Directions for Weekly Blog Reflections

Students are expected to submit a total of seven weekly blog reflections on the course readings to our class site (one blog post per week and at least three submitted before October break). Blog reflections are due by 5 p.m. the day before we discuss the assigned readings in class.

Blog reflections should critically understand and deconstruct the arguments an author proposes as well as the way in which they do it.  A critical approach to reading assures that you understand the details of an argument as well as its assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses.  We hope that you use your weekly blog reflections to appreciate as well as to challenge the conclusions an author makes and why they matter.  Use the list of questions below to guide you as you read in order to highlight the key arguments and to raise new questions about the readings.

Lastly, we especially encourage each of you to use your blog reflections to connect our course readings with current events in the media, popular culture, or on Vassar’s campus.  When doing so, we ask that you properly cite any relevant websites along with your post so that we and your classmates can access the information you are writing about.

What is the object of study in this book (chapter)?
What is the key research question raised in this book (chapter)?
What is at stake in this question?  Why does it matter?
What conversation is this book (chapter) participating in?  Who is it answering?
What disciplinary context exerts the most influence on it?
What are the sources of evidence used to support the arguments in the book?
What is the generative and original contribution of this book (chapter)?
What new questions does the book (chapter) generate?
What questions does it leave unanswered?