Reader Response Theory This is the easiest lens

Reader Response Theory This is the easiest lens

Reader Response Theory This is the easiest lens in terms of literary analysis and theory. This type of response focuses on the activity of reading a work of literature. Reader response theory states that we each bring our own personal experiences to the reading of literature. Reader response asks the reader to make personal connections to the text by asking and answering questions about the text that are meaningful to us personally. This is the type of writing you have probably been doing all throughout high school. Reader Response Theory Reader response gives you a voice. As long as you can defend your opinion with textual support (using examples from the text) then it is valid. It isnt an opportunity or an excuse to go way out there and make up crazy

things that dont exist in the text. However reader responses are usually very different from each other. Because you are all different, your personal responses to literature will be very different! Examples of reader-response type questions: What do I personally think that this text means? Have I ever had an experience like this? What did I learn from it? Have I ever felt the way that the characters in this text feel? What personal qualities or characteristics do I have that might be relevant to my reading of this text? Are my morals reflected in this text? How are my morals the different or the same as those highlighted in the text? What issues are the most important in the text? Why do I think these issues are the

most important? What words or phrases are most important to me? Why? What is this poem about? Overnight, very Whitely, discreetly, Very quietly Little or nothing. So many of us! So many of us! Our toes, our noses We are shelves, we are Take hold on the loam, Tables, we are meek, Acquire the air, We are edible. Nobody sees us, Nudgers and shovers Stops us, betrays us; In spite of ourselves. The small grains make room. Our kind multiplies:

Soft fists insist on Heaving the needles The leafy bedding, Even the paving. Our hammers, our rams Earless and eyeless, We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot's in the door. Perfectly voiceless, Widen the crannies, Shoulder through the holes. We Diet on water, On crumbs of shadow. Bland-mannered, asking Write 2-3 sentences explaining what you think this poem is talking about. Then pick out the stanza (verse of poetry) that is most meaningful

to you you like the sound of it, or it speaks to you be prepared to discuss what you write! The preceding poem is called Mushrooms and it was written by Sylvia Plath. How did you come to some idea of what this poem meant? Who you are combined with what you are reading causes you to create meaning. Lets look at a chart that explains this concept Reader-Response Diagram This diagram graphically illustrates the principles of reader-response theory. Under the READER column, consider what personal characteristics,

qualities or history might be relevant to your reading of the text. On the right side, under the heading TEXT write what textual properties affect your reading (such as use of dialect, narrative structure, punctuation, sentence length.) After completing the right and left side, students then investigate how their personal response and the characteristics of the text create MEANING they write their statements about what the text means to them in the middle of the chart. (Appleman) READER MEANING TEXT EXAMPLE READER Here you write personal characteristics that relate to

the text you are analyzing. Reader-Response Diagram MEANING TEXT Here you write characteristics of the text you are reading such as vocabulary, sentence length, type of literary work, punctuation Together these make up the way a reader gets individual meaning. Who you are and what you are reading results in meaning.

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