Unsw Example Essay About My Family

Types of reflective writing assignments

Journal: requires you to write weekly entries throughout a semester. May require you to base your reflection on course content.

Learning diary: similar to a journal, but may require group participation. The diary then becomes a place for you to communicate in writing with other group members.

Log book: often used in disciplines based on experimental work, such as science. You note down or 'log' what you have done. A log gives you an accurate record of a process and helps you reflect on past actions and make better decisions for future actions.

Reflective note: often used in law. A reflective note encourages you to think about your personal reaction to a legal issue raised in a course.

Essay diary: can take the form of an annotated bibliography (where you examine sources of evidence you might include in your essay) and a critique (where you reflect on your own writing and research processes).

Peer review: usually involves students showing their work to their peers for feedback.

Self-assessment: requires you to to comment on your own work.

Some examples of reflective writing

Social Science fieldwork report (methods section)

The field notes were written by hand on lined paper. They consisted of jotted notes and mental triggers (personal notes that would remind me of specific things when it came to writing the notes up). I took some direct observational notes recording what I saw where this was relevant to the research questions and, as I was aiming to get a sense of the culture and working environment, I also made researcher inference notes  [1]  [2] .

 [3]  I found the notetaking process itself helpful, as it ensured that I listened carefully and decoded information. Not all the information I recorded was relevant, but noting what I found informative contributed to my ability to form an overview on re-reading. However, the reliability of jotted notes alone can be questionable. For example, the notes were not a direct transcription of what the subjects said but consisted of pertinent or interesting information.

Rarely did I have time to transcribe a direct quotation, so relied on my own fairly rapid paraphrasing, which risks changing the meaning. Some technical information was difficult to note down accurately  [3] . A tape recorder would have been a better, more accurate method. However, one student brought a tape recorder and was asked to switch it off by a participant who was uneasy about her comments being directly recorded. It seems that subjects feel differently about being recorded or photographed (as opposed to observers taking notes), so specific consent should be sought before using these technologies  [4] .

 1.  Description/ explanation of method.

 

 2.  Includes discipline-specific language

 

 3.  Critical evaluation of method

 

 4.  Conclusion and recommendation based on the writer's experience

Engineering Design Report

Question: Discuss at least two things you learnt or discovered – for example about design, or working in groups or the physical world – through participating in the Impromptu Design activities.

Firstly, the most obvious thing that I discovered was the advantage of working as part of a group  [1] . I learned that good teamwork is the key to success in design activities when time and resources are limited. As everyone had their own point of view, many different ideas could be produced and I found the energy of group participation made me feel more energetic about contributing something  [2] .

Secondly I discovered that even the simplest things on earth could be turned into something amazing if we put enough creativity and effort into working on them  [1] . With the Impromptu Design activities  [3]  we used some simple materials such as straws, string, and balloons, but were still able to create some 'cool stuff'  [4] . I learned that every design has its weaknesses and strengths and working with a group can help discover what they are. We challenged each other's preconceptions about what would and would not work. We could also see the reality of the way changing a design actually affected its performance.

 1.  Addresses the assignment question

 2.  Reflects on direct experiences

 3.  Direct reference to the course activity

 4.  The style is relatively informal, yet still uses full sentences.

 5.  Relating what was learnt.

Learning Journal (weekly reflection)

Last week's lecture presented the idea that science is the most powerful form of evidence  [1] . My position as a student studying both physics and law makes this an important issue for me  [2]  and one I was thinking about while watching the 'The New Inventors' television program last Tuesday  [3] . The two 'inventors' (an odd name considering that, as Smith (2002) says, nobody thinks of things in a vacuum) were accompanied by their marketing people. The conversations were quite contrived, but also funny and enlightening. I realised that the marketing people used a certain form of evidence to persuade the viewers (us?) of the value of the inventions  [4] . To them, this value was determined solely by whether something could be bought or sold—in other words, whether something was 'marketable'. In contrast, the inventors seemed quite shy and reluctant to use anything more than technical language, almost as if this was the only evidence required – as if no further explanation was needed.

