english reflection essay

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For Paper #1, you will write a 2-page reflective essay on a family recipe. Why is this recipe important to you, and what does it reveal about you, your family, and/or your own personal history?

This is not a formal research paper (this will come later), but for this assignment, you will need to cite at least one outside source. This might be a reference to Sins’ “Doberge Cake after Katrina” or perhaps information you received from an informal interview with a family member.

Your paper needs to be submitted in Microsoft Word and formatted in MLA style (typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, Times New Roman). Your outside source needs to be cited properly both in-text and in a list of works cited.

Helpful Reminders/Suggestions:

* Before you begin writing, reread “Reflections” from The Norton Field Guide to Writing. This section will guide you on preparing to write a reflective essay, including sketching out a rough thesis to help guide your thoughts, brainstorming the specific details you will include, and deciding on the best way to organize your writing. If you need suggestions for pre-writing activities (e.g., freewriting, looping, listing, clustering, cubing, questioning, outlining, letter writing, journal keeping, and discovery drafting), see “Generating Ideas and Text,” Part 4: Processes, The Norton Field Guide to Writing.

* As you write and revise, refer to “Questions to Ask Yourself (Paper #1)” to check your work.

* Before turning in your final draft, make sure that you edit and proofread carefully. For tips and reminders on how to edit and to proofread, see “Editing and Proofreading,” Part 4: Processes, The Norton Field Guide to Writing.

Before you submit the final draft of Paper #1, go through the following list of questions. Revise and edit your paper accordingly. I will be using the questions below as the basis for grading your work.

Content Questions (Reflections)

1. Does my reflective essay have structure (i.e., organizational pattern)? Do I have a rough thesis statement or main point guiding my thoughts?

2. Do I offer enough specific details (i.e., anecdotes, comparisons, examples, observations, definitions, speculations)?

3. Do I maintain a questioning, speculative tone throughout?

Paper Requirement Questions

4. Did I write a reflective essay that responds to the topic prompt?

5. Is my paper 2 pages long?

6. Do I include at least one outside source?

MLA Questions

7. Is my paper formatted correctly in MLA style (typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, Times New Roman)?

8. Is my outside source cited correctly both in-text and in a list of works cited?

Source: Amy Cyrex Sins, “Doberge Cake after Katrina”, “Doberge Cake after Katrina”


Please follow these 7 questions above.

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