- Notebook entries are of several types in this course. Commonly, I will ask you to write a notebook response to a reading assignment in which you should demonstrate that you have read the text and thought about it at some length. The response should prepare you for class discussion by letting you put your thoughts in your own words. At the same time, the notebook is intended as a vehicle for a first or second draft, as a "data bank" for your ideas and observations on a particular theme. Whenever a new idea grabs you that could strengthen your paper-in-progress (or one that you have already completed), "arrest" it on the page by writing it down. That is also true for the research you will be doing throughout the semester, including serendipitous findings that you didn't expect to come across in your daily lives (newspaper, radio, TV). Frequently, you will also use your notebook for any warm-up, in-class writing I will ask you to do.
- Since one of their major purposes is to facilitate class discussion, take-home notebook entries are always due at the beginning of each class. I will reserve the right to call on you to read your entry. Please be prepared and have it with you for each class! I will ask you to hand in your notebook 3 times during the course so that I can respond to the way you handle the assignments. While I will read all your entries each time, please indicate at least one entry (with a big *, for example) to which you would like me to respond in detail.
Appearance and Length
- All at-home reading-response entries must be typewritten and fill about one sheet of paper (that is, represent the equivalent of at least twenty minutes' substantial work). Your in-class entries can naturally be handwritten but should be legible, please. Make sure you include your name, the date, and a title to indicate the assignment covered. And, please remember: A notebook is a place to experiment with ideas, questions, voices, and styles. Be daring in your entries, and write the way you talk. No stylistic polishing here!