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Thought papers should address only one thought regarding the area of research. However,
multiple approaches are welcomed. Your thought paper can present an idea for further
research, a new way of applying or interpreting the ideas or findings from one or more of the
articles, a criticism of the research that suggests a new idea or specific study etc. This is your
chance to air your concerns about the issues explored (have the authors/presenters missed the
big picture), the strengths or weaknesses of methods used or evidence discussed, and so on.
This is an opportunity for you to illustrate that you understood the piece of content you chose
by reflecting on the methodological advances or flaws (if a research article), valid and invalid
arguments, impressive or unsubstantiated leaps of logic, insights and biases, etc., as you see
DO NOT simply summarize the readings A reaction paper that is simply a summary of the
readings or a “gut-reaction” with no critical analysis is not satisfactory and will not receive
full credit.
What should the format be?
Length/font: Approximately 1-page, Times New Roman, Double-Spaced (~500 words)
You don’t (necessarily) need to include references (just thoughts) and it doesn’t need to be
APA formatted!
You do need to use proper spelling, grammar, paragraphs etc. – not just a block of thoughts!
Please be clear which reading you are talking about in your paper.
When do I submit it?
Thought papers relating to a chapter’s supplemental content can be submitted up to one week
after we complete a chapter. No late submissions will be accepted. No more than one paper
will be accepted per chapter.
Begin the introduction with a general sentence or a relevant example from daily life. Then
talk about the article you have selected. Finally, include your own idea/argument in a concise
and focused form.
The body of your thought paper should provide support for your thesis/idea in a couple of
paragraphs. Decide on the key points that will focus your ideas and put them into so-called
“topic sentences”, then use the rest of the paragraph to support that sentence. Have a new
paragraph for each of your ideas.
The final paragraph should be a restatement of what you said in your paper. It can also be a
comment which focuses your thoughts and/or makes predictions for future experiments or
Useful Phrases (adapted from
I think that… I see that… It seems that… In my opinion, … Because … In addition, … For