DO NOT RETELL THE STORY! Do I need to repeat that? Do not retell the story. You should only tell about something that happens in the story if you are going to also explain your reaction in the same sentence. For example, "The Sentinel walked into the bedroom and returned Duffy's Jacket," is not appropriate for a response to the story. Instead, you could say, "When the Sentinel walked into the room and gave Duff'y jacket back I laughed out loud. It reminded me of a student trying to avoid a teacher because he or she doesn't have their homework done, when the teacher is trying to tell them that they can hand it in tomorrow."
Instead, your writing should describe how you felt about the story while you were reading it and how you feel about it now. You should do some (or even all) of the following
- Make connections with your own experience. What does the story make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?
- Make connections with other stories or events. Do you see any similarities between this text and other? Does it bring to mind other related issues?
- Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, "I wonder why..." or "I'm having trouble understanding how..." or "It perplexes me that..." or "I was surprised when ...."