A personal reading response needs to feel and sound like “you” speaking at your very best. A personal response needs to be both honest and “thoughtful.” Being thoughtful means that you are careful and considered in your writing. Use this rubric when you are asked to or want to craft a brief, yet full-bodied, personal response to a piece of literature.
Read the descriptions of each step of the rubric on the left side, and then insert your sentences into the boxes on the right side of the rubric. When you are completed, cut and paste the full piece into a separate document.
8: Proofread, Edit, & Publish: Cut and paste each section to create a single document. Proofread carefully, edit and revise as needed, and publish in whatever way required by the editor, publisher, or teacher.
Notes on Writing a Literary Reflection
Writing without reading is like an egg without a yolk: the nutrients are there, but the flavor is lacking. Usually, when we finish reading something, we put it away on the shelf and convince ourselves we are impressed, amazed, indifferent, or profoundly moved. The literary reflection (often called a “reading response”) is an offshoot of the personal reflection because it does not try and criticize and take apart a writing piece solely on its literary merits, but rather it "talks" (narrative writing from your point of view) about something you have read. When writing a reflection it is more effective when you respond on a purely emotional and intellectual personal level.
There is almost no reason to write a literary reflection about something which you didn't like or enjoy reading (that is what a book review is for) but sometimes you have to, such as when asked by a teacher or an editor. From my point of view, you should only write literary reflections about literature that you feel is important for other people to read because you want them—your readers—to experience the same magic that you experienced. It's like being on a whale watch boat and someone shouts out "There's a whale," and everyone turns to see the whale for his or herself! Your shipmates all appreciate your attentiveness, and in turn, you are pleased to point out the magnificence of the moment to them—and everyone is happy.
In almost every way, a literary reflection is written using the same techniques for writing as you would use when writing a personal narrative story. This is because your reading of a piece of literature is a unique personal experience; and, as such, it is impossible to be wrong about how you think and feel and react to a story—unless (and don’t do this) you create a fictional response to the story. However, in some ways, a literary reflection is also like a review or an analysis because you should give your readers a bit of a summary and a bit of an analysis of the story that shows you have read the literature in a deep and meaningful way.
The best way to start is to simply write out whatever your head is thinking, and then go back and revise your writing so that it reads as sincere heart to heart (and heart to head) conversation with your audience.