What is a reading response

What is a reading response?
A reading response is not a summary of your reading, but a response to it--a way of thinking
about the reading. Responses are not formal papers, but should be carefully written
nevertheless. Be specific about the work you're discussing, give details to back up any assertions
you may make, and finally, pay attention to grammar and mechanics.
Some questions to consider in a response
Try to think about just a few of these; a successful journal entry will consider one or two issues
in depth rather than attempt to answer each one of these questions.
How did you feel about what you read?
Why do you think the text provoked this response in you?
Why do you think this text is considered popular?
What elements of the text do you believe influenced you? Think about language,
structure, content, characters, themes, or symbols, for instance.
How does the text reflect cultural attitudes? Have things changed since the writing of the
Did you find your own values and assumptions reflected in the text?
Think about not only the work overall, but also smaller sections of it. How does one
incident or phrase or symbol echo the larger meaning of the work?
An effective response will demonstrate that you have thoroughly read and understood the
reading (or that you ask questions that reveal careful reading). It will develop connections
between the reading and the themes of the course and demonstrate that you have considered the
implications of the readings.