This resource is designed to provide structure, guidance, and inspiration for students to complete a series of dialectical journal entries based on their independent reading of longer works. The resources provided can be used with any text of various mediums, but this specifically is designed to give students a way to engage with longer works that they are likely reading independently outside of the classroom.


A dialectical journal is one where the reader has a conversation with what they are reading. The reader does this by writing down the passages they think are interesting together with their thoughts of how they understand the passage. This strategy helps students stay engaged with the reading and, depending on the teacher-specific stems they can address in their entries, can help students review, remediate, or hone skills that were previously covered while new skills are the focus on classroom instruction.


This type of dialect is important to a reader as it helps them understand the true meaning of the piece of writing and how the writer creates and conveys this meaning. Students’ critique and analysis of key excerpts of the text must not only provide identification of and understanding of rhetorical devices/strategies, but also understanding of the ideas, subjects, tensions, context, and nuances of the text as a whole.


Skills covered: RHS-1.A, CLE-3.A, CLE-3.B, RHS-1.B, CLE-3.B, REO-5.C, REO-6.C, STL-7.A






Lauren Peterson (Master of Arts, Education) has been teaching AP® English Language and Composition in a number of states for more than ten years, most recently at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where she is also the schoolwide literacy leader. Before this position, Lauren served as a curriculum and instructional coach in Duval County, Florida. Lauren worked for College Board on a pilot curriculum designed to both remediate common AP® English Language challenges and also prepare students for Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. As an independent consultant for the National Math and Science Initiative, Lauren has written diverse curricula used by students across the country as well as training materials for beginning and experienced AP® English Language teachers. Lauren served as an AP® English Language Reader and continues to work as an AP® English Language trainer for new and experienced teachers.