Reading Journals & Class Discussion

The Readings and the Reading Journal are the foundation of the discussions in class and constitute ONE THIRD of your learning and your grade. They also provide important material for your Conversation Papers and your Term Paper. Getting into the habit of doing this part right makes everything else MUCH easier.

Important Tips:

  • Read the assigned pages in their entirety. Sidebar or notate possible items for your double-entry journal.
  • When you have completed the reading, choose 8 or more quotes from the length of the reading (from beginning, middle, end) for your Reading Journal.
  • Make sure YOUR name, the TITLE of the book, the PAGE RANGE, and the DATE of the class is at the top of the page.
  • In the LEFT side column, include a minimum of eight (8) quotes from the entire length of the assigned reading.
  • In the RIGHT side column, write your reactions (comments, questions, connections) to the quote. The Google Doc (see below) is a table with 2 cells per row so that the quote and its reflection stay together.
  • End with 2-3 questions based on that day’s reading for the class to discuss.
  • The journal for each reading must be printed out hardcopy – it should add up to 2-3 reflections per page (Times New Roman, 12 pt, single spaced)… 2 or more double-sided pages,  approx. 800+ words single-spaced in total.
  • The printed copy is evidence of your attendance. If you forget your printed copy, you will not get a PASS for that class. No exceptions.


  1. YOUR name, the TITLE of the book, PAGE RANGE, and the DATE of the class at the top of the page.
  2. EIGHT or more quotes from the length of the reading using the double-entry method – 2-3 reflections per page (Times New Roman, 12 pt, single spaced).
  3. END with 2-3 questions based on that day’s reading for the class to discuss.
  4. BRING Hardcopy of journal to class to use for discussion and HAND IN at the end of class.

You must meet ALL these specifications to get a PASS.

Here’s how these work… the Reading Journals and the Class Discussion are joined at the hip — if you have one but not the other, it’s a NO PASS — examples:

  • came to class but didn’t bring reading journal – no pass
  • sent in reading journal but wasn’t there for the discussion – no pass


For EACH class, you will bring a hardcopy reading journal of your reflections on the readings. We are using a “double-entry” journal:

The double-entry journal is an assignment where students take down notes of their readings and enter them in a column. In a parallel column, students enter their reactions to their readings. These entries may include comments, questions, connections to their personal experiences, and relations to other issues discussed in class. (Hermida, 2009, p. 27)

This link is a google doc that you can COPY (File > Make a copy…) to make your own double-entry journal. (Do not share it with me… I will only accept the printed version.)

MAKE SURE YOUR NAME IS IN THE HEADER!! If I do not know who wrote the reflections, I cannot give you a grade.

You can use the one file for all your reading reflections… I have put in twelve pages with the Title and Date in the row above the assigned reflection slots. PLEASE only print the ones that cover each week’s assigned reading.

Of course, you can always recreate your own. But this does keep everything in one place… very handy when it comes to writing your papers. :)