Jo Doran, Ph.D., M.F.A.

Assistant Professor & ESL Coordinator, Northern Michigan University


If you have been asked to read this section, you will be responsible for creating reading responses throughout the semester associated with this course. We will discuss this – at length – in class. This is a basic overview/reminder for you:

Each reading response should be specifically focused on the reading and the prompt provided on the calendar, show clear evidence that you have read and thought seriously about the reading, and be sufficiently developed. Reading responses should be 300 words or longer. Post your reading response as a blog entry and tag it “Reading Response” or use the tag provided in the prompt itself. Your responses are part of your participation grade.

Sometimes, you and each of your group members will be assigned to post your reading response to the course home page by submitting a story. The posts on the course home page will then be the focus of full class discussion. Selected reading responses will also be promoted to the front page for more lively community discussion.

In composing your reading response you must include all of the following:

  1. Be sure to focus your response on the subject of the prompt. Additionally, keep your focus narrow enough that your response is not overly general. Overly general prompts (and prompts that are superficial) will not be accepted; in other words, you will not receive credit for that response.
  2. Link your response to recent class discussions online, your current project work, something you might have read elsewhere, and/or previous professional, academic, or personal experience writing and communicating in other contexts. In other words, do not just wing it and post a response that does not show awareness and/or connection to what is going on in class, others’ posts, and/or what you have been reading and applying to your own studies in class.
  3. Examples of how to post a response: Discuss how the reading contributes to your understanding of the current project, expands your understanding of recent discussions, or suggests ideas for your work in the class.
  4. Be sure to properly cite the original reading and any other sources you might mention. Good citation practice is critical in all writing and especially so on the Web.

•    You can apply the rhetorical considerations discussed in Principles for Posting to Your Weblog to your reading responses.
•    When it is your group’s turn to post reading responses to the course home page, consider that the goal of these blog posts is to share new information and stimulate discussion. If your group is reponsible for posting about an assignment, check to see if anyone has already posted a response on the reading. If so, read through it. Shape your blog post to take the conversation in different directions.