A Child’s Mind journal

Audience: You and Me – that’s it!


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Purpose: To cultivate the habit of writing. I’d like you to explore your own mind, to reflect as a writer, thinker and student and make connections about what you are learning and pondering in your own life.


Prompt: Once a week, make time to sit down and write for approximately 15+ minutes (writing efficiency and thinking, of course, varies greatly).  You can consider this to be a diary, a freewrite, a rant, a letter to me, a brain drain, a crafted personal narrative, or the terrible drudgery of busy work (I recommend any perspective except the last).  Use this time to dig deep and use the medium of writing to explore self, world, conflict and/or environment.


Source: There will be an “assigned” prompt each week; sometimes that will come from Hank Kellner’s Write What You See folder on Canvas Journaling Information Page that contains 30+ prompts where I encourage you to respond in writing to the photograph, the quote, OR one of the stated prompts – you should follow your inspiration, not try to answer every question. Sometimes I will ask a question that might connect to a relevant reading or viewing, or encourage you to respond to a philosophical concept. You may also diverge from this task and truly journal by writing what is on your mind – you do not need to stick to the prompt every week.


Length: around 500 words (quality over quantity)


Deadline: Journals are due every week online by Sundays at 11:59 p.m.


Submission: Weekly, use the individual Journal assignments grouped and labeled chronologically under Assignments on Canvas; paste your text into the text box, do not attach a file.


Goals: I am looking for content and depth. Your writing does not to be perfect; that is the nature of journaling – it’s personal, raw and instinctual.  I will read your journals weekly and occasionally give you feedback, but this is an intellectual exercise designed for your growth and evaluated holistically.  With practice and opportunity, you can use this journaling platform to discover how you feel and what you have to say.


Grading: There are 10 weeks of journaling over the duration of the semester worth 20% of your course grade. Entries are read individually and graded collectively in increments of five.  The rubric attached to Journal 5 reflects entries 1-5 and is worth 10% of your course grade (2% per week); Journals 6-10 are identically weighted and will show up on the Journal 10 rubric.  The default grade for proficient Journaling is usually a “B” – 85%.  Variations in effort, length, creativity, voice, specificity, and style/form skew up and down.


Tips: You get out of this endeavor of writing what you put into it. You can use all the digital tools available including photos, links and more.  While the journal is private, do pay attention to standard writing conventions (punctuation, paragraphs etc.). As the course progresses, one way to improve your journals is to incorporate writing craft techniques and rhetorical appeals we’ve explored for effectiveness. I’m looking for personal, reflective, narrative, and creative writing.


Where is this going? Toward the end of the term, you will be selecting one private journal entry, moment or idea and using it as a foundation for an exercise in exploration, research, voice, and context. Writing for yourself, writing to process, discover and think deeply can be a transformative experience.

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