How do I head a response journal? And should I type or handwrite it?I have recently changed from homeschooling to a public high school and I am trying to make a good impression with my teacher by...

How do I head a response journal? And should I type or handwrite it?

I have recently changed from homeschooling to a public high school and I am trying to make a good impression with my teacher by handing in a nice, well done first assignment.

I just figured out what  a response journal is (we normally just wrote reports  in homschooling) and how to write one, and since it was homeschooling my "header" was writing my first name.

Help is greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am sure this is quite a transition for you, from homeschooling to classroom schooling.  At home, your "teacher" had certain requirements, but you could ask any time if you needed clarification.  Now the people who are your teachers are strangers to you, and you are probably reluctant to ask too many questions. 

Don't be afraid to get clarifications from any teacher.  This is important because it is better to ask questions than to turn in assignments that do not meet a teacher's requirements and instructions. 

Generally, headings for most kinds of school papers have your name, the name of the class and the class period, and maybe the name of the teacher at the top left. This is probably true even of a response journal, since the teacher will be reading the responses and might have to keep track of more than one class.   Your teacher might appreciate titles for your entries, which are different from headings.  A title will help the teacher by introducing him or her to the ideas in your response.

Whether the responses should be typed or handwritten is something you will have to clarify with your teacher.  If you have a choice, I would vote for a typed version, if you have a computer.  You will have to type many papers in your academic career, so now is a good time to get in the habit.  You might be accustomed to doing your work in handwriting, but once you become accustomed to word processing, you will see how much easier it is to write.  There were no computers when I was in high school, and when work had to be typed, it had to be typed over and over until it was right.  We did not even have any "whiteout" products!  

I want to emphasize that you should always ask questions when you don't understand.  Teachers do get annoyed if you have to ask a question because you were not listening or did not read instructions, but they appreciate it when you ask about things that just are not clear to you. 

Good luck! 

hero5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Did your teacher give you a layout or example as to their expectations for the response journal? For instance, I require two columns: the left is a quote from the text with the page number and the the right is your response to that quote. I usually require about ten responses per novel. Therefore, the title "Response Journal" is perfectly acceptable to me. The student's first and last name, is absolutely necessary, the date and the class period is what I prefer. The date is a must. Every teacher has a different preference and I'm sure your teacher would not mind a bit if you ask for clarification on the heading. That is why we're there - to guide you and answer your questions.

Because I require two columns for the journal my students prefer to type it by creating a table in word. Then they can have two columns and add as many rows as they need. This keeps it very neat and legible and it makes it easy for them to go back to and edit as needed. Since youre teacher has so many papers to grade in very little time, the legible part is very important. In fact, at the beginning of the year, as incentive, I give my students some bonus points for typing. Good luck! I hope you find public school to be a rewarding experience!

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