The humble reflective statement often sneaks its way into assessment programs for HSC English and under the new 2019 syllabus, continues to do so in Module C: The Craft of Writing.
What does writing a reflective statement even entail? What structure should it be written in? Are you supposed to use examples?
If you have any of these questions, you’re in the right place!
In this video, we’re going to help you understand what the new Module C: Craft of Writing reflective statement is all about!
What is a Reflective 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.
It’s 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 and 12 English Advanced and Standard will be required to write reflection statements.
Now Year 11 and 12 English students will most likely have to write reflection statements in the Common Modules, Reading to Write (Year 11) and Texts and Human Experience (Year 12) and Module C: The Craft of Writing.
You can also be asked to write a reflection statement in your HSC English exam alongside a composition.
Of course, if you’re studying English Extension 2, you are required to write a reflection statement with your major work.
When will I need to write a reflective statement for Module C?
Your Module C exam section will likely consist of two parts; part (a) and part (b).
Let’s use an example question from NESA’s HSC English sample exam to take a look at this and break it down:
As you can see, the question is split into part (a) and part (b).
Part (a) requires you to write an imaginative, discursive or persuasive writing piece inspired by your prescribed text and the stimulus.
If you’re looking for some direction in how to write a discursive piece for Module C, check out our article on it here!
However, part (b) is what we’re concerned with – it’s the reflective statement!
Part (b) asks you to reflect on how your writing in part (a) was influenced by your prescribed text. The question also asks you to focus on a literary or stylistic feature that you employed in your writing.
This is what we’re going to focus on explaining in this article!
While the reflective statement may on the surface seem like a fairly simple piece of writing, it requires a certain level of complexity and nuance to achieve a Band 6 range mark.
This article will break down the process of writing a reflective statement, hopefully removing some of the confusion around what can be quite a vague piece of writing.
What should I be writing about?
You ultimately want to demonstrate the following things to your marker:
- 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.
- That you can relate your own creative decisions to key ideas from at least ONE of your prescribed texts – the module this comes from will depend on the question but you will likely have some freedom in which text to relate to.
Your purpose in writing a reflective 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 reflective statement well, markers will also be looking for your own personal insight and observations about yourself as a composer, respondent and learner.
An effective reflective statement also answers three questions:
While the specifics of your reflective statement may differ slightly depending on your school and on your teacher, it should ultimately be answering these three questions in its analysis.
These questions concern your decisions as a composer but also your ability to relate your writing to your prescribed texts.
How do I structure it?
As you would structure any piece of extended writing – with an introduction, body and conclusion.
While this may seem reminiscent of a typical essay structure, the reflective 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
- Introduce 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
- Introduce your texts and composers
|BODY||- Use the feed-up, feed-back, feed-forward model as a 3 paragraph structure for your body
- Alternatively, you may instead wish to select 3-4 key aspects of the text to be discussed (such as key ideas or technical elements) and use these to structure your body paragraphs. (Within each of these paragraphs, you should still be mindful of feed-up, feed-back, feed-forward)
- Each body paragraph should contain a minimum of three textual examples, analysed both for their meaning within the text and their relevance to key ideas drawn from your prescribed texts
|CONCLUSION||- This is the place to sum everything up!
- Remind the reader of your key points and arguments
- 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 there you have it!
While this guide is by no means definitive, I hope it was useful in breaking down the process of writing a reflective statement and steering you in the right direction!
So on that note – go forth, dear readers! Use your new knowledge to write that Band 6-worthy reflective statement for Module C and wow the pants off your markers.