How to approach this assignment: There are many ways to write a reading response paper. We do not want you to feel limited in your approach to this assignment. However, we would like to provide you with some structure to get you started. Here are some good strategies for writing a reading response paper.
Give an exposition: Try to explain, in your own words, some portion of the day’s reading. Always start by stating what question or problem the author is addressing. Then explain, as clearly as you can, how the author attempts to answer the question or solve the problem. All response papers should involve at least some exposition.
Explain a confusion: Sometimes a reading might leave you confused about why a certain argument goes through, how several ideas relate, etc. You can write a discussion paper explaining your confusion. A good way to do this is to spend about half of the page explaining what you do understand from the reading. Then you can explain what you are confused about.
Raising an objection: If you disagree with something an author says, you can raise this objection in a discussion paper. Be sure to explain what you are objecting to in addition to laying out your objection.
A PASSING grade will be given to a paper that 1) demonstrates sufficient familiarity with the reading assignment; 2) shows critical engagement with the reading; and 3) is carefully composed with attention to style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. A paper that does not meet each of these three criteria will FAIL.