THIS IS WHAT THE ASSIGNMENT ASKS FOR…. A GOOD PERSONAL RESPONSE: Thoughtful response to the readings include questions of all kinds. (I don’t understand X, because…., When the author says Y, what does she mean, because on page 38, she said…., in my church, we think of Idea X as THIS (explain), but in the past people thought of it as X, Can anyone explain more about where that change came from?). It can include an intellectual exploration of emotion — the ONE PLACE you’re going to get to to this in a history class, so make the most of it!!!!! There are things in the past that often engage modern people VERY strongly. Over all, the minute you start thinking “Why did they do that? They SHOULD HAVE DONE X INSTEAD,” you’re judging — you’re caught up in emotion. That’s a good thing to explore in a personal reaction post. “When I read about P, I reacted strongly, thinking they should have done X. I made myself stop and think about why I felt so strongly about that issue. For one thing, I realized that in my family / in my church, we believe that …… whereas in the late middle ages, people believed Y.” The trick to doing this kind of post WELL is to be sure to try to figure THEM out as well as to figure out why YOU felt the way you did — not just post about what you think now without figuing out WHY you think or feel that way, or why / how it is different, or why.how people in the past held different ideas. Yet another good reaction post would be to compare one reading to another — for example, what the reading said one week to what the author, or another author, said the next. They don’t always agree directly, and I want you to think about WHY — different places? Topics? People?Data? I have noticed that people often post summaries of the reading. “The author wrote x and Y.” THIS IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THIS SHORT ESSAY. The absolute most you will get for a response that is only a summary of the material is a C- — and possibly less. I want you to be THINKING about the material as you read. Making connections. Questioning. Putting ideas together. Reacting. This post is your chance to dig! Take it!
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