Responding

Double-entry Journal

Consider using a journal to first explore your initial and individual responses to the text. One particularly helpful form of journal for responses is called the dialectic or double-entry journal. In this kind of journal, you divide a standard piece of notebook paper down the middle and first record your summary of a text in one column and your ideas, questions, and reactions in the second column. If you have trouble getting started or are worried about getting full coverage with a double-entry journal, try thinking of the text in terms of four elements:

  1. the text's audience
  2. the text's main idea or main effect
  3. the text's organization, its forms and features of support used to create, enhance, and amplify the main idea or effect
  4. the text's style and tone
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Introduction