Law Question | Excelling Homework
you will write a min. two-page (min. 500 words) critical reflection on one or more of the
texts we have covered in the preceding two weeks. Reflections are first-person, meditative,
and questioning, but also analytical and scholarly in their engagement with the readings.
This means that while you should be thorough in your exploration of ideas and quote
liberally from the book/s to demonstrate what you mean, you can also leave these
explorations open-ended and uncertain. Consider reflection papers as areas for free
thinking and posing of questions that you haven’t yet conclusively answered. Reflection
papers can be developed into any of your major assignments. Think of them as a practice
space; somewhere to hash out ideas.
Do not treat reflection papers as an afterthought or something to rush right before class.
Treat reflection papers as you would a much longer paper: plan out what you want to say,
carefully select quotes that best demonstrate your points, and proof/edit your work. In fact,
much of this planning will be initiated in the form of class assignments and discussion, so
keep this in mind when we go over the texts in class. These essays are short and meditative,
but they are also worth a considerable amount of points. In addition, each reflection is
scored out of 3, so it is quite easy to get a low grade if you do not fulfill the requirements. In
some ways, shorter essays are a more difficult task than longer essays as they require
complexity in a very short space. Treat them seriously as a way to hone your skills in
Reflection papers are a minimum of two pages and a maximum of four pages,
double-spaced. Sometimes, students get so into a particular reflection paper, they want to
write more. If you find yourself in this predicament, please feel free to write more, just
make sure you are still paying attention to structure, analysis, and supporting evidence, and
not simply rambling.
3 points = engagement with the text throughout, frequent and carefully chosen quoted
evidence when necessary to show what you mean/demonstrate your point, engaged
analysis, thoughtful ideas, consistent and organic use of first-person/reference to self and
reactions to the text, self-reflection and questions rooted in the text, very few technical
errors, a minimum of two pages.
Your reflection papers should function as cohesive mini-essays. With this in mind, you are
expected to provide certain details in addition to your own thinking. If you find yourself
writing a second reflection paper about a text you already wrote about previously, you need
not repeat details covered in the previous paper. You can simply jump into the material
assuming we read your last reflection.
With all this in mind, your reflection papers should include some of the following criteria,
with the caveat that you need not answer every single question. Likewise, some of these
questions might be irrelevant to the text under discussion. Understand the following
criteria as flexible. They are designed to help you produce good work, rather than hem you
into a rigid set of requirements. You might even focus on one of the criteria in a sustained
fashion for the whole reflection. See the sample reflections for how previous students have
successfully navigated the assignment.
● What is the crime?
● Who is the criminal?
● Who is the victim?
● Who is the author? (have they written anything else? are they known for a particular
genre? what is their background? what is their relationship to the book’s subject
● When was this written? (what was the political climate at that time? what forms of
popular culture were popular at that time? what was going on that might be relevant
to the content of this book?)
● When did the crime take place?