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Reading Response Guidelines

Ecology of Language and Place Spring 2009

Faculty: R. Chamberlain & R. McKinnon
- to provide a brief summary of assigned readings
- to provide a place for thoughtful reflection on the assignment
- to formulate your point for small group/large group discussion
- to improve writing and thinking skills

Your reading response is more than a book review, or a “thumbs-up, thumbs-down” reaction. It is a work of original
thinking, developing your ability to respond meaningfully to a text. It is a time for you to weave together major
themes, high or low points of the work, and to explore your burning questions. Even if you’re frustrated, “dig your
teeth in” anyway. Go deeper. Think about ideas from different points of view. Integrate new themes or topics.

Posting Your Response You are responsible for posting your weekly reading response before you come to class on
the day it is due. This is your “ticket” into seminar. You will post your response each week on our class website at:
< >.
It is also your responsibility to read and make comments on the papers of your writing group. Find one
thing or make a suggestion that will support and help each person make their writing better. How can you help each
writer clarify and refine their ideas in a positive and supportive manner? You are also free to comment on the work
or ideas of other students in your seminar group. This attention to building a community dialogue around the themes
and ideas of the readings, workshops, and class activities is an important part of your work this quarter.

Format For each text that you read, complete the following:

-Write your name, the number of the response, and the date at the top of the page
- Enter the authors and titles of the readings you are responding to.
-Type and double-space your assignment.
-Reading responses don’t have to be long; one page is fine. They are your brief reflections about the text. They are
also your “ticket” into each week’s seminar discussion.

Part 1:

1. Briefly respond and reply to the reading questions for the week.
Respond to a central issue or theme that you find thought provoking or intriguing in the text.

2. At some point in each reflection, you may want to include a particularly striking/interesting/provocative quote.

Part 2:

Conclude with one question about the reading. This question may be a concern you would like to discuss with class
members, or a question you would like to know more about. (These questions are excellent beginnings for seminar

Due dates --

Reading Responses for each week are due at the beginning of seminar each week. After completing each response,
you should print it out and place it in your class Portfolio chronologically under the section labeled “Reading
Responses.” You must complete all readings and write nine responses for the quarter.