CLONMEL -- Those who complain about being relegated to unstimulating environs often fail to see the joys of the moment around them. Simple journaling skills help combat this problem. You can convert jail time into a novel, turn a boring queue into a news item or time-filling rough sketches into a valuable diary. Keeping a written journal helps nurture the disciplines of observation, recording, distillation, writing, editing, publication, and syndication. We approach all of these tasks in the Writing Skills course taught in the multimedia degree programme in Tipperary Institute.¹ Items recorded in these "wireless notebooks" form part of classroom assignment materials. The notebooks also serve as raw sample of work in progress by providing a freeze frame of eureka moments, significant emtional events and extensible threads of discussion.
It starts with a hard-back A5 copybook, its pages secured by an elastic strap. The strap keeps items like pens, CDs or floppies from falling out. Specific sections marked in the book help the process take on scientific principles.
- Inside front cover. Double-truck (two) blank unlined pages to hold a cover image. The very bottom of the back of the front cover should contain the name, phone and e-mail address of the book's author.
- 0 - 00. Page 0 names the "markers" and "pages removed" from the journal. Page 00 might describe these pages.
- i0 and i. Page i0 is a table of contents. Page i annotates the listing.
- Raw notes. As you wish from page >0 to page >3.
- Events listed or clipped into page e0 and page e1.
- Nuggets are normally pull quotes, captions, sound bites or subheadlines, placed in page n0 to page n3.
- The Journal items start on page 0 and run on consecutively numbered pages, normally up to 115 pages in total.
- Pages are numbered on front and back.
- Attributions should accompany all content. If it's not original, it needs an attribution.
- Pages not for public dissemination should be annotated in bold at the bottom with the reserved term "classified."
- If a page forms part of an online conversation, it should carry an appropriate URL at the top of the page.
- Significant events or exceptionally notable items should be annoted with the term "marker" at the top of the page.
- "Eureka moments" should be circled on the page and annotated as such.
- Prime Topics are important focal points of coursework, critical tasks, or collaborative work worth distilling for follow-up. They sit on purple-banded pages numbered c0 to c13.
- Factoids are forecasts, projections, and speculations, tracked from blue-banded pages d0 to d3.
- Facts are substantive and true, tracked on blue pages f0 to f3.
- Greenthoughts are items notable for their composition, framing, or originality. They are placed in the green-banded pages, numbered g0 to g13. Many students clip advertisements and photos for placement here.
- Knowledge Objects guide your academic work. They are items worth learning and are noted in the pink-banded pages L0 to L7. Page L0 is reserved for "referrers" and page L1 for "referrents" as part of the lecture on "Search Engine Strategies."
- Time Out. List your fancied destinations or activites in the orange-banded pages T0 to T5.
- Wish List follows in the orange-banded pages w0 to w5.
- Resources, primarily URIs of helpful content, sit on blue-banded pages r0 to r3.
- Publications worth reading, essential textbooks worth buying, general interest books that attract your interest on pages p0 to p3.
- Index sits at the back of the book. Page x0 is a listing of the deliverables you dispatched for payment or assessment. Pages x1 to x3 should be references to your original work, named essays, assignments scored by assessors, URLs of content you created. Page x4 is a listing of keywords, where the letters H and I, P and Q, U and V, W and X are combined to share lines.
¹Tipperary Institute provides writing students with A5 copybooks as part of the Writing Skills course.