About Journals

About Journals

Your journals primarily support your engagement with the readings and with the perspectives of others, which you will encounter during discussions in class and plenary sessions. In other words, they represent the documentation of your encounter with the ideas of others through written texts and conversation. Although what individuals write in their journals will naturally and inevitably differ from what others record, the basic principles for what should go into one’s journal include

1. The date and time of your entry
2. The assignment, i.e., the text you are reading and the colloquium for which the text  is the assigned reading
3. Notes and observations from your reading, which at the very least should include an outline of the text and main points (for narratives such as the Iliad or Aeneid, these points should include a brief description of the event and the participants; for philosophical essays, a summaries or précis of the main ideas)
4. At least two questions or observations you can contribute to the discussion in colloquium, which should include specific references to the text

Below are a series of journal entries that illustrate the work that should go into your journals as you prepare for colloquium.