WORLD LIT
HOME

1. Clay & Skin

2. Gilgamesh

3. Acts of God

4. Genesis

CLASSICAL WEST

5. Odysseus

6. Men like
Animals

7. Socrates

8. Alexander

9. Virgil

10. Paul

CLASSICAL
EAST

11. Krishna

12. Rama

13. Kalidasa

14. Buddha

15. Confucius

16. Lao Tse

OUT OF DARKNESS

17. Quran

18. Beowulf

19. Genji

20. Romance

POST DARK
 AGE

21. Dante 1

22. Dante 2

23. Dante 3

24. Chaucer

25. Journey to the West

26. New World

27. Indians

28. Don Quixote

Writing Journals: FAQ

What's the point?

Journals make us smarter. Journaling processes information so that it can stick in our brains. Journaling about literature forces our attention on the reading and allows us to discover what it may mean to us. After each reading, write about it to make it more memorable and meaningful to you.

A series of journal entries makes a record that can be reviewed later to refresh and strengthen our memory. Keep all journal entries on one computer file so that you can easily find them and review them as a group. Reading your journal periodically helps you to improve your journal entries.

How long should
each journal entry be?

Lessons in this course are designed to provide about two hours of reading. If you then spend another hour writing about the reading, that's a good ratio of 2:1, reading to writing. When reading is especially difficult to comprehend, spend more time writing on it, if you can.

In any case, take enough writing time to get beyond present distractions and really concentrate on the subject. I like to try for at 500 words in each journal entry. I usually get better results at 1000 words or more.

 What should be in a journal?

You should write what you think you may need to remember. I recommend:

First, write a summary of what you have read. The more detailed your summary is, the better the source will stick in your mind. It is especially important to summarize texts that you do not understand; the summary process can force you to figure them out or at least to articulate your questions.

Second, if there's time after the summary has been written, answer a question about the source. In each journal assignment in this course, several questions have been suggested for you. However, you may write on a different question that interests you.

How should the journal
be posted in the course?

For students enrolled in the course, complete instructions for submitting journals to the instructor appear on the college's course website. I'll read your journals and comment on them.

Christine of Pisan

Instructor: gutchess@englishare.net 
Copyright  2008