Here is an activity to give you structure for your first journal entry.
After you read the section on journal-keeping in your text, complete the two practice entries below.
Journal Practice 1
Create a two-column table in a Word document.
In the left column, write an action-packed description of an experience that happened to you in the past several months. Maybe it happened this morning. It can be anything of interest, such as painting the ceiling in your house, encountering a wicked driver on the highway, or tracking down a noise in the kitchen. You will be graded on your use of action verbs and vivid detail (as in the Alzheimer example earlier). Be sure to appeal to the five senses. What did you taste, feel, hear, smell, see?
In the right column, reflect on the experience. This time, don’t worry about action, but do some thinking. Meditate. What does it all mean? What did you learn? You will be graded on how well you follow the instructions to write narrative in the left column and explanatory material (exposition) in the right column. Your table might start out like this:
Journal Practice 2
Create an imaginary person you want to write to in your journal. Alternately, it could be a real person, such as a child or a friend from grade school. Start the entry “Dear ___” as if you were writing that person a letter. Then in a brief entry, describe a relative doing something or telling a funny story. Include face and hair details, eyes, body shape and size, and special characteristics, such as a cough or a limp. Put the person in action. You will be graded on the vividness of the detail and action. Detail! Detail!