We have arrived at the end of the semester and are nearly done! I am so proud of you all for making it to this point. Now it is time for you to pull all your work together and, look at it as a whole, and reflect on what you have done over the course of the semester.
For this final assignment, reflect upon 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?
Your reflection is due with your Final Portfolio and should be a minimum of 1000 words.
As a way to begin gathering ideas and information for your Reflection, look back through all your 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? How have your developed as a writer?
- 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?
- 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 do you feel about the class and what you have learned now that the semester is over?
- What advice would you give to students taking this course next semester?
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t simply answer the above questions in your final reflection. In fact, you do not need to answer them all. Instead, use them as a guide to help you brainstorm ideas.
- 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 learned: 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, it is really important that you 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.
- I am as flexible as possible with deadlines, but it is the end of the semester and the final portfolio (including this reflection) are due ________ and I don’t have any leeway because I need to turn grades in.The rough draft is due________. Make sure to get this done on time! You’ve probably never written anything like this before, so I’m sure you’ll want to get some feedback!