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Syllabus, ENG 101

COMPUTER CLASSROOMS: there is a link to your journals
 (on the discussion group) below.

NON-COMPUTER CLASSROOMS: the reading journal is written in a spiral bound, 70-100 page notebook.  
Please be sure to get a sprial notebook (with the wires), not the "sprial-less spiral" with glue holding the pages.

The journal is sort of a log for the reading you do. Any reading. Its purposes are to 1) get you to read; 2) learn how to summarize and/or paraphrase (required for ENG 102); 3) get you writing (and therefore thinking) about what you read.


1. Each entry should be about a page and a half, minimum.

2. Include all bibliographic information about reading--titles, authors, dates, etc.

3. No more than two (2) entries from one source--for example, only two chapters from one book (multiple articles from one magazine or newspaper are fine).

4. Must make direct reference to material in source, but journal is not just a retelling of article. The journal needs to include your insight, your reactions, etc. Nothing earth-shattering, perhaps, but it must be there.

5. 15 total journal entries for the semester.

A note about Internet, on-line or other electronic readings--any and all are fine, provided that

1) you have more than JUST Internet sources;

2) the readings are ARTICLES to read, not just a company's or newspaper's homepage with general information;

3) you include ALL of the bib info, including addresses and dates.

Link for Computer discussion group
Discussion group

Sample Journal

(Keep in mind, this is typed, not hand-written, so it appears shorter than what it really is.)

Scheppler, Vincenette. "Sealed Adoption Records and the Search for Identity." Testimony before the New York State Commission on Child Welfare. 1976. Online. Internet. 10 June 99. Available at:

This testimony that Scheppler gave is based on her experience as a psychiatric social worker. She is also an adoptive mother herself. This author speaks very clearly about the issues she has with open records for adoptees. She sees the open records as a need for the adopted child's mental well-being. It is interesting that she mentions the child--she is not adopted himself, but she seems to have a good grasp on some of the problems they face. For example, she acknowledges the fact that adoptees have, in essence, two sets of parents. Even if the adoptee never meets the birth parents, they are still a part of the adoptee's life. The adoptee, therefore, needs to come to some sort of understanding about her relationships with each.

The article is a pretty good, if unoriginal, argument. She gives a lot of information about the opposing view's concerns--mentioning the birth mother's desire for confidentiality, for example, as one of the main
reasons open records are being fought in the courts.

I agree, in principle, with Scheppler's argument. I agree that there is a need, in today's society, to have more of an open policy regarding birth records. After all, the adoptee should have the right to know about himself. However, the site where this testimony was published as a little paragraph at the end that says "{t}his testimony may be freely quoted by persons who are working to achieve open records." This tells me that the author has a very definite political agenda in putting this in writing--this is also why, I think, the article is so general and appeals so much to the emotional side of the issue rather than the logical. It brings up some good points--I look forward to studying this issue more.

Remember the journal entries are NOT edited for grammar "stuff."
They are only read for content--that you have read something and have written about it and shown some thought about the topic/article.