||Since September 1997, first-year undergraduate students studying at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have had to take a two-semester English course. In the first semester, one of the course aims is to teach effective academic writing skills. Students are required to write essays which present sound arguments, supported by reference materials. Most students, however, find it extremely hard to grasp the concept of, and practise, academic writing in one semester. The author reports on a case study that involved reflective experiences within classroom interaction, and ways to foster students' reflection so as to enhance their motivation to learn, and to improve their academic writing ability. The research was also conducted for the teacher to understand the students' difficulties, and their processes of learning. The author acted as both the teacher and a teacher-researcher, and the data include classroom observations, field notes, teaching journals, students' e-mails and interview notes.