Guidelines for Insights

1. Classroom and studio and students will sign up for their Insight in class.  Web students sign up via email. Spaces for each day are limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. You have to sign up for one essay per set.  The sign-up schedule for Insights will be kept on the Web.

2. It is expected that all written essays take into account and utilize the readings that have been assigned and relevant lectures. The purpose of the essay is to be informative, hence their name, “Insights.” You are permitted to offer your opinion, where appropriate, but the essays are not intended to be argumentative and opinionated. 

3. In addition to your name, every Insight should contain the actual topic question that you are responding to as well as the specific text where it is found.   

*Topic questions in the Ginsberg text are labeled “For Critical Analyis” and are found in the sidebar of the text.  (For example, see pages 7, 11, 28 and 30 in chapter 1).  In addition, other topic questions from this text are found on the calendar in the chapter listing, for example, G1.   You should not use the critical analysis questions found in special segments such as on pages 12, 17 and 29.

*Questions in the Canon text and Governing California are typically found at the end of a section. Note that some of the questions might not be appropriate for an insight.  These readings (similar to G1) are also often listed as links which contain prompts that you can use for your insight.

*Additional questions can be found at the end of most web reading. 

Some of the topic questions found in the texts may not be appropriate as Insight topics.  If the question, as you interpret it, does not allow you to make extensive use of diverse text materials, do not choose this topic for your Insight prompt.

4.  Some Insight prompts may be too broad to be treated in a short essay.  In such cases, you do not have to respond to the entire question.   My expectation is that an Insight is to be about 2-4 double spaced pages.

5.  You are expected to respond to the questions from the readings assigned the last class before your sign-up date.  For example, if your Insight date is February 11, your topic questions would be drawn from the readings of February 6.    Note exception below:

If you are a studio student and the previous class was a lecture without insight presentations, then you may use questions not only from the previous class but the class before that as well.

6.  My expectations about the Insights.  They are to be informative, grammatical, well developed.  I will look especially to see how well you have made use of text and lecture materials that were at your disposal.   I do not expect Insights just to summarize one or more of the readings.

7.  Late submission of an Insight will mean a substantial grade penalty.  If you find out far in advance that your sign-up date will create problems, you may (at the discretion of the instructor or teaching assistant) be permitted to change dates.  If illness prevents you from handing your Insight in on time, documentation will be required.  For classroom students, email submissions will be accepted if you are too ill to attend class.  These submissions should be sent in before class if you wish to avoid late penalties. 

8.  Essays are graded on a 50 point scale.

9.  The grading rubric for the essays is as follows.  You will get this rubric returned to you along with your essay.

                                                                      Grade _____



Above Average


Below standard

Not applicable

Use of text sources






Organization and
development of ideas






Use of examples






Creativity, analysis, criticism






Editing (grammar, style)






10.  Before you write your Insight, you should review the above instructions to make sure that you are adhering to the requirements.