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Responding to Literature (Writing About Literature)

Responding to Literature (Writing About Literature)

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Responding to Literature (Writing About Literature)

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  1. Responding to Literature(Writing About Literature) • Why do you read literature? • (all fiction, poetry, drama, and essays) • Why do we read literature? • (all fiction, poetry, drama, and essays)

  2. Responding to Literature • There are no absolute answers • A response is a beginning point • Read a work through, keep your mind and spirit open, then jot down what you thought and felt as you read • Initial responses to literature can be revised

  3. Responding to Literature • An initial response to literature might include: • A question (about the meaning of a word or sentence, the choice of a word, the reason a particular character appears in the work, the reason the author chose to begin or end as he or she did)

  4. Responding to Literature • An initial response to literature might include: • A comment on what you think the work is about and why you are interested or not interested in that idea • A connection between this work and something else you have read, experienced, or observed in your own life

  5. Responding to Literature • An initial response to literature might include: • An observation about a particular description, or line, or sentence to which you had a strong reaction (you liked it; you disliked it; it made you angry, happy, sad, puzzled, uncomfortable)

  6. Responding to Literature • After reading several responses, you may find one or more similar to yours, or they may be very different • How can two respondents resolve their differences: • Discover multiple possibilities, new ways of looking at the work that they had not previously considered • Returning to the work may cause a reader to rethink an initial reaction.

  7. Supporting Your Ideas About Literature • Look for evidence in the text to support your ideas about literature: • Back up your opinions with specific details from the text • Make your argument stronger with a direct quote from the text • Provide information so that someone else can see why you had a specific response • Convincingly convey your ideas about a work • Effectively use evidence from the work to explain to your reader the points you want to make

  8. Close Active Reading • Analyze your first reactions • Consider the reactions you’ve heard others express • Read with a pen or pencil (rather than a highlighter)