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Common Course Assignments: Journal Entries

Basics of Journal Entries

Both in traditional and online classrooms, journal entries are used as tools for student reflection. By consciously thinking about and comparing issues, life experiences, and course readings, students are better able to understand links between theory and practice and to generate justifiable, well-supported opinions. This kind of writing assignment is meant to be interactive, as students engage with ideas and experiences that bring about questions, comparisons, insights, criticisms, speculations, and tentative conclusions. Although somewhat less formal than essays or other course writing assignments, journal entries should still construct a coherent narrative, use complete sentences, be grammatically correct, and be scholarly in tone. Below are some tips for writing a successful journal entry.