Below we offer an example of a thoughtful reflective essay that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI). 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 CI Code of Conduct.
Scroll down for more examples!
Sample Reflective Essay #2
Author: Nekisa Mahzad
I have been a student at California State University Channel Islands (CI) for 5 semesters, and over the course of my stay I have grown and learned more that I thought possible. I came to this school from Moorpark Community College already knowing that I wanted to be an English teacher; I had taken numerous English courses and though I knew exactly what I was headed for-was I ever wrong. Going through the English program has taught me so much more than stuff about literature and language, it has taught me how to be me. I have learned here how to write and express myself, how to think for myself, and how to find the answers to the things that I don't know. Most importantly I have learned how important literature and language are.
When I started at CI, I thought I was going to spend the next 3 years reading classics, discussing them and then writing about them. That was what I did in community college English courses, so I didn't think it would be much different here. On the surface, to an outsider, I am sure that this is what it appears that C.I. English majors do. In most all my classes I did read, discuss, and write papers; however, I quickly found out that that there was so much more to it. One specific experience I had while at C.I. really shows how integrated this learning is. Instead of writing a paper for my final project in Perspectives of Multicultural Literature (ENGL 449), I decided with a friend to venture to an Indian reservation and compare it to a book we read by Sherman Alexie. We had a great time and we learned so much more that we ever could have done from writing a paper. The opportunity to do that showed me that there are so many ways that one can learn that are both fun and educational.
The English courses also taught me how powerful the written word and language can be. Words tell so much more than a story. Stories tell about life and the human condition, they bring up the past and people and cultures that are long gone. Literature teaches about the self and the world surrounding the self. From these classes I learned about the world, its people and its history; through literature I learned how we as humans are all related. By writing about what we learn and/or what we believe, we are learning how to express ourselves.
I know that my ability to write and express my ideas, thoughts and knowledge has grown stronger each semester. I have always struggled to put my thoughts on paper in a manner that is coherent and correct according to assignments. I can remember being told numerous times in community college to "organize your thoughts" or "provide more support and examples". These are the things that I have worked on and improved over the past couple of years and I feel that my work shows this. The papers I wrote when I first started here at C.I. were bland and short. In these early papers, I would just restate what we learned in class and what I had found in my research. I did not formulate my own ideas and support them with the works of others. The classes I have taken the past couple semesters have really help me shed that bad habit and write better papers with better ideas. I have learned how to write various styles of papers in different forms and different fields. I feel confident that I could write a paper about most anything and know how to cite and format it properly.
There are a couple of things that I do feel I lack the confidence and skill to perform, and that is what I hope to gain from participating in Capstone. I am scared to teach because I don't know how to share my knowledge with others-students who may have no idea what I am talking about. I hope to learn more about how teachers share their knowledge as part of my Capstone project.
Want more examples?
View sample reflective essay #1
Visit CI's Student Writing Samples web page
Want to become a better writer?
CI's Student Writing web site has how-to videos, writing samples for different subjects, and support resources.
View CI's Student Writing site
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
- Corporate communications
- Foreign service
- Human resources
- Foundations/non-profit management
Learn more about CI's English Program
PART FOUR. TRANSFORMATIONS. For questions 1-5, complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Do not change the word given. You must use between three and six words, including the word given. (5 points)
0 The emergency chute hasn’t been working for a week.
The emergency chute HAS BEEN OUT OF ORDERfor a week.
1. By closing down the second warehouse we can save money and save jobs.
Closing down the second warehouse _________________________ costs and save jobs.
2. We would like you to pay for the delivery of this special order before you receive it.
We would appreciate _____________________________ advance for the delivery of this special order.
3. Scientists think that there is nothing on that planet to suggest there is any life there.
DEPARTAMENT D'ANGLÈS USE OF ENGLISHTIME 75’
Please write all your answers on the ANSWER SHEET provided.
