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Each semester, you will probably be asked by at least one instructor to read a book or an article (or watch a TV show or a film) and to write a paper recording your response or reaction to the material. In these reports—often referred to as response or reaction papers—your instructor will most likely expect you to do two things: summarize the material and detail your reaction to it. The following pages explain both parts of a report.
PART 1: A SUMMARY OF THE WORK
To develop the first part of a report, do the following:
- Identify the author and title of the work and include in parentheses the publisher and publication date. For magazines, give the date of publication.
- Write an informative summary of the material.
- Condense the content of the work by highlighting its main points and key supporting points.
- Use direct quotations from the work to illustrate important ideas.
- Summarize the material so that the reader gets a general sense of all key aspects of the original work.
- Do not discuss in great detail any single aspect of the work, and do not neglect to mention other equally important points.
- Also, keep the summary objective and factual. Do not include in the first part of the paper your personal reaction to the work; your subjective impression will form the basis of the second part of your paper.
PART 2: YOUR REACTION TO THE WORK
To develop the second part of a report, do the following:
- Focus on any or all of the following questions. Check with your instructor to see if s/he wants you to emphasize specific points.
- How is the assigned work related to ideas and concerns discussed in the course for which you are preparing the paper? For example, what points made in the course textbook, class discussions, or lectures are treated more fully in the work?
- How is the work related to problems in our present-day world?
- How is the material related to your life, experiences, feelings and ideas? For instance, what emotions did the work arouse in you?
- Did the work increase your understanding of a particular issue? Did it change your perspective in any way?
- Evaluate the merit of the work: the importance of its points, its accuracy, completeness, organization, and so on.
- You should also indicate here whether or not you would recommend the work to others, and why.
POINTS OF CONSIDERATION WHEN WRITING THE REPORT
Here are some important elements to consider as you prepare a report:
- Apply the four basic standards of effective writing (unity, support, coherence, and clear, error-free sentences) when writing the report.
- Make sure each major paragraph presents and then develops a single main point. For example, in the sample report that follows, the first paragraph summarizes the book, and the three paragraphs that follow detail three separate reactions of the student writer to the book. The student then closes the report with a short concluding paragraph.
- Support any general points you make or attitudes you express with specific reasons and details. Statements such as "I agree with many ideas in this article" or "I found the book very interesting" are meaningless without specific evidence that shows why you feel as you do. Look at the sample report closely to see how the main point or topic sentence of each paragraph is developed by specific supporting evidence.
- Organize your material. Follow the basic plan of organization explained above: a summary of one or more paragraphs, a reaction of two or more paragraphs, and a conclusion. Also, use transitions to make the relationships among ideas in the paper clear.
- Edit the paper carefully for errors in grammar, mechanics, punctuation, word use, and spelling.
- Cite paraphrased or quoted material from the book or article you are writing about, or from any other works, by using the appropriate documentation style. If you are unsure what documentation style is required or recommended, ask you instructor.
- You may use quotations in the summary and reaction parts of the paper, but do not rely on them too much. Use them only to emphasize key ideas.
- Publishing information can be incorporated parenthetically or at the bottom of the page in a footnote. Consult with your instructor to determine what publishing information is necessary and where it should be placed.
A SAMPLE RESPONSE OR REACTION PAPER
Here is a report written by a student in an introductory psychology course. Look at the paper closely to see how it follows the guidelines for report writing described above.
Part 1: Summary
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How to Write a Reaction Paper: Ultimate Guide with Sample
What is Reaction Paper: Defining the Term
What would be the most desired complement for the pieces you create if you were a writer or an artist? Would it be 'Amazing,' 'Wonderful,' or 'Captivating'? The art we come across daily that could be defined as 'Amazing' and 'Wonderful' are many in quantity. Therefore, they do not occupy our minds for a very long time and get lost in the pile of commonness.
'Thought-provoking,' on the other hand, is what every creator strives for. Thought-provoking pieces make us react to what we absorb and live rent-free in our minds. In an academic setting, a piece would not become a subject for discussion unless it makes people react to them. In this article, we will discuss what is reaction paper and how to write it.
