• Contact Information

    Dr. Kim Middleton

    Office: 423 Western Ave. #7

    email: kmiddleton_at_strose.edu

    phone: 518 485-3647

    hours: MTW 5-6, and by appt.
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Reflective Essay Assignment

Your final piece of writing for this short course is designed to help you surface and articulate the significance of your experiences and insights in this class. The point of a reflective essay of this nature is to describe and analyze your experiences so as to reach new understandings of yourself in relation to the text, your peers, the world.

To that end, please describe at least three specific moments, experiences, scenes, quotes, etc. that have had a major impact on your development as a reader/writer/thinker/literary critic/English student/”word nerd”.* For each

  1. describe the event (paying attention to context—what happened?  what were the most significant, specific features of it?)
  2. explain HOW that moment shifted or changed you (in what ways did the event/quote/experience create a particular effect?)
  3. and WHY that shift is important in your development

In essence, you’re close reading your own experiences here to locate the important themes that have arisen in the last three weeks.

Once you have described and analyzed your experiences, write a short introduction and conclusion that track the themes that emerged from your reflection. What terms, concepts, and phrases provide evidence of the complex ways that your thinking/being has progressed and shifted over the course of your time?

Please bring a draft of this essay (with at least two examples and their analyses) with you, in digital form, to class on Wednesday.  The final draft is due with your portfolio on Friday, and may either appear on your blog or you may send a copy to me via email.

Questions you might consider as you move toward choosing particular moments/experiences to work with:

  • Read back over your blog posts and comments.  Are there any parts of these that now take you by surprise, or seem out of character?  Use these passages to examine what you were feeling at the time, and what might have occasioned these reactions.
  • Look at your blog posts for epiphanies and moments of brilliance.  Can you determine the role that writing plays in your thinking/reading process?
  • Think back over the novel.  What are the scenes or quotes that stand out the most (either in a positive or negative way)?  Which character do you have the strongest attachment or aversion to?  Locate a representative passage to center your analysis of your reaction to this example.
  • Look back over your notes for any doodles, or excessively marked notes you may have taken during class.  What might these tell you about your experience of the novel?  Of class discussion?
  • Consider your interaction with the other people in class.  What might an examination of a particular class discussion reveal about the ways that you make meaning in a text?  interact with other readers and writers?
  • Describe a moment of frustration with the novel.  What can that frustration tell you about the expectations you bring to a text?  Where do those come from?  What, if any, changes did this reading experience affect in those expectations?

*You don’t have to address all of these categories.  Pick and choose the one/ones most relevant to you and your experiences over the past three weeks.


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