posted Aug 22, 2011 11:55 AM by J. Tirrell
- Make certain to account for the complete prompt. If it asks you to include specific information or talk about a particular aspect of the work, be sure to do that.
- Provide mostly critical commentary in your response, not summary. We have all done the reading or played the game, so we don't need much summary. Instead, make concrete, specific connections to our previous works and your relevant experience inside and outside of class. Then turn your discussion to how this information might be useful in our current project, or otherwise change how you thought about it.
- Demonstrate your engagement with the material. One reason why we do responses is to ensure that everyone is keeping up with the material. Make sure that your response demonstrates that you have absorbed the material by making reference to specific concepts, terms, ideas, etc. from the reading.
- Use grammar and structure that is appropriate for a professional context. Sentence-level grammar is important, in part because it gives the response an appropriate ethos. Also, your response should be structured into a complete narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Don't just collect random thoughts into one large paragraph. As writers, we have to do the work of presenting our material to the reader comprehensibly.
- Hit the word count. Word counts are somewhat arbitrary, but they encourage the kind of sustained engagement necessary for a good response.
- Post your response by the deadline. Responses should be posted before class time on the day that they are due.