Reading Reflections (RRs): These are 1-2 page responses (no more than 2 pages) to questions concerning topics from the previous week’s readings and lectures. They offer a chance to clarify your knowledge, understanding and feelings on a theme or topic. The following guidelines aim to help you structure your paper to express your ideas clearly and succinctly. Be prepared to discuss your thoughts in section.
- Responses: Before RRs are due, three questions will be posted in the “RR” folder on bCourses. Respond to only one of the three questions, observing the following guidelines:
- The reflections should be written in the form of a response to an essay prompt, including:
- A thesis statement (1 sentence) in the first (typically brief) paragraph responding clearly to the question asked (e.g., “In this essay I argue that…”)
- A summary of the key points of your argument supporting your thesis (1-2 sentences directly following your thesis statement, and typically at the end of the first paragraph [e.g., “To support my argument, I consider points A, B and C.”])
- A well-reasoned argument (typically 2 paragraphs after the thesis statement paragraph)
- Topic sentences describing paragraph contents and reflecting key point in your argument
- Sentences containing relevant information and analysis supporting your thesis
- A conclusion sentence at the end of the final paragraph that expands on your thesis
Respond to the question based primarily on readings and lectures. There is no need to draw from outside material, though you may do so if you wish.
- Write succinctly and clearly, editing out all unnecessary verbiage.
- Use proper grammar and pay attention to writing style.
- Summarize and/or use examples to support your thesis.
- Demonstrate a close reading of the material and refer to specifics of authors’ arguments.
- Paraphrase rather than using quotes, unless you want to highlight and/or analyze something specifically related to how an author says what you choose to quote.
Your personal opinions and feelings about the material are important, and you are strongly encouraged, but not required, to express these in the assignment. For instance, you may:
- Relate issues and themes to contemporary social, environmental or political topics
- Explore your feelings about the issues raised in terms of personal experiences
- Comment on the ethical implications of the issues addressed by the question
Form: One to two pages total writing.
- 1″ margins
- 12-point font
- Use parenthetic references for all citations of quotes and ideas drawn from readings, with page numbers in MLA format [e.g., (du Buys 1998, 23)]. Do not include a bibliography. See the Reading, Writing and Reference folder in bCourses for an MLA form guide.