Response Paper Instructions
Excerpt From Moby Dick “The norton Anthology of American Literature”(8th Edition) volume B pages 1440-1483
For the purpose of this class, your Response papers should do one of two things:
Analyze/Evaluate a piece of work
React to an author’s work.
Below is a detail explanation of what you should include in your response paper.
1:Analysis/Evaluation–What are the strengths and weaknesses of
Goal: Show that you understand what the author does well and what he or
she does not do so well.
1. Answer the “w” questions, like why, why not, what, what if, what for, where, why, who, how, when . . . Specific questions you might take up include:
• was the piece convincing? why or why not, specifically? is it well-researched?
are the sources the author uses reputable? why or why not?
• did the author overlook or leave out anything important? what?
• did the author overemphasize or overprivilege anything? what?
• is the author one-sided (even if he or she takes your side), or does the author
presented a balanced view?
2: Your Reactions–How do you react to the piece on a personal
level? How does the piece relate to your experience?
Goal: Share your own impressions and your own experiences with readers.
1. Here are some questions you might consider answering:
• did the piece hold your interest? Why or why not?
• did the piece bother or annoy you? why or why not?
• what would you ask, or tell, the author of the piece if you could?
• what did you realize as a result of reading the piece?
• what questions does the piece raise for you — about the material, about other
• does the piece remind you of other readings you’ve done for the class? Compare and contrast the piece to those readings.