Dialogue With a Text

Using the essay you chose and your summary of it, begin conversing with the text. Begin by asking the author what her thesis is.

Q: What is your main claim in this article?
Q: What do you mean by (insert words that you don't understand)?
Q: I didn't really understand (insert confusing part here).
Q: What did you mean by saying this?

Now pick one point the essay that you felt strongly about. Paraphrase it till you know you understand it well. Clarify any confusing parts.

Q: What values underlie your perspective on this one point? Why do you think the way you do?
(Can you press that question further? What implications might follow from what the author is proposing? How would the author respond?)

"Try to remember that your point is not to attack or defend, but to probe--to uncover the uncomfortable spots that make both questioner and answerer think harder." --Aims