AU Healthy Environment Planning Practice Reflection Paper

You are required to produce two reflections. Each reflection should be on one or more of that week’s readingsTypically, the reflection should be two to three pages. They should be in a reasonably sized font (11 or 12 point), with one-inch margins. They will be graded for style (grammar, etc.) as well as content, so don’t try to write one on your bicycle on the way to class.

The reflections are due on Wednesday at the beginning of class. Please hand in one hard copy and upload the reflection to the Blackboard site A reflection is late if turned in after the beginning of class.

What is a reflection paper? I find it easier to say what it is not! It is not a summary of the readings. It is not a set of disconnected thoughts. It is not a list of questions. It is not a bulleted list. The folks at have suggested the following (I have edited for length, and changed some language to make it more germane to our class):

1. In 1-2 sentences summarize the main idea(s) in the reading in your own words using precise descriptive language.

2. Does the reading challenge your thinking in any way? Does it provide information that changes the way you think about planning history? Be specific in your answer.

3. Does the reading raise an important question about planning practice or planning history?

4. Is there something that you want to criticize or disagree with? Does anything make you uncomfortable or contradict your ideas about planning?

5. How do the ideas connect with other readings, lectures, or experiences you’ve had? How would you integrate these ideas with what you already know or think about this subject? How could you apply what you learned? If you compare, contrast or allude to another reading, please provide a full reference to that book/paper (unless a class reading, in which case the author’s name and page number is sufficient).

6. Is there anything in your past experience that resonates with or clashes with this reading?


Instead of just reading, you should be asking yourself – how does this reading add to my knowledge of planning? How does it challenge my presumptions about the field? How does it challenge my own beliefs about the city and planning? How does it tie to other things I have been reading in other classes? Using those thoughts, organize your reflection paper to express those ideas, concerns, and new understanding. You can include multiple readings if that makes sense in the reflection. One piece of advice: just because you reflect on one reading doesn’t mean you are not responsible for the other readings – life is not that easy.

You do not need to provide a citation for class readings, just put the page numbers of references in parentheses.

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