 

This difference forced me to reflect on the aims of this course—how communication skills are not generic, but differ according to time and place. Like in the 'Research Methodology' textbook discussed in the first lecture, these communication skills are the result of a form of triangulation,  [5]  which I have made into the following diagram:

...

 1.  Description of topic encountered in the course

 2.  The author's voice is clear

 3.  Introduces 'everyday' life experience

 4.  The style is relatively informal, yet still uses full sentences

 5.  Makes an explicit link between 'everyday' life and the topic

References

Brookfield, S 1987, Developing critical thinkers: challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting, Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

Mezirow, J 1990, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: a guide to transformative and emancipatory learning, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Schön, DA 1987, Educating the reflective practitioner, Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

The Learning Centre thanks the students who permitted us to feature examples of their writing.

Prepared by The Learning Centre, The University of New South Wales © 2008. This guide may be distributed or adapted for educational purposes. Full and proper acknowledgement is required. Email: learningcentre@unsw.edu.au

 

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Fields: Historical Studies

I teach and write on transnational histories of migration, displacement, refugees and family, with a current focus on the Displaced Persons of postwar Europe. I am fascinated in particular with the stories told by DPs themselves about their journeys of wartime displacement to the Allies and how this in turn contributed to the development of the modern humanitarian and legal ideas of the refugee.

 A related project I am currently researching is the history of children disabled by war or birth, whose families were broken apart by the immigration policies of western nations after the Second World War. This feeds in to a broader interest in the persistent influence of eugenics in immigration in the postwar period in Australia. See, for example, 'Children Left Behind: Families, Refugees and Immigration in Postwar Europe', History Workshop Journal 2016, http://hwj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/08/11/hwj.dbw021.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=CPIz2ylUF4DOOKM

I also hold an ARC Discovery grant together with Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the University of Sydney and Dr Jayne Persian at the University of Southern Queensland, and our joint project is entitled “Displacement and Resettlement: Russian and Russian-speaking Jewish Displaced Persons arriving in Australia via the ”China” Route in the Wake of the Second World War”. 

 

Research

I teach and write on transnational histories of migration, displacement, refugees and family, with a current focus on the Displaced Persons of postwar Europe. I am fascinated in particular with the stories told by DPs themselves about their journeys of wartime displacement to the Allies and how this in turn contributed to the development of the modern humanitarian and legal idea of the refugee.

 A related project I am currently researching is the history of children disabled by war or birth, whose families were broken apart by the immigration policies of western nations after the Second World War. This feeds in to a broader interest in the persistent influence of eugenics in immigration in the postwar period in Australia. See, for example, 'Children Left Behind: Families, Refugees and Immigration in Postwar Europe', History Workshop Journal 2016, http://hwj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/08/11/hwj.dbw021.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=CPIz2ylUF4DOOKM

I also hold an ARC Discovery grant together with Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the University of Sydney and Dr Jayne Persian at the University of Southern Queensland, and our joint project is entitled “Displacement and Resettlement: Russian and Russian-speaking Jewish Displaced Persons arriving in Australia via the ”China” Route in the Wake of the Second World War”. 

My background as a filmmaker has also led me to become increasingly interested in the importance of making Australian history in accessible and creative ways. In 2014 my radio documentary 'The Somerton Man: A Mystery in Four Acts' aired on Radio National's Hindsight program, and I am currently researching a documentary film project exploring the stories of European refugees who came to Australia via Shanghai and Harbin in China in the late 1940s.

Publications

    Books

    • Balint R, 2005, Troubled waters: borders, boundaries and possession in the Timor Sea, 1, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, NSW

