This response paper assignment requires students write one response per text, while others state students must submit their papers in an online forum and answer specific questions.
In our talking and writing about literary texts, students will also be practicing language skills, writing short response papers to each of the assigned readings and giving a group oral presentation on one of the texts. Short response papers should identify a "problem" for interpretation (you'll have to narrow your investigation to a single, overarching concern), raises an important question related to the problem you've identified and poses a tentative "answer" to that problem, one that can be supported by the text. The idea behind the short response pieces is to practice critical reading skills and train yourself to read insightfully, by asking questions that "open up" the text to interpretation and meaningful ambiguity – and to realize that a genuine appreciation of a literary text is not undermined by close reading and critical "dissection." [Each short response essay will be worth 10 points and is due no later than the class period following its due date on the syllabus (unless you're notified of a change); you will write nine; I will eliminate the two lowest scores before totaling your points]