Split Notes:  Quotes

This is a good form of note taking for longer selections.  Once you have determined the primary themes of the novel or work being studied, start looking for quotes that represent that theme.  Then, using the sample from "A Letter to Maggie" by James F. Slevin below, collect and explain the quotes.


Context & Explanation

ďAll this concern with evidence applies to class discussion...  We all want students to respond to one another so that we as teachers don't become the mediator of every comment" (63).




"Academic culture is all about looking and looking for.  It is about the hunt for a conclusion, not about conclusions; it's about the making of meaning, not the meaning" (62).


Slevin has been discussing the importance of evidence.  Students should wrestle with evidence to create their own conclusions about ideas.  Too often, students simply regurgitate what the teacher says and that does not create independent thought or help students grow.  They should discuss evidence with each other rather than silently agree or disagree with the readings.

Slevin distinguishes between simply summarizing meaning and making meaning.  We should push students toward making their own meanings by providing lots of different texts with evidence, proof, etc., so they can come to their own conclusions about the material, and ultimately the world around them.  The process is key; not the product.

1. Split your page down the center.

2. Create one page for each article you are examining.

3. Write an entire quote or the beginning of a quote on the left side of the page.  Include page numbers.

4. Write who is speaking (and in what context) on the right.  Also provide a short explanation showing why this quote is significant to the theme being examined.  Pretend I am there asking you why this quote is important.

5.  Find quotes that exemplify the main ideas of the article.

6.  Find quotes that represent the primary conflict or problem of the article.

7.  Find quotes that represent ideas you are drawn to / repelled  from.