A reaction paper is a written response to a book, article, movie, or other media form. It involves the writer's thoughts and feelings about the work and an analysis of its themes, characters, and other elements. The purpose of a reaction paper is to help the writer reflect on and critically evaluate the work and to communicate their insights and opinions to others.
A reaction paper typically comes with instructions that can be found in the course syllabus. You need to pay attention to the structure, grammar, and citations. Make sure you understand the requirements to avoid writing a Chicago-style reaction paper instead of an APA reaction paper.
In the article, you will find all the helpful tips for writing a perfect piece. Don't forget to explore our sample of reaction paper too.
How to Write a Reaction Paper: Helpful Tips
To write a reaction paper, it's crucial to approach the task with an open mind, actively engage with the material, and clearly articulate your thoughts and feelings. Unlike other academic assignments, a response paper requires you to stay focused on personal opinions, which makes it a relatively easy task. You just need to master its essence and general structure.
Next, we are going to offer you some helpful tips on how to write a reaction paper. If your due date is close, you can get help from our essay writing service online .
Understand the Point of a Reaction Paper
Even outside of the academic world, sharing unstructured opinions about something you do not know does not set a pleasant tone. When you share your personal opinion, people expect you to understand the subject well.
Make sure you understand what the goal of the reaction paper is. So next time you decide to write a psychology reaction paper, you deliver what readers expect – valuable, balanced analysis.
The goal of reaction papers is for students to develop critical thinking skills. A writer does not just react to a text but carefully analyzes the strength and weaknesses of the text, the author's intentions and thoughts, and whether the text accomplishes its objectives.
Understanding the point of the reaction paper helps to ensure that you stay within the scope of the assignment and do not stray into irrelevant or unrelated material. It also allows you to focus your response on the most pertinent aspects of the text and to present your personal opinion sharply and logically.
Read the Text Right After It Has Been Assigned
Yes, the assignment asks for your reaction but not for an immediate one. Our first thoughts tend to be ambiguous, biased, and sometimes wrong. We need a certain amount of time to form our final opinions about the things we interact with.
Start absorbing the material right after you have been assigned to write a response essay. Give yourself time for thoughtful consideration. Read and reread, and research until you understand every part of it, from the author's objectives to how they executed it. Take notes and balance your perspective.
Make sure you develop a strong reaction statement that is thoughtful and not hot-headed. Gather the information that will support your arguments and structure them well. It should look more like a review and less like a comment on a movie website.
Speaking of films, below you will find a movie reaction paper example. You can also check out our article about discursive essay format .
Make a Note of Your Early Reactions
It is important to make notes of your first reaction. It helps you capture your initial thoughts and emotions on the subject. These early reactions are often the rawest and most honest representation of your feelings and can provide valuable insight into your perspective.
Writing down early reactions can also help you organize your ideas and identify key points you want to explore in your academic paper. Keep writing down your thoughts as you investigate the subject more to see how your ideas progress. It will help you ground your text in your personal experience and make the thesis clear. A meaningful and authentic reflection of your thoughts is what your instructor desires.
Knowing how a certain piece of art makes you feel and why is essential to the writing process. Keeping track of personal reactions can help you identify biases and preconceived notions. By acknowledging and examining your own biases, you can better understand your perspective and write a more balanced and nuanced paper. It can also help you identify areas where you need further research.
Check out our example of a reaction paper about a movie below and see all the tips above at work.
Select a Perspective
A perspective is a point of view that guides your analysis and provides a structure for your response paper. Selecting a perspective ensures that your paper is focused, organized, and offers insightful thoughts.
Before you start writing, consider different ways of looking at the topic and identify which perspective you feel most closely reflects your feelings. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the selected perspective.
Getting into the author's shoes is never a bad idea. Think about the motif behind the piece, why the author structured it the way they did, and their objectives. This will allow you to see things clearly and put your analytical skills to craft a good reaction paper.
Before we start discussing the reaction paper template, there are a few more tips to share, so keep on reading. Or you can simply say ' do my homework for me ' and our professional writers will take the matter into their hands.
Define Your Thesis
A thesis statement acts as a roadmap for the rest of the paper and helps to guide the reader through the analysis. Defining your thesis is crucial because it provides a clear and concise statement of the main idea of a response paper. It can also help you stay on track and address the intended purpose.
