Review the qualities and attributes identified by class members as key to establishing and sustaining close relationships. Select one of the qualities or attributes about which there is controversy. In an exploratory essay (approximately 2-3 double-spaced, typed pages in length), address the following questions:
Why do some class members believe the quality or attribute you’ve selected is essential to good, lasting relationships? What are some of the most compelling reasons available in support of their perspective? Why are other class members not fully convinced? What are some of the most compelling reasons available in support of their reservations? What is your view? Based on your own life’s experiences, our preliminary class readings, and follow-up discussions, how important do you believe the selected quality is for developing and sustaining meaningful and successful relationships with people important to us?
In preparation for this assignment, be sure to engage in dialogue, either with a classmate (whose views on the subject differ from your own) or with someone from outside of the class whose perspective differs from your own. Be sure as well to provide concrete (“real world”) examples to illustrate and support your own and others’ perspectives. As you write your essay, be sure to make clear what type of interpersonal relationship you have in mind (such as one between close friends; family members; a beloved; etc.). Be sure as well to define terms as necessary. Finally, as you prepare your essay, be sure to apply the elements of ethical and effective dialogue outlined in pp. 45-70 of the text.
Criteria for Assessment:
1. Addresses all aspects of the assignment.
2. Follows assignment guidelines (outlined above).
3. Concisely explains the key points of controversy.
4. Provides a clear and concise summary of his or her perspective.
5. Reflects understanding of others’ perspective on their own terms.
6. Demonstrates attentive and empathic listening abilities.
7. Provides concrete examples for illustration and support.
8. Makes effective use of appropriate written conventions.
*NOTE: Participants who wish to “co-author” the Reflective Essay are encouraged to do so. Up to four authors are permitted per submission.