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Assignment 5: Semester Self-Reflection

Overview: This assignment asks you to compose a final, informal “essay” that reflects critically

on the reading, writing, and thinking you’ve done this semester and how your awareness of the

rhetorical situation has shaped your writing and learning processes. This final, informal “essay”

will tell a story, or a narrative, of your progress through the course and explore how you will use

the knowledge and skills you gained in CO150 in the future.

Purpose: Your purpose for writing this final, informal “essay” is twofold: to look back at the

progress you’ve made this semester and look forward to how you can use the skills you gained in

CO150 in the future. In looking back at the class, you will reflect on what you’ve learned over

the course of the semester as we’ve developed greater understanding of the rhetorical situation

and progressed through the stages of the conversation model, then you will articulate that

progress using critical rhetorical terms. As you look ahead to the rest of your college career, you

will consider how the knowledge you’ve gained in CO150, including what you’ve learned about

your own writing processes, will assist you in future endeavors.

Audience: Your audiences for this assignment are yourself and your instructor. Because this is a

self-reflection of your progress in the course, you are writing in large part for your own benefit—

so that you can understand where you began the course, where you ended it, how you got there,

and what you can take with you in the future. Your audience is also your instructor. Although

your instructor has read and is familiar with the work that you’ve done throughout the semester,

remember that it will be important to demonstrate for your instructor that you are able to

articulate in specific rhetorical terms the ways that you approached this semester’s work, and that

you’re able to illustrate this story with concrete evidence—such as quotes and paraphrases—

from your own body of work. You will therefore be critically reading and critically thinking

about your own work over the course of the semester.

Author: In many ways, this assignment emphasizes your role as a writer more so than any of

the others since you and your work are central to this assignment’s investigation and analysis. As

the author of this document, you will demonstrate for your reader that you have carefully

examined the work you’ve done this semester and considered both how individual tasks built on

each other and how the rhetorical situation throughout impacted the decisions you made as a

writer. To establish your ethos with your audience, you will need to integrate several concrete

examples from your own work as you discuss your progress during the semester.

Texts to Examine and Questions to Consider:

Course readings:

• What was your initial response to texts?

• How did subsequent texts change your impression of them?

• What questions arose from these texts?

• How did these questions motivate your research in Unit 3?

Major assignments:

• A1: Summary/Response

• A2: Open Letter

• A3: Stakeholder Analysis

• A4: Academic Argument

Strategies:

• Start by reviewing all your final versions of Assignments 1-4. Also look at workshop

feedback and instructor comments.

• Begin making chronological notes that chart your progress as a writer who is increasingly

aware of the rhetorical situation and how that awareness is integrated into your writing in

various ways as the semester progresses.

• As you review your body of work, pick out quotations and paraphrases that show how

you evolved as a critical reader, thinker, and writer throughout the semester. Use this as

evidence in your paper. You can cite this as a modified MLA style, indicating the

assignment in parentheses after the quotation or paraphrase.

• Write a reflection that expresses this evolution, especially of critical rhetorical

approaches.

• Include the answer to the following question: How do you best function as a writer and

how will this knowledge carry you through your academic career?

Paper Length: approximately 1000 words

Due Date: Friday, May 13th, by 11:59 p.m. MDT

Worth: 10% of your final course grade

**NOTE: At the end of your paper, include the following honor pledge: “I have not given,

received, or used any unauthorized assistance.”

Excellent Satisfactory Unsatisfactory

Examination of critical

reading and writing: The

reflection shows thoughtful

examination of the student’s

critical reading and writing. The

student connects the early

thinking they did to later

assignments and reveals how

their thinking evolved

throughout the entire course.

Although the reflection does

reveal that the student has

thought about their own

critical reading and writing,

the examination could be

more thorough. Connections

among early and later

assignments could be more

complete.

The reflection does not show that

the student has thought critically

about their own reading and

writing throughout the

semester. There are few, if any,

connections between early

assignments and later thought

processes or the connections

made are surface-level and do not

show critical reflection.

Rhetorical awareness: The

student uses critical rhetorical

vocabulary to describe their

evolution throughout the

course. The student charts their

growing awareness of the

rhetorical situation and explores

how their understanding of the

rhetorical situation was

integrated into assignments.

The student has included

some critical rhetorical

vocabulary to describe their

progress, although the

discussion could be more

clearly explained and/or could

make more obvious the

student’s understanding of the

impact of the rhetorical

situation.

The student does not use critical

rhetorical vocabulary to chart

their progress, or the concepts are

only briefly included with no

connection to the rhetorical

situation and its importance.

Looking ahead: The reflection

clearly shows that the student

has considered how they best

function as a writer and how that

knowledge will carry them

through the rest of their

academic career.

The student may need to

explain in more concrete

terms how they best function

as a writer and to make more

explicit how this knowledge

will carry them through the

rest of their academic career.

The reflection does not show that

the student has carefully

considered how they function best

as a writer.

Narrative and Evidence: The

self-reflection is a clear narrative

that tells the story of the

student’s thinking and writing

throughout the semester. Rather

than simply charting what was

done, the student’s narrative

focuses on what the student

learned and connections that

were made. The student has used

concrete evidence from their

own writing to explore this

evolution and use specific

rhetorical terms to articulate the

changes in their thinking and

writing.

Though the student has

attempted to write a narrative

of their thinking, at times the

explanations of the evolution

could be clearer and fluid.

The reflection may lapse into

discussions of what was done,

rather than what was learned

throughout the course. The

piece includes some specific

evidence from the student’s

own writing but would benefit

from more evidence and/or

better explanation of that

evidence.

The reflection is not a narrative of

the student’s changes in

thinking/writing and/or the

reflection is simply a re-cap of

what was done in the course,

rather than a narrative of what

was learned in the course. The

reflection includes little or no

direct evidence from the student’s

own writing.

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