Read . . . Think . . . Ink!

Assignment Overview
  • read a variety of types of text (images, essays, films, articles, poems, stories, cartoons, and multimedia productions);
  • improve your familiarity with how to use the web and its resources;
  • reinforce and extend your knowledge of how to write paragraphs that are focused, organized, and developed using specific examples and details;
  • write about a subject of interest to you and your audience that demonstrates your ability to read a variety of texts with insight;
  • write with an emphasis on clarity and correctness.

Step One: Decide what you will read.

The Shelf is a place to go for reading ideas. Atop the page, you'll find a link to Daily OpEd (editorials and opinion pieces) and BookGlutton (read and discuss books online). You'll also find links to essays and speeches, short stories, classics, and a ton of other interesting material to sink your teeth into. You can, of course, embrace a paper book or print magazine or newspaper: you don't have to read online.

Step Two: Actively Read the text you choose.

I say "text" because you might choose an image, a web-based documentary, a painting, a poem, or a video essay. Before you begin, jot down some questions about the text you chose, questions that will help you read it better. If you are not sure how to take your reading to the next step, reference Jim Burke's Reading Tools and Tips at the bottom of the right column.
To read is to think. Your journal is the place for you to ink your thinking:

    • Ask questions;
    • Make connections: to other texts, to current events or BIG ideas, to personal experiences;
    • Infer ideas about a character, a theme, a literary element (symbolism, metaphor...);
    • Notice the author's style--the way he uses words and strings together sentences or organizes his ideas;
    • Agree or disagree with the author.
    • Draw inferences from details in the text and how those details compare or contrast with other details.

Step Three: Write a one page blog post that:

    • is roughly 250 words;
    • names the text (and links to it if it's online) that inspired the post;
    • establishes a clear thesis in your opening paragraph;
    • organizes itself into paragraphs, each with a main idea that relates to and builds on your thesis;
    • includes examples and specific details from the text you read;
    • includes a title that helps clarify or even extend the idea of your entry (It should not be anything like, "Journal Entry #1," or "Soccer.");
    • Is tagged (label) thINK;
    • shows you know how to properly format titles
      • Quotation marks: poems, articles, stories, essays, songs
      • Italics: books, CDs, movies, magazines, newspapers;
    • is revised, showing you've carefully crafted the entry with strong words and a variety of mature sentences;
    • is proofread.

Sample Entries

Reading Journal Format.docx
On Cartoons and Mankind


Use this outline and checklist to help you write your thINK essay!

Step Four: Share Blog Post Link

    • On the discussion tab of this wiki page, add the link to your blog posts by replying to the appropriate post. You must be logged in to post a reply. Make certain you are logged in as yourself (not someone else)! Be sure to copy and paste the link to the particular blog post (not just to the front page of your blog) so that we can all find it will one click. Test your link after posting to make certain it works.