Reflection Paper The goal of reflective writing is to realize personal growth. I
Reflection Paper The goal of reflective writing is to realize personal growth. In this assignment you will pursue this goal, interacting with and integrating the information introduced in the course and applying it to your existing experiences. The Reflection Paper supports the three learning outcomes for the course: Analyze the components of positive psychology that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, organizations, and environments. Use critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, research methodologies, and appropriate instruments to analyze scientific evidence to differentiate positive psychology from other psychological approaches. Evaluate positive psychology theories and theorists to determine appropriate and ethical applications and interventions within the individual as well as organizational and multicultural settings. Objective: Write a 4 to 5-page personal Reflection Paper that communicates how specific topics, theories, and research findings covered in the course 1) shape your understanding of positive psychology; and, 2) connect to your current knowledge, experiences, and areas of interest. Instructions Summary: The following guidance lists the key steps for the Reflection Paper. Review the topics we have covered in class, to include those covered during the week this assignment is due. Choose two to three* positive psychology topics, theories, or research studies covered within the applicable week’s content. Reflect and identify personal relevance of the selected subjects. Research using the UMGC Library. Write and submit for grading a well composed, 4 to 5-page APA style formatted Reflection Paper. *This is a minimum target, not a finite value. To maximize the benefits of this assignment, focus on a range of subjects that capture your attention. It is appropriate to discuss and integrate related topics. For example, in a discussion of “hope,” the inclusion of theory (e.g., Snyder, 2002), details extracted from course Learning Resources, and research findings pulled from peer-reviewed articles, can create topic depth. Incorporating relevant points that address linkages to the construct, optimism, can demonstrate breadth of understanding. The related points, when constructively used to compare, contrast, and synthesized your understanding of hope, builds out a thoughtfully elaborated presentation on the topic. Rubric: The following informs on the distribution of points assigned to each section of the paper. The Reflection Paper will be graded on the following areas: Reflection Paper Point Allocations (Please reference the rubric accompanying this assignment for in-depth scoring details.) Rubric for Reflection Paper CONTENT (8-points each) 1. All topics were discussed in clear detail. 2. Assertions supported. 3. Ideas were interrelated coherently and logically. ORGANIZATION (16 Points) 4. An introduction previews main points of reflection, body of paper develops and elaborates main ideas, conclusion summarizes main points. WRITING MECHANICS and STYLE (5 points each) 5. Paper grammatically sound (proper sentence structure) and free of mechanical errors (e.g., misspellings, typos, etc.). 6. Citations and references in proper APA style. Points to be Awarded Behaviors Demonstrated Exceptional paper contains no errors in this area Exceeds Expectations paper contains limited errors in this area; however, the overall presentation of the material is readable and appropriate Meets Expectations paper contains limited errors in this area; however, the overall presentation of the material is difficult to read Meets Some Expectations paper contains a number of errors in this area; however, the overall presentation is acceptable Minimal Expectations Met paper contains a number of errors in this area, and the overall presentation is difficult to read Not Achieved paper contains extensive errors in this area, which detracts from the overall presentation; or not addressed Requirements: The requirements for the Reflection Paper include: Submit a single document that reflects upon how specific topics, theories, and research findings covered in the course 1) shape your understanding of positive psychology; and, 2) connect to your current knowledge, experiences, and areas of interest. Within the document… Introduce. Concisely introduced the reader to clearly defined topics addressed in the paper. Anchor the paper through a well-constructed thesis statement. Have purpose. Dedicate discussion and analysis to two-three (minimum*) focal topics within the body of the paper. All topics are to be discussed in clear detail. Synthesize. Demonstrate synthesis of each topic with your current understanding of, or experiences with, the topic. Support assertions made. Connect. Identify personal opportunities for application (private, professional, public contexts). Express interrelated ideas coherently and logically. Include sources. Incorporate course sources and a minimum of two (2) peer-reviewed professional sources from our UMGC Library. Use Authorial Voice. Discuss materials in your own words and your own writing style and structure. Avoid excessive use of direct quotes. Doing so may incur a point penalty for each occurrence and will not be accepted as content towards the page count of the reflection paper. Apply APA Style**. Neatly and concisely present a 4 to 5-page APA formatted document containing Title Page Introduction Body (with heading levels applied when appropriate) Conclusions References Page Properly formatted in-text citations and references *Remember this is a minimum, not a restrictive, fixed target. See note under Instructions. **Use APA style headings and subheadings, double-spacing, an appropriate serif