Reader Response + Research
An important part of your academic writing experience is developing your skills as a critical reader and researcher. A critical reader isn’t someone who has a negative opinion about everything; by “critical” we mean rigorously thoughtful—a reader who engages each text with an open, curious mind. A critical reader takes notes as she reads; she asks questions of the text; she challenges the assertions made by an author; she questions the source of any claim. In short, a critical reader “tests” a text; the act of reading becomes a dialogue, or exchange, between text and reader. A critical reader takes these active learning skills with her to the desk when she writes, and becomes a more thoughtful, engaged, and rigorous writer of texts.
A critical researcher looks for current material with which to further discuss, emphasize, and/or argue his assertion. This self-directed inquiry is paramount to critical learning as evidence in one’s writing.
For most class periods devoted to a reading (or readings) from The Norton Field Guide to Writing, or the readings on Blackboard, you are either required to typewrite an entry for your Reader’s Journal, (RJE) or a Reader Response + Research short paper. Each RR+R should be approximately 400-500 words long (about a full page and a half of typewritten, double-spaced pages).
On RR+R days when two readings are assigned, select one reading from those listed on the schedule for your response. You are, of course, still required to read, and be able to discuss, both assigned readings.
In each RR+R, record a thoughtful response to the essay, addressing an issue of substance. This might have to do with the particular rhetorical mode we are studying (e.g., narration and description, definition, argument, and so on). Or it might be a considered reflection on what you liked or disliked about the text, what questions it raised, or what the text made you think of, and why. Please, avoid mere plot summary or simplistic condensation. Select one or maybe two interesting elements of the text in question and record your thoughts and responses.
Research a current (within the last two years for a pop culture source, ten years for a scholarly article) issue that is relevant to the essay at hand. Link this material critically to your journal response.
Given the length of the entry, it is important to focus on a specific, selected element of interest; don’t try to account for the entire reading.
That having been said, your RR+R should reflect your own reading and research practices; it is a space for you to express your own personality and opinions. Feel free to use the first person and to adopt a personal, perhaps slightly more informal tone in your entries.
I will be looking for the following:
· A 400-500 word entry for each day of RR+R assigned reading; read both essays but choose only one essay for your response.
· For each entry, include the author’s name, the title of the work, and the date assigned for class. Also include full citation information for additional sources. Use proper in-text citations.
· A thoughtful reflection on your reading of the piece—evidence that you have “engaged” the text.
· The avoidance of gratuitous plot summary or condensation.
· Research to support your reflection/argument.
· Each entry should be typewritten, double-spaced, and free from excessive mechanical and technical errors. Follow MLA 2009 guidelines regarding format. Do not skip lines between paragraphs. Include a running head which always includes the page number.
Please also read the following material for further suggestions and examples for writing reader responses:
Pay close attention especially to the material in the CAUTION box on this page:
Here is a link that shows you sample first sentences—some do’s and don’ts:
The following is a sample Reader Response + Research paper, which will be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, font size 12. Please note that no extra lines are skipped. No bold. Title of reading is in quotes. The comma is inside the quote. The date is in MLA 2009 format. There will be a running head. (COPY the structure for your own RR+R. I have a shredder and am not afraid to make bedding for the hamster cage out of any RR+Rs that are not ready for me to assess.)
NOTE: Make sure your header has your last name, not mine, and that it lists page 1 as page 1, etc…
Also: We are using a different textbook than the one included here. Make sure that you use the NFG citation example for your own RR+R, (double-spaced).
In-text citations (itc)
· When citing from our text, use the author’s name, not NFG.
· “Romance, not marriage, is the woman’s goal” in advertising just a decade later, highlighting the author’s point that emancipation has altered the emphasis in the marketing of women’s toiletries (Lantry 44).
Works Cited (You will have at least two entries, one from the original essay in our text and one from the source you find that supports/counters the argument of the assigned essay.)
· When citing from our text, use the following format, inserting the author’s name, essay title, and correct pages, (it will be double-spaced in your paper).
· Noe, Denise. “Parallel Worlds: The Surprising Similarities (and Differences) of Country-and- Western and Rap.” Ed. Richard C. Bullock. Norton Field Guide to Writing. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2010. 598-603. Print.
Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Essay.” Ed. Richard C. Bullock. Norton Field Guide to Writing. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2013. 598-603. Print.
Instructor Linda Rogers
12 September 2013
Kalle Lasn, “Hype,” 13 September 2013
I was hooked from the opening sentence of Kalle Lasn’s, “Hype,” and as I finished, I couldn’t resist a small internal cheer. I believe most of us would agree with the author’s sentiments, in that advertisements are truly the “most…toxic of the mental pollutants” (217). Who doesn’t fly through the channels when there is a break in the televised program to escape this garbage; who wants to be clobbered with the endless commercials or even infomercials?
