Individual Reflective Essay

In the individual delivery, you need to deliver further evidence that you have reached the learning goals of the course and think independently about the course topics. The subject of your reflection can be anything relevant to the course and its learning goals. This means systems and system architectures, their description, the development process and the process during teamwork.

This part is highly individual. It depends on your personal observations and reflections, and it should be unique. You need to provide a maximum of 3 written pages in which you reflect about selected issues that relate to the learning goals of the course. You can decide what to write about, and you decide if you want to address a single point or several ones. We recommend not to try to address more than 3 topics, because you should provide a certain depth to each of them and provide consistent arguments.

How to Make an Argument

No matter what you choose to write about, you need to make good arguments. Good arguments are based on logically consistent reasoning, are based on facts and observations, are explained well and have an explicit conclusion.

Language

Of course, expressing yourself well will always be a benefit, and we encourage you to acquire excellent language skills. Also, check your delivery for typos and grammar. We will, however, ignore language issues as long as we understand what you mean.

Write Efficiently

Use repetition only carefully when it makes sense to do so, for instance to summarize or compare one point to an earlier one. Don't just repeat something because you are unsure if we got it. We are going through your text carefully, so there is no danger that we miss an arguments. We are looking for them.

Use Paragraphs Strategically

A paragraph should only contain one main idea or argument. Outline this argument early on in the paragraph, and use the rest of the paragraph to develop the argument, provide evidence, discuss alternatives. For longer argumentations, use several paragraphs.

Levels

To understand what makes a good argument, we may consider the three highest levels in the SOLO taxonomy. This taxonomy is used to assess learning outcomes, but it also works when looking at arguments. For a good argumentation, you should aim for the level of extended abstract.

Each level comes with an illustration that tries to convey the very abstract idea behind each level.  

Look at your Sentences

You can also consider each of your sentences to get an indication of the quality of your argument. For some, it may be too restrictive when doing this before writing. So you may also do this after you have written a couple of sentences, to plan how to proceed.

The following type of sentences are examples for providing some information. Such sentences are useful to provide evidence and to lay the ground for further argumentation. Just make sure that you only include such sentences to support your argumentation, and not just fill up the page.

The following sentences are often examples for building relations between information. Such sentences are useful in the course of a discussion, to build up an argument.

Now, make a statement with an idea that provides a more abstract view on your knowledge or extends it beyond what was already covered in the course. Examples for that are sentences like the following:

Examples for Topics

You should select the topic or topics to write about for yourself. You may also try to work on several topics, and then select the ones where you were most successful with the argumentation. There is no requirement that you cover all aspects, learning goals, or topics addressed in the course.

Ideally, chose a topic that you care about, or where you gained the most insights, as this will probably improve your argumentation. For this reason, it's probably not a good idea that we show you a list with possible topics, as this may limit your creativity and maybe keep you from writing about a more unique topic. But we know that you will ask, so here is a list of examples and ideas anyway:

Grading

The individual delivery is part of your portfolio, and it will weigh around 30 % for the final grade. For the performance level, we will apply NTNU's general grading criteria. Notice the significance of independent thinking in the performance levels.

Final Hints