The Reading Journal: Developing and Recording Your Knowledge About Reading

A reading journal, which may be an electronic document on your computer or the more traditional bound notebook, gives you the opportunity to reflect on your reading and learn about yourself as a reader, which can be helpful as you read in this class, other classes, and beyond school. The journal is a space in which you record your experiences reading. You might return to your journal periodically to look at your notes to better understand how you can be a more productive reader. While you may use the journal to document your personal and emotional responses to each reading, please regularly also answer the following questions:

    1. Which reading strategy did I employ first and why?
    2. How far did this reading strategy take me?
    3. What did this reading strategy allow me to notice in the text?
    4. What must I ignore because of this strategy’s limits?
    5. At which point in the reading (and why) did I need to abandon my initial strategy?
    6. What does this tell me about the strategy, as well as about me as a reader?
    7. Which other strategy do I need to introduce in order to construct a meaning that achieves the goals associated with my reading/writing assignment?
    8. How might this reading experience be useful as I read texts in my other courses?

Attribution: This page adapted from “The Reading Journal: Developing and Recording Your Knowledge About Reading” (pp.25-26) in A Writer’s Guide to Mindful Reading, by Ellen C. Carrilo, The WAC Clearinghouse, University Press of Colorado (2017). License: CC BY-NC-ND.