Monthly Archives: January 2014

Self & Society Spring 2014 Reading responses

Weekly blog reading response:

The weekly reading blog is meant to be a critical response to the readings; each week, you have the chance to reflect on, synthesize, work through, question, and respond to the assigned readings. The response is then posted to the class blog here.


Use this space to consider the readings, within the frame of the class and its topics. Feel free to use the space to ask questions, respond directly to others, agree or disagree with the readings, or make connections among readings or between readings and outside artifacts. Responses should be in the 400-word range, though this may vary depending on the readings and the depth of your response to them; quality is always more important than length, but really short responses just don’t have enough depth to be good. You should also consider incorporating images, articles, videos, links, gifs, or other artifacts that reflect your understanding of the issues and make the blog more reader-friendly (and more fun to write).


You do not need to approach these as research papers, but anything you quote should be fully cited, be sure to get authors’ names correct. It is not necessary to provide a summary, but it is important to be as specific as possible when responding to the readings; if you only address one reading, if it’s clear that you did not read them all, if you are addressing the topic but not the readings themselves, if I can’t tell which reading you are referencing – these all indicate issues with the work on multiple levels, and are graded accordingly.


There are 12 weeks of readings and posts in the semester, and your best 9 responses will comprise your blog grade at the end of the semester – 25% of your final grade. You are graded on: 

  • depth & detail of reading
  • quality of analysis & critical perspective
  • understanding, ideas, and connections with other material
  • writing mechanics
  • improvement/evolution through the semester.


These responses provide the jumping off point for discussion each week; in order to discuss the readings in class Tuesday, your blog posts should be posted to the class blog by Monday at 2pm (the day before in-person class). Of course, they can be posted earlier than this. Responses posted late will be graded down one grade; responses posted after class time will not be read or graded. Only responses posted to the class blog are graded.



Go to; if you are not logged in, click “log in” (bottom right menu bar). Once you are logged in, hover on the top left “Self and Society” title, and click on Dashboard. Once in the Dashboard, you want to go to Posts > Add New. This will bring up the screen to type or paste your post. Click on the category for the week’s topic (it matches the week title on the syllabus and on the menu to the left). When you are done, hit “publish.”

Some notes:

  • be sure to title your post, and that you are logged in with the username associated with the class
  • click on the category title for that week of readings; it makes it easier to archive and track
  • add pictures, video, links, gifs, and tags to your posts whenever appropriate. It’s good for making connections and relating the material beyond the class, but let’s be honest – it’s also way more fun for you to write, and for me to read
  • if you are so inclined, you can comment on others’ posts, respond to them, or ask questions of others


In-class reading presentations:

For one week during the semester, you and approximately 2 classmates will be in charge of presenting the readings, the themes of the week, and the relevant discussion questions. You will sign up for one week during class, and for that week, you will NOT be responsible for a blog. Instead, you will prepare a brief presentation to highlight main points from the readings, tie them together, link them to the class, and introduce discussion questions to the class. You can divide up the readings between presenters, or work together as a group, but the final presentation should be no longer than 10-15 minutes. Grading is individual, and is largely done on the same criteria as the written responses: Depth & detail of reading, quality of analysis & critical perspective, and understanding and ideas of the readings; in addition, ability to facilitate and promote discussion are factors in the presentation. For the week you are presenting, you and your group should also familiarize yourself with the blog responses of your peers, and draw connections, comments, and perspectives from there. Your reading presentation is worth 5% of your final grade.