Reading: Hacking classical literature 2

Ah, serious reading. Time to think about tackling book(s) you've been meaning to read since BBC put out it's top 100 list of Big Reads or your teacher assigned Anna Karenina as light summer fare. But how to approach it? 

One time-honored plan is to keep a reader's journal using the dialectic method (also called the Socratic method) as a means of pursuing truth through seemingly unending questioning.  

The purpose of the questioning in a reader's journal is to probe your own and the author's understanding and to identify everyone's faulty or inadequate thinking. According to Plato, Socrates used this method to teach his students how to actively deconstruct unfamiliar or challenging ideas and arguments. 

So open the composition notebook you bought on sale at Target, and start your reader's dialectical journal by dividing your page into two columns

Label one column QUOTES (passages of text will go here) and the other column NOTES (this will be your response to the text). As you read, write down the passages that cause you to think and to question; then respond to what you are reading by writing those thoughts and questions down. 

Keep in mind that the big picture is to continually strive through dialogue to eliminate faulty thinking and to obtain a clearer understanding of the truth, whatever it may be. Your reader's journal is an internal conversation with yourself that will inform future external conversations with others.
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