This I Believe Essay (Polished — 6:30pm)

Tuesday, September 23

Finish revising, and then polish, your “This I Believe” essay. Complete the reflection component as well.

  • Post your polished essay (with the reflection component) as a single post to this  This I Believe (Polished)  page. Have the essay lead the post followed by your reflection.
  • I’ve posted the Reflection Essay details below; use them as a guide as you compose your reflection. Shoot for ~350 words, give or take: after all, the reflection is about your analysis of what you learned in this unit, and not necessarily meeting a word count.
  • Post your draft to your own blogsite on your own TIB Polished Draft Page.


WRT 105 | Unit 1 Reflection Prompt                                                                                                       Fall 2014 

A reflection is a genre specific (but not exclusive) to the field of composition. Composition instructors often ask students to write reflections at strategic moments in the course—moments when it seems most appropriate to step back, review all of your work, and think critically about what you are learning and why what you’re learning is significant.

A reflection is not a narrative of what you did, but an analysis of what you did and learned and why it matters. The distinction is crucial: your teacher doesn’t really need a recap of what you did, right? But a teacher does need you to point out what you found most meaningful in the work of the course. Your analysis of what was meaningful becomes the focus of the reflection, and all of your composing throughout the unit becomes the pool of data or evidence for supporting your analysis. All of that work—notes at the end of class, for example, reading responses, blog posts, peer responses,  group writing, free writes, TIB drafts and revisions and false starts and doodles and list making—is worthy of your attention and analysis. What does all of that stuff say about you as a composer?

Here, then, is your reflection prompt for Unit 1:

In chapter 1 of Everything’s a Text, Melzer and Coxwell-Teague write that,


All acts of literacy are situated—they are constructed by the specific situation you find yourself in as a reader or composer. This literacy situation includes the role you play as the composer of a message, the form you compose in, your audience, and the social and cultural contexts for you and your audience (3-4).

 Explore Melzer and Coxwell-Teague’s explanation of “acts of literacy,” drawing on both your composing and reading experiences in this first unit of the course. Your reflection will help me appreciate and more fairly evaluate all of your work in the unit (from daily exercises to polished products). It will also help me assess not just what you produced, but what you learned. And finally, your reflection is an opportunity for you to continue to showcase your critical thinking skills, particularly your ability to think deeply about practices and concepts specific to effective composing.

The following prompts may give you a starting point for thinking and writing; I do not expect you to answer all of them nor use them to outline your reflection:

  • How does an understanding of genre impact your composing?
  • What do you now understand about the “social and cultural contexts” for composing?
  • In what ways do your texts for this unit reflect your complex understanding of audience?
  • How do the composing concepts we engaged with this unit encourage you to think about your literacy practices outside of school?
  • What are you realizing about the school writing/personal writing/public writing divide as a result of your work this unit?
  • In what ways does your blog site reflect your new awareness of the influence of medium on genre and your role as a composer and designer of texts?

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