* Word count: 250-minimum to 300-words maximum total, excluding the Works Cited, which should follow MLA format (Links to an external site.). In other words, the Works Cited should not be included in your 250- to 300-word count. This is equivalent to one page double-spaced.
* Structure: The recommended structure for the paper is 1) descriptive title, 2) brief introduction (2-3 sentences mentioning the authors and texts analyzed, and outlining your main claims), 3) body paragraphs (either one body paragraph for each text you analyze -or- one paragraph for each of your chosen themes with both texts analyzed in each paragraph), 4) short conclusion (1-2 sentences), 5) “4 Substantive questions” heading followed by a list of your questions, and 6) “Works Cited” section with the citations for all texts analyzed in the response provided in MLA format.
* 4 Substantive questions: Formulate four questions based on themes and analysis you’ve presented in your response and/or expand on an idea that you introduce within your response, or write a question for a topic not directly addressed in your response. Thus, the four questions might be related to your response paper, but not answered within it. The questions should require a thoughtful response and provoke discussion (i.e. not yes/no questions). We may be able to use some of these questions during small or whole group discussion in class. Also, when students respond to peers’ posts by the last day of class, they can choose to respond to one of more of their colleagues’ questions or address an idea mentioned in the response itself.
* “Close Reading”: This is the literary analysis that you will perform for the poems (if you choose to write about them). After you read the poems carefully, make annotations of your observations, and then offer your poetic interpretation in your response. Your analysis of the poems is key. Please do not write a summary. Focus on language, imagery, repetition, word choice, literary devices, and try to connect your observations to the larger themes in the work: How does the form of the poem relate to its content? What does it reveal about the author’s perspective of Black women? A few resources on close reading:
https://guides.lib.uoguelph.ca/c.php?g=130967&p=4938496 (Links to an external site.)
https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/closereading/ (Links to an external site.)
* Theoretical analysis: For the theoretical essays by hooks, Hill Collins and Harris-Perry, focus on understanding the authors argument. What evidence do they present? Do you find it convincing?
* Can we relate the readings to our personal lives? As you will read in Patricia Hill-Collins, there is a space in your writing for the “experiential” or what you have experienced. But, you want to ensure that your response is not solely a personal reflection. It is important to engage with and analyze the texts to demonstrate your critical understanding and move beyond personal impressions.
* Grading: The response papers will be graded Credit/No Credit. Responses that are incomplete may receive half credit.
Remember that you are only required to write about two of the readings listed in the response paper instructions.
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