Transfer Students (Portfolio Placement Information)

Receiving Credit for English 105:

Students from North Carolina community colleges who transfer to Carolina AND have completed an Associate’s Degree will receive credit for ENGL 105 under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. 

Transfer students who have taken a *comparable course at another institution will also receive credit.


*Comparable Course: Many transfer students are surprised to find that not all, and in fact very few, first-year writing courses taken at other schools are deemed “comparable” with UNC’s English 105. Our first-year course, unlike many writing courses that focus on writing in the Humanities and perhaps Social Sciences, English 105 is a writing-across-the-disciplines course. In this course, UNC students analyze the rhetorical and stylistic conventions that govern professional and academic writing in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. By studying and practicing the conventions of writing across these extended disciplines our courses prepare writers across BOTH the arts and sciences. And, without practice in each of these discourse communities, other writing courses cannot be given transfer credit for 105.  Consequently, transfer students who have not completed the CR Foundations requirement are strongly urged to register for ENGL 105 during their second semester at Carolina, when they will have priority registration for English 105i courses. 


The Portfolio Examination: Transfer Students ONLY

Transfer students who have significant experience with professional and academic writing across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and believe that their writing placement in English 105 does not reflect their ability have the option of submitting a “Writer’s Portfolio” to the English Department’s Director of Placement. 


Am I an appropriate candidate for submitting a portfolio?

It’s important for students to understand that the portfolio is a comprehensive and time-consuming project.  Transfer students should think of the portfolio itself as a credit-bearing course.  That is, passing portfolios receive 3 additional UNC credits -- beyond any elective credits already granted for the student’s prior coursework at the time of transfer.  As an example, if a student were granted 36 credits by UNC at the time of transfer, the passing portfolio would raise that number to 39.  Therefore, the student’s efforts in crafting, organizing and reviewing the documents required for the portfolio should not be taken lightly. 

All submissions must be presented to the Director of Placement within the transfer student’s first year at Carolina. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the deadlines for the placement portfolio are: 


Submission Dates:

•    Summer: August 1st for transfers from within the US and August 19th for international students

•    Fall: November 8th for all transfer students

•    Spring: February 27th for all transfer students   


*The Director of Writing Placement evaluates all portfolios and ALL decisions are final.  Contact Dr. Brad Hammer, Director of Writing Placement with all questions.  


Submission Criteria:

The submission of a portfolio does not guarantee credit for English 105. The goal of the portfolio is in helping transfer students produce a nuanced, reflective, and deliberative assessment of their preparation for college-level writing at UNC. As such, the portfolio should be viewed as a mechanism by which our faculty can richly assess your written work. A secondary goal of the portfolio is to provide students with an instrument for a critical self-reflection of their preparation with writing.


Required Items

A student’s portfolio must include each of the following documents.  Any substitutions MUST be pre-approved by the Director of Writing Placement.

1. A research or argumentative paper (of 5+ pages) in the Social Sciences that the student already composed in college (with the instructor’s prompt attached). This should be an example of your “best” work and should include your professor’s feedback and citations in APA/MLA format. 

2. A critical self-reflection (3-5 pages) of the effective and ineffective elements of Paper I, in DEFINED terms. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their experience with the types of key rhetorical terms and themes taught in English 105. Warning: Do NOT be overly positive in your assessments of your writing. Rather, similar to the daily work in English 105, students are asked to be critical of their writing while demonstrating an effective use of rhetorical terms.  As you use these terms, be sure your analyses are annotated with examples from within your research/argumentative paper.

3. The “Writing in the Disciplines” project. In preparation for this project, students will be asked to meet with the Director of Writing Placement to discuss one of the following four options:

     i. Compose (4-6 pages) a UNC SURF Grant Proposal.  See sample proposal here.  Learn more about SURF here.

     ii. Write  a composition (4-6 pages) appropriate for submission to the UNC PIT journal. The topic must be within the Natural Sciences. See an example here.

     iii. A Lab Report (Chemistry, Biology, Physics) -- 5-7 pages.  See an example at the link provided below.

     iv. The Scientific Research Paper (6-8 pages). See an example at the link provided below.

4. A 2-page critical self-reflection of composition #3. In this piece, your grader will look specifically at your ability to discuss your writing using key composition terms (i.e. "genre," "rhetorical situation," "audience," “appeals,” “evidence,” "discourse community," etc.). Again, do NOT be overly positive in your assessments of your writing. Students are asked to be critical of their work while demonstrating an effective use of rhetorical terms.

5. The Brief Literature Review Paper: 3 pages. 

*In preparation for this project, students should pick a topic suitable for their major, composing in the tone, genre and citation style (MLA/APA/Chicago) of that discipline.  See an example at the link provided below.

6. A one page statement affirming that you have familiarized yourself with the UNC Honor Code and have studied the rules of citing sources in both APA and MLA format.  In preparation for writing this document, complete the UNC, honor system module:


     i. Take UNC’s plagiarism tutorial:


     ii. Take UNC’s plagiarism quiz and receive a minimum of 80%:

     iii. Take a screenshot of your score and include that image in your portfolio

Note: Do not compile a portfolio without permission from the Director of Writing Placement (send inquiries to: Only formal requests will be processed and all decisions are final. For those students receiving permission to compile their documents into a portfolio, 3 weeks will be given from the date of permission to submit all materials. Neither late, nor incomplete portfolios will be accepted.


Sample projects, essays, and student reflections:

Literature Review Paper with Student Reflection

Scientific Paper with Student Reflection

Research Paper wuth Student Reflection

Lab Report

Honor Code Statement