Requirements for a single reading: 1) A summary should be approximately 300-500 words, and it should be submitted prior to class each week.
2) A summary should consist of two paragraphs: One paragraph should summarize the reading and the second paragraph should provide a reaction/analysis to the reading. 3) At the end of your summary, please include at least one discussion question that we can take up in class. Your discussion questions should also be posted online through the Course Site discussion board so that the whole class can read and think about the questions prior to class. Guidance: A single paragraph of summary should explain what the reading is about. If the author is making a theoretical argument, the summary should include an explanation of what the argument is, how the author makes it. If the author is providing an answer to an empirical question, you should explain how the question is being answered, what evidence is being used, what the findings are. If the author is telling an historical story, you should briefly describe the time period covered, what the author seems to think is important about the time period, or any other important theme the seems to want to bring out in the text.
A single paragraph of reaction/analysis should involve a deeper probing of some important point in the text. It requires that you reflect on the text and connect it to something important in environmental policy. As the course evolves, you may develop your own questions that shape this part of the reading assignment. For example, I’m generally interested in how environmental policies distribute environmental protection or access to environmental goods across different groups of people, so when I react to a reading, if often is a reflection on what the reading tells me about issues of equity and distribution, or the lack of concern about such issues. If there is not some probing question that emerges for you, that’s fine too. Another way to approach the reaction/analysis component of this assignment is to probe a particular concept, assumption, question, or argument the author is addressing. Why does a concept seem especially important? What assumption(s) is the author making and do you agree with it/them? Why is a question an author raises important (to society, to you, to a field of scholarship, to addressing environmental problems, etc.)? Is the author’s argument, evidence, or findings, convincing? Why or why not?
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