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Claims that today’s college students are less able writers than their predecessors in some “Golden Age” of university instruction are legion in the discourses of college educators. Asking students to keep a journal using one or a combination of the journal writing techniques suggested here is one method that can be used to enhance communication skills, logical analysis, and creative expression. Journal assignments may be designed so that their positive effects can be seen in improved analysis of problems and writing on essay exams, term papers, and case analyses. Perhaps the most important change that journals can facilitate, however, is an improved attitude toward writing itself.

In this paper we will focus on three uses of journal writing: to encourage creative expression, to strengthen logical thinking, and to help students improve specific writing skills. Numerous journal techniques are provided to accomplish these three purposes. Finally, we will discuss the process of making and evaluating these assignments.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Allen, B., & Enz, C. A. (1987). Journal writing: Exercises in creative thought and expression. Journal of Management Education, 11(4), 1-14. doi: 10.1177/105256298701100401.

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.