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Dialectical Notes


You sit down with a book, pass your eyes over the words, and say that you have ... adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dialectical Notes

Dialectical Notes
  • Or active reading

Reading is too often a passive experience for
students. You sit down with a book, pass your
eyes over the words, and say that you have done
the reading assignment.
This year, you are going to do dialectical notes
with each novel. Heres how it works. Every
3-4 pages, you find a significant quote, tell
what literary technique the author is employing,
and write two commentaries about it.
You may do this in one of two ways If you have
purchased your own novel, you may highlight the
passages in the novel, and write your notes in
the margin or on post-it notes. If you checked
a novel out from me, you need to divide your
notebook/page into columns. You need to have the
page where you found the quote, the quote
itself, then your notes.
For example
When you finish, you will have a summary of the
material you have read. As you read, your
commentary can include questions, comments, and
ideas that have piqued your interest. This
becomes an intellectual history of your reading
This material will become the basis for much of
the writing you will do about what you have
read. It will also be a great reference for
those of you who need to have a background in
literature for an AP exam, or college class.
Commentaries are the most difficult part --------
so lets practice On page 4 in Wuthering
Heights it says Wuthering Heights is the name
of Mr. Heathcliffs dwelling. Wuthering being
a significant provincial adjective, descriptive
of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is
exposed in stormy weather. foreshadowing
1.Naming the house after stormy weather 2.this
foreshadows the stormy relationships that will
take place here.
From Song of Solomon P. 17 Nobody both dared
enough and cared enough to tell
him. characterization 1. This shows what
Macon Dead is like (which is not the greatest
comm) 2. He is a cold person who no one likes
From 1984 P. Thoughtcrime does not entail
death thoughtcrime IS death. aphorism 1. In
the world of the Party, this is a simple truth
about life 2. Anyone who has committed
thoughtcrime is eventually killed, its only a
matter of time
Things to remember about dialectical notes
When I say a quote from the book ----- it doesnt
have to be something a character says in the
book. You are quoting a line or two from the
book. It can be a description, an example of
imagery, etc.
If you give the same commentary for every quote
you are just giving one commentary. Likewise, if
your commentary is so general that it will fit
any novel, your grade will suffer. For
example This gives the reader a
visual------ Well, duh!!!!!!!!!
And speaking of grades, the following will be
considered in grading
  • Quotes found every 3-4 pages if yours fall
    every 8 pages, youve only done ½ the work
  • Did you pick out a quote that has some
  • Did you tell the literary technique?
  • Do you have 2 commentaries?
  • Do your commentaries have some depth, show some
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