Skip to content

4.1 Do you like it? Developing a personal response

4.1.1 What I like

Texts: two texts of own choosing

One of the most important things you learn in English is how to refine your personal response to texts. A personal response is far from reacting impulsively to a text or reading anything into it that you want to. None of us has that degree of freedom. Our response needs to be grounded in the text and suppor ted by evidence from that text. So while there are different readings of a text, the readings usually correspond to those of certain communities of readers.

Review the texts you have encountered in this unit, choose one that works for you and explain your personal response to it. Use the following table to guide you through your personal response.

Key Questions

Who? What? What elements of the text invite this?
Experience? Situation? Age? Gender? Culture?
Involvement in the world of the text? The pleasure of its beauty, complexity or simplicity? Needing to analyse it for an English lesson?
At which point of the text?
The English class? Teenagers? Females/males? Theoretical position?

4.1.2 Being critical about my personal response

Now choose an advertisement that you find unconvincing, annoying or that interferes with the intended message because you react negatively to it. Identify the aspects of the text that make you resist its message by explaining and analysing your own personal response. To assist you in this, complete the grid below in which the key ideas of reader-response theories have been framed as guiding questions.

Unconvincing advertisement

Key Questions

Who? What? What elements of the text invite this?
Experience? Situation? Age? Gender? Culture?
Involvement in the world of the text? The pleasure of its beauty, complexity or simplicity? Needing to analyse it for an English lesson?
At which point in the texts?
The English class? Teenagers? Females/males? Theoretical position?

Last update: 19th September 2014