A creative response is a text that you create in response to another text or set of texts, in order to show your understanding of that text and a text type. Imagine writing several diary entries from the perspective of a character from a novel or play. Imagine writing a letter of complaint in response to an offensive advertising campaign. Imagine writing a news article on events that unfold in a novel. Imagine writing an opinion column in the style of an actual columnist. Good creative responses show an understanding of both the stimulus text(s) and the text type that you are trying to emulate. The type of text that you choose to write should be appropriate for showing your understanding of the stimulus text the intentions of the (imaginary) author. Your teacher may let you chose from a list of text types. Your creative response should be between 800 and 1,000 words, of which at least 200 words are used on used to describe the WHY, HOW and SO WHAT in your portfolio. Use the assessment rubric below to evaluate your work.
Model portfolio entry
WHAT: here is the news article that I created in response to The Great Gatsby.
Mystery shrouds death of Jay Gatsby
26 October, 1922
Peter Parker for the New York Post
Businessman and socialite gunned down in his own swimming pool.
NEW YORK - Police have confirmed the identity of the body found earlier today in the swimming pool of the Gatsby estate in West Egg to be that of entrepreneur and socialite Jay Gatsby. Authorities are operating on the theory that he was murdered by auto-mechanic George Wilson, whose body was found in the woods near the estate. Wilson is thought to have murdered Gatsby out of revenge before turning the same revolver on himself.
The murder-suicide comes after Myrtle Wilson, George Wilson’s wife, was killed in a hit-and-run incident on the previous evening outside her husband’s gas station near Flushing in the ‘Valley of Ashes’. Witnesses claim that the perpetrator drove a yellow Rolls Royce.
During the investigation of the Gatsby murder, police discovered a yellow Rolls Royce with bloodstains and a broken headlight on the premises of the Gatsby estate. It is unclear, however, if Mr. Gatsby was personally involved in the hit-and-run incident, as witnesses claim to have seen a woman driving the automobile. The identity of the woman remains unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.
Jay Gatsby was last seen leaving the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan on 25 October around 7 p.m. He had rented a suite there for the afternoon. From his suite, a heated argument was heard by guests. Receptionists confirm that he left the suite with a woman in a fit of rage.
Persons with information on the murder of Mr. Gatsby and Mrs. Wilson are asked to come forward and provide local authorities with this information to assist investigations further.
Little is known about Jay Gatsby, despite the lavish parties that were hosted at his West Egg mansion. It is believed that his extravagant lifestyle was financed by a flourishing business in the illegal distribution of alcohol. One acquaintance of Gatsby’s, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims to have seen Gatsby with New York crime kingpin Meyer Wolfsheim, though this cannot be confirmed.
To some, Jay Gatsby was known as an ‘Oxford Man’, though there is no record of him attending any college in Oxford, England. Sources within the US Army, however, confirm that he received a scholarship to attend schooling in Oxford after his valiant efforts in the Great War. Drafted into the Army, Gatsby quickly rose to the rank of Major. Rumors that Gatsby was a German spy appear to be ill-founded.
Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick Carraway, had this to say about him: “Gatsby was misunderstood by many, but he was a good man with a clear focus.” When asked what captured the focus of this aloof, though well-known man, Carraway, answered vaguely. “His focus was on the past, and regaining what he had lost years ago. But it was in vain. He was like a boat rowing against the tide. And the world of Old Money will never give an inch to people like Jay Gatsby, people with New Money. They have to row their own boat. And for Gatsby, he simply wasn’t strong enough.”
It is thought that Jay Gatsby is survived by none. Any family members or relatives are asked to make themselves known to the County of Great Neck.
An estate-sale will be organized by Nick Carraway and friend Jordan Baker on the 1st of November. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the Golf for Youth Foundation, of which Ms. Baker is the founder.
An open funeral will be held at Great Neck Memorial on October 31st at 3 p.m.
WHY: In class we read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I really liked. The movie, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, also inspired me to write a creative response about it. I think I am going to write my Paper 2 essay about The Great Gatsby and so this creative response has been done as a kind of preparation for my exams. We also studied news articles in class and the language of reporting, so I wanted to show my understanding of text type.
HOW: I talked to my teacher in preparation for this activity. When I said that I wanted to do my creative response on Gatsby, he said that the news article might be a good text type for it, because there were so many dramatic events, like the murder of Gatsby and Myrtle. I re-read the last chapters with this idea of writing a news article in mind. I also studied the language of news articles and found that they used the present perfect a lot and the passive voice. I wanted to imitate this style in my piece by writing from the perspective of a journalist, who did not know who killed Myrtle or Gatsby. I also wanted to squeeze Nick Carraway into the piece too, so I pretended that the police interviewed him after the murders.
SO WHAT: I really enjoyed this assignment. In fact, my sister, who works on the school newspaper, read it and she suggested that I write for the school newspaper too. I don't know about that, but I'm happy I did it. I also feel like I have a better understanding of the novel now, in preparation for my Paper 2 exam next May. I also feel I did well on the assessment rubric, giving myself a 3 on criteria A, a 6 on B and a 7 on B (because I really nailed the text type, I think).