Fascinating lists!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Writing the Reader's Response

copyright 2014 by Gary L. Pullman

Your reader's response consists of two parts: (1) a paraphrased summary, in your own words, of the writer's argument (or the argument that his or her article implies) and (2) your reasons for agreeing and/or disagreeing with the writer's argument.

Your summary should provide only the information essential to the writer's argument; should be fair and objective; should be written in the third person; and should begin with a signal phrase that provides an in-text citation of the source (article) you are summarizing.

Here is an example; the original article is 1,182 words; the paraphrased summary below is 163 words, or about fourteen percent as long as the original:

In “Jenna Talackova, transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant,shines in spotlight,” an online article that appeared in the Toronto Star, Nancy J. White reports on the publicity that was generated when one of the beauty pageant's competitors was “disqualified for not being a 'naturally born female.'” A “blogger “ informed Miss Universe Organization officials that Talackova had participated in a “transsexual beauty contest in Thailand,” and the Organization forbade her from competing in the Miss Universe pageant. Although “born male and named Walter,” Talackova claims that she realized from an early age that she was transgender, wore her “mother's shoes” in private and “feminine clothes” when she entered eighth grade, began to take female hormones at age fourteen, underwent sex-reassignment surgery at age nineteen, and is considered beautiful by many, and she has hired attorney Gloria Allred to represent her, alleging that the Miss Universe Organization illegally discriminated against her by disqualifying her from its competition on the basis of her transgender status.

To the summary, add, as part two of your reader's response the reasons for your agreement and/or disagreement with the writer's argument or with the argument that it implies. For example, White's article implies that either Talackova should have been “disqualified for not being a 'naturally born female'” or that Talackova should not have been “disqualified for not being a 'naturally born female.'” Therefore, you should select one of these arguments and then provide your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with it. In this second part of the reader's response, you may use either third person or first person. Be careful to stick to the actual points that the writer of the article makes; do not digress, and do not misrepresent the writer's information or argument. It may be helpful to make a three-column table, labeling one column “Agree,” another “Disagree,” and the third “Reasons” as a way of recording your responses and reasons for these responses:


No comments: