WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Course Reflective Essay: Theorizing Myself as a Writer

Let’s begin with a claim: learning & teaching without reflecting on how, what, and why we are learning & teaching is meaningless. In First Year Writing, we believe that a digital writing portfolio is the best platform — like a dot-connecting mechanism — for supporting your reflections.

For our WRD104 portfolios, our emphasis will be on critical thinking, and how you’ve used it — how you’ve challenged yourself and really stretched yourself — in your writing. 

Length: 1250-1500 words, with hyperlinks and supporting quotations from your work
Audience: Instructor, classmates, WRD/FYW administrators, university assessment committees

Revisit my claim from the first day in class, when I tried to argue that “good writing” is not merely “correct,” spell-checked, and mechanically sound writing, but the result of rigorous, ongoing, reflective and critical thinking in collaboration with me and with your classmates. In terms of  your rhetorical situation, portfolio readers will be especially interested to read about how, when, and where you challenged yourself: how, when, and where, for example, did you reflect on your values, ideologies, and biases in class discussions, in readings, in office hours, while out walking around, or in your writing? How do your values, ideologies, and biases affect your ability to engage in truth-seeking behavior?

Required Essay Components:

  • A discussion of when, where, and how you challenged yourself — really stretched yourself intellectually — in this class. Provide specific examples.
  • A detailed discussion of your writing process — your Contextual Analysis would be good for this — in which you walk readers through your process from brainstorming, drafting, revising, rethinking, editing, etc. with very specific examples.
  • A discussion of what you learned about your writing process and what your plan is for the future: your self-editing toolkit.
  • Are you a bullshitter?
  • Fully developed paragraphs with transitions

A Note on Reflection

Reflection refers to the iterative process that we engage in when we want to look back at some activity or decision we’ve made, to think about what we’ve learned from it, and how we might use it in the future. Reflection is a powerful tool in teaching and learning, and outside of academics, reflecting is a common tool among professionals and organizations as a way to establish values, goals, and future actions.

Planning notes