You will post a brief journal entry each week in response to the reading. These will be due by 9 pm the night before we discuss a reading. Generally, the responses will be due on Sunday nights, though the fourth week of the semester and the week after fall break the responses will be due on other nights (September 13th, October 13th). I will read these responses before our class meetings in order to prepare for our discussions, so late responses will not be accepted. There are 12 opportunities to post a Moodle response; I will count the 10 best responses.
For the four theoretical readings (by Jameson, Hutcheon, Anker, and Huggan) and the one piece of criticism that you choose through research (due September 25th), the journal entry will take the form of a question and answer. What do you think is the question that this critic is trying to answer? Write what you decide is the question to which they are responding. Then, write a second sentence (or two) explaining what you think is the answer that the critic is offering to this question. Doing this will get you thinking about academic writing as driven by research questions, and will help you develop for yourself questions that you come to see as important and worth pursuing.
For the novels that we read, the journal entry will take a different form. Write a paragraph about some detail from that day’s reading that you notice and you don’t think anyone else in the class will notice. I will review these observations before class and they will help us decide what we might want to talk about in more detail in our class discussions. These observations will also help you prepare for the more formal essays in which you will move from simply noticing these interesting details to trying to analyze and explain them.
Journal entries submitted on time will be assigned check, check-plus, or check-minus. Entries will receive a check if they are clearly engaged with the task. Check-plus entries will show more rigorous engagement and creative thought. Check-minus will be assigned to entries that appear to be rushed or superficial. I will count the ten highest-graded entries when tabulating your final grade.