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Synthesise (or pull together) the thoughts and reflections you've had over the semester into one 1500 word reflection
Module introduction: Research Methods
At the end of the trimester (1 June), you'll submit a 1500-word Journal that encompasses a synthesis of your reflections of the overall course content.
To put this final assignment together, you will know already that I have suggested you spend a bit of time at the end of each week reflecting on and making some bullet points about the ideas you have read about in the text and talked about in your discussion groups. These reflective notes don't need to be extensive at all - but by the time it comes to putting together your final assignment, you will already have some potential ideas to include in your Journal.
In your Journal, you are being asked to synthesise (or pull together) the thoughts and reflections you've had over the semester into one 1500 word reflection, making reference to readings and other material to show how these ideas relate to you personally and/or professionally. Remember that you will not be able to include everything the course covers in your Journal - so you'll need to be selective about the key points you want to highlight. My suggestion is that you choose 3-4 points that you'd really like to focus on and discuss these well rather than trying to cram in too much. Remember, less is more! It's better to discuss less things well, than to try to discuss too much and not do it so well.
In terms of structure, this assignment should be a 1500 word flowing piece of writing (much like an essay is structured), with no subheadings or titles - just a main heading at the start. Your reflection should also link with literature and/or other sources (e.g. articles you have read for other classes or assignments, discussion posts, etc). In essence, what you're doing is demonstrating that you have engaged with and critically reflected on the content of the course. You are also showing that you can make connections between your reflections and what other authors/researchers are saying - or use their ideas to support the points you are making in your critical reflection.
One key pitfall to avoid - don't fall into the trap of 'describing' what you have done/learnt/read/discussed in this course. This is not what this assignment is asking you to do. Instead, think about what you have done/learnt/read/discussed over the semester, and then take a step further and think critically about these things. Thinking critically is not about being negative - it is about questioning or exploring what you have learnt, and reflecting in a thought-provoking way. For example, if personality in adulthood was something I was writing about, I might write something like:
The degree to which personality changes or not through adulthood is a contentious issue in my opinion. There are numerous elements that influence our identity and the way we present ourselves (Bjorklund, 2015), so personality development is much more complex than what we might think. The question that this topic raised for me was, how much of our personality is nature (or genetic/heredity) and how much is dependent on nurture (the way we are brought up or the experiences we have in life)? I also wondered about McCrae and Costa's (1987, cited in Bjorklund, 2015) Five-Factor model. These psychologists suggest that people's personalities fell into five specific structures, but it would be interesting to investigate whether this is a Eurocentric perspective, or whether this theory also applies to other populations around the world.
This is just an example, but you can see here that I haven't described what I've learnt - I've thought about it and noted my reflections instead.
What I don't want to see is headings for each week - so it's not written like a diary (e.g., with headings like Week 1 or Topic 1). However, you can use subheadings to separate your topics if you are writing about unrelated things. Some people might want to just stick with writing an essay-style assignment with no headings.
The journal should not cover something from each week. What you should be doing is taking a step back and thinking about the course globally and coming up with 2-4 things overall that really interested you to write about. These might not even be the themes of the chapters - your discussion points could be based around anything that has stimulated your learning throughout the paper.
your reflective journal should take a step beyond just describing what you read or learnt about a particular topic or aspect of adulthood/ageing. Instead, you should be analysing/evaluating/making your own judgments about these things and writing this into a reflective discussion. As part of this discussion, you need to make links to literature. you can definitely use critical thinking questions in your journal to help you with your discussion. Sometimes posing a thoughtful question or two in your discussion makes it thought-provoking for the reader too.