Introduction to literature

How does one produce a good literary response?

  1. Apply what you’ve learned this semester about good writing: get the technical and grammatical aspects right
    (MLA format, quotes, etc.), have a creative title, support assertions with quotes and examples, and write in
    circular structure, to name a few.
  2. The introduction should seize our attention, identify author and title of the work, and contain a thesis that
    introduces the main point of your response. That main point is really from body paragraph 2 and your
    conclusion: it should be your take on the poem (you connected to its ideas on crime and punishment or you
    thought the poem’s themes about atonement give hope).
  3. The first body paragraph should provide a summary, using supporting quotes, of the key elements of the
    poem related to your response. Do NOT summarize the whole poem; instead, summarize the part you’re
    discussing. What’s happening in this part of the poem (plot)? Which characters are involved? What’s the
    setting (where and when)? Is there a predominant mood? Provide quotes to support your answers to these
  4. The next body paragraph (or more if you wish to write more) should contain your response.
    What should you respond to?
    Respond to any quote from the story. You can respond to the ideas in the quote and how they relate to your
    life. You can respond to the art of the quote, such as the sound, circular structure and parallels and how those
    achievements impacted you. Feel free to playfully ridicule the writing, pointing out flaws (it’s boring, unrealistic,
    parts are poorly worded, characters are unlikeable, etc.) if you’d like. No matter what you do, you should
    engage specifics from the literature and make ONE cohesive point, not many, about the poem.
    In the past, some students have responded to the poem’s ideas on the human-animal or human-nature
    themes; others have focused on weddings; still others have focused on ideas such as atonement and ghosts.
    No matter what, as I said, focus on ONE idea and one key quote.
  5. Conclude by circling back to your title and introduction to remind us of your main point and discuss the
    broader significance of your ideas: why should someone care about the ideas your discussed?

Sample Solution