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5.9: Portfolio- Subject as a Reflection of Self

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    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    • Reflect on the development of composing processes.
    • Reflect on how those processes affect your final product.

    As you develop a writing portfolio over the course of the semester, you will also reflect on your experience and writing process for each project. This section guides you in reflecting on your experience as you developed your profile.

    Reflective Task

    Gathering and Capturing Ideas Icon

    Take a few moments to jot down notes—by hand or electronically—in response to the following questions:

    • What have you learned about yourself in researching and drafting this profile?
    • What did you learn in your research that surprised you?
    • What challenges did you face in gathering your primary research from interviews and field observations?
    • What challenges did you face in gathering your secondary research from academic and other credible sources?
    • Do you now think differently about the trait you focused on in your profile? If so, how has your understanding changed? If your thinking about that trait has not changed, how was it reinforced in this project?
    • If you were to begin this project again, how would you approach it differently?
    • With whom would you like to share your finished project? Why?
    • What other audiences might be interested in this piece?

    After reflecting on your writing process and experience, organize your thoughts thematically. For example, if some parts of the process were more challenging for you and other parts were less so, you could organize your reflection around those two ideas. Or you could separate your reflection into sections according to the parts of the writing process that were familiar and the parts that were new to you in this project.

    Once you have organized your notes into sections focusing on coherent themes, draft a professional email to your instructor to report the insights you have gained from your reflection. Find out from your instructor whether you should actually send the reflection via email or if you should attach it to your final profile document instead.

    Further Reading

    With their signature blend of narrative and reporting, profiles can be found in all sorts of media, including blogs, magazines, and podcasts. Once you start looking for profiles, you will find them everywhere. Here are several places to find profile writing:

    Works Cited

    “About the Award.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives, events-and-awards/profile-in-courage-award/about-the-award.

    Chambers, Veronica. “Rebel Commentary: Veronica Chambers on the Power of Individual Resistance.” Interview by Rebecca Carroll. Gothamist, New York Public Radio, 19 Sept. 2018,

    Chambers, Veronica. Resist: 40 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up against Tyranny and Injustice. Harper, 2020.

    Glass, Ira. This American Life. WBEZ Chicago,

    Hartsell, Mark. “Journalism, behind Barbed Wire.” Library of Congress Blog, Library of Congress, 5 May 2017,

    Hayden, Carla D. “Remembering John Lewis: The Power of ‘Good Trouble.’” Library of Congress Blog, Library of Congress, 19 July 2020,

    Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. Harper, 1956.

    Stanton, Brandon. Humans of New York.

    Talese, Gay. “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.” Esquire, Hearst Magazine Media, 1 Apr. 1966, article/1966/4/1/frank-sinatra-has-a-cold

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