5-15 (Weekly) Reports with Reading Journals

Table of contents

Q: What is a 5-15 report?
  • A basic 5-15 report is a weekly report that takes you about 15 mins to write and me maximum 5 mins to read.
  • A report with a Reading Journal means that you will spend a more time on it, BUT!! not if you keep track of the things I like to see included while you do the reading for the course anyway.
    • The Reading Journal is approx. 400 words

Every week you write a blog post with an overview of your work for the course, including your Reading Journal or other engagement with course materials, and your thoughts on the course/course materials. Add the post to the category with your course number.

Q: What should I put in the 5-15 report?

–> Add an image to brighten up your blog post. Please include one, with a caption indicating the source, and adding Alt Text for accessibility purposes.

–> Add your report to the category for the course: HST37, HST267, or HST271 to ensure it appears in the right place.

Here are the three big questions for writing your report:

  1. What have I done for the course this week?
  • Reading Journal: for each of the materials you read for class that week, which can include:
    • Summary: A brief (three sentence maximum) summary of the content, try to get to the main point the author makes
    • Information that stood out to you, and why
    • Connection with previous course material (contrast, comparison, similarity)
    • Classificiation of the text and genre: e.g.: “primary source: letter, eyewitness account, government document, court report, poetry,…” [often in translation]; “secondary source: book chapter, journal article, excerpt/chapter from monograph” (historians trying to make sense of the past and advancing an evidence-based argument), “tertiary: textbook, encyclopedia, website (what kind of website?), documentary video, podcast,…”
  • Add the bibliographic information about the texts/items you discuss in the Reading Journal so people who are not in the course could identify them. This usually means giving the full bibliographic reference. You can copy this from the reading list on the website, and add little bibliography at the bottom of your post. The bibliography does not count for your word count 😉
  • Materials researched, collected, ordered through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), outside of the assigned readings for the week: author and title, or your journey to try and find resources (search terms, sites consulted etc.), progress on your project(s)…
  • Anything added to Zotero group library (your personal folder): Author and title so we can find it quickly. [starting in Week 3 or 4]

NOTE: The Reading Journal in your weekly post contains the same type of information you use for Zotero Notes in the Group Library, which you likely will also use later in the semester. This is in other words a good exercise. With blog posts you also get to see how everybody else responds to the same text(s) and there may be very different reactions. You can learn a lot from this: how people come from different backgrounds and come to different insights, but also: how you can “level up” to a more sophisticated level of reading and analysis.

2. “What is on my to-do list for the course?

  • Anything that was added by yourself, by me, or as the result of conversations with fellow students, Writing Assistants or Digital Learning Assistants, librarians, other instructors etc, e.g. in connection with your portfolio or a project,
  • Any appointments you need to make with others,
  • Any work still outstanding that needs to be completed,
  • Anything that is “stuck” or “idling”.
  • Do not include the regular scheduled coursework on the weekly schedule, e.g. a reflection (I know that’s on your list because I put it there 😹)

3. “What questions or open issues to discuss do I have?”

  • List any questions that arose as a result of this week’s work:
    • clarification of content, something that’s not clear,
    • reflection on course content (if not yet discussed in the reading journal),
    • an issue with your project, or if you feel stuck,
    • you want confirmation something is moving in the right direction,
    • … [anything else that needs input and you don’t know where to put].