use this as guidelines to respond to the story, fiction, and poems
Use these questions below to guide you as you complete your reading responses for short stories. I suggest that you choose only a few questions to answer in your response–but make the response a paragraph–don’t number your responses. You will probably notice that some of the questions are similar and that some of the responses may overlap–that’s fine. Your response should reflect your own thoughts and analysis of the story. Your response to each story should be at least 200 words (but will probably be longer) and should show that you have read the story carefully. You should mention the names of characters, details from the story that support your response, incidents in the story that affect your reading of it, etc. (You must use quotations from the stories in your responses.)
1. What did you like about the story? What did you dislike? Why?
2. Who is your favorite character? Is he or she like you in any way? Would you make the same decisions (or react in the same ways) in the same situations as this character? Why or why not? Which characters remind you of people you know?
3. What did you learn about American history, society, art, literature, philosophy, science (etc.) from this story? What research might you do to help you understand the story better?
4. What did you learn about life from the story?
5. In what ways do you identify with the story?
.6. How would you describe the writer’s style or voice? Style includes use of irony, symbolism, figurative language, point of view, etc.
Here’s an interesting checklist of literary style that you might find helpful:Checklist: Elements of Literary Style
7. What are your favorite sentences, passages, words, etc. from the story? Explain your choice.
8. What would you tell a friend about this story?
9. Who would you recommend this story to and why?
10. What value does this story have for you?
11. What connections do you find between the life of the author and his or her work?
12. What questions did you have after you finished the story?
13. What words did you look up?
Responding to the poetry
Here are questions responding personally to the poetry. Be sure to respond to four poets.
- what you liked about the poem
- what you disliked
- whether you related to the poem personally
- your favorite lines (quote these)
- what you learned from the poem
- whether you would read it to a friend and why
- how the poem reflects the poet’s philosophical beliefs
- how the poem seems to relate to the poet’s life
- what words you looked up as you were reading the poem (with definitions, of course).