Posted in Teaching, Writing

Editing Your Reflection

Edditing Editing

Earlier this week, I asked you to focus on the big picture, on the “clarity and effectiveness” (Hacker and Sommers 29) of your reflection. Continue to focus on those elements, and determine which two sources you will integrate into your analysis. Links to recommended sources are included in the sample works cited list in the class notes for April 19.

Later this week, as the assignment deadline nears, shift your focus to finding and correcting errors. 


A Writer’s Reference presents excellent advice on proofreading, which I am including verbatim below.

“Proofreading is a special kind of reading: a slow methodical search for misspellings, typographical mistakes, and missing words or word endings. Such errors can be difficult to spot in your own work because you may read what you intended to write, not what is actually on the page. To fight this tendency, try one or more of the following tips.

Proofreading Tips

  • Remove distractions and allow yourself ten to fifteen minutes of pure concentration–without your cell phone.
  • Proofread out loud, articulating each word as it is actually written.
  • Proofread your sentences in reverse order.
  • Proofread hard copy pages; mistakes can be difficult to catch on-screen.
  • Don’t rely too heavily on spell checkers and grammar checkers. Before automatically accepting their changes, consider accuracy and appropriateness.
  • Ask a volunteer (a friend, roommate, or co-worker) to proofread after you. A second reader may catch something that you didn’t.” (31)

Grammar, Punctuation and Mechanics, and Word Choice

The items listed below are the ones that I noted most often in the drafts of your reflections and in your previous assignments. Review the ones that are trouble spots for you. 

  • active verbs/voice, 153
  • apostrophes, 275-78
  • capitalization, 293-96
  • colons and semicolons, 271-73
  • commas, 259-71
  • empty or inflated phrases, 151
  • end punctuation, 283-84
  • hyphens, 291-92
  • italics for titles, 301
  • lay, lie, 182-83
  • like, as, 146
  • numbers expressed as words, 299
  • paragraph focus
  • paragraph length, 53-54
  • pronoun case, 196-97
  • reason why, 148
  • Redundancies, 150
  • reflexive pronouns, 306
  • sentence fragments, 207-13
  • standard idioms, 166
  • subject-verb agreement, 171-79
  • than, then, 149
  • that, which, 149
  • there, their, they’re, 149
  • to, too, two, 149
  • who’s, whose, 150
  • who, which, that, 150

Concluding Your Reflection

In addition to returning to your thesis, consider developing your final paragraph in one of these ways:

  • Include a quotation from or reference to one of your sources, a line that emphasizes the essay’s main point or puts it in a different perspective.
  • Place the reflection in a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end by linking your reflection to the pandemic or the current social or political climate.
  • Consider the implications of the reflection. What does it imply, or involve, or suggest about the learning process in general or about the process of reading, writing, or critical thinking in particular?

In conclusion, To conclude

Avoid the phrases “in conclusion,” “to conclude,” “in summary,” and “to sum up.” These can be useful, even welcome, in oral presentations. But readers can see, on the page or the screen, when a short essay is about to end.

Since conclusions can be particularly challenging, I have included a link here to Harvard’s excellent guide on closing paragraphs, “Ending the Essay.”

More Writing Help

If you would like for someone to review your reflection before you submit it, look to the Center for Academic Engagement, which offers a variety of options:

Work Cited

Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference, GTCC 9th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2018.

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