Tips on Writing a Portfolio Essay

At some point, students need to create a portfolio that will demonstrate their achievements at different stages of their education journey. For example, when a student graduates from the sixth grade, they may need to include their favorite assignments, exams, projects, and tests in a portfolio. College students need to write a portfolio much more often, especially in teaching and art majors. You may create an online or physical portfolio. No matter what type of portfolio you’re working on, you should summarize its content in an essay. Writers House experts prepared these tips to help you write a good essay.

Choose What to Include

Before writing a portfolio essay, you should decide what pieces you’re going to include in it. It’s hard to write an essay without understanding what it will be about. Sometimes, professors provide students with recommendations on what to include in their portfolio essay. Otherwise, you should select things you’re proud of. When creating an online portfolio, you should upload the necessary documents. No matter what is the format of your portfolio, be ready that you won’t receive any guidelines from your teacher. In this case, make sure to convert your portfolio to different formats so that you can choose the right one.

What to Focus on

Even if you have a diverse portfolio, you should choose the main focus to write an essay to make it well-organized. A portfolio includes everything you’ve done during a certain period of time. Think of why you’ve selected certain items. Were these assignments challenging? Did they allow you to demonstrate your strongest skills? If you answer such questions, it will be easier for you to write a comprehensive portfolio while also helping your readers better understand what kind of student you are. Make sure that the main topic of your portfolio is related to your experiences.


Once you’ve collected the necessary materials and decided on the focus of your portfolio essay, it’s time to get to the writing process itself. We recommend that you start by writing an introduction. One of the main differences between portfolio essays and other types of essays is that the former allow you to use the first person. In portfolio essays, you’re both the subject and the narrator. First, tell your readers who you are, what this portfolio is about (for example, provide the name of your course), and briefly describe the main points.

Describe Your Experiences

In the main body, briefly discuss your experiences. For instance, you can write three body paragraphs, devoting the first paragraph to your concerns, worries, and excitement that you’ve experienced before going into the class. In the second paragraph, describe the most memorable moments. In the third paragraph, reflect on your experiences and think of how they helped you improve your skills and grow personally. Make sure to mention particular items from your portfolio that illustrate the content of each paragraph. For example, when writing about your worries, you may include a quote from your diary.

Write a Conclusion

Wrap it up with a conclusion that highlights things you’re proud of and your strengths. Write about things that you would like to improve in the future. Describe your biggest achievements and think of how overcoming certain difficulties can help you in the future. You can even mention the very process of creating a portfolio because a portfolio serves as a thesis in some college programs.

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