Defining a thesis statement can be the most challenging task of writing a reaction paper. Start by gathering all the ideas and main points. Identify the notion you find most appealing. Consider its strengths and shortcomings and whether it effectively communicates the main idea.
Try to capture your thoughts in a single sentence that blossoms into a meaningful response essay.
Organize Your Sections
Gather scattered thoughts and give them structure. Response papers that are not properly organized fail to capture readers' attention and often cause frustration.
Avoid common mistakes and write a reaction paper that is easy to follow. Readers will better understand your argument and follow the flow of your analysis.
Create an outline that provides a clear framework for your response paper, including all the main sections and sub-sections. Give them a logical sequence. Start each section with a topic sentence followed by supporting facts, including quotes or examples. Then provide personal opinion and support it with a thorough analysis. Repeat these steps for each section.
Our short reaction paper example will show you how to structure your reaction essays.
Write the Final Version
The first draft is not going to do it. It will take you several tries to get your reaction essay right. The last version should have a strong thesis and be well-structured and polished.
The final version of the paper should be double-checked to ensure that it meets the requirements of the academic assignment and the expectations of your audience. Reread your response paper to make sure that you have a clear perspective, your arguments are logical and supported with facts, and they follow a strong structure.
Look for mistakes. If you find a section where you simply retell the text instead of offering your opinion and critically analyzing it, rewrite the piece until it makes perfect sense. The text should be unique but unbiased.
Writing such assignments may seem boring, but to make things easier for you, we decided to offer you how to write a reaction paper example that you can find below.
Check Your Paper for Spelling and Grammar
Whether you are writing an argumentative essay or reaction essays, you should always have grammar in mind. A strong reaction statement and unique personal opinions won't matter if the sentences are not readable.
Check your grammar and spelling before submitting a reaction paper because these errors can detract from the overall quality of your piece. Grammatical errors can also indicate a lack of attention to detail, making it less likely that your paper will be taken seriously and achieve its intended purpose.
Poor grammar and spelling can negatively impact the reader's perception of your writing skills and ability to analyze and communicate complex ideas. Correct grammar can help you increase credibility and ensure that your thoughts and feelings on the subjects are effectively communicated and understood.
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Reaction Paper Outline
Now that you know all the little tips and tricks that go into writing a reaction paper, it's time to learn about its general outline. This will help you structure your response essay to create an easy flow, and your readers will be able to follow your complex thoughts.
A reaction paper outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section serves its purpose and is equally important. Each unit must meet the basic standards of written assignment, make specific points, and credit direct quotations using reaction paper APA format or other citing styles.
Reaction Paper Introduction
Putting pen to paper is always the hardest part of the writing process. But crafting a compelling text should not be a big challenge if you know how to start a reaction paper.
The introduction of a reaction paper is a vital aspect that sets the tone for the rest of the piece. A well-written introduction should provide background information, state the paper's purpose, and introduce the thesis statement. Remember, the introduction should not be too long. Don't risk boring the readers.
To write an effective introduction:
- Start by providing relevant context for the topic.
- Include an informative summary of the background information relevant to your analysis.
- Continue with clearly expressing the purpose of the paper.
- Explain what you hope to achieve and why.
- Finish your introduction by presenting a thesis statement that encapsulates your personal opinion and the paper's main points.
Reaction Paper Body
Next on the reaction papers format is the body paragraphs. After the compelling introduction, you are also expected to continue effective writing in the main body. This is where you share your honest thoughts on the major points and explain your stance.
As mentioned in our main tips, you must divide all your ideas into separate sections. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence reflecting the section's main theme. Briefly summarize the single aspect of the book or article you are about to discuss. Next, share your feelings about it and explain them. Support your ideas using quotes from reliable sources, and don't forget to cite them properly. Try to connect your reactions to the broader context.
Conclude each paragraph with a summary of your thoughts and feelings and connect them to the paper's main theme.
Do you wonder how to write a reaction paper to a video? The reaction paper format that this article provides works for any response essay and gets you high grades.
