What is Response/Reaction Paper?
A Response/Reaction paper is a writing assignment that asks you to explore ideas sparked by a particular reading. You may respond to a specific detail(s) or aspect(s) of the reading and develop your response and reaction in an essay with supporting evidence from the essay. Secondary information from articles or other sources is NOT required.
You will write a Response/Reaction paper based on one (1) of the short story readings: “The Bet,” “The Necklace,” or “A Hunger Artist.” Consider the following ideas for each short story to develop your topic:
· “The Bet”
o Living a life without material wealth can be a life more rewarding than living a life with an abundance of material wealth.
o The banker and the lawyer represent two extremes of one personality.
o Does corruption in one’s life begin with possession of an abundance of material wealth or the lack of material wealth?
o Is the debate about capital punishment significant to the story’s theme?
o Relate one or more general themes about Victorian and 19th C literature to “The Bet”. (See Overview)
· “The Necklace”
o What is the moral of the “The Necklace”? Use specific examples for the story to support your response.
o Two necklaces are significant in the story: a fake one and a real one. What does each necklace symbolize in the story?
o In what ways is Mathilde Loisel responsible for her own downfall?
o Should Mathilde Loisel be pitied for her years of struggle or does she get the punishment she deserves?
o Relate one or more general themes about Victorian and 19th C literature to “The Necklace”. (See Overview)
· “A Hunger Artist”
o What themes are explored in “A Hunger Artist”? Use specific examples for the story to support your response.
o Compare and contrast the hunger artist to the lawyer in “The Bet”.
o As soon as the hunger artist dies, the circus replaces him with a young panther. What does the panther symbolize?
o Relate one or more general themes about Victorian and 19th C literature to “A Hunger Artist”. (See Overview)
Your paper should be three (3) pages minimally, but should not exceed four pages doubled-spaced. Review the MLA documentation and the Style Rules and Guidelines for submission.
· Develop your rough draft—introduction, body, and conclusion
· Submit your final draft
Getting Started . . .
· The first sentence should contain both the title of the work to which you are responding and the name of the author.
· The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement. That statement will make your overall opinion very clear.
Stating Your Opinion
When writing a response essay, you can include statements like the following:
I felt that . . .
In my opinion . . .
I did not like . . .
I was especially moved by . . .
I didn’t understand the connection between . . .
My favorite part was…because . . .
Tip: It’s OK to critique the work you are responding to, but you still need to back up your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and reactions with concrete evidence and examples from the work. What prompted the reaction in you, how, and why? What didn’t reach you and why?
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