● identify the authors’ arguments and assumptions, discussing their strengths and weaknesses;
● develop points which respond to the authors’ arguments;
● draw connections between the text you are writing about and other present situations;
● connect the reading to today’s world, showing how the authors’ concerns are or aren’t still relevant;
● discuss what you found useful in the reading or the ways that it has changed your thinking;
● note any questions the text raised for you;
and just generally tell me about your intellectual response to the reading (you may also talk about your emotional response, if you like, but you can’t simply tell me that you hate something or love something; you must discuss why you react to the text the way you do).
Start each paper with an introductory paragraph that lets the reader know the purpose of the paper—that you’ll be discussing whichever text it is (Redstockings Manifesto, )—and the specific things you plan to do in the rest of the paper (such as identify what you thought were the most important arguments, connect the text to current problems, etc.) Begin each of the body paragraphs with a topic sentence that makes clear what the paragraph’s purpose or main idea is.
Be specific when you write—point out particular passages from the text and the particular arguments that you are responding to.
You may use the first person (“I”) if you want to, though you do not have to.