RWA2: Responding to Reading

Reading and Writing Assignment 2: Responding to Readings

Professor Rodgers
City Tech
ENG 1101:  College Writing


In his book about college writing, Charles Bazerman writes:

"When you react to your reading, you start to make a link between the ideas suggested by the page and what happens in your mind—your responses. This link is essential for any kind of intellectual work. Because your reactions pass so quickly, turning your responses into words will help you hold on to them. Both writing notes in the margins of your books and keeping a reading journal will help you remember and develop your thoughts about reading." (Chapter 2, The Informed Writer)

Last week, we read a bit about Active Reading.  This week, we are going to do some active reading.  I’d like you to read the following three short essays, which you will find here and which were handed out in class.  After reading these essays at least twice and taking notes on them, I’d like you to write one paragraph about each text DESCRIBING it:

Begin your paragraph by informing your reader of who the text is by, what the title of the text is, and what the text is about.  You can use the following template if you would like:  In his/her essay “Title of Essay,” Full Name of Author writes about __________________________.  The essay, which is written in the _____ person, is ______________________.

Continue with the same paragraph by DESCRIBING some of the characteristics of each text, e.g., The language in this text is __________________.  I noticed that the author __________________. The sentences are ______________________.  The paragraphs are _______________.  The tone is ________________.   The audience for this piece seems to be __________________.  This is evident from ________________.  Rhetorically, this text is ____________________.

Once you have written one paragraph about each text, please read over what you have written.  Take notes on your own writing to then plan and write one to two paragraphs in which you describe some of the similarities and differences between these three texts.


Please bring a printed copy of the four to five paragraphs that you have written to our next class, use MLA formatting guidelines for this assignment, and make sure to read over your responses at least once before deciding the assignment is complete.