Portfolio/Qualifying Exam Guidelines

All students in Professional Writing are required to take the qualifying exam midway through the program. The format for the "exam" will be an evaluation of a portfolio of work completed by the student.

NOTE: Portfolios must now be submitted electronically to prwr@towson.edu. No hard copies will be accepted. The deadlines are October 31 and April 1.

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Portfolios are evaluated by PRWR professors. Portfolios that receive a failing grade must be resubmitted after a conference with the program director and the student's advisor. Evaluation criteria of the portfolio will generally be as follows. Your portfolio should include three pieces of writing of different genres and each should:

  1. represent a range of application and show flexibility and variety in addressing various writing situations.
  2. show focus on a topic and deliver sound, reasonable evidence to support or develop the topic.
  3. be clearly and logically organized and show evidence of organizational craft--i.e., that it's a carefully designed piece.
  4. have paragraphs that are unified, well-developed, and internally cohesive.
  5. have sentences that are clear, concise, artful, and masterfully wrought.
  6. display diction that is consistently precise and accurate, showing command of a broad vocabulary.

Overall, the writing should be powerful, emotional, clever, creative, intelligent, thought-provoking--in short, graceful and interesting whatever the content.

It would be a good idea, though it's not required, to meet with your advisor to make sure you're submitting appropriate materials. If you have general questions about submitting work, please e-mail with your questions.