What does it mean to “respond” or “reflect”?
So, you’re bound to get assignments from professors asking you to “respond to” or “reflect on” a text or event. But, what does that really mean? They’re some of those vague, academic-sounding terms that don’t really describe a specific course of action.
Here’s what I expect from a response or reflection: writing about what interests, confuses, perplexes, or even annoys you about a reading. Write about your thoughts, your culture, your race, your gender, or something the reading reminds you of. Responding is different than reacting. Reaction involves little or no choice. A response to a situation or reading involves a conscious decision to write about something instead of something else. Everyone will take away different messages or details from reading the exact same text.
I don’t want you to use words like “good,” “bad,” “dumb,” “pointless” or other such vague and non-descriptive language. I want you to respond in a way that helps me to see things from your perspective. No blanket claims to “common sense” because we don’t all share the same world view.