Reflection Essays


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Lecture on how to write Reflective Essays

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Reflection Essays

  1. 1. Reflection Essays
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ I believe in miracles in every area of life except writing. Experience has shown me that there are no miracles in writing: the only thing that produces good writing is hard work.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Isaac Bashevis Singer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Reflection essays are based on personal experience. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Reflective writers present something they did, saw, overheard, or read. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>They attempt to make their writing vivid so that the reader can imagine what they experience. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The writer’s goal is to present the experience in order to explore its possible meanings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Reflective writers use events in their lives and people and places they have observed as the occasions or springboards for thinking about society—how people live and what people believe. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Writers of reflection have modest goals. They do not set themselves up as experts. They simply try out their ideas. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Early Meaning of the Word “Essay” <ul><li>To “try out.” </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective essays are exercises, experiments, opportunities to explore ideas informally and tentatively. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Reflective writing is explorative, lively and creative. </li></ul><ul><li>It often surprises the reader with its insights and unlikely connections. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Reflective writing encourages the reader to look in new ways at familiar things, examining with a critical eye what they usually take for granted. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Begin by thinking about what you already know about the subject. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Reflective Writers: <ul><li>Present a particular occasion in a vivid and suggestive way that encourages readers to want to know more about the writer’s thoughts. </li></ul>
  14. 14. To Succeed at Presenting the Occasion Vividly <ul><li>Use the same techniques of describing and narrating as used for Autobiography and Observation Essays. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Developing your Reflections: Generalizing <ul><li>Consider what you have learned from the event or experience that will be the occasion for your reflections. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Developing Your Reflections: Giving Examples <ul><li>Illustrate your ideas with specific examples. Ask yourself: What examples would be best to help the reader understand your ideas? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Developing Your Ideas: Comparing and Contrasting <ul><li>Think of a subject that could be compared with yours, and explore the similarities and differences. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Developing Your Reflections: Extending <ul><li>Take your subject to its logical limits, and speculate about its implications. </li></ul><ul><li>Where does it lead? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Developing Your Reflections: Analyzing <ul><li>Take apart your subject. </li></ul><ul><li>What is it made of? How are the parts related to one another? Are they all of equal importance? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Developing Your Reflections: Applying <ul><li>Think about your subject in practical terms. </li></ul><ul><li>How can you use it or act on it? What difference would it make to you and to others? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Keep your Purpose in mind… <ul><li>Consider this question: </li></ul><ul><li>What do I want my readers to think about the subject after reading my essay? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Developing Your Reflections <ul><li>Using examples and feelings helps develop what the writer has to say. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Maintaining Topical Coherence <ul><li>The writer turns the subject this way and that, looking first from one perspective and then from another—piling up examples to illustrate their ideas. </li></ul>
  24. 24. A Mind at Work <ul><li>The writer arranges the parts carefully to give the appearance of the writer’s mind at work. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Repeat Key Words or Phrases: First Method <ul><li>Each new idea or example may seem to turn the essay in an unexpected new direction, making the essay seem to ramble. However, referring to the subject at various points of the essay by repeating certain key words or phrases associated with the subject pulls the reader back to the topic. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Carefully Placed Transitions: Method Two <ul><li>Time and place markers within the essay to introduce a series of examples will also help achieve topical coherence. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Engaging Readers <ul><li>Remember, readers have no pressing reason to read a reflective essay. </li></ul><ul><li>The writer’s goal is to create common ground with the reader—something must catch the reader’s eye—a hook. </li></ul>
  28. 28. A Few Examples of Hooks for Reflection Essays <ul><li>A familiar author’s name </li></ul><ul><li>An Intriguing title </li></ul><ul><li>A unique quote </li></ul><ul><li>An intriguing question </li></ul><ul><li>Humor </li></ul>
  29. 29. How to Keep the Reader Reading <ul><li>The writer needs to project an image of themselves—sometimes called the writer’s persona or voice—that readers can identify with or at least find interesting. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Reflection Online <ul><li>The Web provides many new kinds of spaces for writers to reflect on a particular occasion. </li></ul>
  31. 31. These Spaces Include: <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Web Sites </li></ul><ul><li>My Space </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Online Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Global Voices Online </li></ul>
  32. 32. Proofreading <ul><li>Remember, proofreading the final copy for spelling, grammatical errors and sentence formation makes all the difference in the world if the writer’s goal is to present their writing as something they care about. </li></ul><ul><li>If the writer doesn’t care, why would the reader? </li></ul>
  33. 33. And Finally—An Appropriate Quote <ul><li>“I see but one rule: to be clear.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stendhal </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>