Reflection is when the writer contemplates what she’s learned about her topic and about the writing process from a specific writing project.
Thus as a writer, this is when you get the chance to think about writing through the lens of your own writing. There are lots of things you might think about as you reflect on your writing—some good and some bad.
However, some of the most productive reflections happen when you consider questions such as:
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 you can take a moment to think about what you have done as you prepare to exit this project and perhaps enter the next one.
Most of the time, writers will do this reflection on their own as a chance to meditate internally, but you may find that reflection is occasionally built into the assignment for a class.
At first, it may seem redundant to spend valuable time thinking about something that you’ve already spent so much time thinking about; however, this kind of reflection will help you as a writer in the long run.
This is because when you reflect on your work, you get the chance to:
Overall, doing this kind of careful thinking will help all writers improve and become better at writing.
Take a moment to see how reflection might work. First, read the following short essay.
Now read this short reflection on that essay, and consider what insights the author has gained about the process.
You can see here that the author has gained new perspective on both the writing process and the finished project. As the author says, making connections between ideas during the early phase of brainstorming helped her connect more clearly the eventual paragraphs that those ideas would become.
This is a skill that she might want to replicate in her next assignment. You can also see that the author knows that she struggles with sentence variety and tends to write in short, choppy prose.
She now knows that she wants to devote more energy to that element of her writing in her next project. 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.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Martina Shabram.
The writer contemplates what she has learned about her topic and about the writing process from a specific writing project.