STUDENT READING RESPONSE QUESTIONS Use the following questions to help you interact with the text, but never ever summarize a reading response. GENERAL REACTION 1. First Reaction- What is your first reaction or response to the literature? Describe or explain it briefly. What have you heard about it or what do you know about it or bring to it (if anything)? Why are you looking forward to studying it? 2. Feelings- What feelings did the literature awaken in you? What emotions did you feel? 3. Perceptions- What did you see happening in the literature? Paraphrase it—retell the event briefly. 4. Visual Images- What images or images was called to mind by the literature? Describe it briefly. 5. Associations- What memory does the literature remind you of and why? Think about specific people, places, events, sights, smells, or even something more ambiguous, perhaps feelings or attitude? 6. Thoughts, Ideas- What idea or thought was suggested by the literature? Explain it briefly. 7. Selection- What in the literature did you focus most intently on—what word, phrase, image, idea? 8. Importance- What is the most important word in the literature? What is the most important phrase or image? What else is important and why? 9. Problems- What is the most difficult word in the literature? What in the text are you having the most trouble understanding? 10. Author- What sort of person do you image the author to be? Or, with what you know about this author, how is his/her life reflected in the literature? 11. Response- How did you respond to the literature emotionally or intellectually? Did you feel involved with the text or distant from it and why? 12. Evaluations- Do you think this is a good piece of literature? Why or why not? 13. Literary Associations- Does this literature call to mind any other literary work (poem, play, film, short story, novel, genre, etc)? If it does, what is the work and what is the connection you see between them? 14. Writing- If you were to writing on this same topic what ideas would you focus on? How might you reinterpret this same information differently? Would you focus on the text itself, the author, its themes, or what it means to you? SETTING 15. What is the setting (time, place, environment)? How do you know? What clues are provided to help you determine the setting? Does the setting place a major role? Is there anything universal about the setting? 16. Is there a unity of time and place or does the story change from time to time and place to place? What is the time frame? 17. Do the scenes in this text remind you of other settings? If so what? 18. What are your feelings about the setting? Would you like to live in this place? Why or why not? 19. How does the society/environment of the literature differ from your world? Which do you prefer and why? CHARACTER AND CONFLICT 20. Is the characterization effective? 21. Are the characters stereotypes, static, dynamic? Explain. 22. Is the character motivation valid? 23. Is there a clear protagonist? Explain. 24. Is there a clear antagonist? Explain. 25. What are the internal conflicts? How are they resolved? 26. What are the external conflicts (man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society)? How are they resolved? 27. Do major characters change in any way in the story? How? 28. Are the characters consistent or do they behave in an incredible, inconsistent manner? 29. How would you have acted differently than one of the characters during a critical part in the story? 30. Which characters remind you of someone you know? How? 31. Which character reminds you of yourself? How? 32. Compare and contrast a character to another character in literature. 33. Discuss a character you admire, like or dislike and give evidence to explain why. 34. Give reasons for a character’s behavior speculating on possible root causes. 35. Imagine you are the character and examining his/her own strengths and weaknesses. 36. Write a biographical sketch of a character. 37. Would a certain character have acted different if s/he knew all of the details before they acted? Explain. 38. If a character could go back in time what would they change and why? 39. If you could talk to any character, what questions would you ask and why? 40. Do a character’s actions parallel anything in your own life? 41. What are your first impressions about the character? Do these change as you read further? How? 42. What advice might you give to a character? 43. Which of the following tells you most about a character: what s/he does? What s/he says or thinks? What others say about him or her? How others react towards him or her? What the author says about the character? Support with specific examples. 44. How is the character responsible for what happens to him/her? 45. Write an interior monologue for one character in one scene. 46. Choose two characters in the text to compare and contrast. 47. Brainstorm or cluster map a character. 48. Write a detailed physical description of the character. 49. Discuss actors appropriate in a film version. 50. What is the main problem the protagonist faces? What is his most important decision? Is it a good one? 51. What is the source of the conflict? Is there more than one conflict? PLOT AND SITUATION 52. Describe the exposition of the literature. 53. Discuss the major crises in the rising action. 54. What is the climax of the story? 55. What happens during the falling action? Why is it important? 56. Make a diagram of the plot. 57. Is there adequate suspense or tension in the story or does your interest lag? Where? Why? 58. Do any of the incidents seem contrived and false? 59. How does the plot relate to setting and character? 60. What parts are very realistic or effective? Why? 61. Compare and contras things that happen in the plot with your own experience or with plot elements in other works. 62. Concisely summarize what happens in the plot. (report of information) 63. Predict what might happen next. Explain why. 64. Comment on the structure of the plot. THEME 65. What general truth does the author seem to be stating about human nature? 66. Discuss the theme(s) of the literature. 67. Do you agree with the author’s feelings about humanity? 68. Does this work contain a message, lesson, or moral? 69. Is the work realistic, naturalistic, romantic, surrealistic, etc? Expla in. 70. What is the author’s philosophy of life as reflected in the work? 71. What is the work’s view of the nature of man, the universe, God, society? 72. What ideas in the literature remind you of other works? 73. How do the ideas / themes of the work remind you of your own life and philosophy? 74. Choose a passage you think is important and reflect about its meaning (reflection). 75. Discuss an idea / theme in the literature you like or dislike. 76. Give your interpretation of one of the themes. (interpretation) 77. Argue about ideas presented in the work. (controversial issue) 78. Defend the different ideas presented in the work. (controversial issue) 79. Explain how you infer a theme from the literature. STYLE 80. Choose a short passage to analyze for style. 81. Write a short passage emulating the style of the work. 82. What are the key elements of this author’s style? Give examples. 83. Compare and contrast this author’s style with another’s style. 84. Discuss, using concrete examples, the author’s diction. 85. Discuss, using concrete examples, the author’s syntax. 86. Discuss, using concrete examples, the author’s use of dialogue. 87. Find and discuss effective figures of speech. (simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, paradox, pun, etc.) 88. Find and discuss effective examples of versification (alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme, repetition). 89. Find and discuss effective examples of imagery (appeal to the five senses). 90. Defend the author’s point of view (1st , 3rd person). What is it? Why is it effective? What are the limitations if any? 91. What is the author’s tone? Is it effective and appropriate? 92. Find examples of symbolism in the literature. 93. Discuss the atmosphere and mood of the literature. 94. Discuss the use of irony in the literature. Look for dramatic, situational, and verbal irony. 95. Find examples of foreshadowing in the work. 96. Find and explain allusions in the work. 97. What do you like or dislike about this author’s style? 98. What is your favorite passage in the work? Copy and discuss.