How to write a reader’s response

There are several strategies that you can adopt to write a reader response.  You may choose one (or more) of the strategies described below.

Summary: A summary should clearly and concisely encapsulate the most important points of the reading.  This format may be particularly useful when we are reading secondary sources or longer primary source materials.  For secondary sources, ask yourself: what is the writer’s central claim?  What is the writer arguing against?  What important concepts, including distinctive terms or words, is the author introducing or using?

Key Quotation:  Select a substantial quotation from the reading, and use it to construct your response.  How does that quote represent the core of the reading?  How might it relate to something else (in the readings, in the lecture, in the news)?

Statement:  Begin with the statement with the phrase “I notice” and write about what you notice about the reading.  Follow it with the statement “I wonder.”  What do you wonder about the reading, or what does the reading make you wonder about other readings?

Please do not forget to write something about the timespan, and it’s always important to get clarity on that. For example,  St. John de Crevecoeur was writing a few centuries ago, not decades ago, and since he was writing, his writing couldn’t be prehistoric.

You might want to experiment with some of the other strategies, such as the key quotation or the I notice/I wonder.