Reflection Statements

Look, we know they’re mostly BS, but it’s your teachers’ last chance to believe that you learned something from all the quality literature they’ve been ladling down your throats. The thing to remember about reflection statements – and writing for school generally – is that this is not how writing happens in the real world.

Real writers have an idea (or a bill that needs paid) and they sit down and write something. They don’t usually chew on their quill pen and think about how they can squeeze anacoluthon into the work, or catalepsis. Therefore, since school isn’t the real world, don’t try to write like it’s the real world. That means:

Factor the reflection statement into your work before you start.

If you know that you have to include some element of style from a Module C text, and that you’ll have to wax lyrical about it in the reflection statement, build that into your plan BEFORE you start writing.

Here’s an example.

Only the characters that we love to hate exist outside the story. Their strength allows them to breach the walls of their text and enter our world.

a) use this statement as a stimulus for a character, persona, or speaker who is hateful in some way. You must include at least one literary device or stylistic feature from a text that you have studied in Module C. 12 marks

b) Explain how the study of Module C has influenced the choices you made in a). 8 marks

Here’s how I’d go about it.

  1.  Think about the prescribed texts you’ve read. Even if you weren’t wowed by any of them, there should be ONE thing that you thought you could emulate.

I particularly liked the last line of Kate Tempest’s performance poem ‘Picture a Vacuum’ where she says ‘What am I to make of all this?’.

2. Know why you liked it.

I liked it because because it ends the poem on a note of wonder, which throws the question back to the audience. It’s also a good way of ending a poem that has worked down progressively from the Big Bang to a person standing on the street just thinking. You could incorporate the line, the idea of just opening your text to the reader at the end, or the structure of diminishing things from something really big to really small.

3. Look at the Reflection Statement as part of the question – don’t try to squeeze it in afterwards. It clearly wants you to draw on Mod C, so it’ll be a lot less stressful if you just do it.

So, this question wants me to write about

  • someone who is hateful,
  • who seems to come into the reader’s world
  • the idea of ‘What am I to make of all this?’ from Tempest’s poem.

And plan accordingly. You can read the sample answer to this question here and the sample reflection for it here.


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