English III Literary Response Assignment Guide Sample Response Each student in English III will be required to complete literary responses for designated selections read in class or on their own as part of the semester curriculum. Choices may be found in the Elements of Literature textbooks fifth and or sixth editions. Each assignment will be worth 300 points. Once stories are read, students are to follow the instructions for writing a “Literary Response” essay. Response essays must be accurately completed in order to receive credit. HOW TO WRITE A LITERARY RESPONSE PAPER The Response Paper must be: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. At least three paragraphs in length. TYPED!!! Written with careful attention to grammar and spelling. Your OWN, ORIGINAL work. Written in the format that follows. Papers formatted in any other manner will not be accepted. FORMAT Paragraph 1 – INTRODUCTION A. Include the author and title of the work. B. Discuss one or two of the elements of short stories that were used by the author in this story. “Discuss” the elements by clearly identifying the elements, giving examples from the story, and talking about how and why the author may have chosen to use these particular elements. Paragraph 2 – BODY A. Begin by stating your general response to the piece of literature. Then explain why you felt as you did. B. Quote or summarize specific details and passages that back up your response. You could also include personal experiences that affected your reading. Paragraph 3 – CONCLUSION choose from one or a combination of the following: summarize your overall response, draw a conclusion about the work’s significance to you, or if your feelings about the story changed after contemplating it, explain how and why your response has changed. John Smith Mrs. Smith 14 August 2009 Literary Response “The Sniper” “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty is a short story that recounts one imaginary incident from the Irish Civil War of the 1920’s. This story is set in June, on a rooftop in Dublin, Ireland. The setting is significant because it isolates the protagonist and places him in a lonely situation in which he is forced to rely solely on his own abilities as a soldier. Most likely, O’Flaherty wrote this fictional story in response to his feelings toward the civil war that he felt was tearing his country apart. His unusual placement of the climax in this story aids O’Flaherty in making his anti-war statement as he obviously uses the story to make a symbolic political statement about the tragic aspects of the war. My initial response to “The Sniper” was shock. The situational irony Mr. O’Flaherty used in his story was very effective for me. I had no idea initially that the tow snipers were related and was very surprised to learn the identity of the sniper who was killed. By never giving names to any of the characters, never using flashback and writing a “false action” or resolution of either the character or the readers. I believe “The Sniper” to be a very effectively written story because Mr. O’Flaherty achieves his purpose of making an anti-war statement. He does this by manipulating the climax of the story and forcing the readers of his story to experience the trauma, suspense, and shock the sniper experiences. “The Sniper” does demonstrate how tragic it was that “brothers” or fellow countrymen were destroying each other.