The assignment of writing a response or reaction paper is often given to students of various departments. As a rule, such papers aim to show your perception of a certain work of literature, film, or event and show what you personally found interesting in it. Since your position has to be supported with arguments, writing reactions often include some discussion that sometimes continues the topic of the analyzed work. Some students enjoy working on such tasks, others find them meaningless and exhausting, and we think that the secret lies in the approaches they use to do the assignment. A properly organized work process with a positive attitude and a few tricks can make this task easy and pleasant.
Reaction paper writing is that writing one does following the reading of a book, journal or article to give a commentary about the other writer’s work. Also known as a response paper, reaction paper writing is an important aspect of college life. Professors assign it to help develop their students’ critical thinking skills.
When doing reaction paper writing, it is crucial to develop one’s position early on in the paper, and then to discuss, argue, or expand on that position. One might agree with a specific point the author is trying to make. However, there might be something additional that you would like to add to make the point even more enthralling. The writer of the response paper can also completely disagree with the original author and use the opportunity to explain why.
Writing a Response or Reaction Paper: How to Handle It Right
The first thing you need to understand about a response paper is that it can never be superficial. In order to show your personal view on the analyzed movie or book, you need to go deeper, find the implied meanings and signs, analyze the tools used by the author, and make your subjective assumptions and comments.
While every definition of reaction paper will tell you that such tasks involve writing what you think about the subject, it is not mentioned anywhere that you also need to express what you feel about it. Including the emotional element into your analysis, showing how the work made you feel can make your paper much more personal and individual, which is always a plus.
Here are some tips and tricks to assist one in writing a response to a book. This is a general idea that will help clarify the entire process:
- The writers should determine his or her attitude to the text prior to writing it. Things to consider are its basic aspects: the writing style of the author, the main idea that the author tries to convey to the reading audience and other pertinent points that may be of interest to the reader.
- When one reads the written text, jots down some notes, and marks the paragraphs that seem particularly interesting this can help keep the paper balanced and well organized
- The writer should attempt to pay as much attention to the original work’s details as possible. However, it is also important to remain original in their interpretation. Only the author understands what he or she wanted to say about the topic.
- Try to note the various stylistic devices that the author uses at all levels. These can include metaphors, similes, and parallel construction devices. The student may either concentrate your attention on these things or simply make it obvious that they have been noted.
- When a student is assigned a response essay by a professor, the teacher is doing this so that he or she can observe how his or her students think critically and interpret the original writing.
At any given point, the professor has already read similar works dozens of times over. Therefore, it is important that the student write something unique, even if it is based on assumption. This is the best way to catch the professor’s attention.
These types of essays differ according to their exact assignments. Generally speaking, an outline is will be similar to this:
- Thesis statement. This is where the writer states what he or she intends to write about.
- The Body of the work. This is the part in which the writers elaborate on his or her thesis.
- Conclusion. This is the section in which the writer should readdress the beginning of the piece, state why he or she has adopted a point of view, and to summarize the most important aspects.
Reaction Paper Format
A significant part of working on your reaction paper is formatting it in accordance with the professor’s requirements. The referencing style should be agreed with your teacher, so make sure to clarify this aspect before writing. Referencing matters a lot here, as writing a response or reaction paper often requires using direct and indirect quotes as supporting evidence for your ideas. Make sure to cite all the information correctly and include the most informative and impressive quotes. As for the general paper’s organization, it should consist of such sections as Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. At the end of your introduction, include a thesis statement, which will serve as your main message to the readers.
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