How to Write a No-Nonsense Reader Response

 (Reading and Writing Critically as an Adult Citizen: How to Write a Persuasive Reader Response, Review, or Reaction Paper on an issue of public importance.)

This type of Reader Response is intended to persuade your readers to change their minds and take specific action based on a text.

   Do NOT summarize the contents of the text at length.  Instead, take a systematic, analytical and persuasive approach to the text.  

---First of all, be sure to mention the title of the work to which you are responding, the author, and the main thesis of the text. 

Then, try to answer ALL of the questions below.

a. Who needs to read this text, and why?  Why is this text important for these readers, personally, and with their lives (past, present or future)?  (These are your intended readers!)

b. How might the text surprise your intended audience or clash with their view of the world, and what they consider right and wrong? Use quotes and examples to discuss how the text might surprise or alarm them if they would read it, or how it might disagree with what they think about the world, about right and wrong, and about what they think it is to be human.  

c.  What is the most important thing your intended readers can learn from it?  Use quotes to illustrate what they might learn from the text. 

d. People today are usually busy and have little time to read.  Why should this particular text pass their “Who cares?” test? How does the text address things that are especially important to their family, their community, their ethnic group, to people of their economic or social class or background, or their faith tradition?  Use quotes to illustrate.

e. To sum up, what do you want your readers to believe and to do as a result of the text? What kinds of good things might happen if they agree to follow your recommendations, and what are the worst things that could happen if they ignore or refuse your recommendation? 

OW 11/08

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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