The statistics that Lasn quotes are staggering: in North America, we are exposed to more than two-, or some say, three-thousand marketing ads/messages each day. It means that our minds are continually bombarded with messages of consumerism, courtesy of corporate America.
Our lives are saturated with ads occupying not only T.V., radio, and online, but every square inch of viewing space. When I flew home over break, I was not pleased when I flipped down the seatback tray table on the airplane only to see an ad for Yoplait yogurt. All I wanted was a clear space to set my notebook while I jotted some thoughts. I ended up closing the tray table and balancing the notebook on my knee because the thought of strawberry yogurt kept infiltrating my mind. It is enough to make one scream.
“The increase in commercial advertising,” according to Lasn, “has happened so steadily and relentlessly that we haven’t quite woken up to the absurdity of it all” (218). Yet I believe the tide is turning. Journalist Gary Stroller writes in USA Today that even though ads “add up for airlines,…some fliers say it’s too much.” Deemed a captive audience by the airline industry, passengers are growing more intolerant of the excessive advertisements that seem to fill every available space and flashing screen. Most travelers, whether flying for business or pleasure, believe that the only suitable location for ads onboard the airplane is the in-flight magazines—individuals can then choose whether or not to peruse these commercial advertisements. Frequent fliers may not be able to avoid this new barrage of ads in-flight, but can certainly boycott the offending companies. Marketing consultant Bruce Silverman, a former creative director at three of the largest ad agencies insists, “There is already too much advertising clutter in the world.” Silverman “truly believe[s] advertisers who choose to intrude on airline passengers are likely to lose — not gain — customers” (qtd. in Stoller). More ads equal less patience on the part of consumers.
Kalle Lasn fears that “there is nowhere to run. No one is exempt and no one will be spared” (221). I flipped up that airplane tray to avert my eyes and will do the same every time I cruise the yogurt aisle at the supermarket. Please tell the powers-that-be that I might not be able to avoid seeing their ads “in the friendly skies” but I will let my wallet do the talking every time I skip over the Yoplait.
Lasn, Halle. “Hype.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 217-20. Print.
Stoller, Gary. “Ads Add up for Airlines, but Some Fliers Say It’s Too Much.” Usatoday.com. USA Today, 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Jan. 2012.
AGAIN: Make sure that you use our actual textbook’s citation, listing the essayist’s name as the author.
Make sure the pages are the pages for that particular essay. See the beginning of this requirements document to see the NFG citation.
MORE TIPS FOR A HYPOTHETICAL RR+R:
Let’s say that one of the two essays we read for the RR+Rs is an article comparing country and western music with rap, saying that the two types of music are more similar than they are different. If you choose to write about that essay and not the other essay (which you still must read), you could then choose to:
1. agree with the author, (Denise Noe), that these two types of music are indeed similar and then find another article or book that supports this
2. disagree with the author and find another article or book that counters this by saying that rap and country/western music are not alike at all.
But know that she is not just talking about the music—her essay touches on some deep social issues. You would read the essay closely before you made your decision on supporting her claim or countering her position. Then you’d go look for others to assist you as experts/authorities to cite in your argument.
Look for reputable, reliable, and current sources, (we’ll cover that in class). Introduce the author and his/her expertise in a signal phrase. Remember to include how/why this person gets to support/counter this argument. And always explain again in your own words how it all ties in to the big picture. P.I.E.
Sample paragraph from a longer RR+R on this music topic. This is just a small piece of a larger essay:
Acclaimed writer and journalist, Denise Noe believes that one of the major reasons that causes mainstream U.S.A. to reject rap is race. Whites expect angry messages when they listen to rap music. They believe that years of oppression and inner-city life will be reflected in artists’ rap (Noe 600). And many blacks listen to the songs, hoping for an uplifting message but are also discouraged when black artists glorify drugs, sex, and violence. Unfortunately, as political blogger Jeff Mendelman so accurately paraphrased rapper Mos Def for Policy-mic, “Rap music will reflect and analyze wherever we’re at in America. If we’re virtuous, so too will rap. If we remain a misogynistic, malevolent, materialistic society, so too will rap.” Rap music will continue to receive negative publicity as long as it reflects the harsh realities of street life for a huge portion of this country. When inner city life is no longer a fight for daily survival, perhaps rap will evolve into something wholly different than what it is now, a mirror we’re too afraid to acknowledge that reflects our own image—black, white, or other.
Mendelman, Jeff. “From Jay-Z to Kanye West: Does Rap Music Promote Bad Values?” PolicyMic.com. N.p., 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Noe, Denise. “Parallel Worlds: The Surprising Similarities (and Differences) of Country-and- Western and Rap.” Ed. Richard C. Bullock. Norton Field Guide to Writing. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2010. 598-603. Print.
Your last name, not
Use the actual page numbers of the essay..
Again, do not use my opening line or sentiment. Get your own hook.
This is the citation for the 2nd edition of our textbook. Just replace: 2nd with 3rd, 2010 with 2013, the author’s name, essay title, and page numbers.