Showcase Portfolio Platform

****Please share documents with me via the Assignment Submission Page on this Blog. 

from the Instruction documents….

Drafting your Portfolio Pieces

Peer Feedback

As you write the three drafts, you will submit them to a classmate for feedback and suggestions for improvement.

While your thesis should be clear to your peer editor, each portfolio piece may support a different aspect of your thesis so it is helpful to share your thesis for your overall portfolio with your peer editor.

The following peer editing sheets have been provided to you. Download and complete the relevant forms depending on which texts your partner has created.

Definition Essay

Narrative Essay

Persuasive Essay

Blog Post

Concept Map




Make sure you return the peer editing sheets to your author, and be sure to include yours when you submit all hard copies/digital copies of the portfolio process.

Teacher Feedback

Now submit each of your drafts to your teacher for additional feedback.

When your are ready to assemble your Showcase Portfolio.

  1. Read the instructions in all the documents…AGAIN!
  2. Review the rubric.
  3. Choose your Platform.
  4. Assemble the Portfolio.

If you are using your blog as your platform, make sure that all of the parts of the Portfolio are in ONE post.

See this model:

#1 Planning Post


Thesis: In Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer demonstrates that Everest symbolizes more meaning and value than what it has been credited with.

I think it is missing the “so what?” part of the thesis statement.

This portfolio really combines academic writing coventions well with blogging conventions.


Showcase Portfolio Thesis Statement

Crafting your Thesis Statement….

is hard work. It’s hard work to narrow down your thinking into the statement. BUT, I hope you have some of that thinking done. Today before you go on with your Showcase Portfolio, I’d like us to revisit our thesis statements to see if we can take them from being simple, shallow, or bland to complex, deep, or sophisticated. 

Successful thesis statements provoke thought and should read beautifully.

Your thesis statement should include two parts:


WHAT: What claim are you making about the text?

WHY: Why should we care? Why is your claim important?

Your thesis should answer the “so what?” question.

from OWL Purdue

What Makes a Good Literature Paper?

An argument

When you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.

A debatable thesis statement

Like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.


You would not want to make an argument of this sort:

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.

That doesn’t say anything-it’s basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.

A better thesis would be this:

Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.

That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1) how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he’s in love with her, and (3) what implications there are for reading the play in this manner.

You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:

Spirituality means different things to different people. King LearThe Book of Romans, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently.

Again, that says nothing that’s not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that? You’re not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic like “spirituality.” You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.

A better thesis would be this:

LearRomans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality.

Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality.

One More Example of A Literary Thesis Statement:

“Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.”

What’s wrong with this thesis statement?

An opinion about the book, not an argument.

 “In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.”

Better? How so? What is still missing?

Doesn’t answer the “so what?” question—what is the point of the contrast? What does the contrast signify?

 “Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American ideals, one must leave ‘civilized’ society and go back to nature.”

Even better.  It presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content and answers the “so what” question.

Showcase Thesis Statement Practice

Next, revise your planning blog post to reflect your new thesis statement. 

Carry on with your Showcase Portfolio.


Course Summative: Blog Post #4

Evidence of Learning document due: Tuesday, January 16th no later than 11:59:59

The deadline tonight is about stopping the process of adding new tasks to the document. We need to do this for 2 reasons:
  1. The course summative will start tomorrow;
  2. There needs to be time for me to review the documents and respond to them so that students can appropriately assess. This means that if by midnight a student as 15 boxes in the document completed, the student can revise any of those 15 based on my feedback. This is t true for the student who as 8 boxes filled. What students cannot do is to continue to add new tasks past the deadline. There simply isn’t the time for me to go into students documents again and again. 
Tomorrow, I will go into the document. I will make suggestions where needed (where it impacts a mark) and I will give the student a new deadline. I will go in after that deadline for the last time to confirm the mark. 

Course summative is a showcase portfolio. Before I introduce the whole project, you need to finish all four blog posts and revise them according to my feedback.

Grade 11 and 12 students are considering the best literary perspective for their novels and blogging on that topic.

Make sure you are using both the conventions of a literary analysis and of a blog post.

Grade 10s will consider the themes of their novels for their last post.