Assessment of Reaction Papers
Students are allowed a wide range of variability when writing reaction papers when it comes to style and format. Each of the reaction papers should be relevant to a particular session (and dated so). Students may react to the lecture, the tutorial discussions, any aspect of the literature, or the topic of the session.
I grade along five parameters:
Critical – this refers to the use and understanding of the literature in light of other authors and theories
Clarity/Structure – this refers to layout (name, student ID#, program, date, page #s, etc.) and to the clarity of the narrative/argumentation
Referencing – use of extraneous material is encouraged. The required texts do not need to be referenced for the reaction papers. Other sources may be referenced in-text, foot-noted or end-noted with a list of references at the end
Reflectivity – I encourage students to use their personal cultural, national, religious and educational backgrounds to comment on the material and topics at hand
Creativity – there is no strict format for the reaction papers. I have accepted poems, political cartoons and maps, as well as the typical mini-essay. Yet even these formats must be relevant (and clearly so) to a particular session. And it is not to repeat the artistic but to diversify style. Creativity in the mini-essay style is reflected in the tone, narrative and discourse.