It is a notebook that contains information which you have worked through and understand, and which is pertinent to a course.
It a permanent notebook designed not to fall apart. For example a sewn Mead composition book, a lab notebook with numbered pages, etc
It is written legibly by hand on good quality paper.
On the inside cover there is enough information to return it to your in case you lose it and a good Samaritan finds it.
The pages are numbered and there is a running index in the back that lists the topic(s) on the page.
Each page is written on one side only at first, so that there is an (initially) blank opposing page for later additions, comments, and corrections. The comment page must face the text page, not be on the back of it.
Contain accurate but hand drawn figures, labelled and documented with enough text for you to remember later what it illustrates.
It is not a set of raw notes taken in class, or a mechanical copy of such notes.
It is not a 3-ring binder with loose pages, a spiral notebook which pages can be ripped out of, nor a glued composition book which falls apart with frequent use.
It is not a diary of your emotions regarding the class.
It is not a scrapbook of items printed out from the web, or figures printed out from your computer.
It is not a bunch of unconnected formulas and diagrams, words in telegraphic shorthand, nor an unorganized brain dump.
Anything you would like to have handy on an exam if you forgot something. It’s a supersized crib-sheet!
A clean draft of your homework to facilitate typing it up with texWins (or LaTeX) and submitting it on the designated class management system for the course.
Ideas, questions, comments. Reworked quizzes and test problems.
Well documented figures with reminders on how they were constructed.
It is a worthwhile souvenir of a course you’ve taken that you’ll enjoy looking at many years in the future.
It is a legal record (if it is properly dated, no pages have been removed, or items have been erased) in a dispute on priority of ideas, as in a patent dispute.
It is a summary of what you have learned in the course. As such, I may accept the journal in lieu of work missed for a reasonable cause, such as illness or family emergency.
You can consult it while taking tests, including the final!
Preparing a journal is an excellent way of remembering what you’re learning. It is far better than just re-reading your class notes, because it requires you to re-write and undertand what you took down in class.
It is proof that you have done our homework, in case something goes wrong with your electronic submission.
Redrawing figures into you journal by hand imprints their construction and meaning on your mind. No amount of staring at pictures and text can match this pedagogy.
Yes, because keeping the journal in a timely fashion will induce you to learn at an even, unhurried pace. No need to cram.
Yes, because writing your journal before the next class prepares you to follow the new lesson better.
Yes, because its a great study aid for an examination.
Yes, because a well prepared journal can save your bacon on a test, when you suddenly forgot something you knew earlier.
Yes, because it is part of our assigment for this course.
Yes, because I can use your journal at the end of the course to help me determine how well you have mastered this course, if that is not otherwise possible (missed exams, illness, emergency absences etc.)
3aug09 revised 5jun10