We have arrived at the end of the semester and are nearly done! Now it is time for you to pull all your work together, look at it as a whole, and reflect on what you have done over the course of the semester.

As you collect and revise your work for the final portfolio, you’ll have a good chance to reflect on the work you’ve done in this course. Consider the large amount of writing you’ve produced and the work that went into producing it, write a reflection that and answer the two questions below. This reflection, approximately 1,000 words, that will accompany your portfolio, should quote from the writing you’ve done this semester, 2-3 times, to help support your answers to these two questions:

What have you learned as a reader, writer, and researcher this semester?

How do you see yourself taking what you have learned this semester and transferring that knowledge and those skills to other writing tasks, assignments, or situations, such as in college, in pursuit of your architecture career, or in your community?

How to get started:

Look back through all your work: discussion comments, blog posts, earlier reflections, projects, and so on. As you browse through all you’ve composed, ask yourself about (and take notes on) some of the following questions as a way of generating ideas for your reflection:

  • How would you compare your writing from early in the semester to now? This can help you see how you developed as a writer.
  • What are some notable lessons that have stuck with you after completing certain assignments?
  • What changed in your writing, reading, and thinking as the genres changed?
  • What were your early assumptions/beliefs about yourself and writing? yourself and reading? How have they since changed?
  • What was your experience revising assignments?
  • Was there any peer feedback that stands out to you and why?
  • What was particularly challenging for you in our course this semester and how did you overcome it (or attempt to)?
  • What did you expect to learn in this class? What did you actually learn? Is it the same? Different? Less? More?
  • How did working in a First Year Learning Community with ARCH 1101 influence the experience you had in this course?

Things to keep in mind for the reflection:

  • Use this long list of questions as a way to get started, rather than answering the above questions in your final reflection. Choose the ones that are meaningful for you and use them as a guide to help you brainstorm ideas or freewrite.
  • Think about all of the texts we’ve read —some of them certainly interested you while others did not. Keep in mind the importance of engaging your reader and use any author who inspired you as a model for your writing.
  • You’ll want to address each of our 3 projects as well as the informal writing on our course site, both discussion comments and blog posts. Remember, you should quote from 2-3 things you wrote to support your observations and reflections about your experience as a writer, reader, researcher, college student, etc.
  • You might use the work we did throughout the semester to organize your reflection, thinking about Project #1, Project #2, Project #3, as well as the reading and informal writing that was part of each of the projects. If you had a paragraph for each project, your weekly writing, and the reading, plus an introduction and conclusion, you would easily have 1000 words. Maybe you want to divide it by reading, writing, and researching. You might want a different organization for your reflection, or not want a traditional introduction or conclusion–that’s fine!
  • Post your reflection using the category Final Reflection. Add any tags you want. If you would prefer to make your post private, please do (see #7 in the “Writing a Post” from OpenLab Help). Aim to post this work on Wednesday, 12/16.

What makes up your grade:

Attention to audience. Although this doesn’t need to be a traditional essay, it should have a “so what?”–that is, it should be clear to your readers why this matters. Think about who you are writing for (more than just your professor) and make sure what you’ve written is something they will care to read.

Attention to organization.  This does not have to be a traditional organization, but you should have paragraphs (not just a 1000 word paragraph, please) and some reason for why they’re in the order they’re in!

Evidence and analysis. Quotations from your writing help support your claims about what you learned or how you’ll use what you learned. Be sure to use at least two or three quotations from your own writing this semester (discussions, posts, finished projects, reflections, etc). Make sure it’s clear to your readers why that passage of writing is important to your “so what?”

Presentation: Can someone else understand what you’ve written? Can someone understand what you’re referring to when you reflect on specific projects or pieces you wrote or read? Did you use formatting to help a reader make sense of your writing? Does it meet the requirements of the assignment?