This particular text type and writing task has been around for some time but with the updated HSC English syllabus, it has become more of a focus. Now students are expected to write reflections for a number of reasons. Reflections are expected to be well supported with textual analysis, have detailed examples, answer specific questions and be written with a solid structure.
Significant marks are awarded for well written reflections which students often overlook meaning that they are losing valuable marks.
So today we are going to provide some elements to consider when writing your next reflection. All high school students will find benefit from this as all year groups are now required to complete reflections to prepare for the HSC!
- Understand the Question
Like always, you have to start with the question at hand. Each reflection is specific to the text and activity that you are completing. For example, you may be reflecting on your own personal experience of writing a text or you might be reflecting on the writer’s craft. Each requires a specific element to address the question so be sure to include reference to the exact question that you are answering.
- Include Quotes/Textual Evidence
No matter which type of question you are presented with, you should include textual evidence to support and sustain your position.
For example, you have adopted a particular perspective in your piece, let’s say first person. It would be ideal to include a quote from your piece that shows how it has been used and compare it to a quote from the prescribed text to demonstrate the original use. Then justify your use for adopting a similar style to the prescribed text. Don’t just throw in quotes for the sake of it. One way to make sure that your quotes serve a purpose is to link its use back to the question being asked- see why we made such a big deal about it in the point above?
- Adopt an appropriate register
Students often become confused about the best way to attack a reflective response. Should it be formal like an essay? Should it be personal and use a first person perspective? Well our suggestion is this – half way between both. Writing in first person perspective is the most useful approach to satisfy the reflection aspect as it is difficult to reflect in any other way. But, in saying that your sentence should still be well written and use sophisticated language.
- Look at the marks awarded
Depending on the task you are completing, there may be certain marks awarded for a reflection and then certain marks for the main writing task itself. If this is the case be sure to make yourself aware so that you know how much to write for each section. It is always the case that the main task of writing is the longer part followed by the reflection. But even if this is the case you want to make sure you are writing a proportional amount to the marks awarded.
- Share notes
Whilst some students are hesitant to share their work, it is a great learning tool. By no means are we saying that you should copy or plagiarize work. What we are saying is try and look at the way people approach reflections in different ways. It might spark an idea for you or show you another way of approaching the question.
We have a number of sample reflections so please email us if you’d like a copy!
We hope the above is useful! If you have any questions about your reflection task be sure to email us and we can help you out as much as possible! We can also read over a task for you and give you some tips moving forward.