Reaction Paper Conclusion
The final aspect of the reaction paper format is an impressive conclusion. This is your final opportunity to gather up your thoughts and feelings and put them into a short summary. If you capture your raw emotions and why the piece made you feel that way, you will leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Start your conclusion by restating the reaction statement. Reaffirm the key points you made in the body sections and offer the new insights you have gained. But avoid any new information. The conclusion should not include information not already discussed in the text. And your reaction paper with a memorable statement that ties together the main ideas and provides closure for the readers.
Reaction Paper Example
Before you move on to explore our pestle analysis example , let us help you with your response essay even more.
What's better than telling you what to do? Yes, showing you how it's done. In our reaction paper example, you will see what an excellent reaction paper consists of and how small details can advance your essay.
Check out our sample reaction paper pdf below.
Our tips and tricks on how to write a compelling reaction paper will get you an A+. Reflect on your thoughts and feelings, be clear, support your ideas with evidence, and remain objective. Review our reaction paper sample and learn how to write a high-quality academic paper.
Get professional research paper writing services from our experienced writers to ensure high grades. We offer a wide range of aid, including nursing essay writing services . Contact us today for reliable and high-quality essay writing services.
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How to Write a Reaction Paper
Last Updated: September 15, 2022 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Rachel Scoggins, PhD . Rachel Scoggins is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Lander University. Rachel's work has been presented at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy. She received her PhD in Literary Studies from Georgia State University in 2016. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,109,909 times.
A reaction or response paper requires the writer to analyze a text, then develop commentary related to it. It is a popular academic assignment because it requires thoughtful reading, research, and writing. You can learn how to write a reaction paper by following these writing tips.
Prewriting and Actively Reading
- When you respond to the text, back up your ideas with evidence from the text along with your own connection of ideas, texts, and overarching concepts. If you are asked to agree or disagree, you have to provide convincing evidence about why you feel this way.  X Research source
- If responding to multiple texts, you must analyze how the texts relate. If responding to one text, you probably should connect the text to overarching concepts and themes you have discussed in the class.
- The same assignment may also be given to films, lectures, field trips, labs, or even class discussions.
- A reaction paper is not a summary of the text. It also does not state, "I liked this book because it was interesting" or "I hated this because it was boring."  X Research source
- If you are unsure, ask the teacher to clarify what they expect from the assignment.
- You may be asked to react to the text in light of another text. If this is the case, you will want to use quotations from both texts in your writing.
- You may be asked to react to the text in the light of the class themes. For example, if you read a book in a Sociology of Gender Roles class, you will want to read, annotate, and react based on how gender roles are described in the book.
- You may be asked to react personally to the text. This is less common, but occasionally the teacher simply wants to know if you have read the text and thought about it. In this case, you should focus on your opinions of the book.
- One of the biggest mistakes that students make is waiting until the last minute to read and react. A reaction is a thoughtful consideration after reading and rereading several times.
- You may need to reread the text multiple times. First, to read and familiarize yourself with the text, then again to start thinking about the assignment and your reactions.
- Try completing some of the following sentences after you read: I think that..., I see that..., I feel that..., It seems that..., or In my opinion...
- What issues or problems does the author address?
- What is the author's main point?
- What points or assumptions does the author make, and how does she back that up?
- What are strengths and weaknesses? Where are problems with the argument?
- How do the texts relate? (if multiple texts)
- How do these ideas connect to the overall ideas of the class/unit/etc?
Drafting Your Essay
- When you finish, read back over what you've just written. Determine what your strongest and most convincing reactions are. Prioritize your points.
- Think about why the author has written the article or story as they have. Why did he structure things in this particular way? How does this relate to the outside world?  X Research source
- Your thesis will be one statement that explains what you will analyze, criticize, or try to prove about the text. It will force your reaction paper to remain focused.
- For example, if you are reacting to a theme in a book, you can split the paragraphs into how the setting, antagonist, and figurative imagery communicate the themes successfully or unsuccessfully.
- Draft paragraphs that introduce quotations, analyze them, and comment on them.
- A good way to think about structuring your paragraph is: detail, example/quotation, commentary/evaluation, repeat.
Writing Your Final Draft
- The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis.
- Look for places where you simply report what the texts says instead of providing a critique or evaluation of what the text says.
- If you have been asked to give a statement about your personal opinion, the conclusion may be the best place to insert it. Some teachers may allow you to state the personal opinions in the body paragraphs. Make sure to double check with the teacher first.
