Post-seminar Reflections

What It Is

After each week’s seminar meeting, you will write reflections on the reading and discussion of that week. Consider this to be a continuation of in-class discussion. For example, you can write questions and comments you had in class but did not have a chance to speak. You can also write ideas, comments, or questions that have come up after the seminar. You can use reflections to brainstorm about your research project for this course. At minimum, you should write one or two thoughtful paragraphs.

In writing down your reflections, your goal should be to do some sustained thinking and to record your thoughts. Write down ideas that seem interesting to you at the moment, and do not worry about whether they will turn out to be any good.

You can write in any style and at whatever personal level you are comfortable with. For example, you can write as if you are writing an informal email to me (this was most common in the past). Or you can write as if you are keeping a personal journal. Either way, don’t worry too much about the quality of English writing: it’s fine to have occasional grammatical errors or some opaque sentences.


I will create a Word document on OneDrive and share it with you. The document will not be shared with anyone else in class.

You write your reflections in this document each week. You will accumulate your reflections in one document, so please clearly mark each new entry by writing, for example, “Week 1,” “Week 2,” etc at the beginning of an entry.

Don’t delete or revise old reflections. If you have further thoughts on a topic of a previous reflection, just write them down as part of a new reflection.

Your post-seminar reflections are due by 11:59pm on Wednesday after the week’s meeting. I will read late reflections too, but they will not count towards your grade.

How It Will Be Used

I will begin each class reviewing your reflections on the previous week’s reading and discussion. (This is why it’s important that I have your reflections in advance.) Given this purpose, please understand that your reflections will not be entirely private, although I will of course avoid referring to any material that is obviously intended to be private. Whenever possible, I will also leave comments in your Word document and encourage you to continue a conversation in the document.