These journal entries encourage you to reflect on material from class in the context of your own life. While much of the course is in a typical academic format, this assignment will reward self-reflection, analytic leaps and creativity. These entries can be written in a variety of ways, there is not one “right” way to write these journal entries. Instead, I am very interested in seeing how you are critically thinking about the ways that the material covered in class relates to your perception of your own social world.
Length of entries: Each entry needs to be at least 300 words long.
Format and Style: There are no special formatting requirements for this assignment, you can use any fonts or spacing formats that you prefer. I only ask that you write in complete and coherent sentences, using appropriate grammar, word choices, and general sentence and paragraph organization. Your writing style for this assignment can be relatively informal. For example, it’s best if you write in first person (using “I”) for a journal style assignment.
Topics: This assignment is relatively open ended. You can write about any topic that we address in class, and you can even bring in topics that we don’t cover in class as long as it is somehow related to “youth in today’s world.” If you want to address something that we don’t talk about in class, be sure that you still tie it in some way to course content even if this is only in a comparative manner (see the section below: “use of course material”). You may have had some ideas about a course topic that you didn’t get to share in class during discussion and you want to share your thoughts in the entry; or you could tie in a relevant current event or occurrence in popular culture or the broader media and discuss how it’s related to class—it’s really up to you!
Use of course material: Every journal entry should reference course material in some manner, this can include directly citing readings from the course. Lectures, activities, class discussion, films and other course material are also fair game. Academic sources outside of course material are welcome. If you reference a course reading (or bring in an outside source), then you need to cite that reading appropriately (you can use whichever style guide you are most familiar with).
Use of outside media: Your journal can incorporate media from outside of class. This can include pictures and videos from your own life or pop culture and news media relevant to your particular entry.
Submitting Entries to Canvas: Ideally, you will complete these entries intermittently throughout the semester, but there will be 2 journal check points during the semester, and four new journal entries are due at each check. If you prefer, you can submit entries as you complete them (there will be an individual assignment tab for each entry)—that way you don’t have to wait until each due date to upload all four entries. All entries must be uploaded to Canvas as Word Docs, and each entry will be verified with the plagiarism detection program, Turnitin.
Grading: You will receive full credit on these entries if you successfully meet the following goals:
The entry is at least 300 words long.
The entry references course material in some way. You must provide in-text citations if you bring in course material or outside material.
The entry demonstrates critical thinking as you connect course material to your own lived experience.