Middlebury

 

Midterm Portfolio Checklist

Contents

• Three polished essays plus a sampling of early and
middle drafts (preferably including editors' comments) for
each. Be sure each essay is titled and that you number
your pages. For the researched essay, include copies of
sources from which your have paraphrased.
• One cover statement (2 paragraphs at most) in which you
briefly describe both the strengths of the writing in your 
portfolio and what still needs work. End the statement by
suggesting an agenda for your development as a writer
for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Grading Criteria

ESSAY ONE: PLACE ESSAY

Use of vivid details
• Use details beyond just the visual.
• Show rather than tell.
• Some details should provide background; some should
point us toward the significance of your
place/experience.
• Bonus: Push a cluster of details to a metaphor, which
controls a portion of your essay.

Focus

• Strategies for focusing your reader in the significance of
your place should be included in your title, your 
introductory paragraph, your concluding paragraph, your
use of significant details, your use of imagery, and your
reflective sentences.

Sentences

• Use vivid, working verbs.
• Vary your sentence types and lengths.
• Be concise.
• Punctuate accurately.
• Proofread for spelling.

ESSAY TWO: SETTING ESSAY

Use of detail (in addition to criteria for Place Essay)

• Use quotations from the text to illustrate your arguments.
Cite line or page numbers. Indent quotations when
appropriate (over 5 lines or 50 words).

Focus (in addition to criteria for Place Essay)

• Your introduction should end with a thesis statement.
• Each paragraph should make one point toward developing
your thesis

Flow

• Be sure your argument builds step by step toward your 
planned ending, without anticlimaxes or irrelevant
digressions.

Sentences (in addition to criteria for Place Essay)

•  Be careful to integrate quoted material into your
sentences smoothly.

ESSAY THREE: RESEARCHED ESSAY

Use of Detail (in addition to criteria for Place and Setting Essays)

• Use quotations, paraphrases and summaries from
sources to support your arguments. Cite your sources
both in the text of your essay and in a "Works Consulted"
page at the end using MLA style.

Focus (in addition to criteria for Place and Setting Essays)

• Use your introduction to contextualize your topic and to
focus your readers' attention on its significance.
• Your introduction should end with a thesis statement.
• Each paragraph should make one point toward developing
your thesis.

Flow (in addition to criteria for Place and Setting Essays)

• Use transition strategies to keep your readers with you
throughout the argument.
• Be sure your argument builds step by step toward your
planned ending, without anticlimaxes or irrelevant
digressions.

Sentences (in addition to criteria for Place and Setting
Essays)

• Choose your words carefully. Aim at concise, precise
language.
• Be careful to integrate quoted or paraphrased material
into your paragraphs smoothly.