Literature and composition: Reading Response #1

Reading Response #1
Complete a reading response assignment based on the critical essay(s) we read this week. Your first reading response will consist of two parts because the skill we are practicing this week is analysis of a text (and what better way to show that analysis at this point than to summarize and respond?).

Part 1: Summary (minimum 50 words)

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Summary is a skill you should have mastered by this point in your academic career. For this course, we will practice “summary with purpose” as opposed to “play-by-play” summary. A play-by-play is just a list of what happened or what was said and doesn’t promote critical thinking skills. A summary with purpose asks you to focus more on why an author is writing something as opposed to what they wrote. So, for this summary, you will:

Identify the main argument the author is making
Identify minor arguments the author makes to support the main claim
Classify the author’s style (confrontational, satirical, conversational, academic, etc.)
Part 2: Response (minimum 50 words)

In order to promote reflection and self-awareness, I want you to record your own honest reactions to each text. This will also help you later identify the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s arguments. So write down any questions you have, any connections you see to other texts, or anything else the reading brings to mind. If, for example, you wonder where an author is getting a particular statistic, you might start to see that s/he never tells you were the statistics come from. Or maybe you have an emotional reaction to something the author writes. Could you emulate that writer’s move later to evoke emotional reactions in your own reader? Write it down, because you won’t necessarily remember that reaction later and this will save you time searching or rereading later.

Be sure to look at the rubric carefully so that you understand how you will be graded on this assignment.


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