As you know, the overarching goal of the course is to help you understand your own mind and heart more intimately and cultivate mental habits that can positively affect your day-to-day experiences and relationships. The goal of this assignment is to help you articulate your current understanding of the research on mindfulness and prosocialilty in relationship to a personal question that’s relevant in your life at this moment.
The best research reflections begin with a situation, concern, conundrum, or issue that deeply matters to you currently, one that you are genuinely interested in exploring. Tell a story about how the research illuminates the central question underlying the issue and how it relates to your current experience with contemplative practices. How are you beginning to make sense of the question without necessarily attempting to answer it? Please integrate apt quotations from the research as well as specific examples from your own experience to illustrate your points.
Consider these questions as you create your first draft:
- What is your central question regarding the situation, concern, or conundrum that you want to explore?
- What articles on mindfulness and prosociality may help you shed light on the question? What are the major findings and limitations of this research?
- How does your current personal experience with contemplative practices confirm or conflict with the models and findings described in these articles?
- What are the implication of your insights for exploring your question further?
As you revise your draft, think about how to best communicate your thoughts. The most elegant writing typically occurs when reflection and analysis are woven together into a compelling narrative, one that you will want to re-read in a couple of years and that will interest your peers, if you decide to share it with them. We will workshop your draft in class. Please start drafting at least a week ahead so that you have a substantial piece of writing to share.
- Sources: 2 of the 3 need to be peer-reviewed chapters/articles, meaning that they are written for an expert audience. Please go to Collab “Resources” to find the course readings.
You can use outside sources to augment your research base and/or substitute one of the 3 articles. To locate additional research studies use
- Reviews and meta-analyses
- UVA Library data base
If you are going to substitute please feel free to ask us if you are not sure if the article is appropriate. Please include a link to any outside sources or an electronic copy of the article when you submit your assignment.
- Length, honor pledge and submission: 1000 words, excluding references. Research is to be appropriately cited in any established format (such as APA, MLA). Please sign with the honor pledge and submit via Collab Dropbox.
- Due Date: TBA
- Late submissions: You can get an 48 hour extension in exchange for a token.
Examples of successful Research Reflections: