Course Journal The course journal is an extremely important file you’ll maintain throughout this course. The journal consists of 15 entries that are assigned throughout your study guide. You must keep these entries in one document, just as if it were a personal diary or journal. You’ll submit that one file at the end of the course as your final exam. Worth 33 percent of your final grade, the journal takes the place of a proctored exam for the course. You won’t take a proctored exam for English Composition at the end of the semester. Read each entry assignment carefully. Some entries are based on textbook exercises, for which the pages are given. Most entries require multiple parts for a complete entry—for instance, both prewriting and a thesis. Assignments generally include a minimum length, a range, or a general format (such as one paragraph), while some allow you to choose the length and format to accomplish the required work. The guidelines list the minimum amount of work you may produce, but you should continue writing until you complete your thoughts. As you write the entry, provide sufficient response to show your thinking process. Keep in mind that your entries will be evaluated for their unique reflections and depth of thought, not for correct sentence or paragraph structure. Points won’t be deducted for errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation, so edit your entries only so that the instructors can understand what’s written. For complete scoring information, see the Course Journal Evaluation Rubric. Use the exam submission instructions already given, except that you should single-space your journal. Use double spacing only between entries. First, type the date, tab once (one-half inch), and type in capital boldface letters the word ENTRY, followed by the number and name of that entry. Hit Enter once, and then type in and underline the first part label followed by your writing for that part. Then, do the same for any additional parts. Use this example as a guide:
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 2: PREWRITING Brainstorming: Brainstorm about specific positive and negative effects computers have had on your personal, professional, and academic life. Create a one-page list of your ideas. Thesis: Based on your brainstorming, write a one-sentence working thesis statement that focuses on the impact of computers related to a single area of your life (personal, professional, or academic). The thesis should be one you could develop into an essay of about one page (250-300 words), directed to readers of your local newspaper. Don’t draft the essay in your journal, however. You need only your list from brainstorming and your working thesis statement.
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 3: DRAFTING This entry builds on the brainstorming and thesis you developed for Journal Entry 2. Evidence: Identify three different types of evidence you could use to develop your working thesis from Entry 2. Use specific information from your brainstorming list, as well as any other ideas that come to you. (Length open) English Composition 52
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 4: REVISING This journal entry requires you to review the rough draft of the essay below. Analyze the draft according to each of the areas listed, identifying what needs revision. For each area, explain why and how you would change the draft. (4 paragraphs, 5 sentences each) Analyze the essay’s ¦ Purpose and audience ¦ Thesis statement, topic sentences, and paragraphs ¦ Evidence ¦ Organization Rough Draft: E-mail vs. Letters Instead of using e-mails, mail a letter to your grandparents. We live in a fast-paced world. We use computers to send e-mails and Instant Message. Nana doesn’t live in that time zone. Forget all those fonts and emoticons or abbreviations like LOL. You point and click but Grandpa wants to hold something, unwrap a letter, and smell it. A crayoned picture smells and feels special, no scanner can do that. Their senses want to be used. He lives in a physical world, not an invisible one. Grandparents can touch something that’s mailed. Sometimes as if touching the ink or pencil on paper helps them touch the writer. A picture can be held and used in so many ways. I get to see how my grandkids’ handwriting is changing as they grow. I know how they feel just from the way they write the words. A letter gives your grandparents the real thing. A letter exists in time and space. Even if Grandma and Grandpa e-mail you regularly, the surprise of a mailed letter provides something to cherish rather than to be deleted. Of course, they like getting through the Internet a photograph of you on the day of a special event. But a printed photograph can be put into an album or used for a bookmark or posted on the refrigerator for regular review. They don’t have to worry about color cartridges or paper because you have given them what they need in the mail. Sure, they may have a hard time reading your handwriting. A letter is a tangible way to remind them that you care enough to take the time and effort to communicate with them and them alone. The convenience and efficiency of computers can’t be matched by regular postal service. But they sometimes bleep and blurp in a frustrating conversation your grandparents can’t quite hear or understand. One wrong click here and another there can mean mass destruction. They may get a paper cut from your letter, but sucking on a finger while reading makes their experience more memorable and satisfying. The cut heals; the letter remains alive.
