Pseudo-procrastinatory/preparatory/general knowledge-up-keep-y notes about how to take ethnographic field notes, ostensibly to jog my memory before commenting on students' attempts to write such notes.
From Atkinson & Hammersley's Ethnography: Principles in Practice. (Ch 7) (Note to self: this is from 1995 edition. 3rd edition pub'd in 2007 is out.)
Fieldnotes: relatively concrete descriptions of social processes and their contexts.
Adopt a wide focus
No attempt to code systematically
"Write down what you see and hear." (BUT: What should you write down; how and when should you write it?)
Use of actual words important.
Balance: concrete and descriptive, yet large scope.
Record speech and action: who, where, what time, what circumstances.
Spradley suggests trying to keep track of the following as a kind of checklist:
Space, Actor, Activity, Object, Act, Event, Time, Goal, Feeling
Thin vs thick description: link.
Thin description: the bare details. The essentials and nothing more.