Use your timeline to help you develop your reflection. Think about your journey as a writer with the significant experiences you have already had with writing, what you are doing with writing now in the present, and your future plans for interacting with writing. Use these ideas to organize your reflection around a theme or pattern to build into an analysis of who you are as a writer.
Your reflection should be at least 500 wordsor about two pages (double-spaced).
The definition and categories information below should be used in conjunction with the Reflection Rubric to provide guidance and additional details about how your paper will be evaluated.
• Reflection (noun): (1) a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation; (2) consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose (Merriam-Webster)
• A reflection assignment, in Maryville University composition courses, is a piece of writing (of variable length) that illustrates the writer’s learning by accessing their personal experience. This requires students to look closely at themselves and their writing. Students will make connections between prior knowledge, their current self, and their plans moving forward. Students will organize their reflection around themes and patterns so as to indicate strengths, weaknesses, and specific areas for growth.
• Past Experiences and Learning: Reflective thinking is a form of personal response and an explanation for how we learn: we link what we already know to new experiences and information. We learn by explaining how new information fits into frameworks we have already built, by analyzing prior events with new insight, and by explaining how new learning is similar to or different from prior learning. Past experiences and learning (inside and outside of the classroom) can provide comparisons to current work that can demonstrate growth or continued areas in need of growth. Evaluating the past can also reveal changed perspectives about educational and life experiences.
• Present Experiences and Learning: Your self assessment of knowledge, skills, and work is a critical piece of reflection. Present knowledge should include both strengths and weaknesses as well as areas of confusion or gaps in understanding. What lessons are you learning from this experience, or what questions do you have? What are some contextual factors in your present?
• Future Experiences and Learning: Future goals will guide your action plan moving forward. As a result of analyzing prior knowledge and experience along with present knowledge, you should be creating goals that are specific for your own growth and improvement. These goals should be as specific as possible. Knowing what you know now, what would you do next to further increase your learning and/or improve your work? In thinking about the future, you can connect to previous learning and indicate how knowledge or skills can transfer to future contexts.
• Depth of Analysis: Analysis allows you to move beyond simply stating information to identifying the significance and implications of this information and identifying patterns and themes to reach a greater understanding. Since analysis is critical to help reflections move beyond surface level thoughts and observations, the depth of analysis is a measure of the ability to break down information relating to the experience or lesson and develop themes and patterns for the reflection. What is the most important lesson you learned from this experience? What taught you this information (using details from the experience as evidence), and why is this lesson important?
• Organization and Support: The introduction should map the key pieces of the reflection, especially the themes and patterns that you have identified. You will back up your claims with concrete details from the learning experience. Use sufficient detail to explain the connection between the claim and the evidence/examples. The various ideas presented will be organized so that there is a clear progression of ideas. What is the main purpose of each paragraph, and how will you organize these ideas and use transitions to improve flow?
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