Writing Involves Reflection

As I began reading Concept 5.0, I was a bit perplexed.  The writer appeared to deconstruct the “social turn” of writing theory by returning to its “cognitive” phenomenon.  My mind was reeling somewhat like the lights in the video image below until further reading convinced me social and cognitive aspects of writing may perform congruently.

Image courtesy of Pexel Videos

The writer addressed the plight of instructing first-year writing students.  “Many students came to those campuses with writing experiences and composing strategies that perplexed and dismayed instructors (Adler-Kassner and Wardle 71).”  We concentrate on this issue in our class each week.  It is of note the writer discloses a strategy Dr. Haimes-Korn has spoken about on more than one occasion:  having students put aside what they’ve written and have them talk about it.  “By observing writers who had been asked to verbalize what they were thinking while they were drafting and revising, these researchers found evidence for a writing process that extends before and after the moment of text production.  The models these researchers produced helped break the grip of still-dominant assumptions that writing was simply a matter of transcribing thought while avoiding error… (Adler-Kassner and Wardle 72).”  It is apparent to me that thinking enhances writing.  This model reflects and supports Nancy Sommers’ article “Responding to Student Writing” because “…what one has to say about the process is different from what one has to say about the product (Sommers 154).”  Concept 5.0 addresses “process” before “product” which doesn’t sacrifice higher-order attempts at meaning for lower-order grammatical, spelling, or punctuation in writing.

Concept 5.4 focuses on how reflection impacts the writing process.  “Reflection is a mode of inquiry: a deliberate way of systematically recalling writing experiences to reframe the current writing situation…centers on writers’ ability to theorize and question areas such as their processes, practices, beliefs, attitudes, and understandings about writing, along with the ability to consider why they made the rhetorical choices they did… (Adler-Kassner and Wardle 78).”  This concept is immensely helpful to me because I’m working on an assignment (due September 30) to make a Digital Literacy Narrative video presentation and write a reflection paper on the presentation for my 6650 Intro to Literacy Studies class.  In the reflection, I’m tasked with describing my communicative goals, my process, and how my work was informed by theories, approaches, and concepts covered in our course readings.  The instructions for my reflection assignment in that class coincide with what is revealed in Concept 5.4.  Although the instructions are clear, adhering to what I’ve learned from the concept should keep me on track.  The timing is great because I am now capable of doing the reflection while creating my presentation rather than afterward.


Adler-Kassner, Linda and Elizabeth Wardle. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2016. Print.

Sommers, Nancy. “Responding to Student Writing.” College Composition and Communication 31.2 (1982): 148-156. Print.

5 Replies to “Writing Involves Reflection”

  1. Hey Arlene,

    Wow. This post was really nicely written. I appreciate that I’m not alone in my skepticism. I see that you were a bit perplexed, while I’m just a bit more stubborn. I like how you note the potential for a direct correlation between cognition and process based on the concepts. I of course think it all makes perfect sense, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to read. I guess there is a hint of science to everything. I like specifically how you talked in detail about the formation of text. This to me is the most clear and immediate relation between thought and composition. Even as I type out this very reply, the moments of consideration and pauses to consider the best wording for my chosen thoughts are what control my hands on the keyboard. That definitely could have been worded better, haha. It makes me think more about how the immediate tendencies for words to form from thoughts is deleterious in some ways, and how the concepts of reflection become all the more important in working against lacking insight and failure to best word thoughts as a result of what results almost automatically from mind to page. Great post, Arlene!


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