Guidelines for Response Papers Each week you will write a short response to one or more of the literary or artistic works we studied that week. The most important thing about response papers is that they are analytical. For our purposes here, "analysis" means an attempt to understand the parts of something individually, in relationship to each other, and in relationship to the whole. Analytical does not mean argumentative, necessarily. Analysis can be open-ended, uncertain, curious, and even confused. In fact, an analytical account of something that confuses you is better than a surface-level account of something you're certain of. Good response papers don't arrive at a solid argumentative conclusion or thesis. Rather, they identify questions and problems for us to think about. This work requires intellectual risk-taking, and entertaining ideas that you may not yet be certain of. Before you begin your first response paper, refer to the sample Response Paper on "Cathedral" in the "Sample Writing" section from Week 1. Your response papers do not need to be as long-three solid paragraphs (5-7 sentences each) are fine. However, take note of the analysis happening throughout the response. The student writer isn't simply responding to the entire work as a unified thing. Rather, the student identifies different parts or aspects of the story and thinks about their relation to each other. Note too that the response paper is the result of prior private writing, done on your own: annotation and reading notes (see examples in the textbook). Grading Each week's response paper is worth 4 points. This component of your course grade is based on the 8 highest scoring posts, which means that you have a few weeks where it's ok if you have to fall behind or are not able to do your best work. There will also be a few weeks where alternative assignments will be offered in place of the response paper. Three analytical paragraphs (5-7 sentences each) in a response paper will get 4 points. Response papers that aren't very analytical (e.g. mostly plot summary) will get 2 points.

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