Responding to a Reading

Overview
• When you respond to something you have read, you want to start by making sure that you really understand it. • This means you want to read it very carefully, looking up any words or terms you are not familiar with. • Then, you want to decide what parts of what the author argues you agree with and what parts you disagree with.

Introduction Paragraph
• Remember, as always, your introduction paragraph should introduce the topic to the reader. In this case, you are introducing the topic of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny.

Introduction Paragraph
• In your introduction you should introduce the title and author of the essay you will be discussing.

Introduction Paragraph
• Often times we use this format to introduce an author and title and what the reading is about:
– In “Title,” Author’s Full Name argues that… – Example: In the article “How to Respond to a Reading,” Jessica Drawbond argues that she can show students how to respond to a reading.

Quick Side Note!
• Book titles and names of newspapers are italicized!
– Twilight – War and Peace – The Los Angeles Times

• Titles of articles and essays are put in quotation marks!
– “Androgynous Man”

Introduction Paragraph
• You should also briefly summarize what the author argues in the essay.

Introduction Paragraph
• Finally, your thesis statement should clearly state whether you agree or disagree with the author and briefly state why.

Example Introduction
We see homeless people every day, but most people don’t think much about what can be done about this issue. In the essay “Somewhere for Everyone,” John Grisham argues that people try to pretend the homeless don’t exist, but in the end this is a problem we can’t ignore. I agree with Grisham because the problem of homelessness is very real and something that we should all be interested in making better..

Body Paragraphs
• Once you have figured out whether you agree or disagree with what the author argues, you need to come up with reasons WHY you feel this way.

Body Paragraphs
• Each body paragraph should cover one reason why you either agree or disagree with the author.

Body Paragraphs
• Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that clearly states what you will cover in that paragraph. Here is an example: One reason why I agree with Grisham is because I have seen first hand how people ignore the homeless and pretend they don’t exist. • Then, the rest of this body paragraph would give details to explain and show how this is true.

The Support in Your Body Paragraphs
• It’s not enough to just say that you agree or disagree; you have to EXPLAIN and SHOW why.

The Support in Your Body Paragraphs
• Most of the time, the support you use to explain why you agree or disagree will come in the form of information from the reading and your own observations.

The Support in Your Body Paragraphs
• You can and should use quotes from the reading to support your point of view.

Using Quotes
• Using quotes: – Remember that every time you use a quote, you need to introduce it! – We introduce quotes with what are called signal phrases. – Here are some examples:
• Perrin writes that “----” • Perrin argues, “-----” • As Perrin states, “-----”

• Can you think of other signal phrases?

Using Quotes
– You also have to show how this quotes fits into your argument. – A good rule to follow is to sandwich a quote between two of your own ideas: one sentence to introduce the quote before and one sentence to explain the quote after.

Using Quotes
• Here’s an example: Homeless people are largely ignored in our society. Grisham writes that “we do everything we can to avoid actually seeing the homeless” (323). I know that this is true in my experience. When walking by a homeless person I will look at my phone, my watch, the ground, anything to not have to acknowledge the person in front of me.

The Support in Your Body Paragraphs
• You should also use your own experiences and/or the experiences of people you know to explain why you agree or disagree with the author.

Conclusion Paragraph
• As always, the point of your conclusion is to review what you went over.

Conclusion Paragraph
• You should restate whether you agree or disagree with the author and briefly review why. • It’s a nice touch to end with an interesting thought about the subject.

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