MA Degree Portfolio: Contents and Evaluation Criteria
University of Maine Master of Arts in English
Final Degree Portfolio Contents and Evaluation Criteria
The portfolio will be both comprehensive and selective, illustrating a range of coursework, while also
highlighting the candidate’s special research interests.
Degree Portfolios accepted for review will be comprised of roughly 50 pages of your best work,
1) A 10-15 page (double-spaced) critical-reflective letter containing:
a) an account of your goals at the start of the program, during the program, and at the present time
b) an articulation of your selection process for the portfolio contents
c) An account of the revision process for the essay (and artifacts, where relevant)
d) A contextualization of the included materials within your course of study and within the
relevant professional, creative and/or academic field.
e) An outline of your aspirations and plans for your profession or vocation going forward
2) A revised critical-analytical essay presenting an insightful argument in the context of appropriate
scholarly / theoretical / empirical research conversations. Revised essays will be accompanied by
the original version.
3) Three additional professional artifacts, selected to represent both the breadth of the coursework
taken and the range of the candidate’s abilities. Artifacts might include (but are not limited to)
genres like annotated bibliographies, technical documentation, an original assignment sequence,
a conference paper with PPT deck, keyword essays, a showcase of editorial or tutorial work
from NPF or the Writing Center, a research grant application, a web interface or curation of an
online archive, etc.
4) An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
Critical-reflective Letter Evaluation Criteria:
I. The account of your goals at the start of the program, during the program, and at the present
time is thorough and specific.
II. The articulation of your selection process for the portfolio contents is attentive to detail and
persuasively describes how each item exemplifies the development of your creative, intellectual
and/or professional skills.
III. The description of the essay-revision process details how the revision improved the quality of
the scholarship, especially in terms of the specific criteria for the critical essay described in
section 7, below.
IV. The contextualization of the included materials, within your course of study and within the
relevant professional, creative and/or academic field is thoughtful.
V. The outline of your aspirations and plans for your profession or vocation going forward is clear
and relevant to your coursework and goals.
Supporting Materials Evaluation Criteria:
VI. The materials selected for inclusion provide substantial evidence for the claims of personal and
intellectual development that the candidate has articulated in the critical-reflective letter.
VII. The critical-analytical essay demonstrates a sophisticated awareness of the scholarly
conversations concerning the object of inquiry, is closely and persuasively reasoned, attends
ethically to all available evidence, and is measured and judicious in its conclusions.
VIII. Care has been taken with the presentation of the materials, and the order of items follows the
logic outlined in the reflective essay.
IX. Stylistic and formatting decisions are consistent with the conventions of the artifacts included.