Reading Reactions

Reading Reactions

At times, I will ask you to consider specific questions or themes (which will be announced in class) though at other times you let your own interests in and ideas about the texts guide you. These responses cannot be summaries of the readings; rather, they provide a forum in which you will engage with the material and prepare your own thoughts, questions and insights for class discussion. Use specific details, quotes, and lines to prove your points and clarify your ideas. Keep your discussion narrow!

Why do you do them? These Reading Reaction will help you read with a sharp and inquisitive eye, and will permit you to develop a critical viewpoint by drawing attention to elements of the text that a less careful or less curious reader might overlook. You should use your insights into the texts, the questions you raise and issues you note to contribute to class discussion, which will allow you to help determine the course our class takes.

READING REACTIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED LATE – NO EXCEPTIONS!

Why do you do them? These Response Papers will help you read with a sharp and inquisitive eye, and will permit you to develop a critical viewpoint by drawing attention to elements of the text that a less careful or less curious reader might overlook. You should use your insights into the texts, the questions you raise and issues you note to contribute to class discussion, which will allow you to help determine the course our class takes.

Reading Responses

31-40 points:

· This is an excellent response paper that shows that the writer has carefully read, considered and attained a strong understanding of the complexities of the text(s).

· The discussion in the response paper is insightful, probes beneath the surface of the text, and shows the writer’s own innovative, creative and critical thinking. This writer has posed a probing question(s), or drawn attention to an issue, passage, motif, theme or other element that seems to be important to understanding certain aspects of the text.

· The writer typically uses specific details or passages convincingly in the text to support the point(s) that he or she is making in the response paper.

· Furthermore, the arguments and the conclusion(s) the writer makes, are, on the whole, convincing based on the evidence and exploration of ideas provided in the entry.

· This response paper is well organized, generally free of grammatical and spelling errors, and the writing style is occasionally stylish.

21-30 points:

· This is a very strong response paper that also shows that the writer has carefully read, considered and attained an understanding of the complexities of the text(s). It is similar to an A entry in many ways, though a B response paper is lacking in one-two of the following areas:

· The discussion in the response paper shows that the writer has thought about the complexities of the text, and has identified important areas for discussion, but the writer needs to push his or her analysis and critical thinking a bit further to try and get at the root of the issue and develop his or her ideas in greater depth and detail, or

· The writer uses evidence and passages from the text, but does not analyze or discuss this material effectively and therefore it does not necessarily advance the argument or support the point(s) that the writer is making in the response paper, or

· The points, arguments and/or conclusion(s) the writer makes in the entry are not necessarily supported by discussion in the entry, overlook important evidence found in the text, or are unconvincing for other reasons.

· This response paper is also well organized, generally free of grammatical and spelling errors, and the writing style is sometimes stylish.

11-20 points:

· This is a decent response paper that demonstrates that the writer has read the text(s), but needs to put more time into thinking critically about the text(s). This response paper is similar to A and B entries but is deficient in three-four of the following areas:

· The discussion in the response paper identifies areas for discussion, but they may be too broad or too general. The writer needs to show more analysis and critical thinking to try and get at the complexities of the text and the issues raised. This writer needs to develop his or her ideas in greater depth and detail, or

· The writer needs to incorporate relevant details and evidence (perhaps in the form of quotes) from the text to support his or her discussion. The writer might also need to spend more space in the entry analyzing and discussing this material in order to make the importance of the discussion clear, or,

· The writer needs to organize his or her thoughts more clearly, or

· The writer overlooks important parts of the text which make his or her arguments unconvincing and untenable, or

· The points, arguments and/or conclusion(s) the writer makes in the entry are not necessarily supported by discussion in the entry, overlook important evidence found in the text, or are unconvincing for other reasons.

· This response paper may have a couple of problems with organization, grammar and spelling.

0-10 points:

· This response paper is deficient in multiple ways. The writer hasn’t read the text carefully or put much demonstrable energy in thinking about the text.

· This response paper that demonstrates that the writer needs to spend more time reading and thinking about the way the text(s) works. This response paper is deficient in four or more of the following areas:

· The discussion in the response paper does not clearly identify relevant areas for discussion, or if identified, they are too broad or too general. The writer needs to use more analysis and critical thinking to gain insight into the complexities of the text and the issues raised. This writer needs to develop his or her ideas in greater depth and detail, or

· The writer needs to incorporate relevant details and evidence (perhaps in the form of quotes) from the text to support his or her discussion. The writer might also need to spend more space in the entry analyzing and discussing this material in order to make the importance of the discussion clear, or,

· The writer needs to organize his or her thoughts, or

· The writer overlooks important parts of the text which make her or his arguments unconvincing and untenable, or

· The points, arguments and/or conclusion(s) the writer makes in the entry are not necessarily supported by discussion in the entry, overlook important evidence found in the text, or are unconvincing for other reasons.

· This response paper may have multiple problems with organization, grammar and spelling.

Papers

The grading criteria for the comparative analytical papers are identical to that of the reading responses, and

1) the writer should offer a cohesive argument complete with a statement of thesis, logical development of that thesis within the body of the paper, and a conclusion which aptly sums up the arguments made and makes clear their import to understanding the text,

2) The ideas in a paper should be clearly considered and developed, and some conclusions should be formed by the writer before he or she writes the paper – the paper is a medium for presenting a theory or argument about the text, unlike a response paper, which is a forum for playing with and exploring interesting and potentially significant ideas,

3) In a paper the writer is expected to comment on the relevance of the individual aspects he or she writes about in relation to the text(s) as a whole, and

4) The paper should be free of all typos, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, and the writing should be clear, concise, and expressive (contact the Writing Center for assistance in editing your paper and improving your writing style.).

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