Public Youth Campus


What is a Journal?
A journal is a periodical that contains articles written by experts in a particular field of study, based on research that the author, or authors, did. The research might include case studies in the management field, or primary source research in the field of management. Journal articles are written for experts or students of that particular field. They assume that readers have an advanced vocabulary and knowledge of the field.

What is Journal Writing?
Journal writing is a learning tool based on the ideas that teachers and students write to learn. They use the journals to write about topics of personal interest, to note their observations, to imagine, to wonder and to connect new information with things they already know.

What is its purpose?
Using journals fosters learning in many ways. Students who use journals are actively engaged in their own learning and have the opportunity to clarify and reflect upon their thinking. When students write in journals, they can record such things as ideas and feelings, special words and expressions they have heard, interesting things that have happened to them or information about interesting people. Journal writing offers students opportunities to write without fear often associated with marking. Every journal entry is individualized.

How do I do it?
Journals can be used throughout the day, at different times of the day and for different purposes. Decide what type of journal you want to use in your classroom. Think about the purpose of the journal and how will you use it.Prepare materials. Your students' journals may be looseleaf notebooks or folders. Individual pages should be contained in some way so that they are not lost over time.Model initial entries. Using an overhead projector or classroom chart, work together to write a sample response. Students can copy the class response in their own journal or write one of their own.Schedule time for regular journal use. Students are all engaged in the act of writing and this enables individuals to generate ideas, observations and emotions.While you should not grade or correct the writing in journals – only finished pieces should be used for grading – you could comment on your students' writing. Offer suggestions, constructive remarks, questions, and encouragement whenever possible. Sometimes students will respond to the teacher's comments. One of the biggest problems with writing journals is that some students use them simply as a way to record the day's events. They slip into the routine of writing diary entries without reflection or real purpose. You can reduce this by encouraging your students to write about a variety of topics and take what they feel are the better entries and develop them into finished pieces.

Writing Prompts/Journal Topics
Journal Writing Prompts Journals offer students the opportunity to reflect on their world and expand their awareness of what is happening in their lives. For many students journals become a rich source of ideas for writing.

The journal can be used as a reference file to help the teacher monitor individual development and progress. Entries should not be evaluated as finished products. The evaluation of journals should emphasize the content. While each journal is unique, good journals share the following characteristics:

  • personal observations,
  • questions
  • speculations and predictions
  • evidence of developing self-awareness
  • connections between personal experience and new information.

A journal is like a good friend who is never too busy to listen.


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