Pages 9-14 describe “active reading” strategies; while those pages demonstrate an “active reading” of a poem, the assignment I’m asking you to do has nothing to do with poetry. Instead, I will ask you to respond to sections from the Rereading America introduction.
Choose two of following topics (taken from the section headings). Following the examples on page 13, write a â€œPersonal Response” (Entry 1) to one of these topics, and an â€œInternal Dialog” (entry 2) on the other. Also, after each of your responses, include two of your â€œtalking to the textâ€ notes.
â€¢ Becoming a College Student
â€¢ Critical Thinking
â€¢ Cultural Myths
â€¢ Myths vs. Critical Thinking
â€¢ Structure of Rereading America
Note that in this assignment, I will be looking at your ability to respond to what the textbook authors wrote in the section you chose. This assignment does not ask you to jot down the thoughts that pop into your head as you think about the topic, or do any outside research, or try to guess what “correct” answer is written in my teacher’s manual.
The “active reading” strategies described on pages 10-16 will help you develop the skills to interpret complex texts on your own. This reading response assignment is the first step toward that goal.
“Can’t you just tell us what you want?”
Well… no, not really. There is no single “correct” answer to a reading response assignment. It’s not a scavenger hunt, or a “guess the secret word” puzzle, or a game where you try to find out what I think, and then regurgitate my opinion for my approval.
Likewise, there is no “wrong” answer.
There are, of course, some responses that stay on topic and some responses that ramble. (What I want is for you to stay on topic.) There are responses that use evidence to persuade, and responses that use emotions to rant. (What I want is for you to use evidence.) There are responses that identify and carefully evaluate several reasonable alternatives, and responses that echo bumper-sticker slogans. (“It’s not enough to question authority; you’ve got to speak with it, too.” –Taylor Mali)