A reflection essay should be roughly two pages (3-5 paragraphs) in length. It should be double-spaced in a standard font style and size. You can  upload the document in a pdf or docx format.

The prompt will be:

Take what you believe to be an important debate discussed in this section and present clearly and accurately both sides. Defend a position that you favor.

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect critically and with a depth of understanding on the material in the section. You are demonstrating your understanding of the material and your ability to make sense of different philosophical positions. Connect this information with your own beliefs and expectations, or to ideas and issues you encountered elsewhere.  Use it as an opportunity to expose and evaluate your own assumptions.


Strong essays are essays that

  • completely address the prompt.
  • define key terms.
  • provide citations when appropriate.
  • use examples. 
  • are directed to a naive audience.
  • are concise but informative and well written.

Weak essays are essays that

  • leave out relevant information.
  • include irrelevant information or that go off on tangents.
  • leave technical terms undefined.
  • just repeat statements from the notes or the readings.
  • include incomplete sentences or poorly constructed paragraphs.
  • have spelling or punctuation errors.

Plagiarism will result in 0 points for the essay. If you think you have closely paraphrased someone else’s writing or ideas, include a reference note, perhaps to the effect of “My comments here closely reflect the views of . . .” and include a reference.


 The Rubric

In the reflection essay at the end of each module I am looking to see

  • RefectionThe essay moves beyond straightforward summary and demonstrates personal reflection on the topic selected.
  • Breadth of UnderstandingShows a firm understanding of the implications of the argument(s) and position(s) discussed, as well as connections between different views. The topic is placed in a larger context.
  • Depth of UnderstandingEssay represents the relevant ideas, evidence, or conclusions accurately, fairly and eloquently. Demonstrates reasonable understanding of the material covered; makes meaningful reference to class readings and discussion; uses examples or otherwise applies class material.
  • Rational Support and Critical EvaluationThe essay shows appropriate attention to evidence, argument and reasoning. Different points of view are considered and taken seriously. Strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives are discussed critically.
  • PresentationThe essay is coherent, organized, and presents ideas in a mechanically and stylistic appropriate way. Appropriate conventions for citation and presentation are followed.

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