course journal assignment write a reflection paper

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Course Journal Assignment

“Thinking About University”

October 18, 2018

Using the template posted in the Course Journal Reflections folder, insert three of the five journal entries that you have completed. Choose the three journal entries that are the most informative – i.e., the entries that are the richest in ideas. Next, write a commentary on the three journal entries that you choose. Ensure to follow the directions outlined in the handout titled – Course Journal: “Thinking About University”.

o to University Education

EDUC 1000

Course Journal: “Thinking about University”


General Discussion, Journal Format and Submission Requirements, and

Assessment of the Journal

General Discussion

It is quite likely that the idea of a

course journal is new to many of you, and so

you will be concerned to know how you should proceed in developing your

journal for this class. Course journals (often called learning portfolios) have been

implemented for some time in academic fields such as w

riting, communications,

and the fine arts, and they are becoming more common across the university curriculum. The

content of the course journal tends to vary from one class to another, according to the learning

goals identified by the instructor, and acco

rding to the nature of the discipline under study. As I

have indicated earlier, the purpose of the journal


in this class

, is to provide an opportunity for

you to engag

e in thought and reflection on

your experience the university

and of your developing


erstanding of what it means to be a student in university.



hinking about University

journal will be comprised of

two items



a set of




a commentary

on these reflections. The purpose of the reflections will be

to have you think about

university on a regular basis

. Accordingly, you will be given time in class

each week to write your reflections. The purpose of the commentary will be to have you


der your reflections with a view to assessing what they reveal about your attitude to


university and to how you are coping with the learning challenges with which you are being


Journal Format and Submission Requirements

At the end of term,

you will be submitting your journal for assessment. Please prepare your

journal according to the format provided below:

Section I: Selection

of Reflections

In this section, you will provide a typed transcript of

3 only

of your weekly reflections. You wil


select these out of the total number of reflections you have completed during the term. For this

reason, it is important to record and keep all of your reflections. Obviously, you will want to

select reflections that are significant in terms of revealing

something interesting and important

about your attitude to

university education.

For the purposes of the journal, each of the 3

reflections you have selected must be on a separate page. Accordingly, there will be 3 pages in

Section I. Each reflection sho

uld be dated according to the day it was written in class. The pages

of Section I should be titled, consecutively as: Reflection #1, Reflection #2, Reflection #3.

Section II: Commentary

In this section, you will consider the


reflections you have selecte

d with a view to answering

these questions:

1. What do these reflections tell me about my attitude /s

to the


? 2. What do these reflections tell me about

how I am adapting to the

new learning environment of the university


You will need to


your answer to


Revised version, developed by Dr. Shelagh Crooks, Saint Mary’s University, 2015


each of these questions, and

illustrate your explanation

using examples from your

reflections. Your commentary should occupy no more than 1

1.5 pages of text.

How will I be assessing your journals?

If you are to

develop as a


, you will need to develop as a writer. And to develop as a

writer, you must impose upon yourself the same standards that any competent writer imposes

upon herself. The key question I will be asking as I grade your journal is,

“Does thi

s journal

provide a clear and coherent account of how this


is developing as a

student in university


Achieving Clarity and Coherence


clarity and coherence of your work

will improve if you bear some key points in mind.


Clarify the question or


you are focused on and stick to that question or issue

throughout your writing. When you do not make clear what it is that you are dealing with

or drift from one issue to another, you confuse the reader, and show a lack of focus.


Show in your writin

g that you have considered

alternative points of view

in regard

to the issue. Doing this demonstrates that you are exercising your own capacity to engage

in self

criticism, and it precludes the reader from criticizing you for neglecting to take

obvious al

ternatives into account.


Strive to write so that you

make clear precisely what you mean

. When you write

sentences that can be interpreted in many different ways, you demonstrate that you are

writing, and, presumably, thinking in a muddled way, and you leav

e it to the reader to

construct his own interpretation of what you mean. Often, the reader will get it wrong.


Give examples

and illustrations frequently, and be sure to do so whenever you are

introducing a new idea. You want to make connections between you

r ideas and the real

world, and you want to show that you understand just how these connections work.

When you do not do this, the reader is left to fill in the spaces in your thought for you

creating examples that may or may not fit with what you inten



Stipulate the

meaning of key concepts or ideas

that you deploy in your writing, so

that the reader is knows just how you intend these ideas to be understood and can judge

what you are saying appropriately.


Make clear the logical relations

between the s

entences and paragraphs you write.

If you wish something to be understood as evidence for something else

, you

need to say

so; if you are drawing a conclusion indicate that this is so, by using words like ‘thus’ and

‘therefore’, if you are shifting to a dis

cussion of a new aspect of your topic, make this

clear by starting a new paragraph. When you do not make clear

with appropriate

transitional words, critical vocabulary and paragraphing

the logical relations between

the sentences you write, you give t

he reader reason to believe that you do not fully

understand the structure of your own thinking. You never, ever, want someone to come

away from reading your work with such a view.


Above all, it is important to remember that your writing reveals

what you


re thinking on any given topic,

and what you have learned about it

. If you

want to be taken seriously as a competent and insightful thinker



, and as someone who can generate new ideas,

you must take great


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