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We are now at our final writing assignment of a difficult semester. I am so proud of you all for making it to this point. Now it is time for you, as the title suggests, reflect on your work over the semester.
This semester, we’ve read a number of articles about writing. Now it’s time for you to write an article of your own which answers the following questions:
What have you learned about yourself as a reader, writer and scholar this semester?
How will you be able to use what you have learned this semester and transfer that knowledge to other writing situations—either in college or in your community?
The Reflection is due with your Final Portfolio and should be a minimum of 1000 words.
As a way to begin your reflection, look back through your compendium of work: in-class writing exercises, homework assignments, blog posts, earlier reflections, essays/projects, and so on. As you browse through your work, ask yourself about and take notes on the following questions:
- How would you compare/contrast work done early on in the semester to now?
- What was your favorite/least favorite assignment and why?
- What are some notable lessons that have stuck with you after completing certain assignments?
- What changed in your writing (and reading and thinking) as the genres changed?
- How did you make decisions in your assignments about content and design?
- What were your early assumptions/beliefs about yourself and writing? Have they since changed? Explain.
- What was your experience revising assignments?
- Was there any peer feedback that stands out to you and why?
- How did you adapt to the sudden switch to online writing mid-semester?
- What was particularly challenging for you in our course this semester and how did you overcome it (or attempt to)?
Don’t simply answer the above questions in your final reflection; they are just meant to help you brainstorm ideas. You’re writing an article about writing, not just a list of thoughts. Think about all of the essays we’ve read about writing this semester—some of them certainly hooked your interest while others… probably did not. The ones that did were well-written, they had a point, the writer had a voice that you felt was worth listening to. Try to do that in your own writing here. Remember that this isn’t just you writing off-the-top of your head; this is a finished piece of writing. Treat yourself as a respected author who has lived through a difficult time: you are someone with something to say.
Here’s what I will be looking for (and grading you on):
- Attention to audience. You need to have a “so what?” Don’t just list off a bunch of random opinions about your writing—write an article about what you’ve learned. Think about who you are writing for (hint: it’s not just me).
- 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. If you tell me you learned something about yourself as a writer, show me proof! By proof, I specifically mean quotes from your own writing. All reflections should have at least three quotes from your own writing this semester. And, as usual, don’t just drop those quotes in there and expect your readers to figure out why you’ve chosen them. Explain why that passage is important to your readers and to your “so what?”
- Proofread. Make sure it’s long enough. As usual, you can use whatever language you see fit to use, but make decisions about your language—that is, the words that are there should be there for a reason.
It needs to be on time. I have wanted to be as flexible as I possibly can this semester, but the final portfolio (including this reflection) are due MAY 18, 20022 and I don’t have any leeway because I need to turn grades in