These journals are designed to take the place of chapter questions or teacher-directed questions by asking students to identify important passages in the novel as they read. With each important passage they identify, students provide analysis and commentary of the passage, noting elements of character and characterization, author's writing style and use of literary techniques, and the development of theme. Students also make rich connections to the passages and identify how those connections increase their level of understanding and appreciation for the novel. Finally, students identify vocabulary in the novel that is new to them and make up weekly new vocabulary lists. This assignment gets away from "one size fits all" novel and vocabulary study and allows students to customize their reading experience based on interest and readiness. The practice of pulling out key quotations and discussing them is also a great primer for literary essays.