    Book Chapters

    • Balint R, 2015, 'The Use and Abuse of History: Displaced Persons in the ITS Archive', in Boehling R; Urban S; Anthony E; Brown-Fleming S (ed.), Freilegungen Spiegelungen der NS-Verfolgung und ihrer Konsequenzen, edn. Jahrbuch des International Tracing Service, Wallstein Verlag, Gottingen, pp. 173 - 188
    • Balint R, 2014, 'Representing the Past and the Meaning of Home in Péter Forgács's Private Hungary', in Young G; Monahan B (ed.), Amateur Filmmaking : the home movie, the Archive, the Web., edn. Original, Bloomsbury Academic, Oxford, England, pp. 193 - 206, http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/amateur-filmmaking-9781441191496/
    • Balint R, 2012, 'The War Crimes Case of Karoly Zentai and the Quest for Historical Justice', in Tatz C (ed.), Genocide Perspectives IV; Essays on Holocaust and Genocide, edn. Original, UTSePress, Sydney, pp. 272 - 311, http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/research/bitstream/handle/10453/19824/GenocidePerspectivesIV_Tatz.pdf?sequence=1
    • Balint R, 2012, 'The Yellow Sea', in Walker D; Sobocinka A (ed.), Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century, edn. Original, UWA Publishing, Perth, WA, pp. 345 - 366
    • Balint R, 2009, 'Der »Somerton Man«: Eine dokumentarische Fiktion in drei Dimensionen', in Butis Butis (ed.), Goofy History: Fehler Machen Geschichte, edn. 1, Bohlau, Weimar, pp. 264 - 279
    • Balint R, 2007, 'Mare Nullius and the Making of a White Ocean Policy', in Perera S (ed.), Our Patch: Enacting Australian Sovereignty Power after 9/11, edn. First, Network Books, Perth, pp. 87 - 105

    Journal articles

    • Balint R, 2017, 'Alexander and Anastayzia: the separation and search for family among Europe’s displaced', History of the Family, vol. 22, pp. 432 - 445, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1081602X.2017.1292181
    • Balint R, 2016, 'Children left behind: Family, refugees and immigration in postwar Europe', History Workshop Journal, vol. 82, pp. 151 - 172, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbw021
    • Balint R, 2015, ''To Reunite the Dispersed Family': War Displacement and Migration in the Tracing Files of the Australian Red Cross', History Australia, vol. 12, pp. 124 - 142, http://journals.publishing.monash.edu/ojs/index.php/ha/article/view/1312/2328
    • Balint R, 2014, 'The Idea of Home in Postwar Australia', History Australia, vol. 11, pp. 6 - 12, http://journals.publishing.monash.edu/ojs/index.php/ha/article/view/1138
    • Balint R;Balint, 2014, 'Industry and Sunshine: Australia as 'Home' in the Displaced Persons Camps of Postwar Europe', History Australia, vol. 11, pp. 102 - 127, http://journals.publishing.monash.edu/ojs/index.php/ha/article/view/1103
    • Balint R, 2012, 'Aboriginal women and Asian men: A maritime history of color in white Australia', Signs, vol. 37, pp. 544 - 554, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/662685
    • Balint R, 2011, 'Soft Histories: Making history on Australian television', History Australia, vol. 8, pp. 175 - 195
    • Balint R, 2010, 'Boats to Burn: Bajo Fishing Activity in the Australian Fishing Zone.', ASIAN STUDIES REVIEW, vol. 34, pp. 262 - 263, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000290310000013&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
    • Balint R, 2010, 'The ties that bind: Australia, Hungary and the case of Károly Zentai', Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 44, pp. 281 - 303, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0031322X.2010.489737
    • Balint R, 2010, 'The Somerton Man: An Unsolved History', Cultural Studies Review, vol. 16, pp. 159 - 178
    • Balint R, 2010, ''Boats to Burn'', Asian Studies Review, vol. 34
    • Balint R, 2010, ''Remembering Balibo'', History Australia, vol. 7, pp. 15.1 - 15.2, http://dx.doi.org/10.2104/ha100015
    • Balint R, 2009, 'First Australians, An Illustrated History', JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN STUDIES, vol. 33, pp. 489 - 491, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14443050903308725
    • Balint R, 2008, 'Being Australian, Narratives of National Identity', JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN STUDIES, vol. 32, pp. 147 - 148, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000207564900013&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
    • Balint R, 2008, 'I Peed on Fellini: Recollections of a Life in Film', JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN STUDIES, vol. 32, pp. 406 - 407, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000207568900010&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
    • Balint R;Dolgopolov G, 2008, 'Film in Sydney', Sydney Journal, vol. 1, pp. 33 - 44
    • Balint R, 2008, '[REVIEW] Catriona Elder 'Being Australian'', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 32, pp. 147 - 148
    • Balint R, 2008, '[REVIEW] David Stratton, 'I Peed on Fellini'', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 32, pp. 406 - 407
    • Balint R, 2007, 'A Death in the Harbour', The Monthly, pp. 32 - 38

