Table of Contents =

First hop to new page about "Reading" in the Academic Setting, then return
What Should You Enter in the Journal, and How Much?
The Journal table of contents and bibliography
When is the journal due?
Start Your Own Library of Copied Material
Become Map Savvy
Make a Backup Copy of Your Journal
Final Words on the Concept of the Journal

What Should You Enter in the Journal, and How Much?

Keep a record of ALL YOUR WRITTEN WORK in your journal. The course syllabus spells out exactly which blank journal to purchase in the bookstore. The journal will contain your lecture notes, but just as important, it will become a clear record of your reading in the library, surfing through SAC [ID], and studying other course materials and completing exercises defined in week-by-week listings in the course ACADEMIC CALENDAR. The journal is of distinct importance and use to you. EG=


The journal will contain the following five types of entries =

(1) Lecture notes, properly headlined and dated
(2) Notes on journal-worthy course exercises
(3) Notes on readings [ID]
(4) Draft-essays [ID]
(5) Exams [ID]

These five types of exercises do not unfold over the term in the order of the list above. You will move around among the list as suits your schedule and as guided by the syllabus. In the journal, enter your work among these five types of exercises in the order in which you take them up. Also keep up the single Table of Contents in the order of the work.

The Journal serves as the record of all your written work for this course. I strongly recommend that you make single-space and front & back entries in your journal, that you not write in giant script, and that you not use a pen whose ink soaks through the page. You will most likely fill one 120-page journal this term, and a certain number of you will move into a second journal before the term is out. If you approach the end of the journal in the final days of the term, consult with me.

Some course exercises will be completed within one week, some will stretch through the whole term. Some of the exercises (like number one, "purchase the journal") obviously require no entry in the journal. Others (like the MAP ROOM tour) do call for a written record. Be smart about what is most journal-worthy in the exercises, and use your nine hours per week of work outside class wisely. The week-by-week readings in SAC and the library do require constant attention, and should be entered in the journal from the early days to the end of the term.

The Academic Calendar in the course webpage syllabus suggests readings for each week, but you will want to combine these broad or comprehensive readings with titles you come across in SAC [ID]. The journal provides an opportunity for thoughtful and careful reading of primary documentation [ID] as well as quick reference to secondary monographs and certain general reference works (including a textbook or two on reserve). Here are three paragraphs from the SAC instruction page that explain the presentation of primary and secondary sources in SAC entries.

How much should you read and write? There's enough suggested in the syllabus and in SAC to occupy a lifetime. So, the answer is this = limit yourself to nine hours of course work outside of class time. Not everyone will read the same things, but everyone has a chance to become closely acquainted with the general topics raised in the syllabus and to explore individual interests as well. Put in the time, and you'll be happy with the results. I guarantee it.

Take guidance from lectures, and follow your own interests and instincts. Branch out on occasion to these suggested readings embedded in SAC entries, especially when you come across them as you follow LOOPS [ID] suggested in the course webpage syllabus.

Here we touch on one of the most difficult but useful skills this course will ask you -- and the journal will allow you -- to cultivate. Work constantly to familiarize yourself with the central issues of the course, as defined by me, by the syllabus, and in SAC. But at the same time, develop your own interests, guided still by me, by the syllabus, and by SAC. Follow my lead without losing your own identity. You could describe this skill as a valuable life skill, the ability to adjust to your environment but also to thrive individually.


Journal Table of Contents and Bibliography

Work on journal-worthy exercises should be entered in the chronological order of the work. For example, you may take up one exercise on a sequence of journal pages, interrupt it with lecture notes or work on another exercise, then take up the original exercise again on a third or fourth sequence of journal pages. This works for you and for your reader (me) because your Table of Contents -- kept in the first several pages of the journal as a register of each lecture and each individual exercise -- will provide page numbers for each lecture and exercise, even when distributed over several different sections of your journal. Typically, the Table of Contents will list weekly lecture topics (as indicated in the course ACADEMIC CALENDAR), exercises and/or titles of the readings you have done, listed in the order in which you do them.

You may integrate your list of readings (your "bibliography") with the table of contents or keep a separate list. In either case you may use SAC abbreviations or codes [GO Glossary] or devise your own. These abbreviations or codes make it easier to indicate sources while you write journal entries, draft essays or exams.

The Registrar schedules lectures very precisely, but your out-of-class reading and writing (9 hours/week) can be organized as you wish. The standard 9 hours/week can be distributed over any number of different reading and writing schedules, but if you deviate much from the broad outline in the syllabus, be sure to come see me, so I can help you alter your reading/writing plan, and so I can make a note in your journal to remind me of your particular variation on our general syllabus.

When is the Journal Due?

I will read your journal and the results of your work on exercises at least three times. The course syllabus specifies those "due-dates" or deadlines.

Notice "at least three times" above. I am very happy to look at  journals more often on a simple, individual advisory basis. I invite you to come see me with your journal during office hours or by appointment, as often as you like. I do know that this library, internet and journal based course is very different from what you might be familiar with. I'm confident you can do it, but I also know that I can help you to get untracked and adjusted, especially in these early weeks. Come see me!

You know or will soon learn how to pace yourself. Steady work is good, about 9 hours per week. Of course, some weeks you will have reason to give more time than others, etc.


Start Your Own Library

Photocopy or electronically "copy-and-paste" into word-processing text, as you will.
But Don't Put These in the Journal.
Remember = The Journal is a Record of Your Own Work

You will have some spare change this term because you are not purchasing a high-price textbook. Buy a photocopy card at the library and use it regularly.

Under no circumstances may you bring "copy-and-paste" word-processing or photocopy print-text taken from printed sources into the exam room.


Become Map Savvy

Feel free to put photocopy outline maps in your journal. You may fill these outline maps with as much hand-written information as you wish. An outline map filled in by you can be called YOUR WORK and belongs in the journal. [Here's an example of a good outline relief map of Eurasia.]

I recommend that you learn to sketch outline maps yourself, and that you do so occasionally in your journal. This is a good way to consolidate your grasp of relevant geography. In turn, grasp of geography seriously expands your ability to remember the events that take place on the geo-physical "stage". Remember that your outline or hand drawn maps can include dates and other key words inscribed by you.



Make a Backup Copy of the Journal

It is wise to photocopy your journal to create a "backup" copy. A good time to photocopy your journal would be just before submitting it to me. At the time of the second submission to me, copy the pages since the last copy was made. Etc. If for some reason the original is lost, you have a copy to fall back on.


Final Words on the Concept of the Journal

A central concept here is this: When you "process" information from a source through your eye and onto the blank page by hand, while in the process of analysis and synthesis of verbal and other information, you will remember it better, you will "make it your own" [EG= E-TXT]. And your journal will preserve a record of that work, for me to see, but for you to see and use for years to come, perhaps.

And that's what I want you to do with the history before us in this course = MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

The Golden Rule of the journal is this = Record everything in it that you think you might find useful

  • When you record your work on each journal-worthy assignment enumerated at the top of the syllabus for this particular course [ID]
  • When you compose draft essays [ID]
  • When you write midterm and final exams [ID]

Hop to a page with an outline of
"Frequently Observed Qualities" [FOQs]

of Journals, Draft Essays, and Exams