Novel Test: 5 Paragraphs

Warning: DO NOT use the standard high school-level approach of just writing: "I liked this book because it is so cool and the ending made me feel happy,"   or "I hated it because it was stupid, and had nothing at all to do with my life, and was too long and boring. Instead, take a systematic, analytical approach to the text.  


Begin by mentioning the title of the book you read, the author, and the main thesis or subject of the book, using correct English for the first sentence of your paper!   Then:

1 and 2.Write a short, two paragraph summary of what happened in the book from the time Eliza joins Joe Bonecrusher and her travelling crew, to the end of the book. Tell how it comes out at the end.  (10 pts on final grade).

Then, in single full paragraphs, answer the following questions:

3. If you were in Eliza's situation and the things described at the beginning of the book happened to you, (assuming you were a woman at that time and place) what would your story be if the book were written about you, personally? How would it be different? (Do not say, "The same.")  (3 pts.)

4. Were you satisfied with the ending of the book, how it came out? Why or why not?  Was it credible or not, based on the story-line of the book up to that point? How could the story have come out differently? (3 pts.)

5. This book is, of course, fiction. What does it have to do with real life today? (Do not say "nothing." ) (4 pts.)

Critical reading: [from the ENGL 0310 Syllabus] "A reader response asks the reader [you] to examine, explain and defend her/his personal reaction to a reading.  You will be asked to explore why you like or dislike the reading, explain whether you agree or disagree with the author, identify the reading's purpose, and critique the text.  There is no right or wrong answer to a reader response. Nonetheless, it is important that you demonstrate an understanding of the reading and clearly explain and support your reactions. "

O.W. 9/08

For educational purposes only.


Owen M. Williamson - Education Bldg 211E - phone: (915) 747 7625 - fax: (915) 747 5655
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
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