Keeping a Reading Journal_Enhancing_Postgraduate_Environments

Keeping a Reading Journal

This narrated PowerPoint presentation discusses the central role of reading, especially, in postgraduate research, and tackles the issue of how to keep track of what one is reading along with how to relate that reading to one’s own research. A crucial part of a researcher’s development in postgraduate study is their ‘voice’, understood here as the ability to express their own ideas in relation to the ideas of others, and to situate and argue clearly for their own research within a field of study. The presentation argues that learning to keep an effective reading journal can enhance and enable the process of developing, and expressing, a clear and confident researcher voice in relation to the work one has to read and incorporate into one’s own writing. It takes the user through the purposes of the journal, what they will need to do to make effective journal entries, and explains why keeping one of these journals is beneficial during, and following, postgraduate study.

Developed by Sherran Clarence, Independent higher education consultant.

Who might find this useful?

This material is primarily for postgraduate students, although it could be useful in workshops with students run by postgraduate and/or writing support practitioners, to encourage discussion around the value of academic journaling in postgraduate studies.

This should be watched along with ‘Keeping a research journal’.

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Questions for users:

  • For supervisors/PG support staff: In what ways could you incorporate journaling into your supervision or PG support sessions, to encourage students to write in these informal and reflective ways? Can you create ‘reading and writing’ spaces in workshops, or formalised writing circle meetings?
  • For students: what value can you see in journaling? Consider how writing informally in a reading journal could enhance your ability to critique and analyse the reading you are doing, or reflect on your writing.