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Techniques for analyzing and responding to texts:

Technique Use active and responsive reading, writing and discussing strategies. Tips on how to do it Preview authors background. Pre-write about your own experiences about the subject. Read initially for information but reread, make annotation, ask questions, research on the internet. Discuss with other readers. Summary should be accurate and objective. Include main ideas, direct quotes, key words or phrases. Responses may agree or disagree with the argument in the text; possibly analyze the argument, organization, or quality. Evidence should site examples of strengths or weaknesses in the argument. Cite evidence from other texts or outside reading or from personal experience. Usually the summary appears first, followed by the readers response but be sure to integrate the two parts. Focus on the main idea. Use transitions between the summary and response or integrate throughout.

Summarize the main ideas or features of the text. Respond to or critique the ideas in the text. Support the response with evidence.

Combining summary and response into a coherent essay.

A way to set this up might be:


Double Entry Log Author and title: _______________________________________________ Summary Responses Main ideas, key features Your reactions, comments and questions

If the double entry log does help you, try the guiding questions below:
Purpose Is the overall purpose clear or muddled? Was the actual purpose different from the state purpose? How did the text affect you? Audience/Reader Are you part of the intended audience?

Does the author misjudge the readers knowledge or beliefs? Examine your own personal bias Occasion, Genre, context What conversation was taking place on this topic? Does the authors chose genre help achieve the purpose for the audience? What passages show the cultural forces at work on the author and the text? Thesis and Main Ideas Where is the thesis stated? Are the main ideas related to the thesis? Where do you agree or disagree? Does the essay have contradictions or errors? What ideas or arguments does the essay omit or ignore? What are the implications or consequences of the essays ideas? Organization and evidence At what point could you accurately predict the organization of the essay? At what points were you confused? What evidence was most or least effective? Where did the author rely on assertions rather than on evidence? Which of your own personal experiences did you recall as you read the essay? Language and Style Did the tone support or distract from the authors purpose or meaning? Did the sentences and vocabulary support or distract from the purpose or meaning? Did recurring words or images relate to or support the purpose or meaning?