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How to write a response paper: Tips for students

Various ways of writing a response essay can be found as this kind of writing involves different processes such as analysis, evaluating, and giving the personal reaction on the article or book. The portion of the paper, which you allot to one or another method, can be different and that is why you should better clarify the prescribed requirements from your instructor. We have prepared some general tips about writing a response and reaction paper.

Tip #1: What are you responding to?

  • First of all, make sure you have enough information about the source you are giving your reaction to.
  • Create a short summary of what you have read.
  • Indicate the main information about it: author, title of the book or article, year of issue, publisher etc.
  • Specify the main topic of the reading piece in just a phrase.
  • Tell about writer’s purpose and thesis. The essential points are why he created the piece and what he states in it, mainly.
  • In brief, you should also note the author’s most significant supporting details.

Tip #2: Analyze and evaluate.

  • Here you should criticize and praise the ideas of the author.
  • Your aim is to demonstrate the understanding of the strong and weak places.
  • Think of the question like:
  1. What does the writer focus his attention on?
  2. Does he overlook on any points?
  3. Was that piece of reading convincing or not?
  4. Which arguments were persuasive and which of them you could substitute by better ones?
  5. Does the author take into account counterarguments and show a balanced opinion on the concept? Or is he one-sided regarding the issues raised?
  6. Does the writer reveal the problem fully or leaves the obscure places?

Tip #3: React and Respond.

  1. The last part of your paper’s body should tell about your reaction.
  2. The purpose of this part is to disclose your impressions and experiences.
  3. Here such question can be answered:
  • Did the paper get you interested and why?
  • Was it a pleasure for you to read the piece or was it annoying?
  • Which parts triggered some questions?
  • Did the reading bring the realization of some concepts, notions, or processes?
  • Would you like to investigate some problems from it deeper?
  • Does the piece correlated with any other book or article you have read previously? In which way?

Some more pieces of advice:

-          Create a strong introductory sentence: this is the component that attracts the reader and guarantees his attention.

-          Dedicate enough time to your conclusion. It should prove your thesis statement and synthesize points you were writing about.

-          Make sure to re-read and revise your paper. Check it for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

-          The essay should have organized structure and clear statements.

-          Do not forget about transitions. They will provide logical exposition and make your paper flow.

-          Do not be afraid to express personal opinion. This is the thing you are asked for in this kind of writing.

-          Be creative! Let the writing be easy and fun for you!

Keywords: response paper, reaction paper, essay, paper, writing, write, tips, advice.

 

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