• Your midterm portfolio is due on Friday by midnight. You will need to submit your portfolio electronically.
  • Exam II for History will take place on October 26th. Keep up with your reading and studying for this test.

Resources for Exam II

Midterm Portfolio -- Let's Learn the Art of Reflection

Reflective Writing

What can you discuss in a reflective piece of writing?

  • Your perceptions of the course and the content.
  • Experiences, ideas and observations you have had, and how they relate to the course or topic.
  • What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting and why.
  • Questions you have
  • How you:
    • solved a problem;
    • reached a conclusion;
    • found an answer;
    • reached a point of understanding.
  • Comparisons and connections between what your are learning and:
    • your prior knowledge and experience;
    • your prior assumptions and preconceptions;
    • what you know from other courses or disciplines.
  • How new ideas challenge what you already know.
  • What you need to explore next in terms of thoughts and actions.

Typical Problems with Reflective Essays:

  • Being vague and/or generic
  • Not demonstrating any critical thinking or in-depth thinking
  • Not thinking about your readers/audience
  • Not providing specific examples or details from your personal experiences to illustrate your ideas and claims
  • Mentioning key concepts but not explaining them
  • Having paragraphs that contain too many ideas but very little to no evidence from your personal experiences
  • Using the second person personal pronoun “You.”

Example Problem Paragraph:

I have learned so much about writing. Writing is really important and I have developed over time. I struggle with writing. But I have improved. I understand that writing is a social and a rhetorical activity. I do more critical thinking now. Reading has always been challenging for me. You really need to power through the struggles to get better. You have to keep trying and learning and growing.

  • Can you point to some specific problems with this paragraph?
  • what makes it bad?