Analytical Reading Response Assignment
Length: 300-400 words for each response. Each response should be no more than 4 paragraphs, with the last paragraph being only 2 or 3 sentences.
Your task: Write analytical reading responses to the readings given in this assignment.
Responses can be handwritten or typed; either way, they must be double spaced. If they are typed, use 12-point Times New Roman.
Correctness counts, so proofread carefully!
In addition to applying the steps in critical reading while you read, use the following to prepare your responses to each reading:
1. In your opening sentence, state
–the article’s title, capitalizing the first letters of all major words and enclosing the title in quotation marks;
–the author’s name;
–the name of the publication the article is in (the publication’s title should be italicized if typed, underlined if handwritten, with all major words capitalized);
–what the article is about or what its thesis or main idea is.
Meg Wolitzer’s “In Search of the Real Thing” from the August 23, 2013 Financial Times is about society’s tendency to overlook talent when it’s not accompanied by success.
2. In the remaining sentences of the first paragraph, provide the following information in your own words:
a. If you don’t state it in your opening sentence, identify the writer’s main idea or thesis.
b. In one or two sentences, describe what audience is the writer appealing to. Be detailed and specific—don’t just say “The audience is readers of the Financial Times.” What do you think the audience’s age range is? Educational level? Work background? In other words, who reads the publication the article appeared in? Reread W-1b in Seagull and apply its questions to the article instead of to your own writing.
c. What’s the writer’s purpose?
d. What kinds of evidence does the writer use? In other words, HOW does the writer support the thesis? Personal experience? Using examples? Referring to experts or authorities? Citing statistics? Valid reasoning?
e. What is the writer’s main persuasive/argumentative appeal is? Emotional? Logical? Using his/her credibility?
3. In a second paragraph, answer the following questions:
a. What evidence is most effective and why?
b. Is there any evidence that is less effective? If so, what is it & why do you think it’s less effective?
c. What’s the writer’s TONE? See the handout on Tone in Blackboard.
d. Are the sentences and vocabulary easy, average, or difficult? If they’re difficult, explain what makes them difficult.
4. In a third paragraph, answer the following questions:
a. What did you like about the reading? Why?
b. Was there anything you disliked about it? What and why?
c. What were its strengths?
d. What, if any, were its weaknesses?
e. What did you learn from this reading—either about its subject matter or about writing (e.g. diction or word choice; syntax or word order; sentence structure; method of development; overall structure; and/or style)?
5. Write a short concluding paragraph—2 or 3 sentences—wrapping things up.
Make sure you allow yourself time to read each article closely, to look up unfamiliar words and references, and to think carefully about its thesis and main points!
Craig Simpson, “The Good, the Intentionally Bad, and the Ugly Grammar”