This is a five-page document full of different statements that can be made about a story's plot, theme, setting, characters, climax, narrative voice, pace, dialogue, and denouement.
The standardized test in Connecticut (the CAPT) requires students to write a response to literature in which students analyze whether or not a story is an effective piece of literature. I found that my students didn't have the language to articulate their aesthetic reactions to stories, and I created this sheet to help them understand how they could use more formal language to express their reactions. This helped students move beyond statements like, Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½This story is boring because it just is.Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ The impact of this sheet was dramatic. Initially, I had students write response to literature essays with the assistance of this sheet, and little by little I weaned them off this support. The students ended up internalizing these different criticisms, and often students were able to synthesize their own articulate critiques once this sheet gave them a sense of what a valuable critique sounds like.