7 pages. This essay discusses the pieces in the portfolio and your growth and development as you completed the English major. You are expected to make connections between the various aspects of the English major and to assess where you encountered both pleasures and difficulties.