Individual Response Writing

Response Writings Instructions and Information

You will be asked to post several response writings throughout the course. These response writings should help you delve deeper into a couple of the readings for each section. Your response writings will use the Reading Strategy of:

Read, Respond, Summarize, Analyze, Interpret, and Draw Conclusions.

When you begin to think about the essays you will write in this course, it will not be enough to summarize the work. You will need to think critically about the writing and this reading strategy will help you move beyond a summary. Each response should be a minimum of 250 words.

Each response literature writing should provide the following—

1) An Honest Response to the Writing—

Write a few sentences about how the work made you feel (ex. “Angry because… “Or “joyful because…” or “confused because…” There is no right or wrong answer here. These few sentences should be honest and capture your initial response to the piece of writing.

2) A Summary of What You Read—

Summarize what happened in the writing. Who were the characters? What happens in the story or poem? What is the story about?

3) An Analysis or Close Reading—

This is the part of the response writing that really begins our critical thinking. Does something appear symbolic? Are there any metaphors and similes that expand meaning? Does there appear to be a common theme? What details seem relevant? You will not find every literary device in every reading. In this section of the response writing, you should begin to decide what seems to have meaning or purpose? Be sure to pay attention to the form, the title, the content and the rhythm.

4) An Interpretation—

This is the part of the response writing that will allow you to pull the “clues” together and offer a statement on what you think the story is really about? You will combine your summary and analysis to provide an argument about the text.

5) Drawing Conclusions—

This part of the response writing paper will require that you incorporating the above process and integrating some direct quotes from the actual work of study to support your findings and interpretations. 

When an “Individual Response Writing” is DUE, you will choose ONE of the readings from the “Selected Reading” document for that week or section and complete the requirements above.

*Since this is an online class and the above is similar to what we would do for discussion in a face-to-face class, you will be posting these responses on a forum that is visible to your fellow scholars.

This will allow us to see various perspectives on the writing and allow us to learn from each other. We are all learning from each other—don’t be afraid and be confident in your responses. We can all allow ourselves to learn, agree, disagree, change, grow, reaffirm, and be an academic scholar.

The poem is listed below. 

Death Ball Turret Gunner

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
Randall Jarrell, 1914 – 1965

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

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