Portfolio Assignment 3: Synthesis—Reaching “Your Own Idea”



Your complete set of portfolio activities is the capstone project of this class. Thus, it is in your best interest to carefully read the instructions and information for this assignment and critically think about the best way to answer the question before you prepare and submit your work.


Connections to Learning Outcomes


· Propose how each of our intellectual abilities and character traits plays a role in obtaining and evaluating credible information from different domains of knowledge.


· Develop a plan that would be useful to you in making sound decisions—outline that plan in steps and explain the importance of each step and its position in your plan.


· When given a particular problem to solve, write a series of questions you would need to answer in order to develop a trustworthy answer.


· Evaluate the credibility of sources of information.




Painting of Ophelia lying on the ground.




By John William Waterhouse, 1889


It’s easy to play the role of Ophelia and find your answers “whar [you] gits [your] corn pone.”1 It takes time, effort, patience, and a willingness to trust your opinions, live with uncertainty, and be willing to think independently of your peers. Often we think the concepts of “giving the professor (or whomever) what he or she wants” and independent thinking are mutually exclusive. But are they?


As you work your way through this course it is important you remember that our goals for you include the ability to think for yourself, neither as an Ophelia or Polonius, but as a person who carefully and fairly judges the evidence and makes sound choices.




1. Read “Essay Prompt” and the “Grading Guide” so you know what is expected.


2. Prepare an outline to help you organize your thoughts.


3. I encourage you to use the words and ideas of others to support your claims; however,


a. Avoid plagiarism! Refer to “Plagiarism” in your syllabus for information to be sure you are not plagiarizing.


b. Use credible sources of information to substantiate your ideas!

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