Active Listening Response Techniques

Name of respondent: ________________________________________________
Name of author:  ___________________________________________________

First, read the paper through carefully, at least twice. Write a thick, specific paragraph of response to each question.

1. Active Listening:

“Sayback” the gist of one particular idea (or more) that you hear in the piece.

Sample active listening prompts:
“You are writing about?”
“What I hear in this piece is …”.
“I see you [or hear you] doing/wanting/talking about …”.
“What I hear is …”.
“So what I hear you saying is …”.
“I got the idea that …”.
“I think that you’re interested in …”.
“It looks like you want to talk about …”.

2.  What works well? Explain why.

(Examples: a line, series of images, insight, character, point of view, virtually any element of CNF.)

3.  What still needs more work?  Explain why.

One (or maybe two) places where you as the reader want to know more, are confused, lose interest, or find something that strikes you as off.

4.  Checking in.

Does the writer need anything further to move the piece forward?

[Adapted from Perl & Schwartz, Writing True (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) 89.]


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