Monday Reflections

Writer’s Workshop Reading Journal Guidelines

Blogging Rubric

  • One per week
  • Due by Wednesday @ Midnight
  • 1/2 page minimum in length
  • Must haves
    • Linked to Reading
    • A Picture
    • Short, topical paragraphs
    • Connection to your writing
    • A clever title!

What is the purpose of your journal?

  • helps you to think and articulate your thoughts
  • makes your reading/learning personal
  • supports self-exploration and self-discovery
  • focuses your attention on values, attitudes and ethical issues
  • supports the key learning processes of collaboration and reflection to improve writing

Journal Focus

If you are reading model papers, model magazine articles or example papers, refer to the following kinds of questions to help guide your responses:

What type of writing is this?

What techniques are vital to the success of this model?

Does the author use brushstrokes, labyrinthine sentences, repetition, or any other techniques we’ve discussed?

What do you notice about the sentence structure? Voice? Point of view? Organization?

What unique types of punctuation are used?

Where did you find this source?  

What is the quality of this piece?

If you are reading an article or book on writing, refer to the following kinds of questions to help guide your responses:

What is the topic?

How will this influence your writing?

Who is the intended audience?

What do you like?  Dislike?

List and reflect on specific techniques/issues that are addressed.

If you are reading a novel, refer to the following kinds of questions to help guide your responses:

What type of writing is this?

What techniques are vital to the success of this model?

Does the author use brushstrokes, labyrinthine sentences, repetition, or any other techniques we’ve discussed?

What do you notice about the sentence structure? Voice? Point of view? Organization?

What unique types of punctuation are used?

What is the quality of this piece?

Personal Thoughts and reactions: Be reflective; think about why you may be responding the way you are.

Plot: What is the main conflict? What are the minor conflicts? How are all the conflicts related? What causes the conflicts? Where does the climax occur, if there is one? Why? How is the main conflict resolved? Which conflicts go unresolved?

Narrative Structure: How does the story move? What kind of narrative device is employed to move the plot? That is, are the characters on a journey through geographic space? Does the narrative move chronologically? etc. How does this structure seem to reflect or comment on others elements (i.e. characters and themes) in the text?

Point of view: Who tells the story? Can you trust the narrator to tell you the truth about events, characters, and settings of the story? Why has the author chosen this point of view? What effects does it have on other elements of the story?

Characterization: How are the characters portrayed? Are they flat, round, dynamic, static? Do they change? How and why do they change? What do they learn? What problems do they have? Do they have traits that contradict one another and therefore cause internal conflicts? Do they experience epiphanies? How or what? How do they relate to each other? Etc.

Setting: Where does the action take place? (Think not only about geographic location but also physical space: indoors, outdoors, small rooms, palatial homes, etc.) What does it look like, sound like, feel like? What relationship does place have to characterization, the plot, themes, and the narrative structure? At what period in history does the action take place?