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English Methodology I

Pof: R Correa
( adapted from Prof . James Lett )
!he topi" for a Rea"tion Papers is #ery straightfor$ard: yo% simply ha#e to read
the assigned te&t or "hapters' thin( a)o%t $hat yo% ha#e read' and then p%t yo%r
tho%ghts do$n on paper. The Reaction Paper is not a research paper that
in"orporates other so%r"es of information* instead' it is a paper that "ontains
nothing other than yo%r o$n original tho%ght and analysis.

!he Rea"tion Paper gi#es yo% the opport%nity to demonstrate that yo% ha#e read
the assigned te&t or "hapters "aref%lly' that yo% ha#e %nderstood the "on"l%sions
presented in the readings as $ell as the reasoning that led to those "on"l%sions'
and that yo% ha#e gi#en "aref%l tho%ght and analysis to the impli"ations of the
te&t)oo(+s arg%ments.

Ea"h Rea"tion Paper sho%ld )e e,%ally di#ided )et$een t$o parts: a Summary
and an Ea!uation' la)elled as s%"h.

The Summary' $hi"h m%st )e half a page (-00 $ords appro&) in length' sho%ld
en"aps%late the essential ideas from the assigned readings in the te&t)oo(.
Imagine that yo% are $riting for an intelligent' "%rio%s reader $ho has no
(no$ledge $hatsoe#er of the te&t yo%+re $riting a)o%t. .o%r /%mmary sho%ld
ma(e yo%r reader a$are of the f%ndamental ideas presented in the paper %nder
dis"%ssion. 0hat are the main points made )y the a%thor in the assigned paper1
0hat are her prin"ipal arg%ments22i.e.' $hat are her most important premises and
"on"l%sions1 .o%r goal in yo%r /%mmary is to "on#ey' in only half a page' the
most signifi"ant ideas from the paper' $hi"h means yo% $ill ha#e to thin( #ery
"aref%lly a)o%t e&a"tly $hi"h ideas are most important and $hy22yo%r tas( is to
distill the ideas from se#eral "hapters do$n to their "riti"al essen"e that "an )e
e&pressed in a #ery )rief spa"e. 3t the same time' yo%r Summary $ill gi#e yo% the
opport%nity to demonstrate not only that yo% ha#e a #ery solid %nderstanding of the
ideas presented in the te&t)oo(' )%t that yo% "an "learly e&plain those ideas to
someone else.

The Ea!uation' $hi"h m%st )e (400 $ords app) in length' sho%ld present an
original analysis of the assigned reading. 0hat did yo% thin( of the a%thor5s
presentation1 0hat did yo% thin( a)o%t the ,%ality of her reasoning1 0ere her
arg%ments $ell2s%pported )y e#iden"e1 !o yo%r (no$ledge' did she6he negle"t to
"onsider any signifi"ant e#iden"e that $o%ld ha#e an important )earing on her6his
"on"l%sions' either positi#ely or negati#ely1 0ere her6his arg%ments pers%asi#e1
0hy or $hy not1 0hat ,%estions did the a%thor lea#e %nans$ered1 0hat
,%estions did she6he inspire yo% to $ant to in#estigate1 7as yo%r thin(ing or
%nderstanding "hanged in any $ay as a res%lt of ha#ing read the assignment1 If
so' ho$1 7a#e yo% "hanged yo%r mind a)o%t anything as a res%lt of ha#ing read
the assignment1 In short' the E#al%ation gi#es yo% the opport%nity to e&press the
res%lts of yo%r original tho%ghtf%l analysis of the assigned readings.

.o%r Rea"tion Paper sho%ld ta(e the form of a "oherent' $ell2organi8ed essay' $ith
a logi"al str%"t%re that is apparent to the reader. .o% $ill )e graded in part on ho$
effe"ti#ely yo%+re a)le to "omm%ni"ate yo%r ideas in $ritten form' so )e s%re to pay
"lose attention to s%"h details as spelling' grammar' p%n"t%ation' et".