Here is the link to the reading: https://archive.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2010/07/25/happy_meals_and_old_spice_guy/
Why Do We Do It?
For each unit, you will read two sample essays from the text Back to the Lake. One will model the mode we will read about in that unit, and the other will be a springboard for your essay topic and relate to the essay theme. It is important that you take some time to analyze and respond to these readings. By analyzing and responding to these readings, you will develop your critical reading skills. You will also develop your ideas about writing. This in turn will help you become a better writer. Additionally, you will have discussions/conversations about the readings. As you share your ideas about the readings on the discussion board, you will develop your knowledge about the essay mode and unit theme.
What Is a Reader Response?
A reader response, which you will write and post to the discussion board, is a summary, analysis and evaluation of a reading. In the reader response to the mode essay, you will analyze the organization, techniques and ideas of the sample essay (from Back to the Lake). In the reader response to the theme essay, your focus will be on analyzing the author\’s ideas to help you facilitate discussion about the unit\’s theme and possible essay topics.
Overall, your reader response will be a blend of critical analysis and personal opinion.
How Do I Write a Reader Response?
A reader response should consist of three parts:
1. summary and analysis
2. evaluation and personal responses
3. questions about the reading
In part one, you should briefly summarize the essay and thoroughly analyze the organization and writing techniques used in the essay (note: do not spend a lot of time on summary — your classmates have done the reading as well). Part one will reflect your understanding of the structure and the ideas of the read essay. You may want to use some of the following questions as you construct your summary and analysis:
What is the author\’s main point? What is the essay about?
What mode does this essay model? (only for the mode reader response for each unit — narration, comparison and contrast, cause and effect analysis, or multimodial)
How does the essay reflect the characteristics of the rhetorical mode (only for the mode reader response for each unit) narration, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, or multimodal)
How does the essay connect to the unit theme? (only for the theme reader response for each unit — The shaping of identity, Understanding my culture, Business and economics, Community and diversity)
How does the essay reflect the characteristics of that pattern of development/mode?
What is the thesis or controlling idea? How does this thesis idea reflect the characteristics of the unit mode or theme?
How did the author organize his or her ideas to support the thesis?
Does the author use effective strategies to convey his/her ideas? (topic sentences, transitions, vivid details, strong vocabulary, other techniques)
What is the author\’s view/perspective that he/she is trying to convey?
What is the author\’s purpose in writing the essay?
Overall, how does the author communicate to you as a reader?
Part One of the reader response should reference specific passages of the sample essay, including quotes and page numbers where applicable.
Example: Below is a sentence with quotation that you could use in the beginning of your reader response to a sample essay in Back to the Lake.
In her essay \”Warrior Day,\” Anne Bernay describes the setting vividly: \”Sitting on bleachers, the visitors were instructed to …\” (154).
Note the use of the author\’s name, the title of the essay, quoting, and in-text citing. For more on correct MLA documentation, see The Little Seagull Handbook.
Part One should be approximately 1-3 paragraphs.
In part two of the reader response, you should evaluate the reading. Here is where you will share a more personal reaction to the sample essay. In part two, you should write about what you liked about the reading and what you thought was successful or interesting. You should also write about what you did not particularly value about the reading. You could include things that made the reading hard to follow or just not interesting. You should write about your ideas and reactions to the sample essay/readings. In addition, you may want to answer some or all of the following questions:
What surprised you?
What made you feel uncomfortable?
What did you think of the author\’s perspective?
Can you relate to the experience or point of view discussed in the text?
Did this reading make you think differently in any way or reinforce something you already knew or believed?
Part two of the reader response may also contain quotes and paraphrases where applicable. This part should be approximately 2 paragraphs.
In part three of the reader response, you should pose questions to your fellow classmates. These questions will likely be discussed by your classmates via the discussion board. Your questions should reflect problems or issues the author raises; the conflicts you see; the stylistic choices that author makes; your thoughts or your classmates\’ thoughts about some specific part of the text that you think should be discussed further.
Do not worry if you do not have answers to your questions. Just be sure the questions encourage your classmates to go into deeper study of the sample essay.
Part three should consist of 2-3 questions.
Is There Anything I Need to Know About Format/Presentation of the Reader Response?
Your reader response should be carefully crafted using a thesis statement, topic sentences, effective transitions, and appropriate sentence structure. If you quote from the essay, you should put quotation marks around the quote and clearly identify the author and page. You should carefully proof-read your response before you post it to the discussion board.
Advice: Compose your reader response in Microsoft Word and save it to your computer. Copy and paste it to the discussion board. Each discussion board will have a title that clearly indicates where you should paste your reader response. Please do not try to post your reader response as an attachment: your classmates and professor may not be able to open your document (and it just slows down the conversation).
How Do I Facilitate the Discussion?
When you are responsible for posting a reader response, you will also be responsible for initiating and moderating the discussion. As the facilitator, you should encourage the discussion of the sample essay and your reader response by answering questions, responding to other people\’s comments, asking additional questions, and generally engaging your classmates\’ ideas. Leading a full, vibrant, and thoughtful discussion can lead to new learning and guide you and your classmates toward better writing.
If you post a reader response, plan to respond to a minimum of 4 other posts (reader responses from classmates or replies) as part of your discussion participation.