Reflective Essay Noteworthy Winston-Salem

Below we offer an example of a thoughtful reflective essay that effectively and substantively captures the author's growth over time at CSUCI. We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.

Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CSUCI Code of Conduct.

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Sample Reflective Essay #1
Author: Prefers to remain anonymous

As an English major I have learned to appreciate the peaceful, yet exhilarating moment when my mind engages with an author's thoughts on a page. As Toni Morrison says in The Dancing Mind , "[reading is] to experience one's own mind dancing with another's." In my early days as a college student, I wanted to know the "true" meaning of a work or what the author intended, however, I have now realized this would void literature of its most noteworthy complexities. Individual interpretations bring varied insights to a work and it is also interesting to point out messages the author may not have realized s/he included in the piece.

I have always been a thinker, but throughout my coursework, I have greatly sharpened my critical analysis skills. Instead of focusing on proposed meanings or biographical background, I have learned to continuously ask "why" on many different levels. I challenge myself to dig into a text as deeply as possible and unpack every detail to develop a satisfying close read. Also, by reading multiple novels by the same author I have learned to identify different writing styles and make connections that weave texts together; this helped me develop a deeper understanding of the novels. When I look at one of my freshman level novels and see clean pages, I realize that I did not actively read the book. I guess you could say that I have learned to read with a pen, which has drastically taken my writing to a new level because I am able to connect back with my initial insights marked on the page.

Writing had always been one of my strengths, but it was challenging to take that initial step past the high school, five-paragraph essay form that constricted my ideas for so long. Moving past this form, however, has greatly opened my mind. My thoughts are now able to be more complex because I have learned how to sustain a logical argument in an organized manner. My writing has become increasingly more concise and I no longer have room for added "fluff" or "padding." Another improvement is my ability to point out multiple complexities within a text, instead of sticking to one-sided arguments in my papers. Furthermore, learning how to find peer reviewed journal articles and order books through interlibrary loan has significantly widened the scope of my research, which has lead to more scholarly papers with credible references. My writing is so much more interesting than it used to be.

It is difficult to identify gaps in my knowledge as an English major, only because I feel like I have learned so much. I feel that I have largely expanded my literary analysis and writing skills, but I need to be prepared to teach high school students their required literature. I think it would be useful to identify commonly taught novels in our local high schools and study them myself. By studying the required literature and thinking about how to teach it, I will have a sturdy foundation to work from once I am in the classroom.

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Careers in English and Writing

The English program at California State University Channel Islands prepares students for a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers, including:

  • English teacher
  • Social media strategist
  • Media production (film, TV, internet)
  • Print and digital publishing
  • Law
  • Corporate communications
  • Foreign service
  • Human resources
  • Foundations/non-profit management

Learn more about CI's English Program

+ All Winston Churchill Essays:

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  • How The United States Contained Communism in the Cold War
  • Economics of the Cold War
  • The Varying Intensity of the Cold War in Europe
  • Intervention and American Foreign Policy
  • Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms by Charles J Amlaner
  • DBQ world war 2
  • Who was Oskar Schindler?
  • Teaching and Learning Are Interrelated
  • Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War
  • Appeasement in the 1930s
  • A Different View of World War Two: Global Territory and the end of the Holocaust
  • Charles De Galle
  • Miners and History
  • The European Union
  • Medical advancements in World War Two
  • The Romans' Values were Honesty, Fairness, and to Uphold a Honor
  • Failure of the Battle of Britain Campaign
  • The Roles Played by Different Countries during World War II
  • Causes of World War I: Germany
  • project success: success factor and success criteria
  • Defining Honesty
  • How the 'Revolutionary-Imperial Paradigm' Shaped Soviet Foreign Policy during the Early Cold War
  • The 1956 Suez Crisis in Terms of U.S Involvement
  • British Policy of Appeasement at the Beginning of World War Two
  • Digital Literacy: A Powerful Tool for Educational Change
  • Illustration Essay: Why We Drink
  • World War II
  • The Cold War and Reagan
  • Changes in America Between 1920 and 1960
  • John Lennon
  • D-day
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  • Neuroticism and The Five Factor Model
  • terrorism
  • Discuss the Roles of Language and Reason in History
  • The Character of George Orwell's 1984
  • The Life and Times of Claude McKay
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: An Influential Leader
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: an Influential Leader
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Television
  • To What Extent Was the United States of America Responsible for the Collapse of the Grand Alliance?
  • Nighteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
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  • The Iran Hostage Crisis and the United States
  • The BP Oil Spill and Leadership Issues
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  • The Gifted and Talented
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  • The History of the Cold War
  • Asses the Significance of the North African Campaign to the Allied Victory in the European War
  • Reading between the Lines: Use of Space and Body Language in Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls'
  • The Pros and Cons of Human Cloning
  • Why World War II Broke out in 1939
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Woodrow Wilson and the Leage of Nations
  • The Electoral College
  • Racism, Revenge, the War without Mercy, and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
  • Dbq Causes of Wwii
  • Alienation in 1984
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  • Margaret Thatcher’s Achievements as Prime Minister in the Years 1979-1990 Were Limited.
  • The Special Relationship Lives Between the United States and Britain
  • Nuclear Weapons Promote Religion

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