English 12‎ > ‎

Literary Journal Options

For each assigned Literary Journal entry, please complete one of the following handwritten options.  Write the pages for the reading, entry number (use checklist below), and date at the top of the page.  Each entry should have its own page.  On the due date, please remove all entries from your spiral, number them according to the list below, staple, and turn in.  Engaged reading is the goal; I think you will find that completing these activities during or immediately after reading will increase your retention of the material.  I highly recommend using these entries when you write your essay...you may often find that much of your essay is already written!


  • Quotes and Notes.  As you read, write down five to eight quotations from the book that stand out to you.  Next to each quote, record a brief notation that describes why that quote is important to you.  EXAMPLE: "Seizing me instantly in his arms, my Guide-- / like a mother wakened by a midnight noise / to find a wall of flame at her bedside" (Dante 23.34-36).  This powerful simile reminds me of my son.  HINT: Use these quotes later on in your essay!
  • Predictions and Outcomes.  Before you begin the reading assignment, make five predictions about what will happen; write these predictions on the left side of your page.  Strive for interesting, thought-provoking predictions.  As you read, track the outcome of each prediction you made.  To the right of each prediction, write the true outcome and support with a quote that relates to the prediction in some way (if the prediction was not true, include a quote showing what happened instead).  You will not lose or gain points by making correct predictions, so feel free to be daring!
  • Critical Commentary.  Compose, by hand, a solid paragraph that comments on the author's use of one or more literary techniques (simile, metaphor, imagery, rhyme, kennings, symbolism, foreshadowing, etc.) on these pages.  Support with one or more quotations.
  • Summary and Image.  Compose, by hand, a thoughtful, thorough summary of what you read.  Include at least three quotations that provide insight into the main points made by the author.  Before or after summarizing, spend three minutes sketching an image that represents the key event or scene from these pages.