Keeping a Writer's Notebook
“Working notebooks are reassuring because it’s easier to start from something than nothing. In notebooks, writers feel free to be awkward or polished, silky or sullen. Notebooks are dedicated to perpetual sketchiness, and that’s their charm.”
Alice Fulton, poet
Keeping an active writer’s notebook will be an on-going assignment in this class. Your notebook will help you become a better writer, reader,and thinker. Writing is a skill that improves with practice and so this kind of informal writing serves as one kind of “writing skill drill.”Writing about what you read will help make sense of your reading and connect it to your life. In addition, it will also help you develop your ideas for papers and projects required in this course.
The purpose will vary depending on what we are considering in class. You may use this notebook:
• to gather the seeds of ideas for writing
• to record, respond, and react to reading
• to hold onto memories
• to record thoughts and observations of the world and events
• to show growth over time
• to keep ideas in one place
1. You will be using google.docs to hold your notebook. You, Mrs. Dinsmore, and Mrs. Whitbred, or Miss Milliman will all be collaborators, so that you can write and we can check, assess, and respond.
2. Each entry should be dated and titled. Sometimes we will supply the prompt, the date, and the title. Other times you will.
3. Entries should be written following standard written English (no “txt” ing (LOL) please!).
4. Entries should be at least 200-250 words in length (8-10 sentences) Be certain to keep your notebook current.
5. Entries will be used to begin class discussion. At other times, you will be asked to record your responses to or questions about what you are reading. You may also use this notebook for any other writing(poetry..a story in progress) you might wish to include. Notebooks will be evaluated for content and effort not mechanics!
Grading system for writer’s notebook entries
Outstanding (5): Creative, sustained writing. A rather long entry which tackles the idea in in an interesting manner. Innovative,personal and/or thoughtful response that makes connections with life experiences as well as other texts and information.
Very Good (4): Sustained writing. Writing which presents an idea and develops it with a sincere approach and effort. Personal and thoughtfulr esponses that makes
connections with life experiences as well as other texts.
Good (3): Credible notebook writing. Writing which demonstrates some thought and effort. Personal and generally thoughtful responses that make connections.Minimally Acceptable (2): Something written down. Writing demonstrates little thought or effort.