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Name: ____________________________________ Date: ____________

Summarizing, Observing, and Questioning


Dialectical Journal
Dialectical journals allow you to record a mental conversation with a text. You can use dialectical
journals for a variety of tasks: to summarize important ideas in a passage; to ask questions of a text; to
record patterns of details, images, and figures of speech; to make inferences; to connect literary elements
and techniques to thematic meaning or tone; and to document quotations and evidence.
ne kind of dialectical journal is a !ummarizing, "serving, and #uestioning $ournal, which allows you
to summarize important points or ideas and to ask questions a"out a passage. %here are three types, or
levels, of questions you can ask when completing this type of journal entry:
Level One: Literal
&nowledge questions can "e
answered "y skimming the text
or doing research.
on the line
Level Two: Inferential
'nference questions require the
reader to make educated guesses
supported "y the text.
between the lines
Level Three: Thematic
%hematic questions connect the
text with real life and with
universal themes.
beyond the lines
I. (nswers to Level One questions can "e found directly in the text; you literally can put your finger )on
the line* that contains the answer. +evel ne questions often "egin with ),hat-* ),here-* or ),ho-*
II. (nswers to Level Two questions are interpretive, requiring readers to make inferences or assumptions
"ased on evidence in the text. +evel %wo questions ask ).ow-* and ),hy-*
III. Level Three questions ask you to consider the universal meaning of texts. ,hen considering +evel
%hree questions, ask ).ow does this text connect with my life or with life in a larger sense for all human
"eings-* %hese questions "egin with ideas in the text "ut move from the )what-* of the text to the )so
what-* of a"stract issues and thematic concerns.
,hen you are creating a !ummarizing, "serving, and #uestioning /ialectical $ournal entry, you should
follow this procedure:
In the left-hand column
summarize assigned paragraphs, passages, or chapters.
write a synopsis of a specific plot point.
In the right-hand column
note patterns of diction 0word choice1, imagery 0words that paint pictures1, figurative language
0simile, metaphor, personification, allusion, etc.1
create questions on each of the three levels of questioning 0+iteral, 'nferential, and %hematic1.
Name: ____________________________________ Date: ____________
Grade 9 ELA Summer eadin! Assi!nment
Summarizing, Observing, and Questioning Dialectical Journal
Directions: 2ead either 3al 4eet5s Exposure or !uzanne .arper5s The Juliet Club. ,hile reading the
novel, choose "# different cha$ters and com$lete a dialectical journal entr% for each cha$ter in %our
com$osition note&oo'. The first chapter of Exposure and The Juliet Club have been done for you as
examples and cannot be selected as one of your entries.
%his assignment will "e one of your first grades for the first quarter, so "e sure your journal entries are
thorough, thoughtful, and legi"le. 2eview the dialectical journal directions and expectations handout for
an explanation of what the dialectical journal assignment entails. %he completed assignment is due in
6nglish +anguage (rts 06+(1 class on the first day of school.
Dialectical (ournal E)am$le: Exposure* +ha$ter , "
Summar% O&servations and -uestions
7hapter ne introduces several characters including
a "lack male car washer who is victim of racial
violence from a white man.
4aul 8austino is a veteran reporter for +a 9acion
who writes an article a"out tello5s controversial
high:profile decision to play soccer for an openly
racist team in the !outh.
: ,hat does the word )predecessor* mean- 0+evel
ne, pg. ;1
: ,hy wouldn5t a person expect politeness or
delicacy from the "oy with all the dreadlocks- 0+evel
%wo, pg. ;1
: ,hy are the "oy5s customers referred to as his
)victims*- 0+evel ne, pg. <1
: ,hat types of stereotypical assumptions does the
man in the "lack 4orsche =>> make a"out the "oy
who washes?watches cars- 0+evel %wo, pg. <1
: .ow does the "ee metaphor affect how we see the
rumor of tello spreading- 0+evel %wo, pg. @1
: tello is a famous soccer player 0+evel ne, pg. @1
: 4aul 8austino is a reporter for +a 9acion with a
respecta"le reputation 0+evel ne, pg. A1
: ,hat does the word )seismic* mean- 0+evel ne,
pg. A1
: %his first chapter introduces a central conflict:
southerners5 racism toward "lack northerners like
tello 0+evel %hree, pg. =1