Instructions for Writing Journals/Response Papers:
Please type and double-space all journals. Minimum length is one page (two pages for scholars). You do not need to use MLA format, but observe all grammatical rules and avoid all mechanical errors; that means that you have to reread and proof your papers (if I see too many errors, I will return them to you and you will get no credit).
The Journal should be a response to your readings; they are less formal than essays, but they still contain some structure. Somewhere in your introduction, you should mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you have read. Then you should give a brief (very brief, no more than 3-4 sentences) summary. The rest of your paper should be an analysis of something in the text that struck you as noteworthy, interesting, puzzling, or strange.
If you are responding to more than one text, you should be sure to have understood each text individually, and then relate them to each other.
The best way to keep on track with both your reading and the responses (and your discussions as well) is to always annotate your text and immediately jot down your ideas and opinions that come up while you read.
Below is Duke University’s suggestions on how to write a successful Journal/Response Paper (Writing Studio. http://uwp.aas.duke.edu/wstudio):
Writing good response papers is more demanding than it might appear at first. It is not simply a matter of reading the text, understanding it, and expressing an opinion about it. You must allow your self enough time to be clear about what each text says and how the texts relate to one another. In other words, response papers require you…