Outside Reading: The Reader Response Log
As part of your outside reading, you are responsible to keep a read response log.
Why do I have to do this?
As a journalism student, you should be naturally curious. This outside reading assignment will allow you to explore some aspect(s) of the journalism field -- issues, style, or great journalism classics. Your log is evidence that you are making an effort to connect to the book, think about its influence on the field, or how it exemplifies (or defies) journalism expectations. The log also demonstrates active reading.
How much is this worth?
This will be worth a project grade.
Where† should I keep this reader response log?
You may use your notebook for class, but create a section in the back of the notebook. The easiest way to do this (since you donít know how many pages you will need) is to flip the book the upside down and work backwards. The alternative is to create a new notebook and keep a separate journal.
What do I need to write?
For each chapter *(or approximately 25 pages), you should have a one to two page entry.
1. Explain how you chose your book.
2. Explain how this exemplifies or defies what you expect from journalism.
3. Write a memory or experience of your own that is similar to something youíve read in your book. Be sure to summarize what is in the book first! Use a style of journalistic writing to write about your experience: news, personal experience feature, profile (third person), editorial, etc.
4. Make a long list of questions you have for the author or in general (that are related to the content of the book). Keep a couple of pages blank and add to the list as you read.
5. Write a reaction to something you have read.
6. Relate the content of what you read to something that is currently happening in the news.
7. Write a brief summary (roughly a paragraph) that covers the chapterís content. Then, write a reader response. In this part, comment on the emotions you felt, the authorís use of bias, description, etc.Ė basically, anything that you note about the writing, good, bad, or indifferent. Offer suggestions as to how the writing sections could have been better from your POV.
8. Become a subject of your book. Write a reaction from that point of view. Choose your audience.
9. Write a news story on a chapter or event in the book.
10. Write an interview between you and the main subject of the book, question and answer format.
11. Illustrate a scene or draw a map or symbol that reflects a section of the book. Provide a brief summary to explain.
12. Comment on the authorís technique: choice of words or the way he or she tells a story. Do you admire the way the author writes? Why or why not?
13. Do you think the title of this book is a good one? Why or why not? Please explain as thoroughly as possible. What might be a better title?
14. Discuss a memorable scene from the book. Explain why it is memorable. Analyze the style of writing from a journalistic standpoint.
15. Write out a timeline of major events in the book. Why are these pivotal moments?
16. Find a review of the book you are reading and discuss your reaction to it. (Go to amazon.com, for instance.) Clip the review and paste to entry.
17. What book would you like to read next? Why? Relate to journalism.
18. Write a statement that could be considered a thesis statement for the book. Find five quotes form the book and copy them down, explaining how each supports the thesis statement you wrote.
19. What hasnít been addressed that you would have like to have seen? Explain.
20. Research the subject and compare your findings to what the book covered.
21. Research the author. What did you find? How might this explain the book? How do these findings relate to your chapter?
22. What did this book do your perception of journalism and/or journalists?
23. Other ideas?