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❶A clear, well-written paper must have clear, well-written sentences.




For my writing portfolio I have chosen the first and third papers I wrote for the college writing course. The primary reason I chose these essays and did not include the second paper is because the topics of these essays really meant the most to me. That made it easier for me to revise them to a point I was satisfied with. I am also very proud of how well I analyzed and elaborated on the outside information I used in the third paper. An example of this is my analysis of the longer block quote in my third paper; I do not believe I properly understood how to do this prior to this class Sullivan 2.

Another thing I am proud of throughout all my papers is how much more I evaluated the suggestions given to me by my peers and instructor during this class. This is an area that I had never really taken advantage of before. Without this I do not think I would have understood academic writing as well as I now do. In conclusion, I had a very positive experience with this class. This course really aided my understanding of certain aspects of writing I had never understood before.

I feel that I can now express my ideas far more effectively. In the future my essays will be far stronger due to new writing strategies learned here. I am more confident about writing effectively in future college classes after taking this class. Develop a thesis statement. At the end of your introduction, you should include a single sentence that quickly explains your transition from your expectations to your final conclusion. This is essentially a brief explanation of whether or not your expectations were met.

A thesis provides focus and cohesion for your reflection paper. You could structure a reflection thesis along the following lines: Explain your conclusions in the body. Your body paragraphs should explain the conclusions or understandings you reached by the end of the reading, lesson, or experience. Your conclusions must be explained.

You should provide details on how you arrived at those conclusions using logic and concrete details. The focus of the paper is not a summary of the text, but you still need to draw concrete, specific details from the text or experience in order to provide context for your conclusions. Write a separate paragraph for each conclusion or idea you developed.

Each paragraph should have its own topic sentence. This topic sentence should clearly identify your major points, conclusions, or understandings. Conclude with a summary. Your conclusion should succinctly describe the overall lesson, feeling, or understanding you got as a result of the reading or experience. The conclusions or understandings explained in your body paragraphs should support your overall conclusion.

One or two may conflict, but the majority should support your final conclusion. Part 2 Quiz What does every good body paragraph include? A topic sentence, a conclusion or new understanding, and an explanation of how you reached that conclusion. A thesis statement including your conclusion, a topic sentence, and an explanation of how you reached that conclusion. An introduction including your expectations, a topic sentence, and evidence supporting your topic sentence.

A reflection paper is somewhat personal in that it includes your subjective feelings and opinions. Instead of revealing everything about yourself, carefully ask yourself if something is appropriate before including it in your paper. If you feel uncomfortable about a personal issue that affects the conclusions you reached, it is wisest not to include personal details about it. If a certain issue is unavoidable but you feel uncomfortable revealing your personal experiences or feelings regarding it, write about the issue in more general terms.

Identify the issue itself and indicate concerns you have professionally or academically. Maintain a professional or academic tone. A reflection paper is personal and objective, but you should still keep your thoughts organized and sensible.

Avoid dragging someone else down in your writing. If a particular person made the experience you are reflecting on difficult, unpleasant, or uncomfortable, you must still maintain a level of detachment as you describe that person's influence.

Avoid slang and always use correct spelling and grammar. Do not treat it as a personal journal entry. Check and double-check your spelling and grammar after you finish your paper. Review your reflection paper at the sentence level. A clear, well-written paper must have clear, well-written sentences. Keep your sentences focused. Avoid squeezing multiple ideas into one sentence. Make sure that each sentence has a subject and a verb.

Vary your sentence length. Include both simple sentences with a single subject and verb and complex sentences with multiple clauses. Doing so makes your paper sound more conversational and natural, and prevents the writing from becoming too wooden. Transitional phrases shift the argument and introduce specific details. They also allow you to illustrate how one experience or detail directly links to a conclusion or understanding.

Common transitional phrases include "for example," "for instance," "as a result," "an opposite view is," and "a different perspective is. Relate relevant classroom information to the experience or reading. You can incorporate information you learned in the classroom with information addressed by the reading, lecture, or experience. For instance, if reflecting on a piece of literary criticism, you could mention how your beliefs and ideas about the literary theory addressed in the article relate to what your instructor taught you about it or how it applies to prose and poetry read in class.

As another example, if reflecting on a new social experience for a sociology class, you could relate that experience to specific ideas or social patterns discussed in class. Part 3 Quiz What is an example of something you should include in your writing? The first-person point of view. How do I write a reflective essay without using the personal article "I"? You can use "one" instead. For example, "One might say Not Helpful 17 Helpful Think of your answers to the following questions: Do you like dolphins?

How have dolphins changed your life? Do dolphins help you with everyday tasks? If you were a dolphin for a day, what would you do? These are the tough questions that you need to ask in order to start writing your paper. Not Helpful 35 Helpful It can have as many paragraphs as you see fit, but there is usually at least an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

It depends on what your instructor outlines as an expectation. Usually this will be outlined in the assignment if the answer is 'yes". My 10 th grade English teacher Ms. Taylor was like a mountain of salt poured on an open wound drowned in alcohol.

This blonde haired demon, as helpful as her methods helped me further my English interpretation skills, knew very well that my writing skills were poor compared to that of the remainder of my class. Yet she still insisted on grading my writing assignments the hardest. By the time I left her class I felt as though my writing skills were parsecs below that of a 5 th grader. Thus I came to the Bridge Program fully expecting to have the worst time in my life. I thought my writing skills would just stay stagnated for the remainder of my life.

In the beginning I used a lot of description in my sentences, poems, paragraphs, and essays. However, no matter how descriptively vibrant my essays may have appeared they lacked organization and structure. Like a cake without layers it was a pretty mess.

As the weeks went by and we the Writing class wrote more and more in-class writing assignments, my writing structure improved. I learned to quickly organize my thoughts as I write my essays. I even began to construct diagrams to further help organize what I would write before I even wrote it. The in-class writing assignments boosted my confidence as a writer and helped me smooth out a major flaw in my writing style. The essays for the writing class were complicated to get right at first.


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This is a reflection of my writing for the semester to be included in a final portfolio. I would only like suggests on improving spelling, grammar and mechanics in this essay. %(2).

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The writing process is circular; it does not end when you submit the paper to your instructor. In order to make progress with each assignment, you will need to optimize feedback, reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, and plan for improvement.

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Throughout this foundation of writing class this semester I experienced many new ways to write different types of essays. Each essay took time, effort, and several ideas to make a master piece. I learned several skills and techniques this semester to improve my writing skills for the future. Reflection of My Writing Growth Before I arrived at the Bridge Program I hated writing; no I despised it. My 10 th grade English teacher Ms. Taylor was like a mountain of salt poured on an open wound drowned in alcohol.

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Sample Reflective Essay #1 Author: Prefers to remain anonymous As an English major I have learned to appreciate the peaceful, yet exhilarating moment when my mind engages with an author's thoughts on a page.