Individual Response Writing #5
Response Writings Instructions and Information
You will be asked to post several response writings throughout the
course. These response writings should help you delve deeper into a
couple of the readings for each section. Your response writings will
use the Reading Strategy of:
Read, Respond, Summarize, Analyze, Interpret, and Draw Conclusions.
When you begin to think about the essays you will write in this course,
it will not be enough to summarize the work. You will need to think
critically about the writing and this reading strategy will help you
move beyond a summary. Each response should be a minimum of 250 words.
Each response writing should provide the following—
1) An Honest Response to the Writing—Write a few sentences about how
the work made you feel (ex. “Angry because… “Or “joyful because…” or
“confused because…” There is no right or wrong answer here. These few
sentences should be honest and capture your initial response to the
piece of writing.
2) A Summary of What You Read—Summarize what happened in the writing.
Who were the characters? What happens in the story or poem? What is the
3) An Analysis or Close Reading—This is the part of the response
writing that really begins our critical thinking. Does something appear
symbolic? Are there any metaphors and similes that expand meaning? Does
there appear to be a common theme? What details seem relevant? You will
not find every literary device in every reading. In this section of the
response writing, you should begin to decide what seems to have meaning
or purpose? Be sure to pay attention to the form, the title, the
content and the rhythm.
4) An Interpretation—This is the part of the response writing that will
allow you to pull the “clues” together and offer a statement on what
you think the story is really about? You will combine your summary and
analysis to provide an argument about the text.
5) Drawing Conclusions—This part of the response writing will require
that you incorporating the above process and integrating some direct
quotes from the actual work of study to support your findings and
When an “Individual Response Writing” is DUE, you will choose ONE of the
readings from the “Selected Reading” document for that week or section
and complete the requirements above.
*Since this is an online class and the above is similar to what we would
do for discussion in a face-to-face class, you will be posting these
responses on a forum that is visible to your fellow scholars. This will
allow us to see various perspectives on the writing and allow us to
learn from each other. We are all learning from each other—don’t be
afraid and be confident in your responses. We can all allow ourselves to
learn, agree, disagree, change, grow, reaffirm, and be an academic
The poem is listed below.
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
Randall Jarrell, 1914 – 1965
From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
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