Writing a journal entry in an undergraduate or graduate-school program is a less formal reading and writing assignment.
The goals of the Journal Entry are for you to show that –
- You have read and understood the assigned reading
- You can produce your own thoughts, observations, comparisons, or criticisms of the assigned reading.
First, read and make sure you fully understand the assigned text.
Second, write a response to the assigned reading. This is called a journal entry.
*Do not write a lot of sentences that summarize the reading. Your professor knows the assigned reading very well.
**Most of your sentences should explain your thoughts about the reading.
Below are some guiding questions for writing a journal entry. Try to answer most (or all) of these questions.
After you answer the questions, you are ready to write your Journal Entry. Delete the questions, and use your answers to write three or four paragraphs that discuss the reading.
- What is the topic of this reading assignment?
- What did you learn from this reading assignment?
- Why did the author write this text? (Possible answers are to explain something, to persuade the reader about something, or to make the reader want to do something.)
- Did anything surprise you in the reading? If yes, what surprised you?
- What parts of this assigned reading did you like the best, or what was the most interesting part? Why?
- Is the assigned reading similar to – or different from – other information that you have read?)
- What would you change in this reading if you wrote it? What could the author have done to make this reading better, more understandable, or more interesting?
- Are there parts of the text that you did not understand? What were they?
- Was there something you read that you want to know more about? What was it?