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College going students who are non-native speakers of English enrolled in English language programmes are not acquiring the needed academic writing skills. Many of these students do not have positive attitudes towards writing, thus forcing language instructors to look for ways of motivating students to write in order to improve writing skills. This action research project investigates the use of portfolio writing to improve writing ability among pre-university students. Research on the use of portfolio writing suggests that it is a useful way for developing interest in writing and for developing effective writing skills over a period of time. Portfolios support the best thinking in composition pedagogy in that it encourages process writing. Although the portfolio is considered a writing product, as a whole it is evidence of the student's writing process. An important feature in using portfolios is that studentsare able to focus on their writing without constantly worrying about grades. Instructors have noticed that students make greater improvement in their writing when their focus is shifted from punitive feedback through letter grades to constructive feedbackin the form of suggestions for further revision. This paper describes the use of writing portfolios as an effective means of teaching writing. The findings revealed that writing portfolios helped develop confidence in writing and decreased anxiety towards writing.