A journal is a piece of writing that is ostensibly meant only for yourself.  As such, I really don't think I have any business reading it -- and I won't.  On the other hand, the journal may very well be the most important writing you will ever do. With that in mind, I do grade it very heavily even though I will not actually read it.  To do this, I will simply grade you during journal time according to the following THREE criteria:


1. You begin your journal promptly at the beginning of the period without being asked.         


2. You write the entire time until I say stop, with only brief pauses to think.


3. You do not talk at all during the entire journal period.


Each day we journal, you either meet all three requirements or you lose credit for that day. At interim time and again at final grade time, I will simply take the number of days you do well and divide it by the total number of journals. This average is your journal grade. For example, if we write 20 journals in a nine weeks, and you do well on 15 of them, your average would be 15/20 or 75%. These may be easiest points to get or lose in our class. I've seen average students raise their overall grade with good journaling habits; I've seen great students lose their A with poor habits.


Of course, this grading method is based largely on faith -- faith that you are writing something worthwhile. If you are not sure what this means, I have provided some guidelines below.




reflects the writer's attitude that the journal is an important part in his/her development as a writer


contains all required responses


makes extensive use of free writing and unassigned writing


reflects higher level thought with creative ideas and approaches


is well-developed with significant depth


has strong voice


demonstrates extensive risk-taking in a wide variety of formats


is written regularly