Dialectical Journal

A dialectical journal is a reading journal where you collect quotes that are important.  Quotes can be collected for a variety of reasons:

  1. It contains a literary device
  2. An important event occurs
  3. The language is beautiful or unusual in some way
  4. The passage is humorous, sad, or brings up emotions in some way
  5. The passage says something particularly interesting or memorable
  • In the QUOTE column, write the quote and page number
  • In the SIGNIFICANCE column, explain why the passage is important.
  • In the LITERARY DEVICES column, explain what literary devices were used (if any) and HOW the device was used.
  • Here is a PDF of a dialectical journal
  • Here is a WORD version of the dialectical journal (word) that you can type on.
Quote, Page # Significance Literary Devices
From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”

Establishes the centrality of advantageous marriage, a fundamental social value of Regency England.


Establishes slightly sarcastic tone of the novel.

Hyperbole:  it states an opinion as though it is a “truth” then proclaims this opinion to be “universally acknowledged.”

Irony: It is likely that the author is being sarcastic, posing a view that is likely from the perspective of Elizabeth’s mother—who is later acknowledged to be of “mean understanding.”


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