For the portfolio template for POL211, Fall 2015 at CUA, click here.
Component Parts of Your Portfolio
The website template has 4 main tabs: presentation, dedicatory letter, notes, and comparison.
Include ONLY the notes that do one of the following things:
Please include citations or quotations.
Please compare your three texts on your theme. You may make a chart with Word comparing different quotations/paraphrases. I hope you will think about what best suits you, but, for a quick example, you could make a chart that looks like the chart at the bottom of these instructions.*
This has four parts, split into paragraphs:
1. Introduction to your audience: Dr. Hunsicker is not your main audience. Your main audience is whoever might care about your theme--past, present, and/or future. So, if you are writing about warfare in ancient Greece and found parallels to today, you might write to the American military. If you are writing about the public/private distinction, you might write to those designing a new constitution. When you write this, treat it as if you are actually writing a letter. Refer to Machiavelli, Publius, and Rousseau: although they do not say “Dear So-and-So exactly,” they do address Lorenzo, the people of New York, and the Academy of Dijon specifically.
2. A clear explanation of your theme cluster, and how the pieces fit together. This is your thesis statement: what are you showing with your three texts, and why do we care/what will we learn from your portfolio?
3. A brief discussion of how each of your texts will illuminate your thesis. You ought to paraphrase texts here, with citations, so as not to make it too long. How would you replicate your sentence summary work from the beginning of class to explain your theme for each text?
4. Why should we listen to you? Go back to your audience from question 1. You chose an audience who would think your theme important—perhaps it is a theme that matters to them as well. You must show them why this is important. This is what I meant by “being an expert.” You have expert knowledge from reading political philosophy that can help those who haven’t read it. So, explain it to them.
Using Prezi, you will explain your theme cluster, how the authors fit together, and why we should care. This is the step where we simplify our work to be able to talk to others about it.
*Simplest comparison chart*
On this side, you can see what assignment we have done like this:
In-class and out-of-class notes (I hope)
Most group assignments that asked you to summarize paragraphs or sections (Menexenus, Aquinas), consider themes ("Pericles'"), compare thinkers (ancient, medieval, Machiavelli), or ask specific questions (Alfarabi).
As such, the kind of detail you put in those assignments (summaries of texts with citations plus short explanations) is perfectly sufficient.
Basically, give me the notes you would have taken to write a paper on all three in a short, digestible way. One or two of these will probably already be in your dedicatory letter, so just expand on that (see below).
You know what these letters look like from the Dedicatory Letter last week, but when we write them here, they will have a standardized format.
1. Think about what persuaded you from Machiavelli and Madison, and what didn't. Most of you had a plain preference for the persuasive style of Publius for a variety of reasons. He wasn't overly arrogant, for one. So, write this in the frame of mind of actually helping someone understand. This means that you will write clearly and carefully, and explain to your chosen audience why they should care.
2. This has been the project since the beginning: understanding how themes work throughout the history of political theory.
3. Here, just paraphrase your argument. As we are writing this before the comparison, you might pick a point or two that will go in your comparison later (and then expand your chart as fully as possible). Remember that each summary shouldn't be longer than a paragraph (think the way you may have structured your first paper).
4. We will assume that, if you make a good argument, your audience will listen. So, answer the question: so what? Why would we care about your theme? If you do this (and this is just a very brief conclusion, like the ones you wrote in your papers), then you've been successful.
The presentation is going to be the last piece of your portfolio you make. So, using the comments I sent out after the Group Prezi Presentations about mixing clear graphics with enough on-screen explanation to make a good aid for your explanations, figure out the key points of your portfolio, which are:
-why use those three texts for your theme
- what does each text say
-what do the texts/authors say to each other
-and conclude with why your audience--and this class--should agree with you.
Portfolio Pieces: How to Create in Steps