English 245 with Dr. G @ SUNY TC3   

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Lessons

1. Classical Britain

2. Beowulf 1

3. Beowulf 2

4. Middle Ages

5. Romance

6. Sir Gawain

7. Malory

8. Chaucer's Miller

9. Wife of Bath

10. Religious Protest

11. Biblical Drama

12. Play of Mnkind

13. Early Modern Period

14. Thomas More

15. Philip Sidney

16. Print Culture

17. Walter Raleigh

18. Twelfth Night 1

19. Twelfth Night  2

20. Civil War

21. An Age of Irreverence

22. Aphra Behn

23. Reading Papers

24. Gulliver

25. Rape of the Lock

26. School for Scandal

27. New God

28. Revolution

Final Exam

Writing Journals: FAQ and Instructions

After most readings in this course, there's a journal assignment.

What's the point of a journal?

Journals help understanding. Journal writing about our reading lifts the information from the written text and runs it through our brains, where it may stick as memory. (It translates the reading into our own words, which also helps our memories--at least if our words are accurate.) Was the reading vague to you? Summarize it in a journal entry. Did you understand the reading but fail to see its importance? Compare and contrast it to other readings in a journal entry. Journaling forces our attention on the subject and allows us to interpret it, to discover what it may mean to us. Do not expect success every time, but always work to be successful.

A series of journal entries makes a record that can be reviewed later to refresh and strengthen our memory. Keep all of your journal entries on one computer file so that you can easily find them and review them later in the course.  You may want to look at the final writing assignment of the course before you begin keeping your journal. If you write the journal entries with the final course assignment in mind, you will be very well prepared for that assignment. (See Lesson 28 for the assignment.)

How long should each journal entry be?

After you have read all of the material for a lesson, and after you have taken the quiz, write about the reading in your journal for most of an hour--or longer, if you have time. Take time enough to get beyond present distractions and really concentrate on the subject. (It takes me 10 or 20 minutes, sometimes even longer, just to find the mindset to begin writing intelligently.) Try for a minimum of 500 words, but 1,000 words are better.

What should be in a journal?

First, write a summary of what you have read. The more detailed your summary is, the better the source will stick in your mind. You can summarize the reading overall, or, if you prefer, you can summarize a small piece of the reading, such as one aspect, theme, character, or episode.

Second, if there's time after the summary has been written, write about what the reading seems to mean or how it relates to other readings. If you are stuck for a topic, answer one of the instructor's questions from his web page.

How should the journal be posted in the course?

1. Keep your journal using Microsoft Word or any other software that allows you to create "rich text format" files (files with filename extensions .rtf). Be sure your name appears in the journal heading.

2. When your journal entry is complete, save the file as an rtf document. In most word processing software programs, you can make rtf files by selecting the "save as" option, then picking rtf from the list of filename extension options. You will now have two files on your drive or memory device: the original one you created and the rtf copy. If you have a problem with this procedure, get help from SLN.

3. Open a browser window to Angel at TC3.

4. Open the Angel course, and then open the "course content" tab in the course.

5. Open the lesson page for the lesson that you have journaled about. At the bottom of the page, write your name in the text box. Hit the "attachment" button and search for your journal rich text file. Upload your rtf file by double clicking on it in the box and then hitting the "submit" button.

6. Take a look in the course to be sure that the file was transmitted successfully. If your document does NOT appear, then post again. 

7. Watch for Dr. G's evaluation of your journal to be published within 24 hours or so. Written feedback will be provided, along with a grade. If you don't understand the grade or the comments be sure to ask the instructor.

How should the journal be kept through the course?

Keep all of your journal writing together on one file. To begin a new journal entry, open the old journal file, and edit it.  By keeping all entries together on one file, it will be much easier for you to find your records and to read through them. 

 Copyright 2008 by Gary Homer Gutchess
gutchess@englishare.net