Critical Reflections

Assignment Overview


“Writing with Robots” moves between discussion of media (e.g. readings, videos, webpages) and applied activities. In order to help you synthesize work across these activities, as well as reflect on the larger themes raised throughout the semester, you will write longer-form, analytical posts in response to prompts. I will post ~10 prompts over the course of the semester, and students will respond based on their course contracts. Critical reflections are generally due 2 weeks after a prompt is posted, so you want to check for prompts on Canvas regularly.

Your critical reflections should aim for more substance and detail than your class prep posts, but they are not full-fledged academic essays. Think instead of smart, critical writing you might encounter online: a blog entry or a sharp opinion piece. Formally, that translates to 400-500 words, or 4-5 paragraphs. Your reflective posts should synthesize and bring readings into conversation, and should focus on developing an argument around a few core ideas. These posts should cite our media and discussions directly and include a (likely brief) works cited. You should not spend words summarizing readings or recounting discussions from class, but instead choosing details that help illustrate your own ideas.


This is a challenging and full class. To give you some flexibility, you may choose to forgo responding to reflective prompts a few times during the semester, in line with your chosen grading contract. I strongly recommend you not delay starting this work, but instead begin early and work steadily so that you can use this flexibility as the inevitable stresses of the semester emerge. It’s generally much easier, in other words, to respond to all the prompts early in the semester, so you can ignore the last ones, rather than putting yourself in a situation where you can only fulfill your contract by responding to every prompt remaining (or are having to write me requesting to submit late work).

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