Reflective Essay

Reflective Essay (50 points)

What is a reflective essay?

Using Google, the definition of  “reflect” is given as:

think deeply or carefully about.
“he reflected on his strengths and weakness of his writing”

synonyms: think about, give thought to, consider, give consideration to, review, mull over, contemplate, cogitate about/on, meditate on, muse on, brood on/over, turn over in one’s mind;

Reflection is a cognitive process that promotes self-awareness and encourages self-assessment. Reflective essays are based on your own personal experiences, so it is perfectly acceptable for this writing to be written in the first person and should be about your own experiences and ideas. For your reflective essay, you’ll want to think deeply and carefully about how you developed as a writer and a critical thinker through the course of this semester.

Think back to the beginning of the course when you wrote your first post, what you felt your writing strengths and weaknesses were, what areas you hoped to improve on. Examine your writings over the course of this semester: free writes, blog posts, presentation, long read, notes/summaries, annotations, meetings with Jack and the Writing Center, etc. Pull specific examples from your writings for your reflective process. Below are some questions that can also help guide you through your reflection (you are not meant to answer all of these–they are merely to offer some guidance for the reflective process; there may be other questions you wish to answer yourself):

  1. What have I liked in my writings?
  2. Where do I feel I have improved?
  3. In what ways would I still like to improve my writing?
  4. How have my critical thinking and analytical skills been demonstrated in my writing?
  5. What have I learned about myself as a writer from the writing I did in this course?
  6. What passages from my writing illustrate the critical thinking that I did this semester?
  7. Which parts of the writing process did I become more skilled at doing this semester?
  8. Which parts of the writing process do I still need to work on?
  9. Of the writing I did this semester in this class, which do I think is the best and why?
  10. Of the writing I did this semester in this class, which is the weakest and why?
  11. How has my writing changed over the course of the semester?
  12. What new abilities will I take away from this course?
  13. What do I still need to continue working on as a writer?
  14. In what ways have I taken ownership of my writing and my learning this semester?
  15. How do I expect to use what I learned in this course in the future?

An Effective Reflective Essay

  • Is Personal: this is about you and your experiences, development, successes, failures, challenges, and goals as a writer.
  • Is Purposeful: a reflective essay is not a free write exercise. It should be purposeful, specific, descriptive, and should demonstrate a careful and deep reflection of your development as a writer.
  • Is Perceptive: this essay should not merely be descriptive in nature, explaining your writing process, but rather a include analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of your development as a writer.
  • Is Polished: although this is personal in nature, it should still be written concisely, clearly and correctly.
  • Is Prepared: the essay should include specific examples from your writing or your writing process; it should go through the writing process several times. Given that this is a personal reflection, there are no word constraints on it. The length of your essay should be based on your own careful and deep reflection of your writing process and not on any arbitrary numbers.

Due Date:

As these are personal in nature, these can be done in Google Docs or another word processing application and shared with me. Essays are due by 11:59pm, December 7.