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Reading Journal

by David Barnhill last modified Sep 14, 2011 11:31 AM

What do I look for in a Reading Journal? Check out this page.

The Reading Journal is your opportunity to go deeper into the reading. It is also an opportunity to work on polishing your writing. The Journal will be graded on both content and writing. In this class we will do three types of response to the reading: study questions, precis, and rhetorical analysis. See syllabus schedule for due dates. In all cases, your responses should exhibit excellence in writing, including proper spelling and grammar.

1. Study questions
Study questions are a way of helping you enter more deeply and actively into the reading. Answers to the study questions should be typed, with one-and-a-half line spacing (one line space is too close to make comments, two spaces wastes paper).

2. Precis
A precis is a brief summary of a larger work. The term "abstract" has the same meaning, but I prefer the term precis because of its relation to the word "precise," and because of the way the word is pronounced: "pray-see." A precis is a precise condensation of the basic thesis and major points of a paper; it tells the reader the gist of what has been said. In other words, a precis answers the question: "what's this paper saying?"
For a more detailed description of a precis, click here.

3. Rhetorical Analysis
Literary analysis often concerns the ideas and themes in work. Rhetorical analysis is a way to examine other aspects: the elements involved, the techniques used, the context for the writing, and the author’s overall stance. This type of analysis helps the reader get a sharper sense of the literary aspects of the writing, and its rhetorical dimension as a piece of communication. It also helps stimulate a different type of class discussion. A thorough rhetorical analysis of a short essay could end up being longer than the primary text itself. For our purposes in this class I ask for a page or page and a half, reflecting on these aspects of rhetorical analysis. Write at least one paragraph for each aspect.
For a more detailed description of rhetorical analysis, click here.


Granite Canyon - NPS

Granite Canyon

(photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

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by David Barnhill last modified Sep 14, 2011 11:31 AM