Suggestions for Journal Entries

 

You should use your journal to explore your responses to the readings and discussions in the class. Use your writing as a tool to help you discover what you think. As you complete the journal, you will be able to see how you have developed in your thoughts and in your writing.  Most of your journal entries will be illustrative of “reflective thinking.”  The ability to reflect on experiences, readings, discussions synthesize learning, and consider new meanings is a hallmark of a college student.  During this semester you will be asked to “capture” your learning experiences and their meanings by recording them in journal entries.  These entries should be sent electronically to Grant T. Smith at gtsmith@viterbo.edu on the assigned date.  Feel free to e-mail your entries to other members of the class.  You should also feel free to write questions at the end of the entry that you would like Professor Smith to answer.  The entry is very much a dialogue between you and others.  Please keep in mind that your journal entry may be used to initiate a discussion in class or to extend a class discussion.

 

Keep your journal close when you read. You may want to write something when you read a particular paragraph or sentence.  

I suggest you write three to five pages in your journal each week. You may have three or four separate entries for a week on separate topics, or you may a longer entry on a single topic. There are many options for journal entries. All of them suggestions below are acceptable, but be careful of using any single suggestion exclusively.

 

I would you prefer that you accept this assignment as an exercise in journal writing—not personal diary writing. These journal entries are not necessarily formal writing, but you should be careful of using vulgarities or obscenities. Also be careful of libeling others in your journal entries. Do not write anything that you do not want shared with the instructor or with members of the class. However, your confidentiality will be respected.

I shall collect, read, and respond to your journals periodically, so they should be kept current at all times. Bring them to class every day because we will use your journals to introduce a piece of literature or to initiate a class discussion.

 

Reflections you might include in your paper:

 

·        What I learned was…

·        This author helped me learn…

·        This literary theory reflected ways to…

·        A new idea for me was…

·        I’m confused to think that…

·        I disagree that…

·        I was thinking that…

·        I still wonder if…

·        I don’t understand…

·        What happened to me was…

·        What this means to me is…