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 6: NARRATION Outline one specific time in your life when you felt extremely stressed by the pressure to succeed in your studies, perform on the job (if applicable), and spend time with family and friends. As needed, prewrite on the topic in your notes file, but don’t submit that work. For this journal entry, use the following labels to sketch out the details for your narrative of that time. (Open) Scene Key actions Key participants Key lines of dialogue Feelings
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 7: DESCRIPTION Think of an experience in which you faced an important test (either in school, work, or a personal situation). As needed, prewrite on the topic in your notes file or notebook, but don’t submit that work. Sensory Details: For this journal entry, list two specific, concrete, original details for each sense describing that particular testing event (Open): ¦ Sight ¦ Sound ¦ Smell ¦ Taste ¦ TouchComparison: Write one fresh, creative comparison for one of your details (one simile or metaphor). Evaluation: For which of the five senses was it easiest to write sensory details? For which was it most difficult? Why? (1 paragraph, 5 sentences) Lesson 3 77
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 8: ILLUSTRATION Think about what life is like when you’re able to keep a healthy balance among all your responsibilities-studies, career, family, friends, and your own needs. Remember specific times you struggled to achieve this balance. Through each experience you learned something that helped you better balance being a student with the other demands of your life. Prewrite on the topic as needed in a separate file or notebook, but don’t submit that work. Feelings and situations: First, list several words describing how you feel about this balancing act (at least 10 words). Then, for three of the words, identify an example from your experience that illustrates your feelings. Use a different expe- rience for each word. (3 paragraphs, 3 sentences each) Thesis: Based on this exploration, write a one-sentence working thesis for an essay of three pages (around 600 to 800 words). The essay would inform an audience of fellow Penn Foster students about handling the stress of distance education with other responsibilities. (1 sentence) English Composition 98
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 9: COMPARISON AND CONTRAST Reread Abigail Zuger’s “Defining a Doctor, with a Tear, a Shrug, and a Schedule” on pages 410-413. Describe an expe- rience you’ve had with a doctor or other medical professional. (1 paragraph, 5 sentences)Compare/Contrast: List the similarities and the differences of your own experience, showing how they match up with the work of the two doctors described in Zuger’s article. (2 paragraphs, 5 sentences)
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 10: CLASSIFICATION AND DIVISION Review “Generating Ideas” on pages 432-436. Using either Method 1 or Method 2, explore the reasons students may be tempted to cheat on one or more assignments in their college program. Whichever method you choose, identify the principle of classification or division and devise a set of categories or parts in which you list the examples, situations, or other details you would use to describe each category or part. You may simulate a graphic organizer. (Open) Lesson 4 107
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 11: DEFINITION Prewrite: Examine the term cheating as it relates to one of the following contexts: your career, your family, or your personal needs. Don’t write about cheating as it relates to academic studies. Explore the meaning of cheating by describing the feelings you associate with the term, the history or etymology of the word (check a dictionary), and distinguishing characteristics with supporting details. Also, use negation and exceptions. (1 page, open)Define: Freewrite an extended definition of cheating based on your prewriting. To develop that definition, use another pattern of development. (2 paragraphs, 5 sentences each) REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 12: ARGUMENT Analyze: Review “How Much Is That Kidney in the Window?” by Bruce Gottlieb on pages 578-581 and “‘Strip-Mining’ the Dead” by Gilbert Meilaender on pages 582-586. Respond to the two viewpoints using either the compare/contrast or the classify/divide pattern of development. Review Chapters 12 and 13 if necessary. (Open, list) React: React to this thesis: A still-living human body and a newly dead body should be treated with the same degree of respect and dignity. Don’t immediately choose to agree or dis- agree. Instead, explore in the entry your feelings and beliefs, both agreement and disagreement, until you reach a point of conviction, showing yourself coming to a place where you strongly agree or disagree. (3 paragraphs, 5 sentences each)
REQUIRED JOURNAL ENTRY 13: WEB SITE EVALUATION First, identify or make up a particular career need you’ve faced or might face, such as earning a promotion at your current job, switching jobs, or entering the job market. Then, reread “Choosing and Evaluating Useful Sources,” pages 648-653, and “Improving Your Reading of Electronic Sources,” page 660. Next, examine each of the following two sites: http://www.careerbuilder.com/ and http://www.rileyguide.com/. Argue in favor of the site you believe is most relevant for your career need and most reliable. As you discuss specific reasons to support your thesis, use the terminology and criteria for electronic sources discussed in the textbook. Include with your evidence why the other site isn’t as satisfactory for your purpose. (5 paragraphs, 5 sentences each) English Composition 152 clarify that it’s not your work, but it also helps to blend the material together. Pay attention to the proper punctuation of quotations. Pages 711-712. As you revise your paper, be prepared to cut any material that doesn’t provide support and evidence for your thesis and lead to a clear conclusion. Remember to let your writing “rest” between revisions so you’ll see what it actually says, and not what you intended it to mean. Pages 712-716. As you prepare your final draft, pay special attention to ¦ Formatting: Note the seven criteria listed on pages 712 and 7
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