Reflection on College Writing FAQ

The Reflection on College Writing is an exercise that incoming first-year students complete to decide which English course to take in their first year. Except for students whose exam scores or prior course work have already earned them credit for the first writing requirement, first time freshman students will enroll in either English 1A, a one-semester course, or English 1AF and English 1AS, a course sequence that stretches English 1A over two semesters. 

The Reflection on College Writing is delivered in Canvas, SJSU’s online learning management system. Through these modules students experience a college reading and writing assignment, learn about SJSU's college-level composition course options, and select an English course that will best meet their language and writing development needs. 

This overviewexplains the courses we offer in First Year Writing. It is a good place to start exploring your role as a reader and writer in the SJSU learning community: 

You will not be enrolled in a Canvas Reflection course until we have your EPT test score.   Test early! 


Q:  Who completes the Canvas Reflection on College Writing?

A:  All entering freshmen who need to enroll in an entry-level writing course (GE Area A2) must complete the Reflection on College Writing before they may enroll in one of our two entry-level writing courses.

Students complete this work independently through our online learning management system, Canvas. Once you are enrolled at SJSU and have an SJSU Student ID number, we enroll you in the Reflection on College Writing course that you need. You receive an invitation through Canvas. Please accept the invitation and get started on the work immediately. The sooner you score all 12 points, the sooner your prerequisite can be cleared so that you may register for your class!

Complete 12 points in Canvas Reflection by the dates indicated in the Table of Reflection Deadlines. (Deadlines for Summer 2018 TBA.)

Q: Do I need to do the Reflection on College Writing if I have already satisfied English 1A?

A:  If you have already satisfied English 1A (GE Area A2), you will not complete the Reflection in Canvas. Depending on your exam scores or courses taken elsewhere, you might need to take a second semester composition requirement at SJSU. Click here for information on how to choose the course that is right for you. 

Q:  When can I begin the Canvas Reflection?

A:  For Spring 2018 enrollees, The Reflection on College Writing course opens on December 28.

For Fall 2018 enrollees: Check back for the Summer 2018 Reflection on College Writing dates after April 15, 2018.

Q:  How do I complete the Reflection in Canvas?

A:  There are 12 points to be earned in the Reflection exercises. Ten of these points you earn as you complete the auto-scored, open-book quiz (Survey on the FAQs). You need to score all ten points on this quiz. So refer to the FAQs as you take the quiz.

There are two points you need to earn in module 5: you will assemble your writing from the Reflection on College Writing into an ePortfolio. This portfolio will be available to your first year writing instructor before classes begin.

To ensure that this work is accessible to your instructor, we manually check your submission before awarding the point for this assignment. You need to check back after turning in your ePortfolio to make sure that your submission has been verified and scored.

You earn the final point automatically upon completing the last survey: a consent survey for participation in the SJSU Archive of Student Writing.

Q:  How do I know how many points I have earned in the Reflection on College Writing?

A:  You can check your grade report in a Canvas course by clicking "Grades" in the course menu. If you see 12 points in the Reflection grade report, you are good to go!

Q:  Do I have to complete all five Reflection on College Writing assignments at one time?

A:  No. You can complete the assignments at your own pace over a series of days – or in one day if you wish. You'll want to take some breaks between modules. Just be sure to have your work completed and scored by the deadline so that you can register.

Q:  How long does it take to complete the Canvas Reflection on College Writing?

A:  The reading and writing assignments and the self-reflection quizzes can be done in three hours. We recommend you work at a comfortable pace to accurately gauge the time required to succeed in a college writing course.

Q:  What is the cost of Reflection on College Writing?

A:  The Canvas Reflection course is free of charge.

Q:  Can I come to campus to complete the Reflection on College Writing?

A:  Students who need access to a computer can come to campus to complete the Reflection assignments in Canvas. Please contact Student Computing Services located on the 4th floor of the King Library to arrange for access to a computer. Bring your SJSU ID number and a photo ID with you. Computers are available on a first come, first served basis.  

Q:  How are Frosh Orientation and the Reflection on College Writing related?

A:  The Reflection on College Writing is a prerequisite for enrolling in English 1A and English 1AF. So you have to have the prerequisite cleared in our computer system before you can register for your writing course.

In summer, registration takes place during Frosh Orientation. That is why the Table of Deadlines is set up to correspond with your Summer Frosh Orientation date.

All students must complete the Reflection by the date indicated in the Table of Reflection Deadlines to ensure that you will be cleared of the prerequisite in the system.

Q:  What happens if I don't complete the Reflection before Orientation?

A:  The Reflection on College Writing is the prerequisite for both English 1A and English 1AF. If you are an entering freshman who needs to complete English 1A, you must have the prerequisite entered into our computer system before you can enroll. That is why we ask you to be sure you have scored the 12 points before your scheduled Frosh Orientation session.

Students who don't complete the Reflection will not have satisfied the prerequisite and will be barred from enrolling for a first-year writing class at Orientation. The computer just won't let you do it.

If you miss enrolling in the course at Orientation, you run the risk of having more limited choices once you do complete the modules. If you delay satisfying the prerequisite beyond the final deadline, you will have to enroll on the first day of classes when seats, and choices, will be very limited.

Questions about the Reflection on College Writing exercises in the Canvas course? Please email us at

Orientation questions can be addressed to: