Reading Journal Assignment

Reading Journal

(worth 5% of your course grade; collected randomly throughout the semester)

As we discussed in class on Tuesday, March 4, there will be no more quizzes for the remainder of the semester. As a class, you voted to replace the quizzes with a reading journal (as opposed to a final). The quizzes you have taken up to this point will account for 5% of your course grade (rather than 10%), and the reading journal will account for 5% of your course grade.

Description of the Reading Journal

Your reading journal is a collection of all of the readings we have completed for English 213 (other than those readings/websites you were specifically instructed not to print out). First, you should print the reading assignments, 3-hole punch them, and put them in a 3-ring binder. Next, you should read each piece carefully, highlighting or underlining key points, confusing terms, or statements with which you disagree. You should also make comments in the margins or notes at the end of the piece. Finally, somewhere on each piece, you should briefly answer three questions:

1. What is one word or concept in the piece that you don't understand? (e.g, "I'm not sure what a Google 'cache' is.")

2. What is one statement or idea you find particularly compelling or persuasive? (e.g., "On p. 8 of 'Say Everything,' I completely agree with this conclusion: 'We can take guesses at the future, but it’s hard to gauge the effects of a drug while you’re still taking it.'")

3. What is one statement or idea with which you disagree? (e.g., "I think the people who wrote Cornell University's 'Thoughts on Facebook' are missing the point about keeping our futures in mind: in 20 years, no one will care that I have an online identity, because everyone will have an online identity.")

Assignment Details

Some of you have been printing and annotating your reading assignments already, and compiling the reading journal will take no more than a few minutes of your time. However, if you have not been keeping up with the readings this semester, you will have some catching up to do.

Beginning on Tuesday, March 11, Quinn will collect a few journals each class period. You journal will be collected no more than two times during the semester. Because journal collection is random, you should bring your journal to class every day. If your journal is collected on a day when you forgot to bring it to class, you will receive no credit for the assignment. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Evaluation Criteria

Quinn will evaluate your journal based on the following criteria:
  • Does your journal contain all of the assigned readings?
  • How thoroughly have you annotated the readings?
  • How well have you answered the three questions for each reading?