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CCC-Harold Washington College Creative Writing Essay

CCC-Harold Washington College Creative Writing Essay

Question Description

I’m working on a creative writing case study and need a sample draft to help me learn.

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This is an extra credit activity and it is worth the same points as one of the previous drafts we did. So if you missed an activity or got a very undesirable grade, this bonus, and totally optional essay may help bring up at least one grade.

You can write this like a standard essay, do an audio, slide show (e.g. Powerpoint or Prezi) or video recording. You do not have to limit yourself to the written word. There are no criteria for length, it is up to you. However, here are some suggestions: if you choose to write this, 3-5 paragraphs is a decent range. Video and audio should be about 2-3 minutes for a short reflection, and for a slide show, 5-10 slides is good.

A reflective essay is one that collects your thoughts on a subject like English 102— writing the essay is just a way of thinking back on what you learned.

This should be a very personal piece of writing: it is more about you and what you learned. It should highlight the problems you faced, how you feel you improved, and factors that went into the choices you made in your essays. You could also discuss things that you wish you could’ve improved on, but didn’t, services that you wish you took advantage of more like meeting with me via zoom, emailing me, or visiting a tutor.

With this reflective essay, you will account for and evaluate the choices made in your essays by

  • considering your own composing and design strategies given the purpose, context, medium, and audience.
  • explaining how writing your essay positions you as the writer in relation to other people, their ideas, and their writing.

Writing your reflective essay will help you pull together what you’ve learned so it isn’t just a jumble of unrelated techniques or facts. You know more than you think you do, and a little bit of critical thinking about it all will help you realize how much you do know. This essay of your reflections should draw on what we have covered in class, but it should be centered primarily on how you have seen yourself change (or not change) throughout the semester. While your essay should discuss specific skills, concepts, and changes in thinking related to your own writing and writing process, you need not limit yourself to a consideration of your growth as a writer.

Given the number of possible items you could address, it’s important to have a clear controlling purpose in your reflective essay so that your writing does not sound like a long list of points in paragraph form.

A successful reflective essay includes:

  1. a title
  2. a thesis paragraph, at the very least a thesis sentence
  3. discussion of what you have learned as a result of your work in our writing course
  4. discussion of what you would like to learn more about

Consider these questions when writing your reflective essay:

  • What was your writing like when you began the course?
  • Is it better now?
  • Are you more confident?
  • Do you know where to look stuff up?
  • What do you consider the single most important insight this course has given you – the idea that had the strongest impact, or will stay with you for a long time?
  • Do you have any ideas for improving this course?

Be specific. What specific strategies, techniques or skills have you learned? It never hurts to be specific.

You can and should discuss things like, and you can focus on one or some of these in your reflection:

  • important revisions you made in the process of writing
  • decisions you made in building your essay, and rationale for these decisions
  • challenges with specific parts of the assignments
  • what you learned from the authors you read
  • how you look at writing differently than when the semester began
  • how your writing has changed
  • how your writing process has changed
  • you can discuss how the design of the class made things difficult or easy for you
  • you can discuss struggles with remote learning
  • you can discuss things that were confusing in the class design, assignments, or readings
    • none of that will hurt my feelings and it may inspire me for some revisions for future students 🙂
  • you can also do a summary and response of your own final essay, discussing what rhetorical devices you used, why and what you wish you could’ve done better

You should avoid comments like:

  • “I learned a lot this semester.”
    • instead, provide examples of what you learned
  • “My teacher was so great” or “My teacher was horrible because…”
    • instead, discuss what you wish the teacher could’ve done more or less of
  • “Thank heavens this class is over”
    • instead, discuss what you’ll take from this class to future courses
  • “I hope you were impressed with my essays. I worked so hard on them.”
    • show me what you learned. what impressed you in your writing?

Final note: This is an essay about you and your writing. Do not interpret or EXTENSIVELY summarize other authors in your reflective essay. Some summary is OK, but just for the purpose of getting to your reflective point.


Criteria for grading will be:

  • How well organized is your essay?
  • Does it flow smoothly and logically from one point to the next?
  • Do you back up your points with specific examples?
  • Do you identify your sources (no sources are required, but if you use one you must cite it)?
  • Do you understand the concepts I’m asking about?
  • How thoughtful is your essay?
  • How creative is it?
  • Since you can do a video, audio, or slide show, I won’t be looking at grammar and mechanics unless it’s very distracting (see the criteria on “does it flow smoothly…”

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