Exercise 2.2

Exercise 2.2
April 09, 2015
This exercise is the second step in trying to read more deeply into Gilbert’s essay.
Together these exercises should help you better understand the essay and find inspiration
for research. As I suggested in Exercise 2.1, your other goal will be to describe the
structure and organizing principles of Gilbert’s essay. You will also be mapping the essay
in class (two weeks from now), offering a visual representation of the whole work (more
on that later).
However, right now your ultimate goal is to find specific, smaller ideas or arguments in
Gilbert’s essay that will start your own research project. Whereas in Ex. 2.1 we glossed
the first section of Gilbert’s essay, in this exercise you will be working with the second
half (and conclusion) of the essay. We will also be trying a different re-reading technique
from the reading strategies guide, a dialectical (or double-entry) notebook.
First, actively re-read, annotate, and write out questions for the second section of
Gilbert’s essay. These are paragraphs 18-33, and include the section “The Myth of
Fingerprints” and the conclusion.
Then, isolate five passages from this section that you found interesting, strange, or
revealing. Create a dialectical notebook, basically a two-column notebook in which to
record specific passages and then respond to them.
Basically, the left column of your notebook will be labeled “What It Says.”
This is where you record passages you found interesting, strange, or revealing. Quote
them in MLA format, with the page number included in parentheses, too, so you can refer
back to it later.
Label the right column “What I Think.” This is where you analyze what you found
interesting, strange, or revealing about the passage you chose. I recommend beginning
the entry by talking about details in the passage. What can you point out with some
certainty about the language here?
Then, think about your answers to the following:
 What is suggested or implied by the details? What else could be said that isn’t
implicitly stated?
 What is the significance of the passage? Why did you choose it? Why is it
important for the essay? Why might others find it a significant statement? How
does it affect your thinking about the topic?
The response should be much longer than the passage.Try to keep both the passage and
your response to it side-by-side in the notebook. Your notebook and printed essay will be
due in class on Tuesday, April 14.
Instructions for setting up a double-entry notebook on your computer
For a Word document, you can create a double-entry notebook by using the table
function to create the two columns. Click “table” at the top of your document, and then
click “insert” in the fold-down menu. Choose a table with 2 columns and two rows. Now,
create headings for your columns. In the top row, on the left, type “What It Says,” and on
the right type “What I Think.”
Here is a sample entry, from two unrelated readings:
“I learned early on that war forms its own
culture. The rush of battle is a potent and
often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one
I ingested for many years.” (233)
Hedges compares war to an addictive drug.
I thought this was really interesting
because my roommate is in the Marine
Corps, and will be deploying soon to
Afghanistan. When I listen to him speak
about how he cannot wait for battle, I get
an unsettling feeling. It really makes one
think why would one want to kill the
enemy so bad? Really shows how war can
make one look addicted.
“It is worth asking ourselves if this bawdy
world of boobs and gams we have
resurrected reflects how far we’ve come, or
how far we have left to go.” (146)
Here Levy exposes her main argument, that
all the recent “raunch” culture
accomplished was showing just how far
feminists and sexual equalities have to go.
I found the passage really revealing
because she does not give a statement, but
proposes a question. It seems that she
really wants readers to keep asking
questions that further examine the issue of
raunch culture.