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Dork Diaries: How to Dork Your Diary is book 3 1/2 in the Dork Diaries series. This is not a story, although it has some scenes that Nikki tells as a story but mostly it just tells you how to make your own "Dork Diary".

This is not the fourth book, although some people may think it is. This book was released on October 8, 2011. Like the others, it is a New York Times bestseller.

Nikki loses her diary, thinking it was Mackenzie who stole it. So instead she teaches you how to dork your diary.

Summary

Nikki Maxwell has been writing in a diary since the start of the school year, and she usually takes it everywhere she goes—so she can't believe it when one morning she can't find her diary! The hunt is on, and while she looks, pursuing various theories about where it could be, with help of her besties Chloe and Zoey. She automatically suspects Mackenzie to have stolen her diary, as the two are enemies. Nikki can't help putting together a list of important diary-keeping lessons to remember in case of missing diary emergencies like this one. How to Dork Your Diary is chock full of tips from Nikki on fun things to write about in your diary, with lots of space for readers to write and draw their own entries.

Plot

Friday, at home, 6:05 AM

Nikki wakes up before morning in a fright from a nightmare where she lost her diary at school. She can't bare to be without it since she has become obsessed with writing her personal life in it. But when she finds out that she's writing in Brianna's doodle book, it turns out that nightmare has become a horrifying reality.

At home, 6:12 AM

Nikki cries so much about losing her diary, she covers herself up in a mountain of used tissues. She fears Brianna will mistake her for a pinata.

At home, 6:30 AM

Nikki tries to retrace her steps as to where she last had her diary and thinks of what to do in order to find it. Until then, she will be using Brianna's doodle book to write what happens.

At home, 7:10 AM

Nikki is dreading school today and has to put with breakfast with Brianna and Miss Penelope.

Girls' bathroom at school, 7:45 AM

Nikki goes to the office to ask the secretary, Mrs. Pearson, if any lost books were brought in. Unfortunately, it's not her diary, but rather a Geometry textbook. She checks the lost and found, but it's not there either. Her fears get worse when she thinks Jessica will find the diary if it gets turned up there and give it to MacKenzie to reveal all her secrets to the school.

English Class, 8:00 AM

While Nikki continues looking for her diary, she remembers that Chloe let her borrow her copy of the new novel The Deadly Doodle Dude and thinks her diary fell out of her backpack. She wonders if, due to her tendencies to read any book she finds, Chloe may have opened it up and read it, leading to a possible future of her becoming a famous movie director based on Nikki's life.

French Class, 9:50 AM

Nikki searches the girls' bathroom and runs into MacKenzie who leaves her a little toilet paper trail on her backside when she's not looking. In French class, MacKenzie has heard that Nikki lost her diary and intends to find it first. Nikki has to hurry and beat her to it.

Social Studies Class, 10:47 AM

Nikki keeps searching every nook and cranny, but there's still no sign. She remembers helping Zoey out in the library and believes she accidentally grabbed the diary, thinking it was one of the library books. She then imagines Zoey as a talk show host bringing Nikki out to talk about her life.

Gym Class, 11:45 AM

Doubting that her own best friends would find and read her diary, Nikki decides to tell them that she lost it. When they hear about it, they decide to help Nikki find it by all means.

Cafeteria, 12:25 PM

During lunch, the girls try to retrace their steps, thinking Nikki might have lost it at lunch. They assume she tossed it in the garbage and go to look in the dumpster, hoping it's still there. As they dive in, Chloe finds a few other things other than Nikki's diary, much to the latter's chagrin.

Biology Class, 1:30 PM

Nikki feels like everyone is starting to talk about her diary behind her back, making her miserable. Brandon says he has something to give her, but she doesn't feel like accepting it. During Ms. Kincaid's biology lesson, MacKenzie is texting on her phone. Upset with her inability to look at the blackboard, Ms. Kincaid confiscates her phone and reads the text, which happens to be from Brady Grayson, stating that he will give her back something after football practice at 3:00. When class ends, Brandon gives Nikki a temporary spiral notebook. This cheers Nikki up to the point where she does her happy dance and experiences RCS.

Geometry Class, 2:00 PM

The girls go back to the lost and found to check if the diary was turned in only to find Jessica and MacKenzie looking through it. After searching around, the CCP's ask what the dorks are there for, and Nikki believes MacKenzie stole her diary. MacKenzie denies the accusation. Suddenly, Principal Winston comes by to see what's going on and Nikki tells him MacKenzie has something of hers, which MacKenzie still denies. To prove it, she empties out her purse and shows her that it's not in there, much to the dorks' surprise. Principal Winston scolds Nikki for accusing MacKenzie and orders her to apologize, which she does reluctantly. Still, Nikki can't help but feel that MacKenzie has it.

