Step 1: Capture your topic. Take a moment to think about what you identify as one of the most meaningful, relevant lesson presented in the course readings or supporting materials, for Weeks 1 and 2.
Select a 1-2 sentence direct quotation from the applicable learning resources that references, in a germane way, the issue, idea, or concept key to that lesson.
This quote will become the prompt for your Critical Reflection paper. That is, it will be a focal point of your paper, representing what you identify as an important takeaway that you hope others in class will consider as a deeply important truth or lesson of this class.
To support deep reflections on the topic, and the writing of the paper, the quotation should be relevant to a topic you can tie directly to your own (or others’) experiences, observations, and critical reasoning. It should also be something you are willing to think critically about and are willing to discuss through the writing of this paper.
Step 2: Write your reflection essay. Once you have identified the quotation prompt that will anchor your reflection, place it at the top of your paper, below the title.
Follow the quote by a line break, adding a line of space. On the next line begin the body of your paper (see Figure 1). In 300 to 400 words (in meaningful, well-organised paragraphs) defend your belief that there is an important truth or lesson, relevant to this course, to be gleaned from this quotation.
Essentially, your job is to clarify what the lesson to be learned is and to then strongly (and thoughtfully) defend why you think the lesson is vital.
To help you think about your topic and to write a well-organised essay, consider (and answer) these questions:
What truth or lesson is being communicated by this quote?
Why is this truth or lesson so important?
How do your, or others, experiences and observations relate to and support this truth or lesson?
In what ways does this lesson make logical sense to you?
In what ways does this lesson make emotional sense to you?
How might this lesson be relevant to your, or others’, life and career?
Why do some fail to live as if this truth or lesson were important?
Why might some suggest this truth or lesson is not important?
How would you defend the truth of this lesson from those who disagree and believe the lesson is not important?
What can we do (at an individual, community, or society) to make this truth or lesson better recognised or practised?
In the writing of your essay, present your answers to these questions in a sequence of well-developed paragraphs (not bullet points).
You are encouraged to be creative in your reflections. Your reflections may include, when pertinent, links to media, pictures, or other supporting resources.
Step 3: Write a Discussion Question that Would Prompt Further Dialog on the Topic. End your reflection essay with a line space and then post a single, relevant, provocative, open-ended question that you believe would prompt further debate and reflection by readers on the topic addressed in your essay. (See Figure 2.)
Step 4: Give Your Reflection a Title. Be sure to give your paper a relevant, catchy but professional title. The title should be something creative that sparks other learners to want to read your reflection. Your title should be like a creative, but good headline. The title should be placed at the top of Page 1 of the document.
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