Reading Journal

As you read your assignments, you are to make a reading journal entry. You may select from the following suggestions, all of which are designed to help you reflect on the ways you react to the reading. If you write your entries in cursive, each should be at least one page long (without skipping lines) but seldom longer than three pages long. If you wordprocess your entries, then skip lines and make each entry from one to three pages in length.

  1. What do you find interesting in this reading assignment? Summarize the point of interest and then discuss why you find it interesting.

  2. What do you find unclear in this reading assignment? Summarize the section you find muddy or foggy and explain what you think it means but why you're still uncertain.

  3. What do you find "linkable" in this reading assignment? Something may link up with your previous reading in this class or in others. Perhaps it links up with an experience you've had or a theory you're developing. Explain the linkages you see.

  4. What do you find stimulating or exciting in this reading assignment? Summarize the section and explain why you find it stimulating.

  5. What do you find contradictory in this reading assignment? The passage in question may seem to contradict something else the writer(s) has said; it may contradict your reading in another class or in another text in this class; it may contradict common sense; it may contradict your experience or expectation. Explain the contradictions and try to work out what you are going to think about the ideas associated with it.

  6. What do you find debatable in this reading assignment? Who would debate this passage and what arguments would he or she bring to the debate? What do you think about the possible positions one can take on the issue discussed in the reading?

  7. What do you find practical or useful in this reading assignment? It might be useful in your daily life now, in your professional life now or in the future, in your academic research as you prepare to write a paper. What specifically is useful, and how can it be used?