So that posts at other USF journalism blogs do not become too long, we can store documents here and then link to them here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Responses to Readings: Writing Guidelines

Responses to Readings: Guidelines

Dr. J. Michael Robertson

University of San Francisco


As you go through those reading assignments for which I require a written response, jot down your ideas, connections, questions or comments in the margins or on a separate piece of paper. (I’m assuming you’ll print out the more important of these readings and bring them to class.) When you’ve finished the readings, go back and construct your responses following the guidelines outlined below. Use the stipulated heading for each response (A1, A2, B3, etc.)

Your response should be typed, double spaced, with your name and page number on each page.

· CITATION: Anytime you refer to an actual idea of the writer, provide a citation for each idea used: the writer’s last name, the year of the publication and the page number(s) from which each idea is taken. Use this format: (Writer’s last name, year, page/s). Example: (Robertson, 2007, 32-33).

· Plagiarism alert! Three words or more from a writer need to be in quotation marks.

General Format for Your Responses:

A. Abstract/Synopsis: Report & Support Material

B. Interpretation

C. Evaluation

D. Personal Reaction

E. Analysis

A. Abstract/Synopsis

1. In a paragraph or two, give an abstract for this article: That is, in general, what is this article about? Try to avoid personal opinion, evaluation or interpretation here. Provide only an overview of what the writer specifically says he or she is saying in the article in question.

2. What are 3-5 specific main points the writer makes in this article? (The number of specific ideas should relate to the number of ideas presented by the writer; shoot for five ideas.) Paraphrase the writer’s explanation of the ideas. Strive to put it in your own words. Do not assume a quote from the work can stand on its own as an explanation. Each new idea gets a new paragraph, or present the ideas in a numbered or bulleted list.
[For each idea, provide the citation information as mentioned above (name, year, page/s)].

B. Interpretation

3. What is your interpretation of the writer’s main points: That is, what do you believe the writer is saying--overtly or when you read between the lines? What from the article leads you to this interpretation? You may have to deal with the writer’s inconsistency or even contradiction in presenting her/his “real” point. Be alert for irony, hyperbole or some other rhetorical flourish. What is your final takeaway and why?

C. Evaluation

4. What is your evaluation of the article, taken as a whole? Is the article helpful in some way to the audience to which it seems to be directed? Are the writer’s arguments and supporting materials persuasive? Explain.

D. Personal Reaction

5. What are the two most striking or significant ideas you found in the article? What leads you to each of these conclusions? What you find most useful may not be what the writer seems to think is the most useful. Your own circumstances may shape this response. I’m asking what in your experience leads you to this conclusion/reaction? (For each idea, provide the citation information as mentioned above.)

6. What are two or three uncertainties or confusions you have after reading the article? Explain. If you have no uncertainties or confusions, what further questions would you like to put to the writer? Explain.

E. Final Analysis

8. What are two or three connections you can make between the article and material relating to the subject of the article that you have encountered in journalism classes, in Media Studies classes, in fact, in any class here at USF? Explain how this material fits into your overall Liberal Arts education.

No comments: