Guide for Journal The Journal is meant to help you analyze and reflect on what you read and discuss in the course



Guide for Journal The Journal is meant to help you analyze and reflect on what you read and discuss in the course, and to give you an opportunity for more practice in writing, without risk. The level of effort that you expend on the Journal is up to you. And note: your Journal is not graded for grammar or spelling. However, the Journal comes in handy as an assessment factor at the end of the term. In other words, a thoughtfully constructed journal may HELP sway your grade in the more favorable direction. Keep this in mind as you decide how to budget your time. MORE ABOUT THE JOURNAL: People ask about the format and content of the Journal. It is recommended that you use the Journal as a record of your observations on writing as it applies to your readings, your career goals, and/or your workplace. It should also be a log of your research, explorations, and discoveries in cyberspace. I intend it as your “intellectual aerobics” to help you build stamina and other capabilities to articulate your thoughts in writing. Specifically, an A for the journal represents an entry a day of a paragraph or more for 50% or more of the duration of the class. You will submit the journal at the end of the course, at any time during week eight. TIME SAVER: The Journal should also contain copies of web pages you find interesting, your “best contributions” to the conference, copies of your submitted papers, and anything else you consider worthwhile. You might find the Journal will help you put together a writing portfolio for career purposes. We’ll talk more about that later . . . Journals in Park University Online Courses Here’s a bit more guidance on our journals. The intent here is help you build habits to make you strong communicators, while keeping the “workout” as flexible and informal as possible. And specifically . . . Why are journals useful for Park University students? Journals give those who are especially busy with university, careers, family, and other obligations a chance to practice writing and thinking without risk of a grade for grammar and spelling. A journal, diary, or “commonplace book” can record workplace observations, personal reflections, career goals, references you want to remember, or any combination of these. The journal gives opportunity for reflective thinking so necessary to success in the midst of multiple priorities. In a sense, you’ve never thought about something unless you have to communicate it. Your assignments and conference discussions communicate, of course, but they are communication after you’ve thought about the subject. Journals communicate while you’re thinking. Why are journals professionally valuable? Executives, managers, and senior government and military officers say that if you don’t continually practice writing and speaking skills, it may take months to get back in shape for that important article, or that long report the boss is looking for. Just as we need physical exercise to stay in physical shape, we need exercise to stay in shape as communicators. The journal gives you an opportunity to practice, to build stamina, without the risk of worrying about “is it good enough?” What to Write. Use your journal to record personal reactions to events, colleagues in the workplace and in class, teachers, friends, family, among others. Make notes to yourself about ideas, theories, concepts, problems. Record your thoughts, feelings, moods, experiences. Use your journal to argue with and test the ideas and readings, express confusion, and explore possible approaches to problems in the course. When to Write. Try to write in your journal at least three or four times per unit. It’s important to develop the habit of using your journal when you are not in an academic environment. Many famous people, both military and civilian, have kept journals. Good ideas, questions, etc., don’t always wait for convenient times for you to record them. How to Write. You should write however you feel like writing. The point is to think “on screen” without worrying about the mechanics of writing. The quantity you write is as important as the quality. Use language that expresses your personal voice–language that comes natural to you. Suggestions: Keep a file for each unit, or whatever you’re comfortable with. Date each entry; include time of day. Write long entries; develop your thoughts as fully as possible. A page is great; a paragraph or two is good; one line is super on some days, but not all the time (just like running or swimming laps — how long do you have to run to stay in shape?). Experiment! Add graphics, audio, HTML. Include “workplace, ” “academic” and “personal” entries; mix or separate as you like. Conclusion. At the end of the term please (1) make a table of contents for significant entries, (2) write a brief (one paragraph) introduction to the journal, and (3) an evaluation of its worth to you professionally and personally.

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