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Handout - Reader Response Journal

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					ENG I Honors                                       Name:______________________________________________
Hall/Davis                                         Date:_______________________________________________

                                       Reader Response Journal Entries

A reader response journal entry is a writing assignment in which you are going to respond directly to a reading
that was assigned. In this journal, you are to respond to the reading that goes further than mere plot summary.
For example, you may want to explain a similar experience you had to a character in the story, you may want to
judge an action by a character of the story, you may want to address an idea or theme that is expressed in the
story, etc. When writing your journal entries, you must have three direct references or quotes from the text and
the page number on which the item you are talking about is found. The idea of the reader response journal is
threefold: 1) it is to prove you have read the text; 2) it is to help make the text more meaningful to you; 3) to be
a catalyst for discussion during class. With this in mind, it is essential that you do every entry to help your
understanding of the text and to make sure the discussions in class are better because of your participation. In
regards to the length of the response, it would be difficult to fulfill all requirements in less than a page.

Ideas and Suggestions for Entries:

1) Write about a character you find appealing and explain why they are appealing to you.
2) Write about a situation in the story that interests you and explain why it is interesting or attempt to relate it to
something that happened in your life.
3) Compare a situation in the reading to something you have read, seen on television, experienced in real life,
etc.
4) Write about an idea that you found interesting in the story. For example, if a character believes that killing
is a good thing, explain the character’s belief and explain why you find it interesting.

Overall Goals of the Writing:

1) Connect – make some connection between the text and your life, the world, etc.
2) Evaluate – judge, compare, consider, judge, recommend, apprise, assess, etc. the text
3) Question – ask a question about something that doesn’t make sense or even ask a rhetorical question
4) Clarify – clarify an idea in the text by explaining it in further detail
5) Predict – based on evidence in the reading, attempt to guess what is going to happen in the future

Example: The Odyssey (Note: This is not a complete entry. Two more direct references would be needed)

In this chapter, Odysseus claims that he loves his wife and misses her greatly, but in reality, his actions seem to
contradict this point of view. While he is staying with Calypso, he sleeps with her every night for seven years.
To me, that is not something that a truly faithful person would do no matter what the situation. He was weeping
that he wanted to home, but seemed to be only after he “cared for her no longer” (64). This suggests that he at
one point he did care for her, which is something that a loyal husband would not do. Furthermore, when
Calypso is finally forced to let Odysseus go, Odysseus still sleeps with her the last night he is with her (66).
Maybe he had some justification before because the goddess was he only means of survival, but when he was
going to be let go, there was no moral reason for him to sleep with her again.
ENG I Honors                                             Name:______________________________________________
Hall/Davis                                               Date:_______________________________________________


Rubric:
                    3 or Below              3.5                     4                       4.5                     5
Content             Expresses no            Expresses few of        Expresses some of       Clearly expresses       Thoroughly and
                    aspects of the          the main aspects of     the main aspects of     most of the main        clearly expresses all
                    reading (characters,    the reading             the reading             aspects of the          the main aspects of
                    plot, themes, etc.).    (characters, plot,      (characters, plot,      reading (characters,    the reading
                    Contains merely         themes, etc.).          themes, etc.).          plot, themes, etc.).    (characters, plot,
                    plot summary with       Contains few            Contains some           Contains a good         themes, etc.).
                    no connections to       connections,            connections,            amount of               Contains an
                    the text.               judgments, etc. that    judgments, etc. that    connections,            outstanding amount
                                            are usually not         are explained.          judgments, etc. that    of connections,
                                            explained well.                                 are well thought out    judgments, etc. that
                                                                                            and explained.          are well thought out
                                                                                                                    and thoroughly
                                                                                                                    explained.
Direct References   Contains 1 direct       Contains 2 direct       Contains 2 direct       Contains 3 direct       Contains 3 or more
to Text             reference from the      references from the     references from the     references from the     direct references
                    text and gives the      text and gives the      text and gives the      text and gives the      from the text and
                    page number from        page number from        page number from        page number from        gives the page
                    where it was            where it was            where it was            where it was            number from where
                    retrieved. Selection    retrieved. Each         retrieved. Each         retrieved. Each         it was retrieved.
                    is relevant to the      selection is relevant   selection is relevant   selection is relevant   Each selection is
                    story, is explained,    to the story, is        to the story, is well   to the story,           relevant to the
                    and contains some       explained, and          explained, and          explained, and          story, is well
                    type of response or     contains some type      contains some type      contains some type      explained, and
                    reaction to the text.   of response or          of response or          of response or          contains some type
                                            reaction to the         reaction to the         reaction to the         of response or
                                            selection.              selection.              selection.              reaction to the
                                                                                                                    selection.

				
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