You will notice that the author gives a list of seven items (identified by lower-case letters) which you should think about.
This is NOT an outline for your paper! You should not plan on merely answering these seven questions as if this were a tax form!
These seven items are designed to stimulate your thinking so you can produce a finished essay. They are not a questionnaire. You have not finished writing when you have answered all the questions.
A reader response asks the reader [you] to examine, explain and defend her/his personal reaction to a reading. You will be asked to explore why you like or dislike the reading, explain whether you agree or disagree with the author, identify the reading's purpose, and critique the text. There is no right or wrong answer to a reader response. Nonetheless, it is important that you demonstrate an understanding of the reading and clearly explain and support your reactions.
DO NOT use the standard high school-level approach of just writing: "I liked this book (or article or document or movie) because it is so cool and the ending made me feel happy," or "I hated it because it was stupid, and had nothing at all to do with my life, and was too negative and boring."
In writing a response you may assume the reader has already read the text. Thus, do NOT summarize the contents of the text at length. Instead, take a systematic, analytical approach to the text.
First of all, be sure to mention the title of the work to which you are responding, the author, and the main thesis of the text, using correct English for the first sentence of your paper!
Then, try to answer ALL of the questions below.
Allen's Comment: All of the material above counts as prewriting/gathering. You were searching for something to say and the material to back it up. Now you need to make a point (thesis) about the piece you are responding to. A response that merely gives seven bullet-point body paragraphs isn't making a point and probably has no unity—and will probably get a grade in the C− to D range.
Your first draft is just that, and you should expect to re-write your work several times before you consider it completed. This means you should start your writing project in advance of the due date, in order to allow yourself enough time to revise your work. Ask someone else to read your draft(s) and write their comments and suggestions on how you might improve the work directly on your drafts.
The goal is to present a coherent essay with a clear argument. ...[Y]ou should state your general argument (your thesis) in an introductory paragraph and then use the rest of the essay to support your position, making sure that you deal carefully with each of the issues the questions raise somewhere in the paper.
When writing a reader response, write as an educated adult, addressing other adults or fellow scholars. As a beginning scholar, if you write that something has nothing to do with you or does not pass your "Who cares?" test, but many other people think that it is important and great, readers will probably not agree with you that the text is dull or boring, but they may conclude instead that you are dull and boring, that you are too immature or uneducated to understand what important things the author wrote.
If you did not like a text, that is fine, but criticize it either from principle (it is racist, or it unreasonably puts down religion or women or working people or young people or gays or Texans or plumbers, it includes factual errors or outright lies, it is too dark and despairing, or it is falsely positive) or from form (it is poorly written, it contains too much verbal "fat," it is too emotional or too childish, has too many facts and figures or has many typo's in the text, or wanders around without making a point). In each of these cases, do not simply criticize, but give examples. But, always beware, as a beginning scholar, of criticizing any text as "confusing" or "crazy," since readers might simply conclude that you are too ignorant or slow to understand and appreciate it!
Williamson, Owen M. "How to Write a Reader Response." English 0310 Reading and Communication Skills, U of Texas at El Paso, July 2006, utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl0310link/readerresponse.htm. Accessed 2 July 2019.