Why does reflective writing help a student learn and develop as a better writer? How does it work?
I would not be able to answer this question before the English Composition course. I would only make assumptions based on what I had read or heard. Now, I can use my experience to describe my perspective.
Reflective writing helps us become better writers because reflection allows us to rethink and revise our text. That means that we give ourselves a chance to refine our writing and obtain a better result. Using the words to express what we have in our minds is not easy. Sometimes we think that we convey our message to the audience and that our thoughts are clear. Whoever read our piece of writing, however, might perceive our words filtered through his prism and receive the message differently.
Stepping back from our writing is not simple, as we tend to see our work in the way we have created it. Time is an excellent tool for this task, as it gives us a distance and helps us detach from our text. In this course, every time I wrote the first draft, I would see the same thing each time I read it. But when I had to revise it for the final draft, after a few days, I could see it as another person.
The peer reviews were also an essential part of the reflection process because they gave me the opportunity to examine my work through my peers' eyes. Reading the projects of other students was a part of the same process. The opinion of my peers and their writings made me think if I could add, remove or change something in my work or if I could adopt elements like style or expressions.
Critical thinking and writing are processes that reflection embraces and are very demanding. Making decisions for our writing is the hardest part, but each time I finish my final draft I feel relief, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
What did you find most unexpected or surprising about the process of composing Writing Project #2 compared to your process of composing Writing Project #1? Why do you think this was unexpected or surprising?
The most surprising part was the fact that we had to visit an actual place and take field notes. What I did not expect at all was that we had to interview someone. I think I did not expect that because I am not used to this kind of work.
What did you find most challenging, confusing, or frustrating about the process of composing Writing Project #2? How did the assignment itself contribute to these challenges, confusions, or frustrations?
The most challenging part was the integration of the field notes and the interview. We had to be very creative! The assignment and its genre, ethnography, were not familiar concepts. However, I did my best to carry out this research.
Now that you have worked through two major projects, what—for you—seems to be the most critical or important part of the writing process and why?
I believe that the most crucial part of the writing process is the revision because it includes reflection and critical thinking.
After you completed Writing Project #1, you were asked the following question: “If you were invited to teach someone else something about writing tomorrow, what would it be and why?” If you were to answer that question now, would your response be the same? Why or why not?
I would still write the same, that all aspects are important; however, I would change "reflection" to "revision," given that revision requires reflection.
Why do you think the WPA Outcomes (under “Processes”) and this course seem to value reflection and reflective writing? After all, we continue to ask you to reflect on the writing you do. Do you think reflection is a task that is separate from writing, or do you think that reflection is an essential part of writing?
I firmly believe that reflection is a critical part of writing. If we think about it, we will realize that we reflect more frequently than we might believe.
Readers and writers have their personal beliefs about writing, and their perceptions can influence the way they evaluate the style and formatting of others' texts. It should not be surprising, given that we all see the world through our prism.
Diversity in writing and reading styles can be positive if we use it as a tool for reflection and revision. However, in cases where people have to collaborate, or in cases of proofreading, different perspectives can create problems. When our peers, for example, review our writing projects and have different opinions about the style and formatting of our essay, can confuse or disorient us from what we had in mind.
“Revision” broadly refers to a process where writers return to a piece of writing to change it in some way. Often, people assume that revision is meant to somehow “make writing better.” Sometimes this is the case, but revision can serve many different purposes and can even result in messier texts.
I believe that revision is a vital part of the writing process. By revisiting our writing, we are challenging our thoughts and beliefs. We are open to new perspectives, and we give space to progress and change that might bring success. In our writing project, for example, the fact that we revise our piece of writing after having it peer reviewed, gives us the chance to examine other viewpoints and reconsider ours. It doesn't matter if we agree with others or not; the important is the openness to new ideas.
I think that revision is a positive act because it promotes progress. Moreover, review helps us practice critical thinking. When we evaluate the opinion of our peers, sometimes it is hard to decide what to integrate to our essay and what to ignore.
Most of my peers had the impression that revision means polishing a text and correcting grammatical errors, for example. Through this course, though, they realized that revision is a useful tool that helps us evaluate not only the "technical" features of our writing but also the purpose, the audience and other elements of rhetorical knowledge.
Based on the readings and videos this week, create your preliminary interview questions. Remember to build in some flexibility. In a document, record these questions and why you want to ask these particular questions.
Meet with your interviewee. Be sure to explain the assignment you are completing before you begin your interview, and fill out the Interview Consent Form. Take detailed notes while you conduct the interview. While you should try to get answers for each of your questions, remember to pay attention to what your interviewee wants to talk about, and remember that you can ask unplanned questions if it seems appropriate.
After your interview, go through your notes, and write them out in full sentences.
-How often do you visit this place?
-Once a week.
-Do you come here to drink or to eat something?
-Why have you chosen this place?
-It is a beautiful and quiet place.
-What do you usually do when you are here?
-I enjoy the space.
-How does this place make you feel?
-Calm and serenity.
-Have you connected this place with any negative feeling?
-Is there anything that you don't like about this place?
-Sometimes there is a lot of people.
-Why is this annoying?
-Because it is precisely the reason why I come here. I like to come here because the place is quiet and peaceful.
-Would you like to share a particular memory?
-I wish I could share with you the smell of the delicious dinner.
-What do you think that you have in common with the other people who come here?
-It is the means of transportation.
-Yes, but sometimes tourists come here by bus.
-This happens rarely. However, the mayor of the city comes here with a helicopter!
-What do you think that you don't have in common with the other people who come here?
-What do you mean?
-Most of them come here to see how this place is. I come here to enjoy the space, for pleasure.
-As a regular client, what would you suggest to a person that visits the place for the -first time?
-To respect the beauty and the atmosphere of this location.