This message helps you better complete your first journal assignment. Generally speaking, a critical reading journal allows you to express your own critical perspective on, or response to, a primary text (such as The Analects) or a work of critical reference (such as The Heritage of Chinese Civilization) among the required texts for this class.
Your journal is NOT a mere summary of a primary text or reference work but a diary kept by you as a critical thinker and critical reader. It doesn’t need a formal argumentative structure required of a research paper. It is a free yet coherent flow of your critical thought accompanying the reading process.
For the first journal, you may want to discuss what you have gained, if any, from our class discussions on the weekly topics, concepts, and/or related subjects/issues. You may discuss your perspective on the Confucian concepts of ren (Cf. benevolence) and junzi (Cf. gentleman), the Confucian model of government, or the Confucian view on the function of poetry in public education and social communication. You may ask yourself the following questions based on our discussions and/or your own reading over the past two weeks:
a) Does the Confucian concept of ren help you better understand a person’s moral self-cultivation?
b) What is the validity or value of the Confucian model of government?
c) Does the Confucian view on the social function of poetry help us better appreciate poetry or literature as a whole in our own society today?
You are not required to cite primary texts or reference works. If you do cite, you must fully document the sources (Please refer to online writing guides such as follows:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or http://www.easybib.com/
No matter what you write, your journal is supposed to demonstrate that you are capable of thinking on your own as a critical reader and critical thinker.