Your informal reflections for Module 1 should be 2–4 pages, double spaced in 12-
Your informal reflections for Module 1 should be 2–4 pages, double spaced in 12-point font. This is a chance to offer observations, opinions on the reading, to play with some ideas you might have for a paper or an interpretation of the text. This does not have to be a formal essay, but there should include some reflection—in other words, not simply a summary of what you have read. You can reflect more deeply on one of the readings, or may choose to comment upon several of them. One suggestion would be for you to reflect on how things have evolved in Western Culture or have failed to change sufficiently—for this you could use any number of the readings. You might also reflect on some cultural aspects, whether it has to do with class, gender, the issue of masters and servants, culinary culture, or some other aspect of the social world. How were your assumptions or beliefs changed or challenged by the readings? What did you learn that you did not know prior? What surprised you the most?
Comments on style may be best focused on the structure of the stories or poems (particularly those read in translation). It is also fair game to look at the translation used in the Norton compared to a different translation (easily found for Kafka, Voltaire, Leopardi, Dostoevsky). You can highlight your own reaction to some of the elements of the text, or engage in an exercise where you develop a thesis on author intentions, characterizations, etc.
Your format may be outline, bullet points, paragraphs, journal entries, etc., so long as your instructor can assess that you have been actively engaged in the reading process. The exercise is designed to give you a little practice writing and reflecting on the literature before you tackle the more formal first analysis essay, so please submit this as your first piece of writing. If you find the exercise extremely valuable and have more pages, edit and submit your best four pages only. You may want to keep up the practice of making informal observations throughout the course, for your own use.