Posted: February 26th, 2023

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Spring 2023 UNIV 4350 Reflective Essay

Writing the Reflective Essay and Constructing the Portfolio: Collect, Select, Reflect

As you review this document, keep the following points lurking in the back of your mind:

○ Collect: In your time as a college student, you have been responsible for drafting,

submitting, and reflecting on a variety of assignments in all your courses. As you collect

experiential artifacts (at least 3) in order to prepare your portfolio and draft a reflective

essay, you will need to review this collection to determine which of these items will be

valuable contributions to your work.

○ Select: Once you settle on your narrative for your degree, you will sift through your

collection of evidence in order to select items that help demonstrate your claims to your

audience. The words “process” and “significance” should play a large part in your

selection process.

○ Reflect: The reflection challenges you to examine your experiences as a student,

presenting your claims regarding failure, success, and growth to your audience along

with a selection of evidence that helps support those claims

Where to start…

If you are uncertain of where to begin your brainstorming, consider the broad topics and

potential prompts we have included below. You are not required to respond to any/all of these

questions, rather they are optional directions you might choose to take your own reflection.

Consider the reading you’ve completed in your time as a learner

● What are some of the most significant texts you’ve read? What makes this writing stand

out to you? How did it shape your decisions and motivations?

● In what ways did you feel like you were a “novice” as a reader of academic texts? What

steps did you take to become a more sophisticated or expert reader/learner?

● Based on the readings you’ve completed in this course and degree program, how has

your own understanding of yourself and your degree/field changed over time?

● Can you provide evidence of time during the semester in which you read a text, then

communicated your own ideas and opinions about the text, either through discussion or

writing? In what ways were you able to support/justify your own, newly formed,


Consider the evolution of your learning processes as you navigated college life.
Writing is a non-linear process, which moves back and forth through various stages. These
stages include:

● Brainstorming/Prewriting/Invention, Drafting, Revision, Peer Response, Editing, and


● How can you demonstrate your own unique writing processes in your portfolio? What

evidence in your collection best represents a particular stage in your writing? For

example, at what point in the semester did a major revision, peer response, or visit to

the Writing Center, make the difference in helping you create a fine piece of writing?

● Are you able to demonstrate a piece of writing in which you can provide proof that you

went through multiple stages of the writing process?

● In what ways did you feel like you were a “novice” as an academic writer? How did you

become adept at writing?

● Based on all the writing you’ve completed as a student changed, how have your views of

writers and writing changed?” How has your view of your own writing changed?

Consider the role of the Habits of Mind as a student and learner

The last two academic years represented a unique challenge, as we ventured into uncharted

territory resuming face-to-face classes during a global pandemic. You have all been required to

adapt not only to your roles as TAMU-CC students, but also as individuals forced to make

complex choices regarding life and education. In what ways have your VIA Character Strengths

helped you navigate these waters and evolve to face these challenges:

● In what ways have these newly evolved Character Strengths contributed to your success

as a lifelong learner both in and out of the classroom?

● Can you provide evidence that you were a curious, engaged member in your classes

and/or society? Reflect on how curiosity led you to new experiences, and provide

specific examples.

● Can you provide proof that you were a responsible member of this class and the campus

community? How can you prove you were responsible for your own successes and

failures? How did you show conviction in your actions?

● Can you provide evidence that you kept an open mind and were open to challenging

some of your long-held beliefs this semester?

● Can you provide evidence that you were able to transfer skills and knowledge from one

setting to another?

● Can you show proof that you persisted through adversity? What did you do when the

going got tough?

Submission Expectations:

● Your document should be no fewer than five pages, double-spaced with size 12 Times

New Roman font and 1” margins.

○ You do not need a cover page, but should you choose to include one, neither it

nor your Works Cited page will count towards total page count.

● Level appropriate writing conventions should be observed. At this point in your

academic career, I don’t expect to see major issues with structure, grammar, spelling,

word choice, etc.

● This is typically written in an “essay” form: introduction, multiple body paragraphs, and a

conclusion. However, you may decide to write this as a letter, if that makes it easier to do


● Concepts, assignments, and/or materials from previous classes are incorporated into

your discussion in a meaningful and complex manner.

● No outside sources are required, but if used, they should be cited using conventional

(and consistent) citation guidelines.

● The portfolio is a presentation of your work. Therefore, it should be organized in such a

way that it is polished, professional, and easy for the reader to navigate.

● The Reflective Essay will be submitted separately from your LinkedIn profile, but bear in

mind this essay and your portfolio go hand-in-hand.

Spring 2023 UNIV 4350 R


flective Essay

For this assignment, you should write a 5-page (minimum) essay that describes your journey as a college student and which identifies, describes, and contextualizes at least three artifacts from your learning journey.

Submission Expectations: ● Your document should be no fewer than five pages, double-spaced with size 12 Times New Roman font and 1” margins. ○ You do not need a cover page, but should you choose to include one, neither it nor your Works Cited page will count towards total page count. ●


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