Reflection Between the Drafts

by L. Lennie Irvin (Author)
©2020 Monographs XVIII, 184 Pages


Reflection Between the Drafts focuses on reflection in process rather than reflection on process. Based on empirical research, the text presents a theory to describe and explain what happens when students reflect between drafts useful to teachers and scholars interested in reflection. It identifies a common dynamic found in these reflections as well as four factors that represent key dimensions within between-the-draft reflection. Writers’ conception of their goal and ideas of success represents the most important controlling factor in their reflection and the role it may play in their writing. Reflection Between the Drafts is highly rhetorical, and the text explores the special kairotic moment between drafts, the connection of this reflection to rhetorical invention, as well as the nature of the reflective knowledge generated from this particular reflective stance between drafts that guides writers’ revision. The text also discusses the place of between-the-draft reflection in a writing curriculum and shares classroom practices for encouraging productive reflection between drafts.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • Preface
  • Chapter One: Introduction
  • Chapter Two: A Theory of Reflection Between-the-Drafts
  • Chapter Three: Kairos and Reflection
  • Chapter Four: Rhetorical Invention and Reflection
  • Chapter Five: The Epistemology of Reflection
  • Chapter Six: Reflection and Revision
  • Chapter Seven: Between-the-Draft Reflection in the Writing Classroom
  • Conclusion: The Place of Reflection Between the Drafts
  • Appendix: Researching Between-the-Draft Reflection Using a Grounded Theory Methodology
  • Index

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Figure 1: Situational Chart of Writing Reviews within the Activity System of Writing

Figure 2: A Grounded Theory of Reflection Between Drafts

Figure 3: Essay Success and the Epistemological Nature of Reflection Between Drafts

Figure 4: The Double-Movement of Reflection Between Drafts

Figure 5: The Spectrum of Essay Success

Figure 6: The Four Elements in the Dynamic of Between-the-Draft Reflection

Figure 7: The Dimensions of Between-the-Draft Reflection

Figure 8: The Spectrum of Reflectiveness

Figure 9: Dewey’s Double-Movement of Reflection

Figure 10: Bereiter and Scarmandalia’s Dual-Problem Space Model of Reflection in Writing

Figure 11: Boud, Keogh, and Walker’s Components of Reflection

Figure 12: Comparison of Retrospective and Between-the-Draft Reflection in the Drafting Sequence

Figure 13: Comparison of Kolbian View of Reflection and the Writing Feedback Loop

←xi | xii→

Figure 14: Kolbian View of Reflection Inside and Outside the Loop of Action

Figure 15: Elements of Rhetorical Stance

Figure 16: The Ladder of Reflection

Figure 17: Helen Foster’s Networked Subjectivity

Figure 18: Reflection’s Place Within a Three-Draft Essay Cycle

Figure 19: Draft, Peer Responses and Writing Review in Context

Figure 20: The Dynamic of Reflection as Unit Analysis for Axial Coding

Figure 21: Post-Slice 2 Model of Dynamic of Reflection

Figure 22: Charting Out the Dynamic of Reflection Within a Writing Review

Figure 23: Problem Analysis of Essay Cycle Draft to Draft

Figure 24: Grouping of Similar Dynamics for Comparative Analysis

Figure 25: Summary of Multiple Instances of One Key Pattern

Figure 26: Example of a Code Note Memo

Figure 27: End of Slice Memo of Theoretical Note

Figure 28: Diagram as a Form of Memoing

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This book represents over twenty years of inquiry into the role and nature of reflection in the writing classroom. The origins of my interest in between-the-draft reflection, the subject of this book, came from an insight I had as I studied a sequence of writing assignments from Fred Kemp for use in a computer classroom (140). What I saw was a repeated sequence he cycled his students through: they would write, share their writing, observe and reflect upon each others’ writing, and then re-write—again and again, in big and small ways. I labeled this sequence invention—reflection—re-invention (“The Shared Discourse” 377 and “Reflection in the Electronic Classroom”). What stood out to me was the fact that reflection was located right in the middle as a mediating factor for learning. This reflection in the middle seemed to be the necessary catalyst and trigger for learning and change. But what actually happened for students within this black box of reflection was a mystery.

Studying what happens for writers when they reflect between drafts became the focus for my eventual Ph.D. research (working as it happens with Fred Kemp, Rich Rice, and Becky Rickly) and on-going classroom practice and inquiry. My initial interested in reflection in the 1990s converged with what Kathleen Blake Yancey has called the second generation of reflection, focused on classroom practices of reflection (particularly the portfolio and assessment). In my first semester teaching freshman composition in 1990, I was lucky to sit in on a colleague using ←xiii | xiv→portfolios, and I have used them in my composition classes ever since. Like most of us using portfolios at that time and since, I was enormously influenced by Yancey’s work, especially her Reflection in the Writing Classroom. But something about the way Yancey framed reflection didn’t jibe with the reflection in the middle I saw in Kemp’s writing cycle and in my own classroom practice following Kemp’s dialogic pedagogy. Rather than reflection upon finished drafts, my interest focused on reflection upon unfinished drafts. Rather than reflection on process, I zeroed in on reflection in process. Similarly, I was not interested as much in reflection as a tool for teacher evaluation so much as reflection as a tool for writers’ own self-evaluation.

This work, thus, fits within what Yancey has called the third generation of scholarship on reflection in writing studies (“Introduction: Contextualizing” 9). The focus on reflection in process upon unfinished work and reflection for self-assessment are not new to writing studies, but this text extends our conceptual and pedagogical understanding of these practices. It opens the black box of reflection between drafts by generating a theory to describe and explain what happens for students as they reflect between drafts so it is no longer a mystery. This text also represents a third generation work because it reintroduces scholarship of the first generation of scholars on reflection whose emphasis was on cognition. This scholarship includes the work on reflection by Linda Flower (and others collaborating with her) that culminated in The Construction of Negotiated Meaning: A Social Cognitive Theory of Writing; important research on reflection from Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia; and other research on reflection and learning from Jack Mezirow, David Kolb, Patricia King and Karen Kitchener, Jennifer Moon and David Boud. I believe both the theory introduced in this book and the scholarship on reflection re-examined have much to offer our understanding and practice of reflection in the writing classroom.

Works Cited

Flower, Linda. The Construction of Negotiated Meaning: A Social Cognitive Theory of Writing, Southern Illinois UP, 1994.

Irvin, L. Lennie. “Reflection in the Electronic Writing Classroom.” Computers and Composition Online. Spring 2004, www.cconlinejournal.org/irvin/Introduction.htm. Accessed 18 May 2020.


XVIII, 184
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (September)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XVIII, 184 pp., 28 b/w ill., 10 tables.

Biographical notes

L. Lennie Irvin (Author)

L. Lennie Irvin has a Ph.D. in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University. He has taught community college English since 1989 and currently teaches at San Antonio College. He has published articles in TETYC, Composition Forum, and the Writing Lab Newsletter.


Title: Reflection Between the Drafts
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