Human Studies Journal Guides

Human Studies Journal Guides

Depending upon the major they are pursuing, some students will write journals as part of their Field Experience (internship). Below is an example of such a journal.

As an aid to your learning, keep a journal during your field experience. The journal entries should each reflect approximately 40 hours of your experience. You should submit these entries to the Field Experience Office on a weekly basis or after approximately every 40 hours of work. The Audience for Your Journal

The primary audience for your journal is you. The journal serves as a collection point for the observations, ideas and feelings that result from your Field Experience. The journal will help you reflect upon tasks and occurrences, and draw conclusions about what you are learning. Set up your journal using a computer word processing program (preferably a WORD document) so that it can be e-mailed as an attachment to the Field Experience Office, put on a disc and mailed, or brought into the office. All logs are to be typed and as free of spelling and punctuation errors as possible! Make a back-up copy on disk or keep a current hard copy. You don't want to lose your journal to a computer virus or in a rainstorm. No logs/journals will be accepted handwritten. Make sure to include your name, date, and number of hours this entry and a running total of hours completed on each entry.

In addition to the primary audience (yourself), your journal also provides other readers (Director of Field Experience and faculty in your division) a glimpse into your day-to-day experiences. Imagine that your journal helps you prepare for a conversation about your field experience with your advisor or a mentor whose opinion you value. Your advisor/mentor would ask you questions like:

"Are you enjoying this work?"
"What new skills have you learned?"
"What are the dynamics in your workplace?"
"What are your strengths as an intern?"

If you have trouble generating ideas for an entry, address one or more of the questions above.

Each Entry Should include three types of statements.

Description of the tasks you worked on or accomplished during that particular journaling period. Make the descriptions objective and factual. This section can be brief,especially if your tasks don't change much from day to day. Be sure to describe new tasks completely and to describe any changes in familiar tasks.

Description of your reactions to these tasks or other events or conversations. Here is where you can vent some thoughts you wouldn't share with co-workers or site supervisors. You can describe anxieties or confusion, or an energy charge you got from a compliment paid to your work. Comments in this section should reflect your state of mind, the climate at work, and the pressures or gratitude you feel as an intern.

Analyze and draw conclusions about your learning. By setting forth what you actually did and then working through your first level reactions, you prepare yourself to ask deeper, more central questions about the profession you are practicing. In this section, consider relationships between course knowledge and actual practice or how the four Life Skills relate to specific technical skills you are developing. You can also assess your own progress in the internship. In effect, you will be preparing your final paper or presentation on the installment plan; your daily entries will yield the evidence or analysis you will use in the final paper/presentation.

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