Dialectical journal

The term “Dialectic” means “the art or practice of arriving at the truth by using conversation involving question and answer.” Think of your dialectical journal as a series of conversations with the texts—visual and verbal—that you will read for your proposal arguments. The process is meant to help you develop a better understanding of the texts you read. Use your journal to incorporate your personal responses to the texts, connections between the message of the text and themes we cover in our class discussions. Journaling is useful way to process what you’re reading, prepare yourself for group discussion, and gather textual evidence for your research assignments. Procedure: – As you read, choose passages that stand out to you and record them in the left column of the T-chart (ALWAYS include page numbers). – In the right column, write your response to the text (ideas/insights, questions, reflections, and comments on each passage) – If you choose, you can label your responses using the following codes: (S) Summarize – pull out the main idea of the quote and restate it in a condensed way (A) Analyze –break down the examples of ethos, logos, or pathos into their component parts (use the Aristotelian Appeals(chart).doc). Examine how each part contributes to the larger category of rhetoric that you are analyzing. (I) Infer – use the evidence (logos) to determine what is implied but not stated explicitly (Syn) Synthesize – explain how the author’s combined use of ethos, logos, and pathos affects the audience’s perception of their message. Does it work to (E) Evaluate – make judgments about the author’s use of ethos, logos, and pathos. How the author’s use of each of these appeals helps to increase the persuasive power of their overall argument. – Use the Dialectical Journal Chart.doc (see below for Sample DJ chart entry) to complete the assignment and submit it through turnitin.com Sample Dialectical Journal entry: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien Passages from the text Pg#s Comments & Questions “-they carried like freight trains; they carried it on their backs and shoulders-and for all the ambiguities of Vietnam, all the mysteries and unknowns, there was at least the single abiding certainty that they would never be at a loss for things to carry”. Pg 2 (A) O’brien chooses to end the first section of the novel with this sentence. He provides excellent visual details of what each solider in Vietnam would carry for day-to-day fighting. He makes you feel the physical weight of what soldiers have to carry for simple survival. When you combine the emotional weight of loved ones at home, the fear of death, and the responsibility for the men you fight with, with this physical weight, you start to understand what soldiers in Vietnam dealt with every day. This quote sums up the confusion that the men felt about the reasons they were fighting the war, and how they clung to the only certainty – things they had to carry – in a confusing world where normal rules were suspended. Choosing Passages from the Text: Look for quotes that seem significant, powerful, thought provoking or puzzling. For example, you might record: Effective &/or creative use of stylistic or literary devices Passages that remind you of your own life or something you’ve seen before Structural shifts or turns in the plot A passage that makes you realize something you hadn’t seen before Examples of patterns: recurring images, ideas, colors, symbols or motifs. Passages with confusing language or unfamiliar vocabulary Events you find surprising or confusing Passages that illustrate a particular character or setting Responding To the Text: You can respond to the text in a variety of ways. The most important thing to remember is that your observations should be specific and detailed. You must select 5 quotes per Part from Jennifer Government. There are six parts, so you should have a total of 30 quotes (including the epilogue). A direct quotation from the text should be given on the left side of the paper. The right side should provide an analysis of the quote. Most importantly, your analysis should be at least double the length of the quote. Basic Responses Raise questions about the beliefs and values implied in the text Give your personal reactions to the passage Discuss the words, ideas, or actions of the author or character(s) Tell what it reminds you of from your own experiences Write about what it makes you think or feel Agree or disagree with a character or the author Sample Sentence Starters: She advocates… They celebrate the fact that… …, he admits. Basically, X is warning that… In other words, X believes… X’s point is that… In making this comment, X urges readers to… Higher Level Responses Make connections to a different text (or film, song, etc…) Discuss the words, ideas, or actions of the author or character(s) Consider an event or description from the perspective of a different position Analyze a passage and its relationship to the message as a whole

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