Reflection in the Electronic Writing Classroom

L. Lennie Irvin, San Antonio College


A Sampling of Process Journals for a Semester of Freshman Composition I

Process Journal on Reading:
Topic: Think about yourself as a reader. What do you value as a reader? What keeps you reading? Find an author or a piece of writing that you like and make a xerox copy of one page from his or her text (bring to class). Look at this writing. What is the writer doing that you consider good (as a reader)? Look at the things they are doing with words and sentences and ideas (rather than with a particular theme or genre). List these values and features of writing that you like as a reader.
This piece should be saved on diskette and is due at the beginning of class.

Process Journal After Completing an Early Semester Writing Project:
Please reflect upon your experience in the class so far. Discuss your experience writing and sharing the Fables. What was hard and/or fun about writing these pieces? Discuss your experience writing the pieces we have done related to the reader-writer relationship (What we value as readers? Based upon this value, what should we stive to do as writers?). How has your perspective on writing altered at this point? Share also your experience and impressions so far using our online learning environment.

Process Journal Topic on a Writing Technique (Description):
Write about our current focus on writing descriptively. What is hard about writing descriptively for you? What surprises you? Which specific techniques have you found to be new for you and how have you used them? What is the relationship between observation and description? What is the relationship between imagination and description?
Remember: Process Journals are turned into our Forum (ProcessWk2) and should be more "extended"--approximately 1 1/2 pages (350 words).

Process Journal on Invention:
Getting started on a writing project is hard. What do you do to prepare to write? What sort of "invention" activities seem to work for you? Did you find the invention exercise I prepared for you helpful? How? Why? Look again at the section in our handbook on prewriting. Do you find it easier to "just write" and then plot out your ideas? Or does it work best for you to plot out a game plan (like an outline) which you use to write from? Writing is sort of like cooking--there is no ONE right way to cook a pancake. Share some of your "cook's wisdom" when it comes to "prewriting"--getting ready to write.

Process Journal Topic on Drafting:
In the last discussion journal, we discussed what we did as we got started on a writing project--our prewriting and invention strategies. For this journal, I'd like you to discuss your habits when you are at the "drafting" phase. You've thought about your topic and even done some invention on it, but now you actually have to write the paper. What type of writing setting do you like? How do you go about writing your draft? Do you write all at once or does the draft trickle out slowly and even over multiple sittings? What is in your head (between the lines) as you draft? How concerned are you about "correctness" as you draft? Have you developed any techniques that help you complete a draft?

Process Journal on Development:
This essay is calling for you to "develop" your writing more. You need not only to have a good "logical" structure to your essay (Point/Thesis + Primary Supports), but you need to support your ideas. Discuss what you find hard about adding support to your writing. What is hard about development? What is easy? How does it make you feel when you get more development into your writing (better, worse, strange, how?)?

Do you have any tricks or techniques you use to add more development to your writing? How do you manage to stay focused on the topic or "point" of the essay (and not wander off topic)? How helpful did you find doing an outline for developing support?

Process Journal Topic on Revision:
Write about your experience with revision. Talk about your views and past experience with revision in general. Then discuss your experience with revising the Family Story. What is hard? What do you think is important about revision. What helps you with revision? Often revision involves receiving feedback from a reader--how does it make you feel to receive this kind of feedback? How is this feedback helpful for reworking your piece.

Process Journal Topic Sharing Plans for an In-class Essay:
Discuss your plans for the Illustrative Essay. Consider this journal to be a "plan of action" because on Thursday we will write the essay in class. What have you done so far to prepare yourself for writing the essay? What is your "message?" Who is your audience? Why are you writing to them? What specific "stories" will you use to develop your essay?

Process Journal on Invention for a Particular Essay:
Write about your experience preparing for and writing the Illustrative Essay. Describe what you found hard or easy about finding your "message" (your Illustrative Truth or thesis), deciding on an audience, and targeting a purpose toward this audience. How did the invention exercise help? Did you feel like the use of stories to help show and prove worked well for you? Describe your essays strengths and weaknesses?

Process Journal on Peer Response:
We have been doing quite a bit of peer response. Discuss your feelings so far about peer response. What do you gain out of doing peer response? What do you gain by receiving peer response? Cite and example from peer response we have already done. How do you think it is valuable to you as a writer? What do you think are the things that make an ideal peer response? --Process Journals should be a minimum 350 words.

Process Journal Topic Concerning a Completed Essay:
Discuss your experience writing the Hindsight Essay. What was hard? What kind of breakthroughs do you think you might have had? What do you think were the weaknesses and strengths of the essay you turned in.



Introduction | The Importance of Reflection | Reflection as a Catalyst | Reflection in the Writing Classroom | Reflection in the E-Writing Classroom | Reflection as Observation | Reflection as Refraction | Reflection as Coherence | Conclusion | Works Cited
by L. Lennie Irvin, San Antonio College