How to Effectively Answer Journal Prompts

It’s nearly summer, and many of you are having trouble remembering how to effectively answer a question. Don’t worry — I’ve got your back.

When you are asked to respond to a prompt, as a high school student, you should be thinking about clarity, organization, and CONTENT.

The formula that we use naturally as human beings is very simple: we typically state a claim (this is your thesis — it should be a clear and straight-forward answer to the question you were asked); next, we offer details (this is where you include evidence from the text (you should use quotes where appropriate)); finally, we explain how that evidence proves our point (this is your analysis).

In order to get a 10/10 on your Tuesdays with Morrie Reading Assignments, you need to follow this formula!


  1. Claim
  2. Evidence
  3. Analysis

PS: do not forget to use parenthetical citations after a direct quote, AND ALSO after paraphrased details from the text.

Here is an EXCELLENT student example:

How to Answer Tuesdays with Morrie Questions


Author: MrsLamp88

Carly (Stahmer) Lamp graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a BA in English and a teaching certificate in secondary English education. Since the fall of 2011, Mrs. Lamp has been teaching English literature and composition courses at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa. She currently teaches AP Lit. and Comp. and English 11. Mrs. Lamp also coaches the Academic Decathlon team and runs the AHS ACT Prep Club. Some of her favorite novels include... American Psycho (Ellis) Beloved (Morison) Wide Sargasso Sea (Rhys) All the Pretty Horses (McCarthy) A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway) High Fidelity (Hornby) Heart of Darkness (Conrad) The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) Catch-22 (Heller) Moby Dick (Melville) The Portrait of a Lady (James) Midnight's Children (Rushdie)

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