PART ONE. MULTIPLE CHOICE CLOZE. Read the text below. For questions 1-15, decide which word (A, B, C, or D) best fits each blank space. Write the letter only of your choice on the ANSWER SHEET. An example (0) has been done for you. (15 points)
One of the ---(0)--- influences on children today is that of their peers. What their classmates think, how they dress, and how they act in class and out of it ---(1)--- the behaviour of nearly every child at school. In their ---(2)--- not to be different, some children go so ---(3)--- as to hide their intelligence and ability in case they are made ---(4)--- of. Generally, children do not want to stand out from the ---(5)---. They want to ---(6)--- in, to be accepted. In psychological ---(7)---, the importance of peer pressure cannot be overemphasized. There is a lot of evidence that it has great ---(8)--- on all aspects of children’s lives, from the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, and their ---(9)--- to schooling to their ---(10)--- of self-worth. However, as children grow up into adolescents, individuality becomes more acceptable, ---(11)--- even, and in their ---(12)--- for their own personal style, the teenager and young adult will begin to experiment and be more willing to ---(13)--- the risk of rejection by the group. Concern about intellectual prowess and ---(14)--- good exam results can dominate as the atmosphere of competition develops and worries about the future ---(15)--- any fears if appearing to be too brainy.
0 A hardest B strongest C heaviest D fattest
1 A affect B result C impress D vary
2 A actions B steps C measures D efforts
3 A long B distant C far D much
4 A joke B laugh C fun D ridicule
5 A party B crowd C circle D band
6 A set B fall C get D fit
7 A terms B words C points D means
8 A running B bearing C meaning D standing
9 A opinion B consideration C attitude D view
10 A reaction B sense C impression D awareness
11 A desirable B bearable C tolerable D likeable
12 A hunt B chase C course D search
13 A carry B run C bring D cope
14 A succeeding B achieving C earning D winning
15 A overthrow B overflow C overbalance D override
PART TWO. OPEN CLOZE. Read the text below. For each blank space 1-10, decide which ONE word best completes the text. Write your answers on the ANSWER SHEET. An example (0) has been done for you. (10 points).
Today, --(0)-- a whole industry out ---(1)--- prove he didn’t pen all his works, Shakespeare’s poetry and plays remain the most read and studied in the world. His seemingly inexhaustible stream of words have infiltrated every dictionary, he has inspired generations of writers, and there is a theatre (The Globe) as well as a theatre company (The Royal Shakespeare Company) devoted ---(2)--- putting on his plays year after year. A more unlikely tribute is that Shakespeare is the ---(3)--- filmed author ever. A massive 309 films are based on his masterpieces, and top actors consider playing such mighty roles ---(4)--- honour. But Shakespeare’s legacy is not as much revealed in his big productions as in the ---(5)--- he spoke to the masses. ---(6)--- the surface, he wrote for the working classes, while ensuring that ---(7)--- intelligent parodies and controversial political statements were included that ---(8)--- touch the upper classes. He questioned society’s wrongs and his messages were clear. Perhaps the main reason ---(9)--- Shakespeare lives on is that the subjects he tackled, ---(10)--- class warfare, prejudice and male chauvinism, remain relevant.
PART THREE. WORD BUILDING. For each blank space you are given words in their basic form. Decide on the correct form of each word and write it in the corresponding space on the ANSWER SHEET. Make sure your spelling on the answer sheet is clear and unambiguous. An example (0) has been done for you. (10 points)
Little Moments, Big Magic
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s most (0) __________ (EFFECT) youth-service organization and has been in operation for nearly a century. Our service is (1)___________ (DEPEND) on our many valuable volunteers. We have a proven track record for creating relationships that are (2)___________ (BENEFIT) for both adults and children.
Youth (3)____________ (DEVELOP) experts agree that, parents aside, children need additional caring adults in their lives. BBBS works (4)_________ (CLOSE) with parents to match every child with a compatible and (5)____________ (SUPPORT) Big Brother or Big Sister.
Although potential ‘Bigs’ are screened and supervised to (6)________ (SURE) that all relationships are safe and (7)___________ (REWARD), the only real (8)__________(REQUIRE) is a willingness to make and share in some fun with a new friend. Our volunteers (9)______________ (CONSISTENT) say that being a participant in BBBS is as (10)____________ (ENJOY) for them as for the ‘Littles’.
PART FOUR. KEY WORD TRANSFORMATIONS. You will find part IV on the back of the answer sheet.