Independent Reading Journals

You are required to read for at least 15 minutes, every day, in a book of your choice. “Every day” means seven days a week, 365 days a year.

If you need some suggestions of good books to read, head on over to my Independent Reading page, here:

About every two weeks you will be assigned an “IRJE.” The task will be to publish a short blog post about the book you are currently reading or have recently finished. An independent reading journal entry (IRJE) should be at least 200 words long, and should be written as a single paragraph with a block quotation from the book. Category: Independent Reading.

These journal entries will give you practice writing about literature in the ways that you will be required to do in all of your literature classes.


All you have to do is choose one quotation from the book, explain any background needed to understand it, cite the page where the quotation can be found, and then explain why you like it. That’s all! I have published two sample IRJEs (Independent Reading Journal Entries) on this blog, so you can see what your IRJEs should look like.

Sample IRJE #1:

Sample IRJE #2:


  • Identify the author and title.
  • Set up the quotation by explaining the context: who is speaking? what is the situation? Etc.
  • Share the quotation. It should be at least 40 words long. Punctuate it exactly as it appears in the book, and then format it as a “blockquote.” To do that on this blog (or in most word processors), highlight the text, then click on the big quotation-mark button in the toolbar:

  • Don’t forget the page citation! Use APA style, e.g., (p. 27).
  • Explain why you chose this quotation, why it is significant, what impact it has, etc.

These entries will give you a chance to practice using quotations properly and weaving them into your paragraphs.

The category for your Independent Reading posts should be “Independent Reading.”