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Kayla Cafarella

Ryan Gallagher

English 12, CP

May 23, 2010

Reflection Paper

As I reflect on my work over the course of this year, much of my work

exemplifies exceptional growth as a writer. My writing skills and thinking abilities have

evolved immensely and only have continued to improve with every piece of writing I’ve


My essay observing theme and analysis of In Praise of the Humble Coma is one

of the first pieces I’ve completed this past year. The piece of writing itself displayed the

range of observational skills I had to work with entering this year. Much of my writing

appeared to be making a point in relation to theme and how the author relates the theme

to the larger picture. I was able to find the correlation between something as small as

punctuation and life.

In this paper I demonstrated that I read and understood the essay, and was able to

derive a meaning from the essay, but I didn’t articulate my own implications. If I could

revise this paper, I would’ve provided more explanations of how and why the author

articulates his main idea. I did state the author’s point that punctuation was more than just

a matter of aesthetics, but a lot of my explanations lacked depth. I was able to establish

that I understood the author’s main purpose, but I didn’t provide enough to back it, I just

seemed to restate what the author said in my own words to serve as my explanation.

My next piece, the video critique of Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet displayed my

ability to draw attention to detail through writing and analyze as well as explain symbols

and describe visual elements. By explaining the symbols portrayed in the film, I
Kayla Cafarella

Ryan Gallagher

English 12, CP

May 23, 2010

demonstrated a full understanding of the text. In an explanation for the way Ophelia was

portrayed on film, I stated “…She personified Ophelia made her seem as though she was

aware of this underlying attachment between her brother and her. I noticed she responded

to her brother’s advice as if she knew what he was saying wouldn’t be requisite guidance

for her departure, but more or less his way of restricting her freedom with unnecessary

caution.” I showed that I understood the relationship between the characters and drew the

correlation from how they were portrayed in the film verses how Shakespeare portrayed

them in the text.

Later this year, as my writing abilities matured, I completed a full research paper

on the modern, contemporary artist, Chuck Close. My artist research paper displayed my

abilities to take pieces of information and format it into an essay format as in a

biography, as well as put my visual description skills to good use. I observed the art of

Chuck Close and analyze what it symbolized and represented and articulated somewhat

of a meaning as to why he chose to create some of the visual aspects of his pieces. In my

essay I stated “The simple smile on his face is one part of the portrait; it still completes

and defines the piece as a whole. They say there are 50 different ways to smile. A smile

can send a powerful message and for that reason much about a person’s character and

background is interpreted though a person’s a smile.” I displayed my analytical skills as I

observed fine detail.

Lastly, a creative piece of writing, my college essay. I consider my college essay

to be the best piece I wrote all year. The piece itself tells lets the reader get a glimpse into
Kayla Cafarella

Ryan Gallagher

English 12, CP

May 23, 2010

my life and find out exactly what makes me who I am. My college essay is well

composed and my story is organized; it begins with me describing aspect of creating

myself and my identity so the reader understands the piece is from my own point of view.

Then as I start my introduction, it continues it guides the reader into a little background

on the person that made me who I am today; and it leaves you with me stating who I

have, and will continue to become.

I’ve learned a lot about processing information into the composition of a formal

essay. Overall, my writing has come a long way since the beginning of this year, and my

writing has shown nothing but improvement with each piece I’ve completed.