How Much Is Your Portfolio Worth?

In my class:

Of course, quality is also important, but let's put that aside for now. For now, I just want you to wrap your brain around this "rule of thumb" (general principle):

In short, you get paid by the word. The more you write, the more points you earn.

To calculate the total worth of your writing portfolio, use one of the following methods:

Method 1:

  • Total word count ÷ 5.

This method works because "2 points for ever 10 words" is the same as "1 point for every five words." Therefore, dividing by 5 yields the answer.

Method 2:

  • Start with the total word count, drop the last digit, then multiply by 2.

This method works because "dropping the last digit" is the same as "moving the decimal point one place to the left", which is the same as dividing by 10. And dividing by 10 then multiplying by 2 is the same as dividing by 5.

Personally, I like this method better, because I can often do the calculation in my head.

Let's imagine, for example, that Joe's portfolio is 2417 words.

Step 1:

Drop the last digit.

  • In this case, the last digit is 7, so I mentally ignore it. That leaves me with 241.

Step 2:

Double it.

  • 241 x 2 = 482.


As you can see, both methods yield the same result:

Method 1:

Method 2:

Understanding how your portfolio is graded is an important step to understanding your overall grade. (We'll talk more about grading later).

For now, I just want to make one more point:

Always start with the total word count. Yes, I know, not every word in your portfolio was written by you; there were headings and titles and other words that were already there when you first made a copy of the template. But those words don't matter; I've already taken those words into account. Just start with your total word count, then do the calculation from there.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.