Some keys to group success follow:
- Learn what is meant by and use the skill called active listening.
- Expose one's work to the group at large, solicit comment and
suggestions, and improve.
- Keep written records of work and ideas. Use journal, progress
report, summary, reaction piece, and bibliography concepts.
- Read. Try something new each week. List each year's reading
accomplishments. See Articles, Books, and Magazines. Read and write
about what you've read. Compose a reaction piece or a
summary even for a web site viewed or an interesting book you've read.
- Iterate. Every draft becomes the starting point of new work
after you or others review it critically or discuss what could be added.
Use written items from reading to support talks. Make your
presentation (with comments, questions) the beginning of a draft proposal. This
item is for work you'd like, and why funding should be granted. A talk based on
such material is a pitch, an attempt to convince others to back or work
with you. [Sample
Sites, Reviews, and
Proposals.] Some parts of the proposal can
appear in reports or papers on work you did when funds arrive.
Protect Intellectual Property
A journal can give
a record of what you
You choose what to record. That can be
project ideas, steps, items you read (bibliographic citation information,
author, title, date is useful). It can include comments and notes on class
An engineering or technical notebook is a formal term used to describe a dated, witnessed, signed version of such a work effort record. It
is a valuable document for legal purposes.
A good practice is to regularly pass one's journal to
a coworker, here another student in the class. Seek these results:
- A dated signature on the entries (establishes patent/copyright
ownership of ideas);
- Suggestions re format; ideas regarding possible presentations or
figures; spelling, grammar, or recommended organizational changes;
- Starts to building ties to others. People lead one to new things,
items possible but either as yet not considered, or very unlikely one
would think of on his/her own.
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he
reads. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and
leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
©2002 Allen Klinger