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Classroom Strategies

Double-Entry Journals


The Double-Entry Journal strategy enables students to record their responses to text as they read. Students write down phrases or sentences from their assigned reading and then write their own reaction to that passage. The purpose of this strategy is to give students the opportunity to express their thoughts and become actively involved with the material they read.


Double-Entry Journaling improves students’ comprehension, vocabulary, and content retention. This interactive strategy activates prior knowledge and present feelings, and promotes collaborative learning. It fosters the connection between reading and writing as students are able to “reply” to the author or speaker as they write their responses.

The technique offers flexibility in that teachers can use any form of written text, read alouds, or listenings that are assigned in class.

Create and use the strategy

Introduce a passage of text to the students. Discuss the Double-Entry Journal technique and model the procedure including specific guidelines for writing. Have students read the selected text making journal entries whenever a natural pause in the reading occurs, so that the flow is not interrupted constantly.

  1. Students fold a piece of paper in half, lengthwise.
  2. In the left hand column, the students write a phrase or sentence from the selection that was particularly meaningful to them, along with the page number. 
  3. In the right hand column, the students react to the passage by writing personal responses to the quotes on the left. The entry may include a comment, a question, a connection made, or an analysis. 
  4. Students can share their responses with the class or literature discussion group.


Joyce, M. (1997). Double Entry Journals and Learning Logs. Retrieved 2008, January 23, from

Litwiller, D.(2003). Helpful ESL Links. Retrieved 2008, January 24, from

Ruddell, R. (2002). Teaching Children to Read and Write: Becoming an Influential Teacher (3rd Edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.