Reflection Paper Guidelines

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Suggestions and Guidelines for Writing Reflection Papers

Why do I have to write a reflection paper?

I have students submit weekly reflection papers for four reasons:

1. First and foremost, they are a way to make sure you keep up with the readings. I find that if students aren’t required to hand something in each week, they will simply not do the readings. The reflection papers kind of “force” you to make sure you keep up with your responsibilities in the class.

2. Reflection papers are a way for you to develop your own ideas and thoughts on topics we read about and discuss. It helps you build your critical thinking skills.

3. Writing on a weekly basis will help you improve your writing skills.

4. Reflection papers serve as a basis for class discussion on the day they are due – so I will know everyone has something to talk about because each person wrote about something!

What is a reflection paper?

The reflection papers you will be handing in to me are your chance to add your own thoughts and analysis to what you have read. I do NOT want you to summarize the readings - I already know what the content of the readings is. You don’t need to regurgitate it back at me. What you SHOULD do is use the readings as a “jumping off” point to write on your thoughts about the reading (see list of tips below).

Reflection papers are worth 15 points each and are used for discussion during the class they are due. As such, you need to have your reflection paper printed and in front of you on the day it is due. This is part of being prepared for class and your class participation grade will be lowered if you aren’t prepared to share your ideas with the class when a reflection paper is due. If you don’t have your paper in front of you in class on the day it is due, it will be considered late.

You should be writing your reflection paper on the reading you did from the last reflection paper on. If there are numerous...
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