ISP Journals

Your ISP (worth 10% of your final grade) is a post on the class blog.

The purpose of the ISP is:


  • To increase student awareness of current economic issues.
  • To improve critical reading skills.
  • To improve critical thinking skills.
  • To improve writing skills.


  • One blog post  – called a journal


You will be provided with a journal prompt, one or two follow-up questions and some background resources.  You are required to write a response to the question.

I’m not concerned with length but with the quality of your answer.  This is not an essay.  A blog post is more like an opinion column in a newspaper.  You are expected to have an opinion and to be able to back up that opinion with factual evidence and reasoned judgment.  See the rubric for specific expectations.

Feel free to reference outside sources, providing excerpts of the material and links to the original, to help support your arguments. Further research may or may not be necessary.  You are free to edit your post for clarity, to improve your arguments or to correct spelling and grammar mistakes at any time up to the cut-off date.

Here is a post on what makes a great blog post.



You are required to comment on the work of your peers.  Please do not limit your comments to your friends in the class.  For this system to work, everyone needs to receive feedback on their posts.

Feedback must be specific, constructive and written in a respectful tone.  It can’t be limited to ‘great post’.  If you feel it is a great post, give specific reasons.  If you disagree with the points made, make counter arguments.

Feedback can also include suggestions for improvement, polite corrections of spelling and grammar and/or asking further questions if you don’t understand some of the author’s arguments.

You must comment on at least 10 posts.  You will choose your four best comments for grading.



You may submit up to 6 posts for grading.  I will use your top 4 marks for your final grade.  You may resubmit a post, once.

Mark Breakdown (15% of your final grade)

Journals (4 journals – each of 25 points)  85% of the 15%

Comments (4 comments – total of 15 points)  15% of the 15%

If you do not complete the 10 requirements comments, you have not met the minimum requirements of the assignment and will receive a zero for the comment grades.

Journal and Comments Rubrics

Due Dates

There will be five due dates for the journals.  Everyone must complete at least one journal for the first four due dates.  For the final due date you can submit a maximum of 2 journals.  You must make 2 comments in the week following the journal due date.

Due Date 1:  Early October 

Due Date 2: Early November

Due Date 3: Late November

Due Date 4: Mid December

Final Submissions: Mid January

Practical Considerations

Journals are blog posts on the class blog.  Each journal is a separate post. Be sure to include the appropriate categories and tags for your post.

Please remember that your fellow classmates are depending on your comments to improve their work.  Please do not leave all your comments to the end of the semester.

Final Submission

The final submission for this assignment is one blog post that links to your four journals, ten comments and four graded comments.  It must be completed by 9:00pm Friday, June 10th.