Defining and Providing a Rationale for Journal Writing

Stevens, D. D., & Cooper, J. E. (2009). Journal keeping: How to use reflective writing for learning, teaching, professional insight, and positive change. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Chapter 1: Journal Writing Definition and Rationale

·      What is a Journal?

o   It has the following characteristics: written, dated, informal, flexible, private, & archival.

·      The History of Journal Keeping

o   Journaling has a long history dating back to the 10th Century.

·      Key Benefits of Journal Writing for Students

o   "By writing in a journal students can integrate and apply course content, practice skills, and develop insights and new perspectives (p. 9)."

·      Is Journal Writing Worth the Class Time?

o   These authors cite a body of research (Fulwiler, 1987; Kerka, 2002; & Moon, 1999b) that claim that students who engage in these kinds of reflective writing about their learning participate more and retain more in class.

·      Key Benefits of Journal Keeping for Faculty and Administrators

o   Journal writing can meet many academic goals for students and for faculty.

o   For faculty, it can help with organization.

o   Faculty who journal tend to be more productive writers.

·      Is Keeping a Professional Journal Worth the Time?

o   The authors would argue yes!

·      What Are the Ancillary Benefits of Journal Writing?

o   "The first ancillary benefit of journal keeping is better health through stress reduction; the second is clearer thinking and, ultimately, better writing (p. 15)."

o   Better Health Through Stress Reduction

o   Improved Thinking and Writing Skills

§  "The journal's flexibility, informality, and privacy encourage risk-taking and the creation of new ideas while at the same time encouraging connections across the ideas. The journal's privacy and potential for playfulness engenders voice (p. 17)."

·      Conclusion