Yesterday in class we examined two sample midterm reflection essays in conjunction with the do’s and don’ts of writing featured in Chapter 5 of Writing Analytically, including these:
- Cut all cliched expressions
- Cut cliched ideas
- Quote in order to analyze; don’t leave quotes to speak for themselves
- Substitute telling detail for broad and bland generalizations
- Share you thought process with your readers
- Make that first sentence count; start fast; no say-nothing introductions
- Focus on the words
After we read the sample student reflections along with the do’s and dont’s, you collaboratively composed a one-paragraph response to each essay, a paragraph in which you incorporated a quotation from or paraphrase of a pertinent do or don’t.
As you continue to work on your reflection, return to the do’s and don’t as a guide for revision. In your journal, practice integrating quotations gracefully, and keep in mind the textbook authors’ observation that quotations “enhance the precision and accuracy and depth of your thinking on the reading” (145). Simply put, effectively quoting sources in your writing strengthens it.
Also, keep in mind that recreating moments on the page makes your writing more vivid and draws the reader into your reflection, so look for opportunities to present your experience through scene rather than summary.
And lastly, as Chapter 5 advises us, keep “Thinking Like a Writer.”
Rosenwasser, David and Jill Stephen. “Some Do’s and Don’ts of Good Writing.” Writing Analytically, 8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. pp. 144-45.