or sans serif font (e.g., Times Roman 12-point; Arial 11-point; Calibri 11-point), one-inch margins (left, right, top, and bottom), page numbering, and logical flow from topic to topic. Write with clarity, paying attention to spelling, grammar, and syntax. Consult the UMGC Citing and Writing Guide, for proper form of APA Style in-text citations and references. Steps: Preparing the Paper 1. Brainstorm. Break out paper and pencil and enjoy the exploratory process… Revisit the Topics: Review the topics and learning resources we have covered in class to date, to include the content for the week in which this assignment is due. As you review the topics and resources, think about your reactions to the theories, topics, and research findings covered. Write down the topics that elevate your curiosity or challenge prior perspectives. Take note of the lessons (to include specific readings, videos, or class discussions) that left you pondering or wishing to learn more. 2. Home in on Interests. Looking at the topics and resources you have identified in your brainstorming list. Take a moment to write down your thoughts about why each has captured your interest. You may find it useful at this stage to: Write down quotes that inspire or express thoughts. Summarize takeaways from readings or lessons in a few sentences. Write down thoughts or reactions to specific lessons, theories, or topics. Write down experiences that link to specific lessons, theories, or topics. These details will be important to building the personalized, reflective component of the paper that leads to insights and growth. 3. Making the Connections. It is now time to coordinate your notes in order to facilitate preparations to write the paper. The following table exemplifies one way to organize your notes. The questions shared are offered to inspire purposeful exploration of the subjects selected. They also facilitate critical thinking and analysis. Feel free to add your own questions and desired details for further development. This table is for personal use only. Do NOT include tabled notes as part of your final document. Topic/Theory/Research Personal Response / Thoughts How does this (topic, theory, research) challenge / affect me? Theologically, Emotionally, Culturally, Socially, Other… In what way does this (topic, theory, resource) capture my attention? How has this (topic, theory, research) supported or shifted my way of thinking? What evidence was presented that supported or changed my perspective? What preexisting and new questions do I have related to this (topic, theory, research)? How does this (topic, theory, research) contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, organizations, and environments? How does this (topic, theory, research) relate to appropriate and ethical applications and interventions of positive psychology? What connections does this (topic, theory, research) have with other areas of study? Or, how does this subject differentiate from other fields of study? What connections does this (topic, theory, research) have with my experiences / existing knowledge / interests? How can I use this information from the course? Research: Related empirical article that supports existing points or answers questions I have… Reference: Permalink: Article addresses… Page/paragraph where needed information is found: 4. Create an outline. Map out the paper, the sequence of topics to be discussed, and points you plan to make. 5. Write and submit for grading an APA formatted document. Writing Tips: Sections of the Paper (Section lengths are averages noted from past student submissions. They are not absolute targets. Develop your paper to meet your message and expressive needs, while meeting assignment requirements.) Introduction: (Approx. 1/2-2/3 page). Introduce the topics, theories, and/or research you are reflecting on. Briefly summarize the focus of the paper. Introduce the thesis statement, providing the road map for the body of the reflection paper. Operationally define relevant concepts in order to anchor how they will be employed throughout the document. Body of the paper: (Approx. 3-4 pages) In the body of your paper, dedicate discussion to each focal topic. Introduce each topic, providing enough background information for your reader to understand: 1) what the topic is about, and 2) the academic/empirical grounding of the topic. [The goal here is to leverage specific details from the course lessons in order to provide context for conclusions you present.] Concisely convey your ideas and opinions about the subject in question. [Hint: It is here that the answers to the sample “Making the Connections” questions are relevant.] You may find it constructive to discuss the focal topic by comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing a variety of course materials. You may also include additional peer-reviewed academic sources. Provide details on how you arrived at conclusions drawn, demonstrating skeptical inquiry and critical thinking. Weave into this discussion your personal experiences with the discussed concept/theory/research. This is a critical component of the paper. This is an expression of the connections that make the lessons actively relevant to you. Reflections may include new insights about: yourself; others; barriers, challenges, and opportunities in your personal and/or professional arena; strategies, knowledge, and skills that you discovered and plan to apply; and, observed outcomes emerging from applications you have made. Conclusion of the paper: (Approx. 2/3-1 page). Tie it all together. Show how the ideas developed in the body of your paper tie together to support your thesis. Summarize the overall effect the lessons had on you. What are your takeaways?

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