How to Submit a SAGES Writing Portfolio

2023-2024 Academic Year


Please read these instructions carefully. When you are ready to submit your portfolio and you have gathered the required materials, click here to go to the SAGES Portfolio Submission Form.


After the completion of your second University Seminar, you will compile a Writing Portfolio and submit it to the SAGES office. The Writing Portfolio documents your development as a writer over your first three SAGES seminars and provides the University with feedback that will be used to enhance the SAGES program. The Writing Portfolio includes an essay from each of the three seminars you have taken, as well as a Reflective Essay.

It is solely up to you to assemble and submit your completed portfolio. Seminar instructors and Writing Resource Center consultants can discuss strategies for archiving written work and for building your portfolio. You should retain copies of all papers you write for SAGES courses.

Each year, SAGES convenes a committee of faculty from several schools within the university to read and assess the portfolios in order to provide valuable feedback about our seminar curriculum and writing instruction. Please note that the committee evaluates portfolios, but it does not re-assess grades nor make additional comments on your writing.


The Portfolio is due the semester following your second University Seminar. If you completed your second University Seminar in a Spring or Summer semester, the deadline for submitting the Portfolio is the first of November of that year. If you completed your second University Seminar in a Fall Semester, the deadline for submitting the Portfolio is the first of March of the following year. If you completed your second University Seminar more than six months ago, the deadline for submitting the portfolio has already passed, and it must be turned in as soon as possible.


The Writing Portfolio must contain the following materials. All files must be in PDF format:
1. A 2-3 page reflective essay.
2. One essay from your First Seminar. Transfer students should include an essay from FSTS 100 if they did not take a First Seminar at CWRU.
3. A research essay from one of your University Seminars. This essay is typically 10-12 pages; at a minimum, it must contain 8 pages of prose (not counting the bibliography). The research essay must integrate and cite primary and/or secondary source material and include a properly formatted bibliography page or bibliographic footnotes (see additional details below).
4. One essay from your other University Seminar. This paper may be a research essay, but it does not have to be.

If you took an SIS-designated UGER Communication Intensive course to substitute for a University Seminar, please include the relevant paper from that course instead. You can address the substitution in your Reflective Essay.


Reflecting on the essays included in your portfolio, discuss how your writing has developed across your First-year and University SAGES seminars. Provide evidence and examples from your essays and/or your writing process to demonstrate your development. (2-3 double-spaced pages)

Portfolio readers are genuinely interested in your own thinking about the writing you did in SAGES as well as the writing you do or plan to do outside of SAGES. They are most interested in what you have learned about the relation of writing to ideas and to your own critical thinking.


Your portfolio must contain a research paper from one of your two University Seminars. By “research essay,” SAGES means a sustained engagement with an academic conversation – summarizing and critiquing what others have said on your topic – that includes your own novel claim or argument. This paper must do more than catalog the research you have done (i.e., an annotated bibliography is not sufficient); it should demonstrate your ability to synthesize academic research on a specific topic and to offer your own analysis or critical intervention. Such a paper will have a single controlling idea that represents your own thinking about the topic. A laboratory report, therefore, is not an appropriate substitute, unless it goes well beyond reporting the procedure and results of an experiment.

The research essay should be approximately 10-12 pages long; the absolute minimum length is 8 pages of prose (not counting the bibliography). The research essay must integrate and cite primary and/or secondary source material and include a properly formatted bibliography.

If you did not have the opportunity to write a research essay in either of your University Seminars, or if your SAGES research essays are too short, consult the SAGES Portfolio Coordinator ( about the best strategy for completing your portfolio.


You should include the final versions of essays as you submitted them in your classes. There is no need to revise these essays prior to portfolio submission. As you decide which papers to include, you are welcome to consult your writing instructor, faculty seminar leaders, or the Writing Resource Center in developing your writing portfolio.

All essays submitted in a writing portfolio should be your own work. Faculty reviewers do not encourage the inclusion of collaboratively written papers, but if you wish to include multi- authored work, you must justify its inclusion and explain your individual contribution to the final product in a reader’s note (~1 page) at the front of the essay. No more than one such project may be included in the final portfolio. You may not submit two papers from the same class. You must submit one paper from each of the two University Seminars. At least one of those papers has to be a research paper. You can, if you wish, submit two research papers.


Once you have gathered the required materials as PDF files, go to the SAGES Portfolio Submission Form. After you complete the form, you will receive an email confirming your submission. If you cannot access the form, contact


After a portfolio has been submitted, it is reviewed by the SAGES Portfolio Coordinator. An acceptable portfolio must not only be complete (with all essays present and appropriate) but it must also demonstrate your effort to assemble the portfolio and craft a thoughtful reflection on your writing. Once your portfolio has been reviewed and has met these requirements, you will receive an email stating that your SAGES Writing Portfolio submission has been approved, and that you have satisfied the University’s composition requirement for graduation. Your Academic Requirements in the Student Information System will be updated to reflect the completion of this graduation requirement. This is shown in the SAGES section of the Academic Requirements report. If SIS does not reflect completion of this requirement ten days after you receive your approval e-mail, please contact Paula Sumner ( in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Until you have received an approval email, please direct all questions to

Portfolios submitted over the summer break might not be reviewed until the start of the Fall semester. If you are a summer graduate, your portfolio will be read in early August. If you have an academic reason for an expedited review, please contact the Portfolio Coordinator.

While you will not receive specific feedback on your portfolio, SAGES will publicly recognize the best submissions as determined by the portfolio committee.


Please send questions about the portfolio to

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