IGCSE Journal Writing Guide: 7 Useful tips

  • Created on January 14, 2022
  • Blog , IGCSE

In this article, Tutopiya will break down some useful tips for students to ace their IGCSE Journal Writing for their examination. This article will serve as a guide for students with useful tips. 

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Ace Your IGCSE Journal Writing Exam with These Tips

What is igcse journal .

The IGCSE Journal is an entry that is written by a writer that recounts the events that happened in their life. It also includes their thoughts, emotions, ideas and, beliefs. 

The purpose of a journal entry is to reflect by recounting the events, it is personal and subjective. 

The IGCSE Journal Writing is part of the IGCSE English Language and Literature Paper 1 . 

How to Approach & Answer The IGCSE Journal Writing?

7 tips for writing a successful journal , 1. always write in first-person point of view .

Be reminded that you need to write with pronouns like ‘I’ to give a sense of character. 

2. Knowing the proper format for IGCSE Journal Writing

  • Start writing your journal by writing the day and date on the left-hand corner of the paper. 
  • Be clear with your indentation to show a clear separation between paragraphs. 
  • Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence or something you are addressing. 

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3. Be reflective and expressive in your writing 

Express your emotions and thoughts clearly with appropriate vocabulary and words. It is also useful to incorporate the author’s thought process by including rhetorical questions. This is also the part where students should be detailed with their writing. 

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4. Be careful with grammar and tenses 

Make sure to use tenses correctly as it will help readers to understand if the author is recalling a past event or anticipating future happenings. Careful choices of words help readers to understand and relate to the author better. 

Incorporating connecting words and phrases to tell the story better. You can use words like ‘Finally’, ‘Afterwards’, ‘Eventually’. 

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Language skill is extremely important for acing the IGCSE Journal Writing. Tutopiya offers students with tutors who are well versed and equipped with the right skills to guide students for their IGCSE Journal Writing . Approach our friendly experts today to find out more! 

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5. Be sure to emphasize the main point of your journal 

Is the recount regarding the author’s guilt and regret? If so, be sure to write in detail why the author felt that way and what in particular made the author feel so. Emphasizing the incident that happened and his thought process would be insightful and captivating for readers. 

Emphasize your main points by reiterating and using strong vocabulary words. 

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6. Keep to the word count 

This is an obvious tip but the point of limiting students with a word count is also to assess if the student is able to compress and express all the relevant information and feelings. Hence, be sure to stick to the word count and write with your best ability to express your thoughts and feelings well. 

7. Include a conclusion or next course of action 

After having reflected on what happened, be sure to conclude, and here are some suggestions on a short conclusion that students can incorporate into their journal entry at the end. 

  • Next course of action 
  • What the author can take away from it 
  • What else could have the author done instead of what he did 

Now that you have these basic tips to keep in mind when writing, let’s dive into how to attempt the IGCSE Journal Writing Question. 

How to Attempt the IGCSE Journal Writing Question?

This section is available in Paper 1 of IGCSE English Language and Literature . Students will be given a reading booklet insert that contains the passage for journal writing. Students are to read the passage carefully and thoroughly. The question is provided in the question paper booklet. 

Attempting the Question

Analyzing the passage and picking out the important and relevant details you wish to include in your journal. 

Read the passage carefully and pick out relevant points. You will then paraphrase the passage’s selected points and connect them together in a logical sequence into the form of a journal entry. 

An IGCSE Journal Writing Example 

Write your journal

In your journal you should include:

Describe what you have to do each day, why you do it, and how that makes you feel

Explain what you have noticed about the boy and his father and your feelings about each of them

Consider how things have changed for you and the world around you since you first started working at the zoo and suggest what you think the future may hold for you.

Base your passage on what you have read in Passage A, but be careful to use your own words. Address each of the three bullet points.

Begin your journal, ‘Today was…’

Write about 250 to 350 words.

Analyze the question and understand the key points that the question is asking for. As you can see, the first sentence is fairly long and lengthy, so let’s break it down. 

Break down of the Question

This will help to serve as a guide to students on breaking down the points even more to write a more detailed journal entry. 

In conclusion 

Keep in mind that journal entries should have a purpose and formal English should still be used. Write it as though you are writing to an audience instead of to a friend. 

I am currently a full-time student studying at a local university in Singapore while freelancing as a writer. I enjoy writing and sharing useful education-related tips with my fellow studying peers. During my leisure time, I enjoy doing creative arts and volunteering work. I am passionate about sharing my experience as a student! ☺

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101 in Journal Entry - IGCSE English

What is a journal.

Journal is a record of events that occurred in the writer's life. It may be their emotions, ideas, or beliefs. The purpose of writing a journal is to reflect, it is a personal piece of writing and the response to a question should be subjective.

This question mostly appears in Paper 1 of your English Language and Literature question paper .

How to Attempt the Question

You will be given a reading booklet insert containing the passage for the journal writing. Read through the passage carefully. The adjacent question will be provided in the question paper booklet.

You would have to choose relevant points from the passage after having a thorough understanding of the question.

Now, convert the passage's selected points into your own words. After that, you can start putting the points together in a cohesive manner in the form of a journal.

Let’s take a look at how to convert the selected points from the passage into your own words.

“It is better to do something you like than study something which is not useful in the future.”

“I like to study something I’m interested in rather than something I’m not and waste my time. Moreover it will help me in the future as well.”

Can you see how I modified the sentence structure and words from the highlighted section without altering the paragraph's meaning? This is how it's done; it's not easy at first, but with practise, it will become easier.