- Read through for clarity. Are your sentences clear? Have you supported and fully argued your points? Is there any place where you're confusing?
- Look for things the author leaves out or raise counterarguments when an argument is weak. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Don't wait too long between reading the text and writing the paper. You don't want to forget important details. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- This paper is not autobiographical. It's not about how you feel, how you were in the same situation, or how this relates to your life. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/online-guide-to-writing/tutorial/chapter8/ch8-14
- ↑ http://www.esc.edu/online-writing-center/resources/academic-writing/types/summary-reaction-papers/
- ↑ http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl0310link/readerresponse.htm
- ↑ https://www.hunter.cuny.edu/rwc/handouts/the-writing-process-1/invention/Writing-a-Response-or-Reaction-Paper
- ↑ http://study.com/articles/Step-by-Step_Guide_to_Writing_a_Great_Reading_Response_Paper.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/
- ↑ https://success.uark.edu/get-help/student-resources/reaction-paper.php
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_for_errors.html
About This Article
To write a reaction paper, start by carefully analyzing the thing you're supposed to be reacting to. Then, write down your initial reactions and thoughts. Try to come up with an angle for your paper, like that you disagree with the subject or that you think it has a deeper meaning. Once you've got an angle, summarize it in the introduction of your paper and use the body paragraphs to support it. Remember to use direct quotes and specific examples to back up what you're saying. When you're finished, reread your paper to make sure your angle is clear. If you want to learn how to set up topic sentences in your paragraphs from our Literary Studies Ph.D. co-author, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write a Reaction Paper on an Article
Table of contents
You have been asked to read an article and work on a reaction paper. “That should be easy,” you think to yourself. While writing a reaction or response paper might sound like a cakewalk, there is a lot more to this assignment than meets the eye.
The purpose behind reaction papers is to make you analyze a piece of work, be it a book, film, article, or TV show.
You are not just expected to share your views on the material but also explore the implications of the ideas stated, critique them and justify your statements. Remember -- by the end of the assignment, you will be judged on your critical thinking and writing skills.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to write a reaction paper to an article, along with a reaction paper example to get you started.
What are the Parts of a Reaction Paper to an Article
Every writing assignment should begin with creating an outline . It makes for good writing practice because it helps you organize your thoughts and ensure the paper flows in a logical manner.
The same holds true when writing a reaction paper to an article.
Typically, a reaction paper is a five-paragraph structure that includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. You’re expected to devote one paragraph to the introduction and conclusion each and at least three paragraphs to the body.
Before we talk about how to write a reaction paper to an article, let’s understand what the three key parts of a reaction paper are and what they should include.
It’s safe to say that introductions lay the foundation for the rest of the paper. Being the first section that people will read, it needs to capture their attention and generate interest in them to read further.
Now, how do you start a reaction paper? The most effective way to start is with a strong hook . Limited to one to two sentences, a catchy hook grabs attention and engages readers. It can be a quote, statistic, rhetorical question, or anecdote, among others.
The purpose of this section is to describe the article and author you are discussing or sharing your reaction on. It’s also a good idea to include the publication date for additional context.
You can then proceed to write a crisp summary of the article while highlighting the main points of the article. Don’t share your reaction in this paragraph because this section is meant to be informative and offer context to the reader.
The introduction needs to end with a brief thesis statement which includes the key points you will be analyzing and the core idea of the reaction paper.
The body paragraphs are where you will start getting into the details and doing an elaborate analysis of the article.
It’s essential to structure the body well such that your reaction paper flows logically and transitions smoothly. A rule of thumb is to devote one idea to one paragraph. Each paragraph should tie back and reaffirm the thesis statement you formulated.
An excellent way to approach this is by making a list of the main points you want to include and working backward by mapping evidence in the form of quotations and examples for each of those points.
If your instructor has given a specific prompt, make sure the reaction paper covers it accurately in the given word count.
The analysis is done -- you’ve elaborated on your points and backed them up with supporting evidence. The purpose of the conclusion is to reinstate the thesis statement while summarizing the main points you analyzed in the body paragraphs.
