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Fahrenheit 451 Journal Project

posted Apr 29, 2014, 4:33 AM by Naomi Kirchner

Guidelines for Fahrenheit 451 Journals


At its best, a reader response journal is just what it sounds like: your responses to what you have read. A response journal is not merely a summary of what happened in the book.

Your journal should pull a passage and quote it, and then you should write a response to that passage.

Novel Passage/Quote

Your response:
 following are some suggestions as to how your responses may be framed. Each response should be at least five sentences.

1.       Make connections with your own experience. What does the reading make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?

2.       Make connections with other texts or concepts or events. Do you see any similarities between this text (concepts, events) and other texts (concepts, events)? Does it bring to mind other related issues?

3.       Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, “I wonder why…” or “I’m having trouble understanding how…’ or “It perplexes me that…” or “I was surprised when ….”

4.       Try agreeing with the writer. Write down the supporting ideas. Try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues, do you disagree? Think of your journal as a place to carry on a dialogue with the writer or with the text in which you actually speak with him or her.

5.       Write down striking words, images, phrases, or details. Speculate about them. Why did the author choose them? What do they add to the story? Why did you notice them? On a first reading you might put checks in the margin where the passages intrigue you; on the second reading, choose the most interesting ideas, then write about them.

6.       Describe the author’s point of view. How does the author’s attitude shape the way the writer presents the material?

7.       Make predictions about what will happen next.

8.       Agree or disagree with the message of the text.

9.       Share a personal reaction to the story.

10.   Describe the main character’s personality.

11.   Comment on how a character has changed.

12.   Explain why you liked or disliked the text.

13.   State an opinion about the actions of the characters.

14.   Speak directly to a character and “give your two cents’ worth”. If you could stop the action at a particular point, what would you say?

15.   Evaluate an action or a decision by a character or characters. Do you feel a wise or a poor decision has been made? Why? What decision would you prefer to have been made? Why?

16.   What has occurred that you consider foreshadowing? What do you believe will occur in the future? Why?

17.   And finally … if there is anything you think about while reading that you feel strongly about, you should always feel free to write about that!


Novel Excerpt


“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to hear is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth”  (Salinger 1).

The beginning of this book is startling because this narrator is very unique.  While most narrators seem happy and even eager to tell you their story, this one is telling you from the beginning that he doesn’t really feel like “going into it.”  Words like “lousy” and “crap” let us know that this narrator is not particularly happy with his life, or at least his childhood.  He seems almost hostile to the reader.  I am confused about why someone who seems this negative would have a story to tell in the first place, and why the author chose this particular narrator.  What is nice about him is the fact that he’s aware that the reader wants “to know the truth,” and he seems really honest, even though he doesn’t sound very friendly.


You need to complete 10 total entries, and at least three detailed journal entries for each chapter.  Please either type or double space your entries. Be thoughtful and do not rush through this assignment.

Please pay attention to correct grammar and usage.  Write in complete sentences and use academic vocabulary.


Due Date: Thursday, May 8