Reflective Essay

As the final assignment for this class, I’d like you to compose a short (4-6 page) reflective essay based on your social media portfolio: your blog posts, comments, and tweets.

What kind of a reflective essay, you ask? Your reflective essay assignment is designed to surface and articulate what you’ve learned over the course of the semester by looking back on and analyzing your own writing during this time. Your essay should answer one of two questions (but NOT BOTH):

What important practices have I developed as a reader/writer/media maven/thinker over the course of the semester?  AND how are they created, developed, and managed? [Remember that we began this class by looking at how we read…]

OR

In what ways do I expect narrative to convey reality or truth?  How are these ideas created, developed, and managed? How have my ideas regarding these expectations changed over the course of the semester?

To answer either of these questions, you should use the writing that you’ve done over the course of the semester—I’m particularly interested in your posts, comments and tweets, but your drafts, your expertise projects, etc. are fair game—these will serve as the “primary texts” for your analysis. With the above question in mind, read back over your writing and locate particular sentences and passages that attest to your learning. In your paper, you’ll quote these and analyze them. In what ways do they show what and how your ideas have changed? What terms, concepts, and phrases provide evidence of the complex ways that your thinking has progressed and shifted over the course of the semester? How do they provide evidence that you can use to answer the questions above? Essentially, you’re going to close read your own writing for evidence of how you’ve come to terms with the ideas we’ve discussed in class. I’m looking for a deep engagement with your own writing here.

You may, of course, use the “I” voice in your paper—in fact, you must! Please provide an introduction that contains your main idea(s)—you should be able to make an argument about where you are now and how you got there, with reference to particular terms that you see yourself working with throughout the course of the semester. You may feel free to use a chronological approach (ex., “when I first started this class, I thought complex narrative was ____. My first blog post contains this comment: “______.” Here, you can see the ways that I was dedicated to x idea. All I could associate with that x idea was___. In a blog post three weeks later, however, there is a marked shift in my language and tone. “______.”). You may also choose a different kind of structure if it makes sense to you (you could arrange it by theme: “these three quotes show the ways that my thinking changed about the uses of appropriation as a particular reading practice.” “These two show the ways that I am a writer that needs a number of drafts to shape a complicated argument”.)

We’ll work with a draft of part of your reflective essay in class on Wednesday, April 24.  Please submit your final reflective essay to me via email by class time on Wednesday, May 1, along with your social media portfolio.

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