It’s not a English assignment, its American Sign Language.
Help me study for my English class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.
This reflection paper is based on your understanding of The Deaf Community in America: History in the Making by Nomeland & Nomeland. Journals are due before 11:59pm on the due date, and should be submitted by uploading your paper to BlackBoard in .doc or .docx format (if you are not confident that your paper was successfully submitted, you may also submit your paper via email).
Reflection papers are designed to formally consider what they have been learning and to organize it through writing. The following will help you understand the assignment:
- Do not simply outline or summarize the material we have covered. I want to know what the material means to you.
- Papers should be at least 1.5 full pages – maximum 3 pages.
- Use MLA format (Times New Roman size 12 font, double-spaced, 1″ margins with your name/class/date/university in the upper-left corner single-spaced).
- Writing should use formal language and correct spelling and grammar. Proof-read your paper. Mistakes in grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation result in a paper that is difficult to read and understand. These deficiencies in clarity result in lower grades. At a university level, the confusion of they’re, their, and there is unacceptable, as are other clumsy typos. Do yourself a favor, and read over your paper before asking me to do so.
- Topics reflected upon may include any information covered in the assigned reading. You are encouraged to select 2-3 topics and examine them deeply. A common mistake is an attempt to try and write about the entire reading. This just can’t be done effectively in the space of this short assignment.
- Don’t use space in your paper telling me what is in the book; you can assume I have read it. While starting off your paper with a brief description of the chapter or the points/arguments made in the chapter is often an easy-route out of writer’s block, try not to take it. Instead, begin right away with your argument, critique, or analysis.
- Ask questions. One of the more effective ways of getting at a more analytical level of writing is by asking questions about the assigned reading. Some of these might include:
- What did you find interesting?
- What new things have you learned?
- How has your learning affected preconceptions or misconceptions you brought with you into class?
- Why was s/he arguing what s/he was arguing?
- Do you agree with the author? Why or why not?
- How might the author respond to your comments? Why?
- What were some of the common themes/issues?
- How would you respond to these?
- How does your learning affect your view of the world?
- How does the information in the reading apply to your life?
- Will what you have learned change your behavior in the future?
- Answer questions. Either those posed by you or those posed by the author. Sometimes choosing a question asked by the author is the best way to critically engage with the reading in a reflection paper, rather than falling into the “summary” trap.
- Guide your reader. By including a brief statement outlining where your paper will go, and an equally brief conclusion summarizing what you feel your paper has said, you help me to gain a better (and quicker) understanding of the direction of your argument and your intentions (which can often count for as much as your finished product). Without these guides, it is often difficult to figure out what you were trying to say – or more importantly – whether you had thought about it at all.
Ultimately writing these papers encourages you to find what is meaningful to you and thus it adds value to your learning.