ReflectionWritten feedback is an essential instructional communication method between faculty anddoctoral students. As a doctoral learner, I view it as a fundamental source of input for myacademic writing and an effective toolin improving confidence in my writing abilities. Applyingand using the written feedback received on my synthesis paper has enabled me to reflect on mywriting with the goal of enhancing my paper to an acceptable standard. The higher-order, moresignificant concerns about my paper focused on my abilityto synthesize information from thearticles to build a larger point and addressed how well (or not) the sources were woven into eachother to create a main idea. Unfortunately, the particular skill set required for this kind ofsynthesis was not explicitly taught to me as an undergraduate and graduate student, and so I nowface challenges in this type of academic writing practice. Although at the most basic level,synthesis refers to combining information from multiple sources, synthesis writing is moredifficult than might, at first appear because this combining must be written in a meaningful way,and the final product must be thesis-driven. The lower-order concerns focused on conforming mypaper to the APA style, citations, and sentence and word level concerns. Some feedback waspositive which indicated that parts of my work matched the criteria for good work done. Otherfeedback comments alerted me of my strength and weaknesses in the academic writing involvedin this paper.Since I am entering the scholarly conversation in my field of study, I need to show that Iunderstand and can integrate the substantive feedback suggestions which will help in stimulatingcritical thinking in me to ensure the development of critical ideas for revising my paper. It is easyto be daunted by the task of revising my work but I realize that concise work is mostly a result ofediting, and editing again.2
Establishing Scholarly IdentityMezirow’s theory of ‘transformative learning’ defined identity as a shift in frame ofreference and it occurs when an individual’s perspective profoundly changes (cited in Coffman etal., 2016, p. 32). This ‘frame of reference’ is made up of assumptions and expectations that framean individual’s tacit points of view and influence their thinking, beliefs, and actions (Taylor,2008, p. 5). The literature on transformative learning provides useful information that sheds lighton developing the doctoral student. Transformative learning is part of a doctoral student’sidentity construction processand focuses of the student’s ability to reflect and make newmeaning of experiences and environments.