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Reader's Notebook _ Reader's Notebook _ Reader's Notebook


									            Reader’s Notebook * Reader’s Notebook * Reader’s Notebook

Reading, writing, and discussion are important elements of this class. One of the ways to
measure your understanding and reaction to assigned readings will be from entries in your
Reader’s Notebook: these 200-250 word responses require you to express your ideas about a
work by answering a specific question. These written responses will help you become a more
careful reader, better thinker, and a more sophisticated writer. To keep yourself organized and
have your written work, both graded and yet to be graded, at your fingertips, you will need a
designated space in your Freshman Binder. Please reserve about ½ inch space for English, and
divide this English space into FOUR sections, like so:

 Part I is where you keep your typed responses to assigned RN writing prompts. Keep them
  here BEFORE you turn them in, and return them to this section AFTER they are handed back
  with a grade. You will want to refer to graded RN’s to improve your next piece.

 Part II will be your specific comments responding to other students who read in class.
  Usually, five people will read each time an RN is assigned; you are expected to have clear,
  specific comments for each, and to include names and the date read. If you are absent and
  excused on the day RN entries are shared, write the date and “absent.” You do not need to
  type this section.

 Part III is reserved for “in-class” work, usually short responses to ideas on the proxima, or
  grammar / writing exercises to be completed in class, as well as notes on in-class lectures.
  You do not need to type this section.

 Part IV is for vocabulary lists and exercises. Keep these lists all year as these words will be
  part of your final exams, and you are expected to attempt to use some of these words in your
  formal writing to boost word choice scores.

Evaluation for typed analytical responses – also called the RN for Reader’s Notebook (response)

The grade for your RN will be based on the following:

At least once per semester, you will be called on to read your RN aloud to the class. Volunteers
will be asked to read first; if enough volunteer readers do not speak up, individuals will be called
on to read. .

Sometimes, individual entries will be stamped on the day they are due and returned to be kept in
Part I of your Notebook. More often, individual entries will be collected, closely graded for
points, and returned later. Stamped RN’s earn “completion” points, and may be chosen by you at
a later date to turn in for a closer grade and feedback.
RN Requirements:

Title and date each entry. Be creative; do not simply use the title of the literary work or copy
the writing prompt.

Type entries. Double-space using a size 12 standard font. You are given at least two days to
complete each entry. For example, if a Reader’s Notebook is assigned Monday, it will be due
Wednesday. Use the Computer Lab in our library if you do not have access to a typewriter or
computer at home. Hand written essays will not be accepted and will be recorded as a zero.

Your Reader’s Notebook will be one extended 200-250 word paragraph. Include a clear
topic sentence covering the whole paragraph. The topic sentence will be the first sentence of
your RN entry. (Unless you have a clever attention getter – but make sure it WORKS!) A topic
sentence is simply a complete sentence that guides the reader to the subject under discussion.

Develop three detailed examples that are supported by the text. An example includes details
from a specific moment in the literary work that proves the general statement. “Mrs. Smith is a
generous supporter of the arts” is a general statement. The example is “This Thursday evening at
the meeting of the board of directors, Mrs. Smith gave six million dollars to the Museum of Fine

Use at least one correctly cited quote. A citation includes the author’s last name and page
number of the quote. No comma is used (Jones 124). Use a short quote (four typed lines or less)
to support your ideas. Citations variations for poetry, epics, and Shakespeare will be addressed as
those units arise.

At least as important as including the quote is introducing and analyzing the quote. In the
introduction always identify the context of the quote; never drop a quote in without explanation.
Always follow a quote with a full discussion of how it proves your point. Do not assume it will
speak for itself. You are interpreting and explaining its meaning to your reader.

Conclude with a sentence or two that covers the whole paragraph, not just the last example.

As a general rule, do not use first person singular pronouns (“I”, “my”, “me”), first person
plural pronouns (“we”, “our”, “us”), or second person pronouns (“you”, “your”) in formal
academic writing; with developing writers this habit can lead to “laziness” of expression, which
can slow progression as a writer. In addition, refrain from referring to the quoted words as “the
quote.” For example, instead of writing “this quote shows that …” write “Mrs. Smith’s donation
shows …” Also – AVOID CONTRACTIONS. Not “Mrs. Smith doesn’t . . .,” but “Mrs. Smith
does not . . .”

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