The essay is positioned to investigate your understanding of the material you have researched and studied throughout the term.

The essay is positioned to investigate your understanding of the material you have researched and studied throughout the term. As instructed in your introduction to this class, the goal is to push you

The essay is positioned to investigate your understanding of the material you have researched and studied throughout the term. As instructed in your introduction to this class, the goal is to push you to think about ideas in the text and to read with the intention of understanding, evaluating, and using the ideas presented.

Reading this passage passively, with the intention to learn what is written, would allow you to answer some types of questions about it. For example, if I asked you what the slithy toves did when it was brillig, you would be able to tell me that they gyred and gimbled. Where did they gyre and gimble? In the wabe. Note that it is possible to memorize this whole passage without understanding it; that is, without gaining the ability to answer questions such as: Why did the slithy toves gyre and gimble? What is the difference between gyring and a gimbling? What does mimsy mean?

In other words, to think is to question. Thus, you should generate many questions about the text while reading it thoughtfully. Your consistent application of critical thinking and note taking will bode well for you as you prepare your essay. For example, you might ask questions like:

  • What _____ is more convincing to me?
  • Do I agree/disagree with ____?
  • How is _____ related to my experiences/beliefs?
  • How could ____ be applied or useful in the “real world”?
  • What is the relationship between ____ and ____?
  • Does _____ predict how I would behave/feel/think?

After completing each chapter, read over your questions. When it comes time to write your essay, review your questions and select three questions that seem most interesting to you (and which you will be able to answer according to the questions below).

Spend time to find the ‘best fit’ between your questions and the themes provided.

You will elaborate on your questions in the form of an essay. Please familiarize yourself with the marking rubric provided below.  Following APA style and formatting, please use headers to clearly distinguish between each question.

  1. Questioning the material—disagreement or generalizability. Ask a question concerning whether you agree or disagree with a point the text authors have made or a question concerning how a specific finding discussed in the text might generalize to other people/situations/cultures, etc.
  2. Questioning the relationship between the material and your life. Ask a question concerning how an idea discussed in the text is related to your own experiences, feelings, thoughts, and/or behaviours.
  3. Questioning how the material could be applied to your everyday life. Ask a question concerning how you could use an idea discussed in the text to enhance/improve your everyday life.

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