Your third and final essay for English 111 will be a reflection on your work over the course of the semester. Think about what you’ve accomplished, and ask yourself what element or elements of our class have contributed the most to your development as a writer, a reader, and a thinker. You are welcome to focus on one component of the course—such as studying Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated, or planning, drafting, and revising one of your previous essays—or you may reflect on a variety of features, including the ones I just mentioned as well writing for an online audience, studying model essays in The Norton Field Guide to Writing, writing in your journal, drafting longhand, writing snail mail, or playing Scrabble.
In your essay, you will cite at least one text that’s relevant to your reflection. For example: If your reflection addresses how the study of Educated benefited you as a writer, you might quote a short passage of Westover’s memoir that you found particularly instructive. If you reflect on developing your word power and creative problem solving skills through Scrabble, you might quote The New York Times article “New Scrabble Words Get the ‘OK’ (Now Worth 6 Points).”
As an opportunity for you to think about the aspects of the course that you may address in your reflection and for additional practice in introducing quotations with signal phrases, I developed the following exercises for this week:
- Read the article “Blogs vs. Term Papers” by Matt Richtel.
- Compose a short passage of twenty-five words or more that addresses your experience maintaining a blog this semester and includes a relevant quotation from the article.
- If you name Richtel in the signal phrase, do not include a parenthetical citation. If you do not name him in the signal phrase, include a parenthetical citation with his name alone: (Richtel).
Sample: Here’s what I would write if I were reflecting as an instructor on your blog requirement.
In “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” Matt Richtel reports that Andrea Lundsford’s students who maintain blogs for their composition classes at Stanford, “feel as if they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.” That value some students find in writing for a broader online audience is one of the reasons that I require my students to maintain blogs. It gives their writing a life beyond the classroom.
- Read the article “Skim Reading is the New Normal” by Maryanne Wolf.
- Compose a short passage of twenty-five words or more that addresses your experience reading away from the screen this semester (primarily before remote instruction began) and includes a relevant quotation from the article.
- If you name Wolf in the signal phrase, do not include a parenthetical citation. If you do not name her in the signal phrase, include a parenthetical citation with her name alone: (Wolf).
Sample: Here’s what I would write if I were reflecting as an instructor on our time spent reading away from the screen.
Psychologists’ studies that indicate “students who read on print [are] superior in their comprehension to screen-reading peers” (Wolf) have led me to devote more class time to reading on the page rather than the screen.
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/muscling-in-on-the-term-paper-tradition.html, 20 Jan. 2012, Accessed 20 Apr. 2020.
Wolf, Maryann. “Skim Reading is the New Normal.” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf, 25 Aug. 2018, Accessed 20 Apr. 2020.