Transcending boundaries: Teaching reflection in the composition classroom

Tiffany N Dewell, Purdue University


First-year composition (FYC) courses emphasize the writing process, critical reading, writing, and inquiry, as well as academic research skills. Underlying each of these elements is reflection, the ability to look back at a learning process and identify, analyze, and evaluate the steps in one’s approach. This foundational skill is implied in writing program curriculum and students are often asked to reflect as part of different course assignments. Research finds, however, that asking students to reflect is not enough, typically resulting only superficial descriptions of process. This study details a holistic approach to teaching reflection in the FYC classroom through direct instruction and reports the impact of such instruction in students’ writing as evidenced by occurrences of reflective language in their texts.




Bishop Morris, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Language|Rhetoric|Curriculum development|Higher education

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