ERIC Number: ED403564
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Reflection and Revision: Intimacy in College Writing.
Horning, Alice S.
Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers, v9 n9 p4-7 Jan 1997
Using reflective writing throughout the composition course yields better reflective writing for composition portfolios. As writing courses make increasing use of portfolios for individual and program assessment, reflective writing will become more and more important. Brief reflective statements of as little as one paragraph, even when done as a last-minute component of a writing task, help students to think about what they have done and how they have done it. Reflective writing seems to have the greatest impact in a first-term course in college writing. In one such course, students write 10 papers, varied in rhetorical mode, with the goals of improving their fluency and self-confidence as writers. They write using 30 prompts, such as "A big problem I had in writing...." Reflective process statements of one-half to one full page are required for each paper, analyzing some aspect of the process used in working on the paper--illustrations from student writing show how they respond. The use of reflective statements yields a number of positive results. First, reflective statements shed important light on the form and content of students' written work. Second, they help students become aware of their preferred approaches to writing, and enable them to take risks to try new and more productive strategies on a particular task. Third, when revising, students may examine their reflections on their earlier process of writing and consider alternative processes or approaches. Fourth, reflective writing produces an intimacy between students and teachers that enables teachers to respond to and to encourage students' growth in writing skill. Lastly, the reflective statements give teachers insights into students' thinking and development not normally accessible otherwise. (CR)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Freshman Composition, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Intimacy, Learning Strategies, Portfolio Assessment, Portfolios (Background Materials), Process Approach (Writing), Student Writing Models, Writing Assignments, Writing Processes, Writing Skills, Writing Strategies
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A