Journal Paraphrasing

This journal assignment is designed to give you practice in academic writing, which is very different from the personal essay writing that you have been practicing. Academic writing (also known as “research writing”) entails making a point and supporting that point with properly cited information from a reputable source or sources. There are three ways to support a point with information from a source: quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing. This week, you will practice paraphrasing a source and citing that source in your journal entry. Please be sure to read and review the “Example Journal Entry – Paraphrasing” document, which shows how paraphrases must be integrated.


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Please note that the journal assignment should not be confused with a personal journal. This activity requires organization, effective stylistics and grammar, and proper source incorporation. It is not a free-writing or reflective-writing exercise.


Both of the personal essays we have read this week, “How to Say Nothing in 500 Words” and “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak Officer,” use narrative and/or descriptive elements (sections 6.3 and 6.4 in Essentials of College Writing), and each has a clear purpose. Choose one of the essays assigned this week to write about. In 250 to 500 words, do the following:


State the purpose of the essay. (Do not rush this! Read the essay several times, in full, very carefully.)

Describe one literary element being used in the essay (“Descriptive” is a genre, not a literary element/technique. “Narrative” is a genre, not a literary element/technique. So don’t discuss “descriptive” or “narrative,” because it’s obvious that the essay is either descriptive or narrative, and this assignment isn’t prompting you to identify the genre. Rather, it is prompting you to identify specific literary elements/techniques used within the essay. This part of the assignment requires you to trot into sections 6.3 and 6.4 in Essentials of College Writing, and carefully study the literary elements/techniques listed in those sections. Then, read the essay again, several times, asking yourself which literary element/technique listed within sections 6.4 or 6.4 is applied in the essay you’re reading.)

Explain why you think that literary element is used well by the writer.

Incorporate a paraphrase (not a direct quotation, not a summary, but a paraphrase) of an idea from the essay, and properly cite the essay. (Your paraphrase from the essay must be cited with both an APA in-text citation and an APA reference page citation; this is very important in avoiding plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Go to this website: and click the “in-text citation” and “reference entry” links in its left sidebar to understand APA in-text citation and APA reference page citation. In APA, different types of sources are cited in different formats. Follow these citation samples, very, very closely in both content (particular information cited in both places) and format (the order and format in which the information is cited in both places, paying attention to capitalization, commas, periods, italics, etc.). Your citations in both places (within your journal entry and on your journal entry’s reference page) must be properly formatted as per APA. Our own Ashford Writing Center also provides APA citation samples that might be helpful.

Explain how you plan to use the same literary element in your personal essay.


As you are writing this journal entry, please pay attention to the areas that you struggled with in your “Grammar Assessment” quiz and “Practice Essay” assignment.


It is advised that you check your document for originality (avoiding unintentional plagiarism) by using the Turnitin program. Please click on the following link for help on Using TurnItIn Through Waypoint.


When submitting your journal entry, make sure to


Proofread your work for errors in grammar, mechanics, and style.

Format the journal according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Refer to the “APA Template” handout for guidelines on formatting a title page in APA style.

Provide an in-text citation for the section of the essay you paraphrase. Refer to the Ashford Writing Center’s Comprehensive APA Reference List Models for guidelines on in-text citations in APA style.

Provide a reference for the essay you paraphrase. Refer to the Ashford Writing Center’s Citation and Reference Guide for guidelines on citing sources in APA style.

Perform a word count check to make sure the journal is 250 to 500 words in length.

Save the document as a Microsoft Word or compatible .doc or .docx file.

Use a naming convention that includes your last name, week number, and the assignment number (e.g., smith_w2_a1.doc).

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