Below we offer an example of a thoughtful reflective essay that effectively and substantively captures the author's growth over time at CSUCI. We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.
Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CSUCI Code of Conduct.
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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. As Toni Morrison says in The Dancing Mind , "[reading is] to experience one's own mind dancing with another's." In my early days as a college student, I wanted to know the "true" meaning of a work or what the author intended, however, I have now realized this would void literature of its most noteworthy complexities. Individual interpretations bring varied insights to a work and it is also interesting to point out messages the author may not have realized s/he included in the piece.
I have always been a thinker, but throughout my coursework, I have greatly sharpened my critical analysis skills. Instead of focusing on proposed meanings or biographical background, I have learned to continuously ask "why" on many different levels. I challenge myself to dig into a text as deeply as possible and unpack every detail to develop a satisfying close read. Also, by reading multiple novels by the same author I have learned to identify different writing styles and make connections that weave texts together; this helped me develop a deeper understanding of the novels. When I look at one of my freshman level novels and see clean pages, I realize that I did not actively read the book. I guess you could say that I have learned to read with a pen, which has drastically taken my writing to a new level because I am able to connect back with my initial insights marked on the page.
Writing had always been one of my strengths, but it was challenging to take that initial step past the high school, five-paragraph essay form that constricted my ideas for so long. Moving past this form, however, has greatly opened my mind. My thoughts are now able to be more complex because I have learned how to sustain a logical argument in an organized manner. My writing has become increasingly more concise and I no longer have room for added "fluff" or "padding." Another improvement is my ability to point out multiple complexities within a text, instead of sticking to one-sided arguments in my papers. Furthermore, learning how to find peer reviewed journal articles and order books through interlibrary loan has significantly widened the scope of my research, which has lead to more scholarly papers with credible references. My writing is so much more interesting than it used to be.
It is difficult to identify gaps in my knowledge as an English major, only because I feel like I have learned so much. I feel that I have largely expanded my literary analysis and writing skills, but I need to be prepared to teach high school students their required literature. I think it would be useful to identify commonly taught novels in our local high schools and study them myself. By studying the required literature and thinking about how to teach it, I will have a sturdy foundation to work from once I am in the classroom.
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Careers in English and Writing
The English program at California State University Channel Islands prepares students for a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers, including:
- English teacher
- Social media strategist
- Media production (film, TV, internet)
- Print and digital publishing
- Corporate communications
- Foreign service
- Human resources
- Foundations/non-profit management
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Essay about What I Have Learned in My English Writing Class
1064 Words5 Pages
I have learned many things throughout the course of the term, including such things as: how to write an essay and how to improve on essays that I have already written, how to locate and composite better research through the use of numerous resources found at the campus library, the internet, and the “Common Sense” textbook, how to cite research, examples, and quotations properly within the contents of my research paper as well as document it accurately according to MLA standards. Through the exploration of the “Subjects and Strategies” textbook, I have learned nine different methods used when writing an effective essay and how the different writing styles affect the overall theme and tone of the essay when used properly. This past…show more content…
This allowed me to write more extensively on the topic I had chosen which in turn helped expand the size of my research paper. I received a B on my final draft; the first passing grade I have ever received on a research paper. I am very satisfied with my grade.
When it came to the essays writing became a little trickier because I had to understand what it was I needed to write about and the style in which I need to write it in. There are nine essay writing methods which I learned while attending this course: exemplification, compare/contrast, cause and effect, proposal, narration, process, division/classification, definition, and argument. The only problems I encountered when trying to write the essays that were assigned to me by the instructor was finding suitable subject matter to write about. Once I found my topics for my essay, everything else became easier. I would first produce a rough draft and then the students, the instructor, and myself would go over them in class and decided if what I was writing was in its best form. Most of my rough drafts needed improvement, but if it didn’t it wouldn’t be a rough draft, so it was understood. My final drafts were very satisfying for me as well as the grades I received on them.
For my exemplification essay I chose to write about the reasons why condoms