Assignment: Writing in College Journal Entry

To Do

The video above discusses beliefs students hold about college and demonstrates how those beliefs relate to test performance. Consider how beliefs might also impact a student’s performance on writing assignments.

Develop a 200-400 word journal entry that identifies three beliefs, mentioned in the video or discovered through your own observations, that relate to a student’s ability to write academic essays. Explain how these beliefs might be adjusted through the practice of metacognition to improve writing results.

Worked Example

Journal entry assignments tend to be more flexible than other types of writing assignments in college, and as a result they can be tailored to your own experiences as long as they answer the primary questions asked in the assignment.

One model of a successful entry about this topic can be found below. Feel free to include your own experiences and examples from real life as they pertain to the issue at hand.

Writing in College Journal Entry

by Sandy Brown

Belief: Learning is fast

Related to writing essays, I could see how I could easily fall into this trap of thinking that fast is good. I have such limited time in the day to work on school assignments, that I think that whatever I can manage to get done must be the best possible work that I’m capable of doing. I should allow myself more time, though that’s easier said than done. Even with smaller writing assignments, like this one, if I give myself a day or two to sketch out ideas for what I want to say, and then reflect on it before writing it, I think I’ll do a much better job in the long run.

Belief: I’m really good at multi-tasking

This one is very related to the “learning is fast” idea. Watching the girl in the video do a million things while she’s studying is just like watching my own kids at night! And I’m pretty guilty of this, as well. If I can set aside a quiet part of my night, and just focus on only one assignment at a time, I think I’ll do a lot better with my writing overall. And I’ll be happier with the results.

Belief: Being good at a subject is a matter of inborn talent

This is actually not a belief I personally hold. I always loved to read growing up, and I still do read fiction as much as time allows. But working as a business administrator for the past 15 years has shown me that I’m pretty good with numbers and bookkeeping, too, which I wouldn’t have guessed before this job.

One of my daughters is very drawn towards English and writing, and another struggles with it. They both seem to feel this is a matter of fate. I’m going to share this video with them, because I think there are ways that my daughter who struggles can be empowered to think that she CAN get better at writing, if she just keeps practicing. (This is also something I’m going to do myself…I’m very out of practice with writing for school!)