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2 Tutorials that teach Reflection
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Author: Martina Shabram

Recognize the value of reflection in writing.

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Video Transcription

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Hello, students. My name is Dr. Martina Shabram, and I will be your instructor for today's lesson. I'm genuinely excited to teach you these concepts, so let's get started.

What are we covering today? This lesson is about reflection. We'll discuss why it's so important, how it benefits you as a writer, and practice reflecting on writing ourselves. So what is reflection? Well, it's when the writer contemplates what she's learned about her topic and about the writing process from a specific writing project.

So this is when we get a chance, as writers, to think about writing through our own writing. Now, there are lots of things we might think about as we reflect on our writing-- some good and some bad. But some of the most productive reflections happen when we consider what have we learned from the process of writing this project. What do we think about the project, and how might our perspectives have changed over the process? What problems did we encounter during the process, and what solutions did we discover? What questions do we still have about the process or the project itself?

Now, this kind of reflection can take place at any stage of the writing process, but it's especially important to include time for reflection as the project winds to a close. Then we can take a moment to think about what we have done as we prepared to exit this project and perhaps enter the next one.

Now, most of the time, writers will do this reflection on their own as a chance to meditate internally. But you may find that occasionally, reflection is built into the assignment for a class. So why am I suggesting that you spend valuable time thinking about something that you've already spent so much time thinking about? Well, because this kind of reflection will help you as a writer in the long run.

When we reflect on our work, we get the chance to learn about the writing process from the inside. Perhaps reflection will show you weak spots in your own writing where you want to focus your energy to improve in the future. Or perhaps reflection will show you what you've learned while completing the project that you might want to apply on your next project. Overall, doing this kind of careful thinking will help all writers improve and become better at writing.

So let's take a moment to see how reflection might work. Here's a short, short essay. Pause for a moment to read it, and then press Play when you're ready. OK. So here's another text for you to pause and read. This is a short reflection on the essay that you just read. Again, press play when you're finished.

This shows us some real insight, doesn't it? You can see here that the author is gaining new perspective on to both the writing process and her finished project. As the author says, she learned that making connections between ideas starting when she was just brainstorming those ideas helped her make the eventual paragraphs that those ideas would become connect more clearly, which is a skill that she might want to replicate in her next assignment. And you can see here that she recognizes that she struggles with sentence variety and tends to write in short, choppy prose. So now she knows that she wants to devote more energy to that element of her writing in her next project.

So all told, this reflection has given the author the opportunity to reassess her feelings about not just the product itself, but the whole process of writing. Knowing what she knows now, this author is ready to tackle her next assignment even more successfully.

So what did we learn today? This lesson covered reflection. We discussed what questions we might ask ourselves as we reflect on our writing, why that reflection can be so useful as we develop our skills as writers, and finally, what that process of reflection might look like and what it might teach us.

Well, students, I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thank you.

Terms to Know

The writer contemplates what she has learned about her topic and about the writing process from a specific writing project.