You will complete a total of 4 response papers (200-300 words each) for the assigned readings. The goal for this assignment is to get you thinking with writing about about the readings, making connections between readings and class discussions, raising insights and questions that come out of your engagement with the material and the course. Each response should articulate a thoughtful, analytical engagement to the day’s assigned readings in a way that will be likely to spark a lively class conversation. Please note that you are responsible for all of the readings for each class meeting, but you may choose to focus on the aspects that are most resonant with you for the response.
Prior to the corresponding class meeting, you should post your response to D2L and share the document in our folder on drive. As well, you should have a copy of your response on hand for the class meeting (print or digital is fine).
Please note that in addition to writing and submitting your response in advance, you should also expect to act as a “point person” for some portion of the discussion; you may be asked to read your paper aloud, summarize your points for the class, or respond to questions raised by your paper.
Each response paper will be graded on a scale of P/F based on demonstration of thoughtfulness and engagement with the reading material. Combined, the responses will be worth 4% of your overall course grade. Your first presentation counts as one of the required response papers; for that week, submit a url to the presentation as your response paper.
Each of the weeks with reading assignments (weeks 2-5) you become part of team Monday or team Wednesday, meaning you will write a response to the assigned reading for that day. Your presentation, regardless of day of the week, counts as that week’s response.
Tips and Suggestions:
When writing your paper, try to offer your classmates a thoughtful, nuanced response to the readings. Explore a question, take an argumentative position, or present an insight that feels important to you and that might be likely to promote an engaging discussion. Don’t simply summarize the reading; instead, offer your perspective on it in a creative way. You might examine something in the readings that surprised or provoked you (and explain why); pose (and try to answer) an urgent question that speaks to a central tension or dilemma in the readings; and/or use specific quotations from the text to anchor your discussion.
Keep in mind that although you are free to write on whatever topic/item you choose (so long as your paper focuses on some aspect of the given day’s readings), your paper should not take the form of a loose collection of random, scattershot, or generic observations. Try to write with a purpose, and craft sentences that help you achieve that purpose. Keep in mind, too, that in addition to being evaluated on the depth and complexity of your ideas (i.e., how thoughtfully you respond to the readings), your paper will be graded on the clarity, polish, and expressiveness of your writing. Try to give us your take on the readings in a way that’s distinctive, memorable, even creative—and, most of all, that you think could help generate discussion.