Writing a reader response paper

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Writing a reader response paper

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English Literature Books In the academic study of literature very little attention has been paid to the ordinary reader, the subjective individual who reads a particular text. Miall and Don Kuiken, in their paper The form of reading: Empirical studies of literariness state, Almost no professional attention is being paid to the ordinary reader, who continues to read for the pleasure of understanding the world of the text rather than for the development of a deconstructive or historicist perspective.

The concerns that an ordinary reader seems likely to have about a literary text, such as its style, its narrative structure, or the reader's relation to the author, the impact on the reader's understanding or feelings - such concerns now seem of little interest.

writing a reader response paper

In this paper I should like to study a few kinds of reader and the subjectivity of their responses to the objectivity found within literary texts, quoting some views found within reader-response criticism. Before I begin, I should like to consider what is meant by the term 'literary text', and what is meant by the objectivity of it.

Literature is said to transform and intensify ordinary language, deviating from the everyday colloquial tongue. The literariness of the language spoken could be determined by the texture, rhythm and resonance of the words used.

There is a kind of disproportion between the signifier and the signified, by virtue of the abstract excesses of the language, a language that flaunts itself and evokes rich imagery. Eagleton argues that what distinguishes the literary language from other forms of discourse is the way it 'deforms' ordinary languages in various ways.

Under the pressure of literary devices, ordinary language is intensified, condensed, twisted, telescoped, drawn out and turned on its head. The artistic pole is the author's text, and the aesthetic is the realisation accomplished by the reader. Hence the literary work cannot be considered as the actualisation of, or identical to, the text, but is situated somewhere between the two.

Iser speaks of the text as a virtual character that cannot be reduced to the reality of text or to the subjectivity of the reader, and it derives its dynamism from that virtuality.

Readers passing through the various perspectives offered by the text relate the different views and patterns to one another, thus setting the work and themselves in action. Objectivity in literary texts had been discussed since the days of Aristotle, for he originated the literary theory that emphasises the objective features of the text and the authorial intentions revealed by those features.

His Poetics analyses the objective features of Greek epics and dramas as means that are more or less appropriate to the full realisation of various literary intentions. The idea of objectivity in the text is also analysed in the first chapter, Theory before theory of Peter Barry's Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory.

The literary text contains its own meaning within itself.

The Author, the Text, and the Reader: a study of reader-response theories

The best way to study the text is to study the words on the page, without any predefined agenda for what one wants to find there. The text will reveal constants, universal truths, about human nature, because human nature itself is constant and unchanging. People are pretty much the same everywhere, in all ages and in all cultures.

The text can speak to the inner truths of each of us because our individuality, our "self," is something unique to each of us, something essential to our inner core.Unlike in more formal writing, the use of phrases like "I thought" and "I believe" is encouraged in a response paper.

You'll still have a thesis and will need to back up your opinion with evidence from the work, but this type of paper spotlights your individual reaction as a reader or viewer. Marilyn Pryle shares five reading response activities to help students interact with texts in creative ways that require even higher levels of understanding.

In writing a response you may assume the reader has already read the text. Thus, do NOT summarize the contents of the text at length.

How to write a Response Essay - Outline, Structure, Format, Examples, Topics

Instead, take a systematic, analytical approach to the text. How to write a Response essay? This type of essay is basically a response to some work by the author.

This is a personal reaction and attitude to the specific ideas revealed in a certain work and their application of the author’s life.

How to Write a Reflection Paper. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Outline and Paper Brainstorming Organizing a Reflection Paper As You Write Community Q&A Reflection papers allow you to communicate with your instructor about how a specific article, lesson, lecture, or experience shapes your understanding of class-related material.

SAMPLE RESPONSE PAPERS. Below is a collection of strong (and exceptionally strong) response papers from students. All received high grades. They are good examples of insightful thinking and strong writing. I would especially encourage you to notice that most of them don’t have obvious organization; most of them let their ideas develop and wander.

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