The technique, a reader-response journal, has been useful to me in the past. For me, it functions as a substitute for that serious friend or learned professor - that person who listens carefully and responds intelligently as you try to sort out what you're reading. This journal enables me to ask the questions that will lead me to a deeper understanding of the text and to make connections to my own life, reading and experiences. It forces me to slow down, look up terms or do research.
Plus, I have a wonderful record of my reading. Grasshopper mind jumps from topic to topic and leaves no footprints, but reader-response journal leaves a clear, consistent trail of thoughts and ideas. The reader-response journal transforms me from a person who can only focus for 15 minutes at a time (oh, yeah, did I mention that I am kind of ADHD?) into a real thinker and writer.
I LOVE MY READER-RESPONSE JOURNAL!