Reflection Paper – Term Paper

Having read the two dissertations, one on public policy and another on humanities, there are reflective approaches that have been applied to improve personal research and writing skills. This paper is a reflective response to the reading of these two doctoral dissertations. Different commentaries are offered in areas such as the strengths and weaknesses of the dissertations, areas in which one can borrow a leaf, theoretical approaches, methodologies, and practical implementation issues. Impressions on the two papers are also offered.

Reflection Paper Example

Idowu’s dissertation makes an analysis of Nigerian literature and finds the womanist approach to the writings of a famous playwright Ogunyemi. In his analysis, the author moves away from the previously held belief that the playwright’s work is largely chauvinistic and looks more into the womanist approach used by the author. Additionally, the work seeks to compare and contrast the use of womanist approaches by the playwright against the literature of famous scholars on the subject. On the other hand, Rugenstein’s dissertation looks into the policy issues that led to the breakout of violence between the government of the United States and the tribal government of Akwasasne. The increased action of the New York state government to ignore continuous pleas by the tribal government led to the atrocities that the people faced during the time, when violence escalated to deaths. There was a lack of culturally appropriate communication, which led to the violence experienced.

One of the strengths of these dissertations is their focus on a particular area of study. Narrowing the focus is extremely important in producing a good doctoral thesis. The intention of the thesis is to identify a problem area within a larger area of literature. The two authors have successfully identified problems within their areas of interest and pursued them. However, one weakness that is found within the theses is their inability to fully capture and appreciate the flipside of the argument. Whereas Idowu identifies that there have been previous allusions to the chauvinistic nature of Ogunyemi’s work, he has largely focused on the womanist approach as opposed to sampling some of the alternative arguments. Rugenstein, on the other hand, uses the thesis about the nature of misinformed communication as the cause of conflict between the tribal government and the US and Canadian governments.

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Reflective Essay

Strengths and Limitations of the Dissertations

One of the things that can be borrowed from the two dissertations is the extensive use of research in conceptualizing and actualizing arguments. Research-based arguments provide infallible facts when one is proposing the argument. Idowu, for example, makes use of extensive research from womanist scholars who have written extensively on the subject. This shows that indeed women can be portrayed in different kind of light by different analysts evaluating the same work. While bringing out these points, Idowu is able to extrapolate Ogunyemi’s works’ characteristics that fit the description given by the scholars, thereby cementing his argument concerning the womanist presentation of the playwright. In effect, his well-researched work brings out a grounded argument on the possible sides that the argument can take.

Personal Research Guides  

Well-researched work was also used when Rugenstein was arguing why the lack of proper communication between governments could lead to adverse effects for their citizens. This could be seen in the case example of the New York State government and the tribal government of the Mohawks. Therefore, the presentation of critical points in the research on the place of black women in the oil and gas industry necessitates wide reading and extensive research on the area. A presentation of a firm theoretical framework is necessary in obtaining valid conclusions. This will enable my research to reflect balanced and unbiased views of the information presented in various forms of literature.

Theoretical approaches within Idowu’s paper are well grounded in womanist theories. Here, the theoretical framework is built on different approaches such as Marxism and feminism approaches of which Rene Denfeld, among others. In the case of Rugenstein’s work, the system theory is analyzed alongside the functionality of social work treatment. In this comparison, the author makes a relationship where it is necessary that social work is conducted within an established system. Additionally, the author extrapolates theories on the emergence of violence during this time. He asserts that the violence arose as a consequence of the non-recognition of Mohawk sovereignty. The authors also make use of different methodologies. In the case of Rugenstein, he makes use of both qualitative and quantitative data to analyze the reasons behind the eruption of violence. In the case of Idowu, the research is purely analytical and is based on quantitative data. Six works created by the author are analyzed to prove that his work included womanist approaches despite being considered traditionally largely chauvinistic.

Refltction Essay Example

Personal Impressions about the Dissertations

One of the most impressive works about the dissertation done by Idowu is the in-depth analysis of each of the six works with exact precision and the purpose to meet the objectives laid down in the study. Idowu does a 360-degree analysis on six major works that the author did, presenting both the male dominant Nigerian society and the womanist presentations done within those works. On the other hand, Rugenstein conceptualizes two possible theories behind violence breaking out between the Mohawks and US citizens. He opines that it was either the possibility of a civil war or the lack of communication between the parties that caused the conflict.

Personal Concerns on the Dissertations

One of the major concerns for me is the presentation of ideas within the dissertations. There appears to be no logical presentation of the information. Large chunks of information are presented altogether and the reader has to extrapolate the information and make their own conclusion after the reading. The use of subtitles would be beneficial in providing the reader with pointers on the information one needs, as well as readability of the entire thesis. Moreover, giving titles would improve the overall understanding of points within the theses. Easy and understandable subheadings allow a third party reader to internalize the contents of the thesis.

Noteworthy Ideas in the Dissertations

One of the ideas the Idowu presents that is noteworthy is the idea of the possibility of post-colonial African writers presenting women in a positive light. This is opposed to the general view that post-colonial African writers perpetuated the African male-dominant African society. The presentation of womanist attributes to Ogunyemi’s work points to the continuing African movement towards the acceptance of women. On the other hand, Rugenstein looks into the different problem solving techniques that could be done between diplomatic persons. The aspect of sovereignty and governmental supremacy would be upheld.

Additional Thoughts

For the purpose of future research on the subject, Idowu’s dissertations opens up a new area of study, especially with regards to womanist approaches as done from the African writer’s perspective. African literary works have the potential to carry a lot of womanist material that could offer new insights into the convergence of African post-colonial societies with women elevation. On the other hand, Rugenstein’s material offers new insights into the concept of sovereignty and communication with regards to issues of national and international security. This was highlighted in the Mohawks case study where the lack of consideration for these two phenomena led to the loss of life and destruction of property.  


Idowu, T. (2013, April 13). Speaking Truths As We Know Them: The Social Significance of the Depictions of Women in the Plays of Wale Ogunyemi. Dissertation Document. Cincinnati, Ohio, United States: Union Institute & University.

Rugenstein, E. (2009, June 9). Clash of Cultures: Uprising At Akwesasne. Dissertation Document. Cincinnati, Ohio, United States: Union Institute and University.