ERIC Number: ED347528
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Looking for a Focus: Transformations in Journal Entries.
Nemoianu, Anca M.
Journal writing on literary topics is an ideal activity in a classroom that emphasizes the transformational role of education, bringing together the creation of meaning between the reader and the text on the one hand, and on the other hand, the creation of expressive or reflexive writing. An activity, in a freshman literature and writing class for English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students, demonstrated different types of transformation in ESL students' journal writing on literary topics. Students were asked to write their impressions after their first reading of the texts. Then, guided by specific tasks, the students were asked to re-read the texts and write second entries in their journals, capturing any changes in comprehension and interpretation that occurred. The first and second journal entries for each text were compared in terms of discourse organization, the syntactic cast favored by the journal writers in topic expansion, and the lexicon. The topics identified in the first entries covered several categories including queries; comments on linguistic difficulty, drawbacks, and merits; comments on title relevance, plot structure and emotional impact; personal reactions to characters; and moral judgments. These first entries are quintessential examples of expressive writing, normally frowned upon in the classroom. Second entries were considerably more focused, with accompanying mature syntax and lexical choice. This suggests that the previous expressive writing had a definite role in the transformation, although there was no evidence that the journal was responsible for any cultural transformation. (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expressive Writing
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).