Dear Plato,

The benefits of reflective writing are no secret. Instructors ask students to reflect on the work they have done, to build new knowledge, to identify writing habits, and to move forward.
But, often, when tutoring or responding to a student’s work, the issue of being “stuck” comes up. A form of reflective writing can help untie those knots, too. I advise the writer to, you guessed it, write about it. Write a journal entry, or better yet, write a letter. Write to an imaginary friend, to yourself, to Aristotle or Pikachu, whomever, but write about it. Write, in your own words (let them be as heated as you want), what the problem is. It’s a form of free-writing; just keep writing until you move past the frustration and find yourself puzzling it out, having epiphanies, making discoveries, untying the knots, one by one.

“Dear Plato,
I have this assignment, and I have an outline, but am stuck when I get to ____ because _____. I don’t get _____, etc.”
Make sense?