Interpretive Reflection (IR)
Your Interpretive Reflection (called an IR) is a concise presentation of Your Two-Minute Insight on a text/theme/issue for the Intellectual Community and to think deeply on it. These tend to be short, 500, 700 or 1400-words only. (But length may prove to be a veil because putting these together demands much thought, rewriting and revision.) Some students have found this intellectual practice quite frustrating.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Since you are writing for the intellectual community that is already familiar with the text, do not restate or summarize the readings.
It’s not an op-ed or an expression of how you felt about the readings.
WHAT IT IS
Since it’s about deep thinking, with limited words at your disposal, write only after having fully developed your thoughts so you could state those as clearly and succinctly as possible.
Usually, ONE insight is already plenty. At most, only two insights can be accommodated.
Seek to speak from both within and without the text. (Ask the instructor to explain this distinction.) A good IR will be a deep engagement with an aspect of a text, or a theme connecting different texts, themes or/and issues. A good grasp of relevant texts and pertinent issues is therefore a prerequisite.
Be direct and get straight to your insight and present it in a compelling manner. Build your case and show not tell. Like most oratory (and writing), it is geared toward persuading an audience of your insight.
Answer to a FAQ: Yes, you can use first person pronoun. The question is what kind of “I” is speaking in the IR. An “I” that is unreflective, or/and does not engage readings or the audience misses the mark.
HOW TO CHOOSE A THEME:
Choose to reflect on aspects of readings that you find fascinating, intriguing, contentious, or simply unclear/confusing. You may ask: do I care? Is this idea worth my time and effort? Do I care about the topic/theme/text? Also, is the idea manageable within the word-limit prescribed for the assignment?
EVALUATING YOUR IR
ILLUMINE: Does the IR offer something different/new or merely summarize? Why should the intellectual community care about what you have to say?
SHOW/PERSUADE: Does it show (not just state) what it was meant to convey to your audience? Does it successfully convince or persuade your audience?
You are encouraged to engage and provide feedback on IRs written by others. You may also be asked to peer-grade these IRs.
Do mention the WORD COUNT in the end.