Library, 2:35 PM

Nikki still thinks MacKenzie has her diary, but she remembers something from earlier and believes she knows who really took it.

In the hall outside the boys' locker room, 2:45 PM

Nikki is starting to have second thoughts about going into the boys' locker room, but she really wants to find her diary. She believes MacKenzie gave it to Brady Grayson, remembering the text earlier in Biology. While she's still worried, Zoey and Chloe go in as they feel the coast is clear. They search Brady's locker and come across what they believe is Nikki's diary, only to find that it's a cupcake recipe cookbook. When they're about to leave, they hear Coach Rowling coming in and disguise themselves as members of the football team. Soon after, Brandon comes in, asking to take pictures of the team. As soon as Coach Rowling leaves, Brandon recognizes the girls and asks why they're in there. They explain everything and manage to get out before any of the boys or the coach comes back. Nikki, defeated and hopeless, gives up and writes a letter to her future self.

At home, 4:00 PM

Even though Nikki never found her diary, she is still happy that Zoey and Chloe stuck by her through thick and thin in the search.

At home, 4:30 PM

Mixed up with different emotions, Nikki discovers what really happened to her diary. It turns out Brianna took it to her class for show-and-tell and showed everyone the drawings Nikki put in. While she feels enraged that her little sister took her diary, she is elated that MacKenzie didn't get her hands on it after all and makes Brianna pinkie promise never to take it again. Brianna blames Miss Penelope for taking it as usual. Nikki jokes about Miss Penelope and MacKenzie being long lost twins.

How to Dork your Diary Tips

Tip 1: Discover your Diary Identity.

Nikki gives the reader a multiple-choice quiz on which type of diary they will most likely use.

Tip 2: Write about the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Nikki says that while it's good to write about the good times in your diary, you should also write about the bad times to let out some steam. She gives three examples, one for each subject on the topic on what happened to her and challenges the reader to come up with their own.

Tip 3: Always do the Write Thing

Nikki gives a pop quiz to the reader and asks them to write what happened to them today until they get to the marking that says "STOP".

Tip 4: Never, Ever Leave your Diary Where a Nosy Creep can Sneak a Peek!

Some people will get nosy and want to write your diary. Nikki explains how to prevent them from doing so, such as coming up with witty lies and retorts about how some people think it's lame to write in one.

Tip 5: It's All About Me, Myself, and I.

A diary can help a person discover their identity and gives the reader a questionnaire to help them.

Tip 6: When Necessary, Go into Secret Code Mode.

If someone gets a hold of your diary, use secret codes such as acronyms to keep them puzzled and figuring out what they stand for.

Tip 7: Release your Inner Artist!

Nikki gives an art test and tells the reader to come up with a 4-panel comic strip.

Tip 8: Dare to Dream about your Future!

Planning for the future is important, and Nikki tells the viewer to write down their possible future plans.

Tip 9: Don't be a Party Pooper! Have Fun Celebrating You!

Some times are bad, but not all of them. Nikki says that you should throw a party in your own honor and lists some ideas.

Tip 10: Treasure Your Trash.

Sometimes, even the smallest, most insignificant thing can be cherished because you have a special history about them. Nikki tells the viewers to tape two things that the reader cherishes to the section and write about why they cherish them.

Tip 11: Write Down All the Stuff You Only Say Inside Your Head.

There are many things we only say in our head rather than aloud, but we're afraid to say them. Nikki instructs the reader to write down such things they are saying in their thoughts and don't want to release from their mouth.

Tip 12: Don't Forget to Remember.

Nikki says that you need to have a keen memory and jot down as much as you can remember so as not to forget.

Tip 13: Be Pen Pals With your Future Self!

Diaries can last for ages and you can even look back upon them. They can also be a bit like a time capsule so you can write to yourself years into the future, so they can remember those times as well. Nikki asks the reader what they would tell their future self.

Tip 14: Find a Comfy Spot and Chillax as you Write.

Writing in a diary is meant to be kept private. Nikki suggests finding a quiet and remote place to write in it.

Tip 15: Writing Poetry is a Snap When You Think of it as Rap.

Nikki states that diaries can be used to let your creativity out and challenges the reader to come up with a poem, song or rap about anything they want.

Tip 16: Write About Anything, Everything, or Nothing - It's your Diary!

Having taught the reader everything she knows, Nikki allows them to write their own diary entries in the remaining blank pages in the book.

Trivia

  • This book is number 3 1/2 as the story takes place only in one day, and Nikki gives the reader tips on how to make their own diary.
  • The events in this book are considered canon since Nikki recalls some of them that took place that day in later books.
  • MacKenzie would eventually steal Nikki's diary for real in Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen.

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