Assignment Description:

This paper is designed to allow you to analyze both an intellectual understanding of the information in the module. More importantly I look for you to analyze what this class has meant to you on a personal level. In this sense, the paper is part intellectual and part self-reflective. This means you must write from the personal I perspective. I want you all to take time to understand the significance of what you have learned. I also hope you can find yourself adopting a new perspective of reinforcing a previous perspective. This assignment is also about feelings. I look for you to take a chance to explore your feelings—past and present and how do your feelings relate to what you learn.

* You are to choose one of the modules covered during the quarter and analyze the impact the information has had on you. Do not choose more than one module to write about, but you can select as essay from another module to include in your paper.

* You treat this as a research paper with you as the topic of research. This means there needs to be a working thesis either explicit or implicit.

* You are to go back over all the readings, notes and quizzes from one of the modules and select one or two related concepts and analyze what it is you have learned about the concepts and how these concepts affect your perceptions about you and/or society.

* I will be evaluating on both the intellectual understanding and the personal impact.

* I will look for definitions of the terms or concepts used in the paper taken from the readings. Do not provide definitions from sources outside of the readings unless there is no definition within the readings.

Page length Requirements:

*At least 5 pages in length, 12 font and double spaced. If you submit less than five complete pages, you will get graded down. My advice, shoot for six pages, and you should be fine

Sources:

* Must include quotes from more than one source in the module (readings, videos, and discussion forum).

* You must include quotes from the required readings in the module.

* You can include sources from other modules.

You can bring in outside sources, but be aware Wikipedia and Dictionary.com and sites like these are not considered credible sources. The additional sources must be from peer reviewed academic journals. You must provide a works cited page if you bring in outside sources.

* If you don’t bring in outside sources, then you don’t have to provide a works cited page. However, make sure you use quotation marks and cite the author or the essay for any quotes used in your paper.

The three basic ideas to address

I have broken down three keys ideas I look for in this paper. What has affected you, how has it affected you, and why is the affect significant. Some less skilled writers may want to use these as subheadings in your paper. Most students write about what impacted them but not the other two. Be careful about this.

What: What is/are the topic(s) in the module that affected you? I look for your intellectual understanding of what topic(s) affected you. I look for quotes from multiple sources and definitions of terms.

How: How have these topics affected you? I look for an analysis of the changes the topics have had on you or your beliefs. How have your ideas changed or how are you interacting with others differently.

Why: Why is the change significant? I look for an analysis of why this impact is significant in your life or in your ideas. I look for an analysis of why is the topic so meaningful in the changes you have gone through?

There are three basic ways to approach the personal:

Analyze how the information affects how you see yourself

Analyze how the information affects how you see society

Analyze how the information has allowed you to understand an experience you had

Opinion vs. Self-Refection

This is where many students have problems with this writing assignment. They feel stating their opinion is the same as self-reflection. It is not. Opinion is stating how you feel about the topic; self-reflection is about how the topic affects you or your ideas. While I do not want to discourage opinions, opinions are best said in the discussion forums. I look for how well you begin to analyze your ideas not necessarily how you express your opinions.

Additional Considerations:

Since most writing has an element of the subjective, I bring this into my grading. I have come to realize I reward those papers that tell a story that relates to the topic. This means I reward those papers that stray away from dividing the paper into two parts: intellectual and personal. I found those papers that blend the intellectual and personal into a single narrative generally receive a higher score. This type of paper usually begins the personal and then uses the sources to explain the significance of the experience and how the understanding of this significance impacts the writer’s perspective and subjectivity.

 

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