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Summative assessment will consist of a 4,000 word reading diary. This should reference at least 6 references recommended as module readings, and address the topics from at least 3 weeks. The diary needs an introduction and conclusion, which set out the argument you are making and how you are linking the references cited into a coherent whole. Feel free to cite material not included on the reading list, and unconventional sources e.g. You Tube videos. Other forms of creativity are also encouraged e.g. re-reading texts more than once, for example returning to texts after the South Africa or York placements. But the basic requirements of 6 readings, across 3 weeks should be fulfilled. In constructing the summative assessment the criteria for marking are that the diary contains:
A clear explanation as to why you have chosen the texts.
An analytical discussion about how the readings a) relate to each other, and b) relate to the core themes of the module.
Consideration of whether the readings speak to previous study or practical experience.
Where relevant, materials from beyond the course and beyond conventional academic and NGO texts e.g. blogs, You Tube videos, which illuminate your argument.
An assessment of whether preparing or keeping notes for a reading diary contributed to your learning? If so, how?
The basic parameters of a strong piece of written work: an argument, a clear structure, and consistent referencing.
How does a reading diary differ from an essay? Here are some pointers:
A reading diary is a more personal and reflective document, with more use of the first person and reference to how readings did, or did not, inform your personal learning.
The process of compiling a reading diary may differ from writing an essay, in that it could be written over a longer period of time. As such you could reflect on several readings of the same text (at the start of term, at the end; during your placements) and how the insights gained differ over time and across place/space.
You can be more creative in sources cited than is conventional in essays. For example, you could include visual material or class discussions or indeed private conversations. Did particular readings spark group discussions, and if so why?
Although as noted before, a reading diary needs a ‘clear structure’, the structure does not have to follow the beginning-middle-end model of a conventional essay. As long as you signpost the structure, and lead the reader through it, the structure can be more creative too.
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