Revising and Organizing
Revising, tailoring, and organizing your PWP materials marks the beginning of the fine-tuning process. Taking the time to effectively revise, tailor, and organize your PWP will make your materials appear more professional. When scanning content choices, you may notice that some pieces could use a little more revision. These last minute attention-to-detail measures can greatly affect the impact a PWP will have on its audience. For some reason, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the only time a type-o or a logic-flaw will decide to show itself will be in the middle of an interview! So really grill the selected work. We even suggest that you have another set of eyes review the materials before putting them in the portfolio.
Another problem that may arise after PWP materials are selected is a lop-sided representation of your ability. Sometimes a certain writing capability appears non-existent, or scant. This problem is easy to fix. The solution is to create materials to fill the void so your PWP is adequately tailored for its specified purpose. You can create written documents to demonstrate missing traits. This doesn’t have to be overly-burdensome. You can simply pick a subject that already interests you and write about it in a way that will advertise your “missing” quality.
After Joanne checks off the demonstrated qualities of her targeted PWP materials she notices two things. First, two of her samples have some spelling errors. Second, she has not included a sample that demonstrates her command of Rhetorical/Audience analysis. Joanne revises the two samples to correct the spelling, and she decides to include a written audience analysis she had previously composed for a freelance article. Another option Joanne could choose is to write an audience analysis of an existing sample that identifies her rhetorical strategies and describes her justification for using those strategies.
Note: Try to avoid getting stuck in this step of the PWP process. Your revision and tailoring could go on forever unless you have self-imposed and/or pre-determined deadlines. Having someone else review the PWP will also help you to know when to stop revising and tailoring.
Organizing your PWP is the next thing to do. When organizing a historical PWP there are two obvious schemes: chronological and reverse-chronological order. If you elected to list and rank the valued skills in your chosen career field, you already have one organizational scheme for your targeted PWP. In some instances the organization will be pre-assigned by your PWP’s audience (e.g., some academic admissions committees prescribe the content and the organization for a PWP submittal). Ultimately, it is up to you to best organize your PWP. Only you can fully understand the purpose for which you create a PWP.
You are now very close to completing the necessary steps for creating a PWP. From here on, all you have left is to package your PWP materials, review the completed PWP, and then present it.