10-second review: Suggests writing lists and imaginary dialogues as journal entries.
Title: “Using the Journal for Discovery: Two Devices.” S Whitehall. College Composition and Communication (December 1987), 472-474. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: Uses lists and imaginary dialogues in daily journals as a way to generate ideas for future writing.
Comment: As I have said before, I never used personal journals in my writing classes because of the too-personal materials in them that were none of my business to read. But writing journal entries on what is being studied in class is a good idea and generating lists and writing imaginary dialogues and writing letters that you will never send are useful in developing ideas. I think I have changed my mind about using journals—although I still do not want “confessional” stuff. If students want to keep personal journals about their personal lives, they should, but they will not be part of my writing classes. RayS.