Do you know how to write an amazing reflection statement for HSC English?

Under the new HSC English syllabus starting in 2018 for Year 11 students, writing a reflection statement is an incredibly important skill to have.

While the reflection statement may on the surface seem like a fairly simple piece of writing, it requires a certain level of complexity and nuance to achieve an A level mark.

This article will break down the process of writing a reflection statement, hopefully removing some of the confusion around what can be quite a vague piece of writing.

So, let’s jump right in!

What is a Reflection Statement?
What should you be writing about in a Reflection Statement?
How do you structure a Reflection Statement?

What is a Reflection Statement?

A reflection statement is a statement written by students, discussing their process for producing a particular assessment task.

A reflection statement isn’t a simple recap of what you did to complete the task, but a self-assessment on what you did, how and why you did it, what you did well, and what you could improve on.

A reflection statement is an assessment task that was previously only reserved for Extension English students. However, now students in Year 11 will be required to write reflection statements.

Now Year 11 English students will most likely to have to write reflection statements in the Common Modules Reading to Write.

However, in Year 12, you will have to write a reflective statement for Module C: The Craft of Writing.

If you’re looking for some help in writing a reflective statement, check out our article on it here!

What should you be writing about in a Reflection Statement?

Check out the video below to get a general idea before we jump in!

You ultimately want to demonstrate TWO things to your marker:

  1. A well-thought out process of composition in creating your text – i.e. being able to pinpoint exactly why you did what you did and explain this in depth.
  2. A deep personal awareness of your strengths, weaknesses and overall development as a learner. What are you good at? What are you not so good at? What did you learn from doing this task? What skills were you able to hone?

Your purpose in writing a reflection statement is, as the name implies, to reflect!

Do not confuse this with the strictly argumentative purpose of writing an essay. While some argument may serve your reflection statement well, markers will also be looking for your own personal insight and observations about yourself as a composer, responder and learner.

But, first:

The most important part of writing a reflection statement is to read your assessment and marking criteria carefully!

The assessment criteria will tell you absolutely everything you’re being assessed on for the main assessment task and the reflection statement.

The marking criteria will tell you exactly how your teacher will mark your work. This will include the criteria for achieving a mark in each Band.

The marking criteria can act as a checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do to get a Band 6.

An effective reflection statement also answers three questions:

While the specifics of your reflection statement may differ slightly depending on your school and on your teacher, it should ultimately be answering these three questions in its analysis not only of your decisions as a composer but also your progress as a learner.

reflection-statement

How do you structure a Reflection Statement?

As you would structure any piece of extended writing; with an introduction, body and conclusion!

While this may seem reminiscent of the typical essay structure you’re probably used to, the reflection statement differs slightly.

As mentioned earlier, your purpose is not necessarily as argumentative as the purpose of an essay.

Each of your three sections should contain the following:

INTRODUCTION
  • Introduce what you will be reflecting on and the overarching points to be discussed in the reflection. If you’re incorporating an argument about your skills as a composer/student (recommended), now is the time to introduce it.
  • Don’t forget to introduce your texts and composers!
BODY
  • Pick 3-4 key points to focus on in your reflection.
  • The feed-up, feed-back, feed-forward model mentioned earlier provides a straightforward “template” through which you can structure you reflection statement.
  • Alternatively, you may instead wish to select 3-4 key aspects of the text to be discussed (such as key ideas) and use these to structure your body paragraphs. Within each paragraph, you should still be mindful of feed-up, feed-back, feed-forward.
  • Whether you are reflecting on a text studied in class or a text you have created yourself, each body paragraph should nonetheless aim to contain a minimum of three textual examples, analysed not necessarily for their meaning within the text but rather in terms of your abilities and skills as a learner.
CONCLUSION
  • As is the convention in any other piece of extended writing – the conclusion is the place to sum everything up! Remind the reader of your key points and arguments before they finish reading. You may even wish to incorporate some feed-forward into your conclusion as a nice indication of your future trajectory.

Okay, so how long should my reflection statement be?

This will vary depending on a couple of factors:

  • The assessment task being written about
  • The level of English you’re taking (Advanced or Extension)
  • What your marking criteria says!

Reflection statements will generally be between 300 and 800 words, likely hanging around the 400-word mark. However, for English Extension 2, your reflection statement is 1500 words long.

And that wraps up our guide on how to write the ultimate Reflection Statement. Good luck!

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