101 in Journal Entry - IGCSE English

What is a Journal?

Journal is a record of events that occurred in the writer's life. It may be their emotions, ideas, or beliefs. The purpose of writing a journal is to reflect, it is a personal piece of writing and the response to a question should be subjective.

This question mostly appears in Paper 1 of your English Language and Literature question paper.

How to Attempt the Question

  1. You will be given a reading booklet insert containing the passage for the journal writing. Read through the passage carefully. The adjacent question will be provided in the question paper booklet.

  2. You would have to choose relevant points from the passage after having a thorough understanding of the question.

  3. Now, convert the passage's selected points into your own words. After that, you can start putting the points together in a cohesive manner in the form of a journal.

Let’s take a look at how to convert the selected points from the passage into your own

“It is better to do something you like than study something which is not useful in the future.”

“I like to study something I’m interested in rather than something I’m not and waste my time. Moreover it will help me in the future as well.”

Can you see how I modified the sentence structure and words from the highlighted section without altering the paragraph's meaning? This is how it's done; it's not easy at first, but with practise, it will become easier.

  1. A journal is typically a paragraph or two, this depends on the marks and word count in the question paper. Meanwhile there are some pointers that you should keep in mind while writing a journal.
  • Begin your journal by writing the date and day at the left hand side of the page.
  • A journal should always be written from a first person point of view. The use of the word ‘I’ in your writing demonstrates this.
  • The tone of your writing should be self-reflective. It should be a recollection of memory. That's you thinking back on something you've done or seen in your day.
  • Your journal should only reflect on incidents or observations that happened recently.
  • Your thoughts, points, and viewpoints should be expressed by using emotive language, which gives the reader more insight into the writer's feelings.
  • The tense should be past or future tense, depending on whether you're writing about recent events or anticipating future events or situations.
  • Including rhetorical questions in your work will increase the reader's curiosity and improve your work.
  • Finally, don't be afraid to try new things; a journal is, after all, a subjective medium.

Here’s an Example:

This can give you some insight on how to write a journal entry.
Read Passage A in the insert and answer this question

Imagine you are a zookeeper. Later that evening you write in your journal reflecting on your thoughts and feelings about your life now and how things have changed.

Write your journal

In your journal you should include:

  • describe what you have to do each day, why you do it and how that makes you feel
  • explain what you have noticed about the boy and his father and your feelings about each of them
  • consider how things have changed for you and the world around you since you first started working at the zoo and suggest what you think the future may hold for you.

Base your passage on what you have read in Passage A, but be careful to use your own words. Address each of the three bullet points.

Begin your journal, ‘Today was…’

Write about 250 to 350 words.


Monday, 26th July 2021

Today was certainly a difficult day. That oh-so familiar internal monologue, which forces me to think about my future here, plagued my mind once again. We had two visitors - a father and his son - both robots, of course. What affected me the most was the young boy’s fascination with me; the fact that he realised I was different, but couldn’t quite determine why. I guess his programming didn’t allow for him to understand the world and its people before robots. It left me feeling dejected. I sat down at one point and I just quietly considered how much the world has changed - how much people have changed - how much I have changed. This place has been my livelihood for some many years, and has brought me an immeasurable amount of joy. But now I am aging and I am starting to struggle and it leaves me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach; one which won’t go away. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, and it leaves me wondering if there's a place on this Earth for the last zookeeper.

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101 in Journal Entry - IGCSE English
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