Reading Response Essay Prompts

This is a sample reading response essay to an article titled “Cell Phones are Dangerous" by Mary Johnson, agreeing with the article and extending one of the ideas.

Intro:

Paragraph 1: Dramatic re-telling of a personal story of picking up my cell phone and then realizing that I am going to crash into another car. Stop the story right before the crash.

Paragraph 2: Like most people, I thought I was a good enough driver to handle using a cell phone while driving. I found out I was wrong. It turns out I’m not unusual. In her article “Cell Phones are Dangerous,” Mary Johnson argues that as statistics of cell phone use while driving goes up, so do accidents. According to Johnson, we should not use our phones while driving and should educate others not to use them either. Johnson cites statistics showing that talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving drunk. Moreover, she points out the increasing number of accidents caused by cell phone use. Her conclusion is that we need to personally decide not to use a cell phone while driving and that we need to educate our friends and family to give up using cell phones while driving too. I agree with Jones that cell phones are dangerous and that we should personally choose to not use one while driving; however, I’d go further than Jones by adding that we need to have laws that prohibit anyone from using cell phones in cars.

Body:

Each of these statements would be the topic sentence of one of the body paragraphs. For the first one, I also give examples of the type of arguments and support I would use to write that paragraph and prove my point.

1. Laws make people realize that cell phone driving is dangerous. (Below is an example of some support I could use to back up this idea—you can use ideas from the article but do not repeat the article.)

  • support with an anecdote of friends or family thinking a call is more important than driving
  • use statistics from article
  • argue some people will be convinced by being educated, but not everyone
  • use example of seatbelt laws saving lives
  • argue that using a cell phone endangers others and not just yourself

2. New technology requires changes in public policy.

3. People in my generation feel obligated to take a call, but if it is illegal to call while driving, they won’t feel that pressure.

4. Using hands-free headsets won’t work because it is the call which is distracting, not holding the phone.

5. This law will save a lot of lives.

Conclusion:

I would return to my personal story and pick it up where I left off. I do crash and there is a lot of damage to my car, but no one is hurt. I can explain my great relief that my cell phone use did not end more tragically, and my personal decision to put my cell phone where I can’t reach it while driving. End with an appeal to the reader to do the same, but to also support legislation to prohibit cell phone use while driving.

Reader Response Questions Help Students Focus and Reflect on Literature



Reader Response Prompts for Fiction
reader response questions
1. Explain a character's problem and then offer your character advice on how to solve his/her problem.

2. Explain how a character is acting and why you think the character is acting that way.

3. From what you've read so far, make predictions about what will happen next and explain what in the text makes you think it will happen.

4. Pick one character and explain why you would/would not like to have him/her as a friend.

5. Describe and explain why you would/would not like to have lived in the time or place of the story.

6. What real-life people or events are you reminded of by characters or events in the story? Explain why.

7. Write about what would happen if you brought one of your characters to school or home for a day.

8. Pick a scene in which you disagreed how a character handled a situation/person and rewrite it in the way you think it should have happened.

9. What quality of which character strikes you as a good characteristic to develop within yourself over the years? Why? How does the character demonstrate this quality?

10. Who tells the story? Is this the best person to tell it? Why?

11. How would the story be different if told through another character's eyes?

12. Why do you think the author wrote this story?

13. If you were the author, would you have ended the story in a different way? Why? How so?

14. How does the character's actions affect other people in the story?

15. How does the author provide information or details to make the story seem realistic?

16. How does the author help you feel that you are really there (in both realistic stories and fantasy)?

17. Do you have any unanswered questions about the story? Explain.

18. Copy an interesting/confusing/important/enjoyable passage and explain why you chose it.

19. From what you've read so far, make predictions about what will happen next and explain what in the text makes you think it will happen.



Reader Response Prompts for Nonfiction
reader response questions
20. Copy a short passage that you found to be interesting. Explain what made it interesting for you.

21. Write a summary of what you read in your book today.

22. Explain some of the things that you have learned so far that you are not likely to forget in the near future.

23. Write to inform us about the author. What other articles and/or books has the author written? Is he/she one of your favorite authors, and if so, why?

24. What ideas might you have for turning this work of nonfiction into a work of fiction? Give a brief summary of what your story might be like.

25. Explain the basic information that is being presented in terms of the 5W's: Who? What? When? Where? Why?





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