Useful Tips on How to Write a Good Reaction Paper

A response/reaction paper is a piece of writing concentrated on a specific project. When working on this type of assignment, it is necessary to assess the ideas expressed by the author of the analyzed text or examine how this author formulated his/her viewpoint. Using the pronouns in the first person singular form is intrinsic to such papers.

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When composing a reaction paper, you may be required to sum up the information in the examined text (here, it is essential to know how many sentences are in a summary) and produce your reaction to it. By reading the article presented below, you will find out how to cope with both tasks.

Part 1: How Many Sentences Are in a Summary? Uncovering the Details

In order to prepare the first part of your paper, i.e. a summary, you should:

  • Detect both the author and title of the text you are examining. The publisher as well as the publication data have to be included in parentheses. When talking about magazines, mention the publication date.
  • Produce an informative summary of the given text.
  • Shorten the text under examination by illustrating its major points and supporting facts.
  • Use direct quotes to highlight meaningful points.
  • Sum up the content so that readers can get your point and see its key aspects.
  • Avoid discussing any aspects of the assessed work in detail. However, remember to demonstrate the points of immense importance.
  • Make certain that your summary is reasonable and objective. Keep in mind that your personal opinion about the examined matter or your reaction to it should not be provided in the first part of your work. It will serve as a basis for the second part.
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Part 2: How to Write a Good Response Paper: Presenting Your Reaction to the Analyzed Text

When creating the second part of your paper, i.e. producing your reaction, you should:

  • Concentrate on either any or all of the questions provided below. Clarify whether your professor wants you to put stress on some specific points.
  • Which way is the examined work connected with the ideas discussed in a class you are producing a paper for? For instance, what ideas highlighted in the course textbooks and raised during class discussions are emphasized more in the explored work?
  • How is the evaluated piece related to the present-day issues?
  • Is the material you are dealing with connected with your life, ideas and experience? For example, what feelings has the work under examination caused?
  • Is the work helpful in disclosing the essence of the matter which it is focused on? Has it changed your viewpoint?
  • Highlight the value of the investigated piece, i.e. underline the importance of the main ideas, its coherence, organizational mode, and other points.
  • In this section, you are also supposed to state whether you would recommend the analyzed work to others and explain why.
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How to Write a Critical Response Paper to Achieve the Desired Outcome: Main Points to Mind

When working on your piece of writing, you should pay attention to the following items:

  • Consider four major points which each piece of writing is usually based on when creating your paper: integrity, support, consistency, and comprehensiveness.
  • Make sure each paragraph is focused on developing one idea. For instance, the first paragraph may provide a summary of the examined work and the next three paragraphs may show three reactions of the writer that works on creation of a reaction paper to the given book. The final paragraph should conclude the response paper.
  • Uphold your ideas and statements with concrete facts and arguments. Bear in mind that such phrases as “I consider the analyzed book engaging” or “I think there are many interesting points in the book” are useless if they are not supported with powerful evidence. To understand how the supporting data has to be introduced in your response paper, it is good to search for some useful examples online and analyze them.
  • Arrange your piece of writing in the right manner. It is necessary to stick to the structure discussed above, i.e. one paragraph has to present a summary of the evaluated work, then, a couple of paragraphs show your reaction to the book, and one paragraph concludes your writing project. In addition, you should use such transition words as, besides, however, therefore, to connect the expressed ideas with each other and make your paper understandable.
  • Check your paper for grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and spelling errors.
  • Take citations from the text you are examining and include them in your paper. Mind the style you are arranging your piece of writing in. If you have any doubts about the formatting style to apply, ask your professor for advice.
  • The citations may be also presented in the summary and paragraphs where your reaction is performed. However, do not overuse them. Their role is to put stress on the main ideas.
  • The data concerning publishing can be presented either in parentheses or in footnotes. As to the publishing data, ask your professor about the points to be presented and where.

How to Write a Response Paper: Making the Right Organizational Mode

A response paper includes introduction, body and concluding sections.

  • The introductory part should provide general information about the examined work in a couple of paragraphs.
Sentence 1:

Present a title, author and the publication of the explored work in this sentence.

Sentence 2, 3, and 4:

These sentences should provide a concise summary of the analyzed text.

Sentence 5:

This is a thesis statement. Show whether you agree/disagree, or assess the discussed work.

  • The introductory unit should provide a solid thesis consisting of one sentence. This is the key point of your response.
  • The paragraphs of the body section should provide the data supporting your thesis. Each paragraph should highlight one point. An opening sentence should uphold the thesis and the final one should link the current paragraph with the subsequent one.
Topic sentence

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Summary sentence
  • Paragraphs can be arranged in two ways:


in comparison to
  • In conclusion, you can reiterate the points discussed in your work. This is the part of your paper where your general reaction is presented. Remember not to provide any new data in this part.
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To Sum Up

This article highlights both the prewriting and structuring strategies by following which you will understand how to write a response paper to an article or any other work.

●  Prewriting

  • Read an article and write down key points
  • What is your attitude to the ideas expressed by the author?
  • Do you accept the said ideas or not?
  • Have you experienced anything similar?
  • Have you ever heard anything about the issues described by the author?
  • Do the facts support the author’s statements?

●  Structuring

  • Create a thesis statement.
  • Identify the chief points highlighting your ideas. They will serve as opening sentences.
  • Provide examples, citations, etc. to develop your ideas.
  • Ensure the final sentence of each paragraph connects it with the next one.
  • Make certain the opening sentences of every paragraph support your thesis.
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Producing a top-notch reaction (response) paper is quite challenging as you do not just need to read a text and present your viewpoint on it. It is necessary to make a thorough analysis of the book and be fully aware of the matter under consideration. Moreover, it is essential to know where to put a thesis statement, how many paragraphs should be included into this type of assignment, etc. In order to create a worthy piece of writing, you need to have enough time to arrange everything appropriately or using our help writing a response paper.