What is a Dialectical Journal?
A dialectical journal is a record of your dialogue (conversation) with the book you are reading. It is also called a double entry or reader response journal. In this journal, you will write down your thoughts, questions, comments, predictions, and ideas while you read. The process helps you develop critical reading skills and encourage you to expand your reflective writing.
Your Assignment - Requirements for Dialectical Journals
• Choose a novel. Read the novel. As you read, keep a Dialectical Journal wherein you record responses/reactions to your book (See Above). o You should respond in your Dialectical Journal approximately every 15 – 20 pages.
• The book may be any age and school-appropriate work of your choosing.
• You will submit your Dialectical journals every two weeks. Each submission will be worth a total of 50 points.
Some Suggestions for Reading:
• Harry Potter I – VII, by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy Fiction) • Into the Wild, by John Krakauer (Non-Fiction)
• Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt (Memoir)
• The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (Fiction) • Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (Science Fiction)
• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (Autobiography) • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison (Fiction)
• The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (Fiction)
• Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (Fiction)
• The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck (Fiction)
• One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Fiction) • All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy (Fiction)
• The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan (Fiction) • Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Fantasy Fiction) • The Man Who Sold the Moon, Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlin (Science Fiction) • Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut (Science Fiction)
• Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (Fiction)
Format for Dialectical Journals
What It Looks Like…
1. On the top of the first page, record the following information:
Title ________________________________ Date Started: ______________
# of Pages in Book ____________ Date Completed ___________________ (check when finished)
2. Divide your page in half. On one side quote a passage from the text and on the other include your response (See Examples, next page).
|Quote & Page number |Your Response | |Think about writing about the text when: |These are thoughtful responses that include your ideas and feelings | |You are moved by what is being said |about the passage. | |You do not understand what is being said | | |You have a question about what is being said |You might: | |You agree with what is being said | | |You disagree with what is being said |Discuss why you chose the passage | |This may include: |Discuss what it reminds you of or makes you feel | |Powerful dialogue stated by a character |Argue with a character or the author about a turn of events | |Words that seem out of character |Question the motives of a character | |Repetition of symbols or...