Answered By: Paul Lai
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2023     Views: 42932

Journal entries are often, though not always, meant to be reflective. To write a strong journal entry, take the following steps:

1. Read the prompt carefully.

What is the required mode of reflection? Are you supposed to be comparing ideas? Asking a question? Presenting information? Highlighting thoughts? Be sure to follow the instructions given.

2. Consider requirements.

How many words should the journal entry be? What is the due date and time? What should the format look like? Follow your instructor's guidelines. If no specific formatting is indicated, follow general APA guidelines, or use a template.

3. Reflect.

After reading the required material, reflect on specific elements, examples, or experiences you would like to include in your journal entry. Use other prewriting techniques to get your ideas flowing. If you get stuck, see the Writing Center’s tips on avoiding writer’s block.

4.   Outline.

Create a thesis (even if it is only a miniature) to give your readers an area of focus. Then outline the points that you will cover. Be sure to include a brief introduction and conclusion (one sentence for each is often sufficient). Even journal entries can benefit from outlining, so view some outlining strategies to get started.

5.   Draft.

Go ahead and get started! Use your outline as a starting point, and review the Writing Center's resources on using scholarly tone as you write. Give credit to outside sources if you use them. See an explanation of how to cite if you are not sure how to best give credit to your sources.


Additional Resources:


Further Questions?

Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center?  If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us! 

Do you have other general writing questions? Ask OASIS

Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at [email protected].

Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage

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