Reflection and introspection are among the important life lessons necessary for personality development. This article intends to address the process of writing a composition – the idea of reflecting on a completed piece of writing and evaluating the passage and its rhetoric. I have always wanted to be a good writer and have written many essays. Although my articles might have had a good flow and no grammatical errors, I have always felt that something was missing. It is after I read the section on ‘writing as reflection’ part of the Edx English composition course, I realized the importance of having a reflective element to any passage.
In an attempt to improve my writing skills, I consulted many online resources, and as per various recommendations I created a blog and started re-reading and re-writing some of my previously written literature reviews and articles for my blog. Quite frankly, I did not reflect on them – I did not ask myself – “so what?” or “why is this important to me?”. I feel that in asking those questions, a writer can establish intent and purpose, not just for the flow, but also to for making the essay compelling. Introducing the reader to a purpose for the piece, a plan – which reflects an honest tone of the author, followed by suitable evidence, makes the passage far more persuasive than superficially presenting some facts on the topic.
Understanding the audience is also a crucial part of making the passage persuasive, and reflection helps in making rhetorical decisions. When I revised and re-wrote my essays for the blog, I’ve generally failed to acknowledge that the audience of a research paper might be academicians who might prefer a specific flow, specific jargon, and a particular format. But, the audience of a blog tends to be more informal, maybe strapped for time and might appreciate creativity. In my opinion, in writing an academic paper or a blog or any other composition, the author must reflect on the content of the passage to make their writing compelling and interesting to read. My friends and acquaintances have not shown much interest in the passages I shared on my blog – now I know why! Reflective writing, in my opinion, not only preserves the readers’ attention until the end of the passage, it shows honesty and insight, which is far more effective in writing.
I must admit that I have generally been scared to bring in a reflective tone to my essays. Maybe because I feel that the piece might become too informal, or perhaps because I think that I might reveal information irrelevant to the subject. But, moving forward, I will work on my inhibitions on reflective passages. I might also revisit my previous articles and reflect on the essays that I had written during graduate school and make it more relevant to the blogging community. I hope to post these reflections on my blog, and I am confident that this exercise will teach me a lot about my own writing style.
In my opinion, reflective writing is all-encompassing. Reflective writing gives an opportunity to revise and re-write, which determines the process, during which the writer can critically analyze the rhetoric and conventions, and create an essay that is both meaningful and persuasive.