Reader-Response Analysis

For our third essay assignment you will combine our first two assignments by looking closely at one of the three texts we will read in Writing as Revision during these last few weeks and analyzing it from a personal perspective, using yourself as a “lens” text. Specifically, you will examine one of the pieces we discuss in class, draw upon your own context and experiences for analysis, and draw a meaningful connection. The main job is “metacognition.”

Every time you read a “primary” text, even something as simple as an employment ad or list of ingredients, you have a response that is informed by your own “secondary” text: experiences, culture, and expectations. Each of these texts is a response to both the limitations and strengths of language and storytelling; you also are now in the position of thinker and writer here at the UofA. It will be your job in this assignment to connect the two (one “writer” and you) in a 5-page essay in a meaningful and purposeful way.

Things to Consider:

   –The text from WR which you choose to discuss is the “primary” text; your background is the “secondary” or “lens” text. Your essay should analyze the narrative through the “text” of your cultural/national upbringing. You should summarize both quickly, and analyze at length.

-Strive to write at an academic level. Realize that your essay may discuss either textual strategies, content areas/ideas, or both.

-This essay may be shared amongst the group, so be sure you are comfortable with revealing your experiences and don’t include anything you would prefer to keep private.

Guides to Invention:

-What is the overall effect of this text on you? Describe your mental/emotional responses. What can you relate to or not relate to in the narrator’s struggles and/or successes?

-How did the text and your context inspire these thoughts in you? Name elements from the piece (subject matter, language, tone, characters, locations, etc.) that contributed to this effect. Which parts of your own history (past experiences, memories, current circumstances) resonate with the piece of writing you chose?

-I recommend pages 207-210 in A Student’s Guide for thoughts on the overall process.


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