  • A journal is typically a paragraph or two, this depends on the marks and word count in the question paper. Meanwhile there are some pointers that you should keep in mind while writing a journal.
  • Begin your journal by writing the date and day at the left hand side of the page.
  • A journal should always be written from a first person point of view. The use of the word ‘I’ in your writing demonstrates this.
  • The tone of your writing should be self-reflective. It should be a recollection of memory. That's you thinking back on something you've done or seen in your day.
  • Your journal should only reflect on incidents or observations that happened recently.
  • Your thoughts, points, and viewpoints should be expressed by using emotive language, which gives the reader more insight into the writer's feelings.
  • The tense should be past or future tense, depending on whether you're writing about recent events or anticipating future events or situations.
  • Including rhetorical questions in your work will increase the reader's curiosity and improve your work.
  • Finally, don't be afraid to try new things; a journal is, after all, a subjective medium.

Here’s an Example:

This can give you some insight on how to write a journal entry. Read Passage A in the insert and answer this question

Imagine you are a zookeeper. Later that evening you write in your journal reflecting on your thoughts and feelings about your life now and how things have changed.

Write your journal

In your journal you should include:

  • describe what you have to do each day, why you do it and how that makes you feel
  • explain what you have noticed about the boy and his father and your feelings about each of them
  • consider how things have changed for you and the world around you since you first started working at the zoo and suggest what you think the future may hold for you.

Base your passage on what you have read in Passage A, but be careful to use your own words. Address each of the three bullet points.

Begin your journal, ‘Today was…’

Write about 250 to 350 words.

Monday, 26th July 2021

Today was certainly a difficult day. That oh-so familiar internal monologue, which forces me to think about my future here, plagued my mind once again. We had two visitors - a father and his son - both robots, of course. What affected me the most was the young boy’s fascination with me; the fact that he realised I was different, but couldn’t quite determine why. I guess his programming didn’t allow for him to understand the world and its people before robots. It left me feeling dejected. I sat down at one point and I just quietly considered how much the world has changed - how much people have changed - how much I have changed. This place has been my livelihood for some many years, and has brought me an immeasurable amount of joy. But now I am aging and I am starting to struggle and it leaves me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach; one which won’t go away. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, and it leaves me wondering if there's a place on this Earth for the last zookeeper.

Are you having trouble understanding these concepts? Do you want assistance from a subject matter expert? Here, at Vidyalai we help your child achieve the grade they aspire for. Our SMEs are trained and experienced tutors who will provide you with each and every help when required. We are just a click away. Request your first lesson now. . We guarantee 100% satisfaction on your first session, if you are not satisfied,the session will be absolutely free.

  • Transforming for different styles
  • Formal Letter
  • Newspaper Report
  • Editorial/Magazine Article/Newspaper column
  • Interview and Dialogue
  • Diary Entry/Journal Entry
  • TRANSFORMING - what does it mean?


Anne Frank's Diary

journal writing igcse format


A fine wordpress.com site, journal example..

May 1st 2013. Our Journey On The Wild River.

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here; the jungle contrasts so greatly to my normal domain. I am my happiest sitting on my old chesterfield sofa, pen in hand, notebook on my lap. Indeed, that is how I have written my greatest poems. Now the heat of the roaring fire has gone and instead the heat of the Borneo sun beats down on my back. Redmond, whom I have only known for six months, somehow persuaded me to accompany him on one of his harebrained adventures. At least I have this, my journal, and my notebook of poems to escape into when his absurd talk of crocodiles and other jungle creatures becomes too much.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against animals or nature. But I like to see trees in paintings, in photographs or out of the window of my car as I’m driven to the library. I have no interest in listening to Redmond recite the Latin name of hundredth specimen of tree we have passed that day in our rickety canoe. And what’s wrong with wanting to travel in comfort? A ship, a yacht, a ferry: all respectable forms of waterborne transport. But a dugout canoe? I was aghast when Redmond revealed it to me. An expression of barely contained glee all over his rugged face, he was like a child at Christmas receiving his first pushbike. I dread to think where he will take us next.

At night he spreads out his maps and talks of where we will go next. I have heard him mention eagles, lizards and monkeys. Even at night I am awoken from my delightful dreams of stanzas and sonnets by his mumbles about hidden coves and undiscovered whirlpools. Richmond tells me we will be traveling back with the current, so the journey should be faster but smoother. I pray that the next few days are a steady meander over calm waters, allowing me peace and time to compose more works for my next anthology. Needless to say my suggestions are overlooked.

I made the same request for a peaceful course this morning and settled myself at the back of the canoe, put my straw boater on my head and lent back ready to immerse myself in the poetry of Swift, only to be rudely interrupted by Richmond twittering about rapids. I managed to keep Swift dry, but I was drenched in river water. I debated talking to Richmond about searching for a calmer route, but he was already gazing into the sky again at some large and ungainly bird flying by, so I thought better of it and carried on reading. Richmond and I are two men so similar in upbringing and education and yet our interests are so different. It dumbfounds me.

In a few days our ‘adventure’ will be over. Not soon enough for me! If Richmond manages to successfully transport us through this tropical nightmare of creepers and critters we will emerge from the wilderness and arrive at a small settlement, the nearest this backwater has to civilization. I sincerely hope to find a shop selling the amenities I am so desperately craving. Never again will I bemoan the quality of my dear wife’s cooking. Never again will I grumble when my beautiful daughters’ cheerful playing disturbs my afternoon nap. And never again will I allow myself to be tempted to travel to far flung places by the inane ramblings of a mad man.

It was a wise man who said “I have travelled the world through my reading.” Indeed, from now on, the great works of Literature are the only transport I need.

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