Observation Papers are short papers that relate to the week’s topic/concepts. OPs are not a summary of the readings. They should go beyond a simply summary. They should reflect your observations of the course material. The observations could be based on your own personal experiences or those of your friends, or it could be based on something you heard about in the news or something you read about in another class, or in the popular press. Your observations could be used to illustrate points in the weekly readings, or they could critique or extend the arguments given in the readings. Alternatively, you could relate to the week’s topic or assigned readings in other ways. I am relatively open regarding the manner in which an OP connects to the topic, as long as you take course material and tie it to your observations outside our classroom.
There is no need for the OP to address all aspects of all the readings–focus on whatever interests you. The goal of the paper is to motivate you to think about the week’s topic and thus deepen your understanding of it, and depth is more important than breadth. In other words, pick one small aspect of the readings for the week and explore it outside of the classroom. Do not try to pick an entire chapter, as this is too broad to cover effectively in two pages.
OPs are limited to two standard pages (not including references). If you refer to your personal experiences, please use pseudonyms when discussing them, irrespective of whether what you say is positive or negative
- All work must be typed and double-spaced with one inch margins and in a 12 point readable font (e.g. Times New Roman or Calibri).
- All sources should be properly cited and referenced in APA format.
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