IGCSE Journal Writing Guide: 7 Useful tips

igcse journal writing

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


Person Holding Blue Ballpoint Pen Writing in Notebook

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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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. 


Grayscale Photography of Person Holding Pen

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. 



Person Writing on Notebook

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

Question Tips for approaching these points
describe what you have to do each day,  Briefly describe your day to day job
why you do it,  Briefly explain why you do it 
and how that makes you feel Express how it makes you feel when executing the job with slight detail (use of vocabulary and expressive language)
explain what you have noticed about the boy and his father  Describe and explain in detail the incident that happened
and your feelings about each of them Reflect and write in your own words your feelings and thoughts for the boy and father separately 
consider how things have changed for you  Explain how since then, things have changed for you
and the world around you since you first started working at the zoo What are some insights that you have gained after working at the zoo? 

How have the changes impacted you and what you have been doing differently?

and suggest what you think the future may hold for you Consider one to two possible future scenarios and how the event has changed the future for you.  

Has your mindset changed? Did you change your working habit? Physical or Emotional change?


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. 

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