    Conference Papers

    • Balint R, 2009, 'Australia Gets Lost and Goes Missing: Baz's Tourism Australia ad', in Australia Gets Lost and Goes Missing: Baz's Tourism Australia ad, http://www.nma.gov.au/research/baz_luhrmanns_australia_reviewed/speakers_and_program/, National Museum of Australia, National Museum of Australia, 07 - 08 December 2009

    Conference Presentations

    • Balint R, 2009, 'The Somerton Man Mystery and the Unsolved Case of History', presented at Scandals, Crime and Corruption, State Library of NSW, 09 September 2009
    • Balint R, 2008, 'The Water Hemisphere: Australia and its exilic sea', presented at Graduate School Mediale Historiographien, Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, Germany, 19 June 2008
    • Balint R, 2007, 'Mare Nullius and a White Ocean Policy', presented at Indian Association for the Study of Australia Annual Conference, Pune India, 01 January 2007
    • Balint R, 2006, 'Sweeping the Seas Clean: A White Ocean policy in Australia's north', presented at Historicising Whiteness, University of Melbourne, 22 - 24 November 2006
    • Balint R, 2005, 'Seascape and Memory in the Australian Psyche', presented at EASA conference: ReVisions of Australia: Histories, Images, Identity, Debrecen, Hungary, 20 - 24 September 2005

    Creative Written Works

    • Balint R, 2012, Small Fry: The Story of a People Smuggler, The Monthly, Schwartz Publishing
    • Balint R, 2009, Where are the Historians?, Inside Story: Current Affairs and Culture, Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, and Australian National University
    • Balint R, 2009, Australia, Hungary and the Case of Karoly Zentai, Inside Story: Current Affairs and Culture, Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, and Australian National University

    Recorded / Rendered Creative Works

    • Balint R, 2015, Radio Program, ABC Radio National - The Somerton Man: A Mystery in Four Acts., ABC Radio National, Radio, Duration: 45 minutes
    • Balint R, 2013, The Pearling Families of Broome - a two part documentary series, ABC Radio National, Radio National, Editor(s): ABC
    • Balint R, 2003, The Death of Mansur, SBS Television, Sydney, Video
    • Balint R, 2001, Troubled Waters, Resonance Production, Sydney, Video

    Creative Works (non-textual)

    • Balint R;Balint, 2014, The Somerton Man: A Mystery in Four Acts, n/a, ABC Radio National, 23 - 23 February 2014

Teaching

ARTS2271: Australia 1901-2008: From Federation to the Apology.

ARTS3289: Documentary Film and History.

ARTS3292: Migrants and Refugees in Australian History.

ARTS1190 Australian Legends.

Honours and prizes

The Ernst Keller European Fellowship, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2011.

The National Film and Sound Archive, Scholar-In-Residence, 2010.

The Centre for Media and History (Mediale Historiographien), Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany, 1 March, 2008 – 30 June, 2008.

The Centre for Pasts Inc, Historical Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 1 July, 2008 – 1 November, 2008.

Australian Vogel Literary Award 2004

Dendy Documentary Award 2002

Affiliations and membership

Australian Historical Association

Australian Feminist History Group

Australian Studies Research Network

Related news

Other information

 

Supervision
I am currently supervising three PhD students who are working in the areas of twentieth century Australian and transnational history.

I welcome supervising Doctoral students interested in the areas of twentieth century Australian history: transnational histories (Australia : Central and Eastern Europe); migration history in the twentieth century; documentary film and history; and, maritime history.

Honours students successfully supervised to graduation
I have successfully supervised 9 Honours projects to completion in the field of twentieth century Australian history, two of which received the School award for the quality of their theses.

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