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Metacognition is a typical learning outcome in composition courses, but providing feedback on low-stakes reflective writing and assessing high-stakes reflective writing are complex tasks that warrant more attention in the literature. Consequently, this article explores how the assignment of and response to low-stakes reflective writing can provide effective scaffolding to higher-stakes reflective writing tasks. We present a case study of one instructor’s experience with responding to her first-year composition student’s low-stakes reflective writing and examine the student’s development of metacognitive skills throughout the course. Ultimately, we call for more research on responding to reflective writing that will ensure the valid and reliable assessment of metacognition in composition courses.
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