Ms. Gokturk Composition

Journal Guidelines

At the beginning of class, you were given a marble composition notebook. Then you jazzed it up with a collage. Its primary use was to act as a forum to put your thoughts into writing. It is a place for you to write freely and communicate with yourself, me, others, and it helps you practice your writing skills. In addition to the journal assignments you will receive as warm-ups in class, this marking period, you will take your writing a step further and be responsible for personal initiative.

Therefore, in addition to the assigned journal entries, you will be responsible to include TWO weekly entries of your own choosing (though I encourage you to write more if you so choose). These should be a lengthier entry (2-5 pages). See the possible topics list below for ideas if you have none or your well has run dry.

I will collect these journals when I feel like it; it is your responsibility to be up to date. This grade will be based on a 100 point scale and be averaged into your project average. I am not grading on grammar or spelling. I am grading on thought, effort, and attempt at creating a composition – each entry should have a clear beginning, middle and end. You should organize your ideas into paragraphs. You should write about thing that mean something to you.

How are journals graded?

Journals are graded holistically. This means that there is no specific formula. No two journals look exactly the same, but we can make some generalizations. A good journal (one that receives a high grade):

Possible Individual Topics (two per week)

Observations: people watching, eavesdropping, observing nature

Dream Journal

Nature Journal


Themes (i.e., loneliness, kindness, cruelty, etc.)

Slogans/ Advertising

Weekend Updates or Previews

The best thing that ever happened to me

You know it’s love if…

Why can’t everyone just leave me alone?

Ask questions as to why things are they the way they are


Meaning of universe


Famous people who inspire

Notice something that happens to you every day

Responses to films, literature, classes

Dialogues between people, real or imagined

My mother, my father, my grandparents

What if….? (speculating on alternative worlds or scenarios)

Things go well when…

Things that upset me,…

A painful moment in my life

A memory I shall never forget

My sibling(s)

My first day at school

Dear Abby

The person who means the most to me

The biggest mistake I ever made

I get angry when

I wish I…

I have this problem

An experience that taught me a lesson

Best news in the paper today

What I want to be doing 5/10/20 years from now

I love to