While writing the conclusion for a reaction paper to an article, you’re expected to conclude with your opinion on the subject in question. Remember -- a strong conclusion ties the entire paper together without repeating the statements or introducing new details.
7 Useful Tips on How to Write a Reaction Paper to an Article
The best part about reaction or response papers is that they push you to pause, reflect and analyze an article or any other work. They give you a chance to express your personal opinions while doing deep analysis.
However, a common mistake students make while writing reaction papers on articles is that they end up summarizing them. This is a recipe for disaster and never goes down well.
So, how do you write a reaction paper to an article? Here are seven tips to help you write an outstanding reaction paper.
1. Understand the assignment
Not all reaction papers ask for the same thing. While some are open-ended and give students the flexibility to decide the course of the paper, there are reaction paper assignments surrounding specific questions. For instance, your professor might want your opinion on a particular issue in the article or might want you to critique the author’s work.
Hence, before you begin reading the article, it’s crucial to wholly understand what is expected of you. If you are unsure, clarify your doubts, so you don’t ramble on without purpose and stick to the guidelines and word count.
2. Make notes while reading
Reading the article once is never enough. The more thorough you are with the material, the more your reaction paper will be vital.
Every time you read it, it is a good idea to approach it with a purpose. The first time you get to it, you can focus on understanding the story, after which you can begin paying attention to factors related to your reaction paper question.
Read with the utmost attentiveness and make notes by the side – it can be your initial reactions, highlighting significant occurrences, or collating evidence.
3. Do a prewriting exercise
So you’ve read the article multiple times. Before you rush to begin writing the reaction paper, it’s a good idea to do a quick prewriting exercise .
This is a great way to brainstorm and generate ideas. It involves a brain dump and jotting down your initial reactions to the article. At this stage, don’t worry about polishing or organizing -- all that can wait.
What’s important is documenting every little idea, insight, or reaction that comes to your mind. Once you’ve listed them, you can group common ideas, create an outline, and categorize them.
This simple yet important exercise will help you think clearly while ensuring you don’t miss out on any crucial points.
4. Think critically
Reaction papers push you to think critically. To flesh out the material, you need to start by asking yourself pertinent questions such as:
- How do I feel after reading the article?
- Do I agree with the author?
- Do I relate to the main character?
- What do I disagree with?
- Has the article changed my perspective?
- What are the assumptions made?
These are just a few examples of questions you can consider while working on the paper. The more questions you ask, the better you will be able to evaluate the material, which will, in turn, get translated into your writing.
Here’s an informative video by Ted-Ed on how you can improve your critical thinking skills
5. Formulate the thesis statement
Once you establish your point of view and the route you want your paper to take, you must formulate the thesis statement – it forms the backbone of the reaction paper.
The thesis statement describes the central idea that you will be proving in the course of the paper. It needs to appear toward the end of the introduction and be crisp. It’s alright if you don’t have a final statement; even a working thesis statement is good enough for starters. You can always polish it later.
6. Emphasize analysis (not facts)
Another common mistake students make is stating facts and the obvious instead of focusing on their analysis and opinion on the article.
Not only is this a waste of word count, it indicates that you’ve missed the point of a reaction paper. Your instructor wants to know your personal opinion and evaluation of the article, not a summary of what the article comprises.
How do you make a difference?
Facts refer to objective pieces of information which are already proven. Opinions and analysis include your take on the subject. While there is no right or wrong opinion, what’s important is using strong evidence to back that opinion.
7. Include supporting examples
Statements like “I don’t agree with the author” or “I think the article could have focused more on XYZ” are certainly not enough while writing a reaction paper.
You need to justify every statement you make with the available evidence in the article. This can be in the form of quotes or statements that support your point of view. So, back your views up with strong examples in order to strengthen your paper and convince the reader.
Write a Reaction Paper to an Article Successfully: The Takeaway
There is quite a lot of confusion surrounding reaction papers which might get students confused about how to approach this assignment.
If you, too, are stuck and are asking, “ can someone write my reaction paper on an article ?”.
You have come to the right place.
Whether it is a book, movie, article, speech, or any other piece of content , we at Writers Per Hour are experts at writing reaction papers for high school, college, and university students.
