OPTION 2: THE NOTE-TAKING/JOURNAL COMBO
A Description Of Option 2: The Note-Taking/Journal Combo will combine notes upon the common course curriculum with a series of short writings of varying lengths ("My Thoughts") that offers your analysis of and commentary upon this material. You should centre both your Notes and your Thoughts upon items that are included within the Reading Assignments, Listening and Viewing, and Optional Extras on the Syllabus Page.
Do the following:
1) Take notes on the weekly Reading, Viewing, and Listening assignments that are listed on the Syllabus. You are not expected to take notes on every syllabus item or even on every week, but you should clearly demonstrate that you are spending extensive time absorbing new knowledge. The purpose of this exercise is to push you to clearly summarize the different resources you access.
The assignment calls upon you to engage with the material as you highlight the main points. Bullet point notes are fully appropriate if that is a format that works well for you, but you should adopt an active role as you summarize different resources.
Clearly identify each item reviewed but appreciate that condensed summaries of a range of resources are likely going to be of much more educational benefit to you than extensive summaries of one or two news articles.
The core texts rest at the heart of the curriculum. You should include detailed notes on Nine Lives, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Dhammapada. in your Combo Assignment. These Nine Lives notes can then be used as a core resource for the writing of your mini-essay. You should also include notes for your Sacred Signs Mini-Assignment and for your Other Asian Religions Project, and for the feature documentary on the life of the Buddha.
You should have an average of at least two or three pages of notes a week. It is fine to write the Combo Assignment by hand if you prefer, though in this case the weekly page average should increase correspondingly.
2) Regularly integrate your own commentary, analysis, and interpretation into the Note-Taking/Journal Combo. Do this by adding a "My Thoughts" section at the end of each week or after each item when you have something to say about it. Speak in your own voice here. What do you find to be most interesting? How might you respond to what you are learning? These comments can range in length from a few sentences to a page or more, depending upon the topic under discussion. You can then use these comments as ideas for your regular Discussion Forum Contributions.
For many of you, the Notes sections of the Combo Assignment may be many more pages in length in total than the ""My Thoughts" sections. That is o.k. But do not neglect this latter responsibility, and do your best to engage with the curriculum here in a way that connects to you and your ideas.
Is This Option Right For Me?: The Note-Taking/Journal Combo is specifically designed for those students who are still very much developing their critical reading and writing skills and for those students who are mastering English as a second or third language. You should choose this option if you think you would benefit from the intermediate step of summarizing information in written form as you absorb it before attempting to offer your own analysis. It is also appropriate to choose this option if you are confident in your critical reading and writing abilities but still think that careful note-taking would help you with your learning.