Reading response

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To download this document: Reading Response.docWhat it isWhen experienced writers are asked to give beginning writers advice on how to improve their writing, the experienced writers almost always give the same advice: read, read, read. You can’t develop your writing skills and knowledge without reading literature, and even more importantly, reading literature with a writer’s eye. Reading literature with a writer’s eye means reading for craft, that is, reading to observe how stories and poems are constructed, and whyauthors make the choices they do in constructing their work. The reading response assignment will give you the opportunity to practice reading like a writer, and to apply your skills and knowledge in writing craft to a story or poem of your choosing from our reading list.What to doChoose: one story, OR one poem, OR 2-3 related poems from the list at the end of this document that you’d like to write about. If you choose work that we’ve already discussed in this class, be sure you don’t simply repeat ideas and insights from those previous discussions. Come up with something new.Next, carefully craft a thoughtful, detailed, insightful 3-4 page response to the items listed below. Use the knowledge you’ve developed about writing craft to practice reading like a writer, and teaching yourself about literary craft through your reading and response-writing. Your response is a formal essay, not a freewriting exercise or a simple Q&A. Pay attention to things like organization, focus, coherency, spelling/grammar, etc.Items to address:Exploring Personal Connections: one brief paragraphWhat’s the specific subject matter of the work? (What specific idea, experience, topic, etc., does it explore?) How do you connect to it, personally? (What specific reasons explain why you chose this work to write about? Are you interested in how it uses specific craft elements? Does it resonate with you on a personal level for some specific reason? Explain.)Exploring Craft: 2-3 pages What do you notice about the craft of the work—how the author has constructed the story/poetry? Make observations about situation, plot, characterization, point of view, structure, imagery, etc., and ask yourself how the author is using these craft elements in the work you’re exploring. You don’t need to address every craft element we’ve explored in this course; focus on the ones that seem most interesting to you or most important to the work, and explain why they’re the most interesting/important. What questions about how story/poetry craft do your observations raise for you? For example, does the story make you wonder about how plot situations can/should be introduced in a story, or about effective plot resolutions? Does the poem make you wonder about how/why to use specific types of rhyme, or what makes for effective imagery?Drawing Conclusions: 1-2 detailed paragraphsWhat does the work teach or show you about how fiction/poetry is written? How does it help answer the questions you raised above? How might you apply what you’ve learned from reading this work and writing this response to the story/poetry you’re writing for this class?GradingThis assignment is worth 50 points of your course grade. In grading this assignment, the main thing I’m looking at is your ability to use your detailed knowledge of writing craft to explore how your chosen work is constructed, and to teach yourself something about writing craft. To that end, think of this assignment as a sort of quiz where you showcase what you’ve learned so far about elements of craft, so be as detailed and thorough as you can. Your ability to craft your essay is important, too. Apply what you learned in ENG 111 to construct a well-organized, coherent, focused essay. Pay attention to spelling/grammar and formatting guidelines. The tab  and shift keys on your keyboard are your friends. They want to help you.List of works to choose from:Alexie-Lone Ranger.pdf (fiction; The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)cummings-herbert.doc (poetry; e.e. cummings, George Herbert)Faulkner-A Rose for Emily.pdf (fiction)Marquez-Wings.doc (fiction; A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings)Gilman-The Yellow Wallpaper.pdf (fiction)Glaspell-A Jury of Her Peers.pdf (fiction)Gluck-Terminal Resemblance.pdf (poetry)Gordimer-Is There Nowhere Else Where We Can Meet-1.pdf (fiction)Hughes-The Negro Speaks of Rivers-1.pdf (poetry)LeGuin – Omelas.doc (fiction; The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)Lorde-Hanging Fire-1.pdf (poetry)Oates.pdf (fiction; Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?)Piercy-Purse.pdf (poetry; It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Purse)Plath-Mirror.pdf (poetry; Mirror)Updike A-P.doc (fiction; A&P)

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