What’s a diary entry? 

It is a private text format in which you write down your confidential thoughts, hopes, fears etc. in order to create some kind of emotional relief and/or to clarify a situation, to weigh the pros and cons of a difficult decision. In the age of social media, the question arises if diaries still have a place in people’s life. As a text format in school, it helps to characterize and explore fictional characters by adopting their point of view and uncovering their hidden thoughts and motives.

Although a diary entry does not have a fixed form and is a rather open and creative text format there are still some typical features:

  • exclamations
  • exaggerations
  • incomplete sentences
  • questions
  • colloquial language /slang
  • first person point of view
  • train of thoughts
  • emotional language
  • reflection of everyday events / often overlooked details and how they resonate with the person

The following model text was written by an 8th grader. We watched the film “High School Musical” in class and the assignment was to choose a character from the film and write a diary entry for a particular point in the story. Cordelia chose to write a diary entry from the point of view of Gabriella. This is the original student version and has not been corrected.

Friday, 21st January 2007, 7pm  

Dear Diary,

I am soo happy!  I could scream and sing all the time!

I remember when I came to East High. On my first day I was really unhappy, I couldn’t even think that something like this could ever happen. Oh my God! I still cannot believe it! 

The most important thing first. Troy almost kissed me!!! Yes, Troy Bolton, the cool basketball playmaker who became a singer because of me, who makes me smile every day, with whom I feel like in kindergarten, the one I really like. That means he might actually be my boyfriend!!! I mean that’s the reason why he tried to kiss me, isn’t it? I wish nobody had interrupted him. But I am sure I will be clear about this soon.

That’s not the only thing that happened! It was such an exciting day! How I told you, we needed to manage coming to the call backs of the winter musical while I and Taylor had the scholastic decathlon and Troy and his team had the end game of the basketball champion ship against West High. I don’t want to think about what would have happened, if Taylor hadn’t had a perfect plan. I am so happy to have her as my best friend!  So during the decathlon, she sent a virus to the scoreboard of the gym, so that the game had to be interrupted. We also put a secret ingredient into the potion which we had to make for the scholastic decathlon, so that we all had to leave the room. 

Therefore we both had time for the call backs. We were a little bit late and Mrs. Darbus didn’t want us to have our audition anymore, but when everybody ran into the hall, she changed her mind and we were allowed to sing. I almost left the stage, because I didn’t want all these people staring at me, but Troy helped me to fight my fear.

Then there was our big moment! When we started singing I forgot everything around us, the crowd, everyone watching us, there were just me and him and the song. An amazing feeling, I loved it! When it was finally over, everybody clapped and I felt soo good! 

I am wondering about whether we won or not. Nobody really told us. But I hope so. Anyway…

When the call backs were over, the decathlon and the game could go on. And guess what? We won both!! This so unbelievable! The best thing was seeing mum so proud and Troy so happy. 

That was the moment Troy tried to kiss me but got interrupted by someone who wanted to congratulate him. 

Thinking about Troy right now …

What might he be doing now…

Oh, I just got a message. It’s Troy!  Maybe he wants to ask me out for a date. I am soo excited!!!

That’s all for now.