Reflection Papers

It’s one thing to sit alone in a room and write an essay that one other person (namely, me) will read. It’s another thing entirely to write for a broader audience and know that other people — from diverse backgrounds and different perspectives — will be reading your material and offering feedback. Sometimes they’ll be supportive and agree with what you say; sometimes they won’t.

That’s actually a good thing. Why? Because more than anything else, your writing, which captures your thoughts, values, and beliefs, will be the catalyst to a broader dialogue. You’ll get to start a conversation. You’ll also get to participate in other conversations and add your voice to the debates that other people start. Fundamentally, then, you’ll get to influence and be influenced by others.

To put this into practice, students will write two reflection papers — one at the beginning of the term, one at the end — and reflect on their understanding of violence. The first paper will establish a baseline for what you know or would like to know about the topic and may either be analytical or more speculative in nature. The second paper will conclude the term and relate how your understanding of violence has developed or changed over the course. Your grade for each will reflect the quality of analytical thought and written expression.

Both papers should be approximately 750 words in length and published online in this publication. The first is due by midnight on January 21st and the second is due by midnight on March 31st. Reflection papers must be listed as public and open for commentary by the Medium community. As part of your participation grade for this course, you’re also responsible for reading and commenting on no less than six other papers. This means, of course, that your paper will also likely be subject to the review and feedback of your peers.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what you write, what debates get started, and how ideas develop throughout the course.


Fine Print

Students are expected to make every effort to hand in their work on time, so assignments received later than the due date will be penalized 5% per day, including weekends. In those rare instances where circumstances beyond the student’s control have prevented an assignment from being submitted on time, exceptions to the lateness penalty may be granted. Such situations will require supporting documentation and be at the sole discretion of the professor.

Relative to grades, numeric marks will be assigned in conformance with Lakehead’s standard grading structure. For a rough breakdown of the expectations associated with each letter grade, please consult the ‘Literature & Theory’ section of this reference.

All students are expected to familiarize themselves with the following information concerning student behaviour and disciplinary procedures. Pay specific attention to the guidelines and restrictions surrounding plagiarism; it will not be tolerated.

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