Double-Entry Journal

In this assignment a student again uses a double-column paper created in Word. In the right-hand column is a brief summary of some assigned portion of the text. In the left-hand column the student places commentary on the text. 

Students can also be asked to use Bloom’s taxonomy to label their own comments. This can help make them more aware of the levels at which they are thinking (as well as the levels at which they are not thinking). Bloom’s taxonomy is as follows:

  • Remember—recall previously learned information
  • Understand—restate meaning of the material
  • Apply—apply information to new situation
  • Analyze—separate idea into component parts, with connection between them
  • Synthesize—combine component parts into new structure
  • Evaluate—ability to judge value of material according to a specific criterion

You can vary this assignment by asking the student to provide very specific information in the left-hand column. 

  • You can ask students to provide examples for ideas in the text
  • You can ask for them to provide analogies to relationships noted in the text
  • You can ask them to think up applications that are outside the text’s material
  • You can ask them to spell out logical implications of ideas in the text
  • You can ask them to detail the presuppositions underlying arguments in the text