Social Control Fall 2009

On Files, Journals, and Annotations

A component of the work for this course will be to develop the good scholarly habit of maintaining a file that tracks your reading, your observations of the world, your musings, bits of data you pick up here and there, illustrative accounts in the media, and so on. 
Overall, this is intended to be in the style of a "file" as described by C. Wright Mills in the famous appendix "On Intellectual Craftsmanship" in his book The Sociological Imagination.  If you haven't read that appendix before you should do so now.

Your file will consist of three main categories of material:

Physical Format

I encourage you to be creative in the format you choose for your file.  I do not mean by this that you should opt for finger painting or decorate your notebook with flower-power stickers.  Rather, I mean to think creatively about what medium would be optimal for your intellectual style, for the ways you might want to share your work, and for how you want to access it later.  A few suggested options
As a part of my ongoing interest in exploring the possibilities of "Web2.0" in education, I especially encourage experimentation with the last two.  Here are examples:

How to Start a Blog

There are actually innumerable different blog hosting sites out there.  These instructions relate to one -- blogger -- that I'm familiar with.  It's not necessarily the best or even one that I'd recommend on the basis of features.  Familiarity (to me) is its virtue.
  1. Sign up for a google id. You can do this by signing up for a gmail account or by signing up for a google account
  2. Go to the blogger start page and sign in with your google ID and pasword
  3. Click on "Create a blog" and enter the name of the blog and the address.  Stop and think about these.  The blog name will appear at the top of the screen and its what the site will be known as.  The address should be easy to type and remember and bear some relation to you and the blog content.
  4. Pick a background.  Just do it. You can change it later.
  5. Create a first blog entry.

How to Start a Wiki

As with blogs there are many sites that allow you to set up a wiki for free.  I use wikispot and so that's the one I'm introducing you to.
  1. Go to the wikispot site and click on New User in the upper right of the screen and create an account.  Don't worry; as far as I can tell it's a good non-profit run by some good folks.
  2. Finish up by clicking "Create a Profile."  You'll be logged in and then you can click on the tab that says "Create a Wiki."  Do it.
  3. To actually get the Wiki up and running you have to click on a link in the email that wikispot will send you. 
  4. After you have done that go to your WIKI.  Easiest is using the address you just created (  You can also log in and then under your name you will see a link that says Settings.  Click on it and you'll go to a "user settings" page and your wiki should be listed as one you are watching.