What do students need to know and be able to do in order to write an effective literary response paper? This section provides a guide complete with reading and writing tools. It also offers information on how to write a poetry explication essay.
PS--If your students need to know about literary criticism, check out this Website, Introduction to Modern Literary Theory, which provides a comprehensive overview of numerous types of criticism, including key terms and many useful resources. This Website is A MUST for high school (and college) English teachers!!!
LITERARY RESPONSE PAPER GUIDE
A literary response paper builds an argument about a text, using evidence to explain how the author uses characters, symbols, or other literary strategies to convey a message.
The typical length is 2-3 pages (typed, double-spaced; with a minimum of 5 paragraphs), but it can be longer. Students should include at least 2-3 quotes per paragraph, providing context and explanation to illustrate how the evidence supports their arguments.
By the end of their high school careers, students should be able to plan and write a literary response paper on their own, with minimal input from the teacher. Along the way, though, they will need coaching on how to read and write analytically. The Literary Response Paper Guide in the Download Zone explains this process and provides the instructional tools that your students will need to succeed at this task.
For support on how to teach students to build "quote sandwiches" (context, evidence, and explanation), check out these TLC Blog posts on quote sandwiches.
IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Literary Response Paper READING TOOLS:
IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Literary Response Paper WRITING TOOLS:
POETRY EXPLICATION ESSAY
The purpose of this essay is to explain/interpret (“explicate” is the fancy word) a poem—in other words, to tell what you think it means.
IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Poetry Explication Essay:
SUMMARY OF MATERIALS IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Literary Response Paper: