THE SEARCH FOR A USABLE PAST
Preciso and Sandoz
READING JOURNAL: REGULAR ENTRIES
As indicated on syllabus. These will be handed in to your seminar faculty
weekly through Week 5; the journal entries for Weeks 6, 7, and 8 will be
due in your portfolio (handed in Wednesday of Week 10).
(Note that an integrative paper based on your journal will be due as part
of your portfolio. See "Reading Journal: End-of-Quarter Integrative
To deepen your engagement with what you read. The good journal entry will
record the encounter of your mind (and what's in it) with the reading (and
what's in it).
To help you prepare for seminar.
To encourage you to practice critical writing.
300-500 words, typed if possible. This is 1-1.5 pages, double spaced, with
1" margins, 12 pt. type.
Comment on your readings and provide support for what you say from the text.
"I hated this" is not enough, although perfectly OK to include.
Go farther: Why did you hate (or like) the reading? What interested you
about it? Was it well-written? Give examples of "well-written"
in this context. Did it remind you of something else you read for this program?
How or why?
Sometimes you may be reminded of something outside of the reading, and choose
to connect what you found in the reading with related themes or events of
the time. Sometimes you may want to stay inside the text, commenting on
how the author used a particular idea or symbol ("women," say,
or a particular religious symbol, or a writing style). Either is fine. Just
remember that you must focus on the interaction of your mind with the reading.
Avoid staying completely inside your own head (talking only about your reactions,
without using any material from the text). In the same fashion, avoid simply
talking only about the reading (an example of this would be simply summarizing
what the author said).
A journal entry should not contain class notes, raw notes you made while
reading the book, or simple summaries of critical articles you've read.
The point is to think about what you read.
Hints for success:
Type your paper.
Make it long enough (300-500 words). Short papers will be recorded as 1/2
Avoid lengthy quotations. Journal entries are not a test of how well you
Always include at least two elements in your entry: your mind, and the text
you are examining.
READING JOURNAL: END-OF-QUARTER INTEGRATIVE PAPER
December 10, 1997
To help you review and articulate your learnings this quarter, for our class
review and for use in your self-eval.
Three to four pages typed, double spaced, with 1" margins. This is
900 to 1,200 words.
Organize and rewrite material from past journal entries into a coherent
and connected statement of your learnings from the ideas and readings we've
encountered this quarter.
Hints for success:
Rather than simply doing a cut-and-paste operation, take the time to think
about what you've learned. Have your ideas about the decade under scrutiny
changed? How? What specific ideas and sources we talked about were new to
you? Gave you new insight into these years or others? What research skills
and theoretical approaches seemed valuable to you? How did they affect your
understanding course content and of "doing" history and/or literature?
How has your engagement with and/or understanding of our guiding questions
(on syllabus) changed from Week 1?
Some of the ideas in this handout came from the following:
"The American Experience, 1865-1970." Course syllabus from the
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (AMS 586).Online. Internet. 13 Aug. 1997.
Pimple, Keith. "Tricksters of North America." Course syllabus
from the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Online. Internet. Aug. 1997.
Journalho.fqup E VII 9-9-97