Reading Responses (RRs for short) should focus on a single passage from the text, generally following the guidelines for explication de texte (this may seem complicated, but give it a try). Be patient with yourself; it is worth your time.
Some Key Points to Remember When Writing the Reading Responses
- Provide a thesis statement for your RR in the first sentence or two.
- Weave short (three or four words) relevant quotations into your sentences to support your thesis.
- Provide a context.
- Provide the page number after the quotation. Example: ". . . over the lazy dogs" (49).
- Brevity and conciseness language are important.
- Use present tense (or what we call present literary tense).
- Do not use "you."
- Eliminate phrases such as "I think," or "I believe," and "What I got out of this was."
- Spell correctly and check your grammar.
- Time your writing so you do not exceed 7 –9 minutes.
- Don’t rely on cliches or trite sayings as you write your responses.
A tip to make your writing sound more energetic: minimize the use of the verb "to be" in the forms of "is," "was," or "are." This will force you to use more active verbs. For example, instead of saying, "Charlotte is a spider who weaves incredible webs," say "Charlotte the spider weaves incredible webs." Instead of saying "Taran is a curious and impatient young man. That is why he had to learn his lessons the hard way," you could say "Taran’s curiosity and impatience cause him to learn many a lesson the hard way."
Grammar, spelling, and correct usage count. Please visit The Literary Link for Writing and Submitting Literary Essaysl