Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Dylan B. Dryer

Second Committee Member

Pat Burnes

Third Committee Member

Charlsye Smith Diaz

Additional Committee Members

Ryan Dippre


While the importance of reflection in First-Year Composition classrooms is not disputed, research on and pedagogy involving reflection remains tied to the process movement in Writing Studies. This thesis argues that, in order to better understand reflection and to trouble its place as an afterthought in process models of invention, writing researchers and instructors need to understand reflection as a genre and not just a process. To that end, this thesis explores six novice instructors’ constructs of reflection, how these constructs are enacted in their classrooms through texts and talk, and how students seem to take up these constructs in their own texts and talk. Through classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, an analysis of instructors’ assignment prompts and students’ reflective portfolio texts, I develop a profile of each instructor’s construct of reflection and trace this construct’s uptake in students’ texts and classroom talk. Findings indicate that instructors implicitly associate reflection with other genres, including narration, persuasion, and evaluation, in part due to the institutional persistence that conditions readers’ and writers’ uptakes of academic genres. Thus, this thesis offers recommendations for disrupting individuals’ habituated uptakes of reflection as a way of lessening the effects of institutional persistence.