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.
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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.
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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
Reflection in Global Health Essay Contest
What?An opportunity to submit an essay about your reflections in global health education and practice. This is the fifth annual CUGH Reflection Essay Contest that is co-sponsored by CUGH, Child Family Health International, University of Pittsburg Center for Global Health and Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.
Who? Trainees from undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels and GH faculty/practitioners are eligible to submit an essay to the contest. We strongly encourage essay submission by trainees and global health practitioners/educators from low-middle income countries.
When? Submissions are due by midnight EST on November 20, 2017 (extended from Nov. 12)。 Decisions on winners and runner-ups will be announced on
December 20, 2017. A select group of winners will be invited to read their essays at the 2018 CUGH Annual Conference in New York, NY.
Where?Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com. Winners will be invited to attend and read their essays at the CUGH 2018 Annual Conference in New York, NY. However, attending the conference is not required to participate in the Essay Contest. Additional essays will be invited to submit for publication in the publication “Reflection and Global Health: An Anthology.”
How? Email essay submission with the structure and information in the instructions below to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how to write a reflective essay, additional resources can be found here.
Reflection is a powerful tool in global health education and practice. All current undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate trainees as well as GH practitioners are invited to submit essays to reflect upon the meaning and lessons learned from global health experiences. These may be in a research, educational, clinical, or service capacity. The impacts of these experiences on professional development and personal growth are revealed in new partnerships, insights into cross-cultural or ethical issues and ideas for change.
Click here for an example of writing prompts.
Click here to see essays previously selected for the Reflection in Global Health Anthology.
Requirements for Essays
- The essay must be written while the applicant fits into one of the three contest categories described below, must be the work of a single author, and must represent original work. Essays must not have been previously published in print or electronic format.
- Entries must be in English, at least 11 point font, doubled-spaced, and must not exceed 1,000 words.
- Essay should be written in Microsoft or OpenOffice document.
- Do not put your name or any other identifying information on the document. Mention of any other individuals in the document should conform to anonymity standards to ensure privacy.
- Include the title of your essay on all pages of your word document submission
- Only ONE submission per person.
- Essays not meeting all requirements will be disqualified from the contest.
Submissions will be judged in three separate categories:
- trainees (post secondary to post graduate levels,
- practitioner/faculty, and
- trainees for whom English is not the primary language.
Each essay is reviewed by two judges and scored on four criteria— originality/theme, composition, critical reflection, and impact. A third judge is asked to review the essay if there is a significant difference in the scores by the two judges. Authors will be anonymous to the judges. The finalists will be selected by members of CUGH's Essay and Education Committees. Essay finalists will be notified by January 15, 2018.
Monetary prizes of $500 and a waiver of the CUGH 2018 conference registration fee will be awarded to the three winners. A number of honorable mention essays will be selected for a special reading and recognition session at the conference.
How to submit
Send an email (including the below information) with your essay as an attachment to email@example.com
Please include the following information in the body of your email:
- First Name then Last Name
- Title of Essay
- Phone Number
- Email Address (reachable even after graduation)
- School/Sponsoring Institution/Training Program where enrolled or affiliated
- Degree Program (if applicable)
- Indicate category of submission (IMPORTANT!)
a. Trainees (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate levels). Anticipated year of graduation
b. Practitioner/faculty. Please indicate years in practice and area of expertise
c. Trainees from low-middle income countries where English is not the official language
More information: Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This contest is co-sponsored by Consortium for Universities in Global Health, Child Family Health International, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Global Health.