Your Portfolio: A How-To

All these silver beads connected by green rope; whose portfolio uses rope? Srsly.

The writing components of this course are graded as a portfolio, starting with your cover letter. This portfolio, like all your work this semester, will be entirely digital. Digital portfolios are easier to make than you think, once you wrap your brain around what they actually are.

For the Want of a Staple

When people think of a traditional portfolio — especially one for an English class — they usually think of a pile of papers secured by a single, giant staple. Maybe a three-ring binder if you’re fancy. Regardless of the material product, the fastener distinguishes a portfolio from a stack. By physically connecting assorted documents, a portfolio becomes a thing.

In order for us to create and turn in digital portfolios, we need to have some way to bring together the various documents used in this class. Think of the available options. What in the digital space serves to connect related documents? (Hint: You’ve probably created several of them already in this class, and you probably followed one to get to this page.)

Behold: The Link

Back in 2015 I wrote about the urgent need to teach students — particularly students at Saint Leo — about the hyperlink. That one simple concept makes the Internet function, and it can bring your work to a worldwide audience. Fundamentally it serves as a connection between any two documents on the web. And that’s exactly what we need.

By employing hyperlinks, you can create a digital portfolio from a single document — any document — that you put online. And because all major word-processing platforms give you the ability to share for collaboration, connecting documents has never been easier. All you need to do is learn how to link them.

How to Make Your Portfolio

Creating a digital portfolio for this class involves these steps:

  1. Put all your work online, and share them so anyone with the link has access. If it’s something you wrote here in WordPress, that’s already done. Otherwise:
  2. Create hyperlinks within your cover letter that point to the various documents you put online whenever you refer to them. Think of it as a really simple, really accurate citation. Remember: Share them so anyone with the link has access. Here’s how to find the URL of a shared document:

That’s it! Now when you turn in your cover letter, all the work you refer to inside goes with it — as though you used a giant digital staple.

Need an example?

Here’s what these documents look like on various platforms, just so you can see how they work and what the URLs look like.

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