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Overview
There are two opportunities for bonus in this course. The first is to read the first half of the classic book Silent Spring by
Rachel Carson (chapters 1 through 9) and write a reflection paper on this reading by February 13th
. Doing so will add up
to 10% bonus to your Exam 1 grade, with the percentage determined by the quality of your work.
Likewise, the second bonus opportunity is to read the second half of the book (chapters 10 through 17) and write a
different reflection paper on this new reading by April 7th. Doing so will add up to 10% bonus to your Exam 2 grade, with
the percentage determined by the quality of your work. If both assignments are completed successfully (at full credit),
this will add about half of a letter grade to your final, overall grade for the course. For example, a high ‘C+’ (79%) in the
course would become a ‘B’ grade (83%).
If you did not complete the bonus for exam one but would like to do bonus for exam 2, you should read the first half of
the book and base your reflection on that. Otherwise, the reading won’t make sense. Only one bonus is available per
exam. Do not do two reflections for Exam 2, since only one of them will count towards your grade. You are more than
welcome to read the remainder of the book on your own, not for credit.
Paper Instructions
Write a 3-5 page reflection paper in response to what you have read. The paper should be typed in 12 point, Times New
Roman font. It should be double-spaced with one inch margins. The reflection must be based on the entire half of the
book and clearly indicate that you read all of the assigned chapters.
Do keep in mind that a reflection is NOT a summary. The purpose of a reflection is for you to think about the impact that
the book has had on you. For example, did the book change your opinion on environmental issues? Why or why not? Do
you agree with the author? How did you feel while reading the book? What are some important ideas that you never
thought about before? These are just some ideas of what you could write about.
To earn full credit, you must support your points using material from throughout the assigned portion of the book. Page
numbers must be provided when quoting or paraphrasing.
Potential Steps for Writing a Reflection

  1. Keep track of important thoughts and ideas while you are reading the book.
  2. Create an outline of the paper. A generic example (a starting point) appears on the back page.
  3. Write an introduction and be sure to include a thesis statement.
  4. Write body paragraphs. State your supporting arguments, ideas, and examples in the body paragraphs,
    including citations. Emphasize only one point or experience, as well as reflections on it, within each
    paragraph.
  5. Write the conclusion. In the first sentence of the conclusion, briefly summarize your thoughts. Think about
    what you have learned and how your experience might be useful to others.
  6. Take your completed paper to the UM-Flint Writing Center for feedback.
  7. Make edits based on the Writing Center’s feedback.
    How to Turn It In
    The paper must be turned in online by the start of class (12:30PM) on the day it is due.
    Go to Blackboard > Course Content > Bonus Assignment > Bonus Assignment for Exam 1 or Exam 2 (as applicable)
    Keep in mind that Blackboard will check your paper for plagiarism. Therefore, as always, you should do your own work.
    Additional Resources and Considerations
    Although this is not a writing class, the expectation is that you know how to write a college-level paper. If this is not true,
    or if you have any doubts about the quality of your writing or writing mechanics, please visit the Marian E. Wright
    Writing Center before this paper is due. The Writing Center is located on the third floor of UM-Flint’s Thompson library.
    Their phone number is (810) 766-6602. Also, if you are not a native speaker of English, you should have a native speaker
    read your work and provide suggestions for improvement. Information about grading appears on the back.
    Grading
    The grading of the paper will be based on the following:
     Does the paper have an appropriate length and scope (i.e. Is it a 3-5 page reflection, or merely a summary)?
     Is the paper’s thesis clearly supported by evidence and passages from the book, including page numbers?
     Is it obvious from the content and citations that all of the assigned chapters were read, or does the paper only
    reference a limited number of chapters or passages?
     Is the paper organized, readable, and formatted correctly?
     Does the paper adhere to writing conventions (e.g. spelling, grammar, sentence structure)?
     Was the paper turned in on time via Blackboard?
     Is the work unique (i.e. not plagiarized)?
    Sample Outline for a Reflection Paper
    I. Introduction
    A. Identify and explain subject
    B. State your reaction to the subject
  8. Agree/disagree?
  9. Did you change your mind?
  10. Did the subject meet your expectations?
  11. What did you learn?
    C. Thesis Statement
    II. Body Paragraph 1
    A. Topic Sentence
  12. Supporting evidence 1
  13. Supporting evidence 2
  14. Supporting evidence 3
    III. Body Paragraph 2
    A. Topic Sentence
  15. Supporting evidence 1
  16. Supporting evidence 2
  17. Supporting evidence 3
    IV. Body Paragraph 3
    A. Topic Sentence
  18. Supporting evidence 1
  19. Supporting evidence 2
  20. Supporting evidence 3
    V. Conclusion
    A. Recap thesis statement
    B. Recap Paragraph 1
    C. Recap Paragraph 2
    D. Recap Paragraph 3
    E. Concluding statement

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