We promise to deliver high-quality, original reaction papers custom-written to suit your needs and deadlines. So, contact us today and let us write your reaction paper for you.
Last edit at Jul 27 2023
Stefani is a professional writer and blogger at Writers Per Hour . She primarily contributes articles about careers, leadership, business, and writing. Her educational background in family science and journalism has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. She especially enjoys preparing resumes for individuals who are changing careers.
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How to Write a Reaction Paper: Format, Template, & Reaction Paper Examples
A reaction paper is one of the assignments you can get in college. It may seem easy at first glance, similar to a diary entry requiring your reaction to an article, a literature piece, or a movie. However, writing a high-quality paper often turns into a challenge. Here is a handy guide on how to write a reaction paper, with examples and topic suggestions.
- ❓ What Is a Reaction Paper?
✍️ Reaction Paper Format
- 🤔 How to Write a Reaction Paper
💭 Reaction Paper Questions
- 📋 Transitional Words
🔍 Reaction Paper Examples
- ⁉️ Questions and Answers
❓ what is a reaction paper assignment.
A reaction paper (or response paper) is an academic assignment urging students to explain what they feel about something . When crafting a good reaction piece, the student should aim to clarify what they think, agree or disagree with, and how they would identify with the object regarding their life experiences. The object of your response may be a painting, a book, an academic publication, or a documentary.
This task is not a simple summary of the text or film you’re assigned to. Neither is it a research paper; you don’t need to use external sources in a reaction paper. Thus, the writing process may seem confusing to newbies. Let’s clarify its main elements and features to help you out.
Every academic assignment has a specific structure and requirements to follow. Here we discuss the major elements of the response paper format to guide you through its components and the composition algorithm. As soon as you capture the structure, you can write stellar texts without a problem.
Reaction Paper Template
Every critical reaction paper follows the standard essay outline, with the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion as to its main parts. Here is a more detailed breakdown of each component:
- Introduction . You present the subject and set the context for the readers.
- Body . This part is a detailed analysis of your response to the subject. You should list the main points and analyze them, relating to your feelings and experiences.
- Wrap-up . Here you recap all major points and restate your opinion about the subject, giving it a conclusive evaluation.
Reaction Paper: APA Format
Depending on your teacher’s preferences and the academic subject, you may be given a reaction paper assignment in various referencing styles. The APA format is one of the possible variants. So, please don’t get confused about the writing approach; it only means that you should format your reaction paper according to APA conventions . These are:
- A standard APA title page
- One-inch margins on all sides
- Double spacing between the lines
- An author-date format of referencing external sources (if you use any supporting evidence)
The rest of the requirements are identical for reaction papers in all referencing formats, allowing you to choose.
🤔 How to Write a Good Reaction Paper Step-by-Step
Now, it’s time to clarify how to begin a reaction paper, what steps to take before writing, and how you will compose the entire assignment. Use our universal step-by-step guide fitting any reaction paper topic.
- Study the prompt inside out . You should understand the prompt to craft a relevant paper that your professor will grade highly.
- Clarify all instructions . A grave mistake that students often make is assuming they have understood everything in one go. Still, asking questions never killed anybody. So, we recommend inquiring your tutor about everything to be 100% sure you’re on the right path.
- Study the subject of your paper . Watch a movie, look at the painting, or read the text – do everything you can to get to the depths of the author’s message and intention.
- Make notes . Your reactions matter, as they will become the main content of your written text. So, annotate all feelings and ideas you have when studying the subject. You’ll be able to use them as writing prompts later.
- Make a reaction essay outline . The outline is the backbone of your content, which will serve as your compass during the actual writing process.
- Compose the draft . Use the outline as a structure and add details, evidence, and facts to support your claims. Then add an introduction and a conclusion to the final draft.
- Edit and revise . To err is human; to edit is divine. Follow this golden rule to submit a polished, revised paper without errors and typos.
How to Write a Reaction Paper About a Movie?
When the subject of your reaction paper assignment is a movie, you should consider the context in which it was given. It’s probably a supporting material for your study course dedicated to a specific learning concept or theory. Thus, it would be best to look for those links when watching the assigned movie – “ Women’s Rights and Changes over the 20 th Century ” is an excellent example of this technique. It will help you draw the connections in your reaction paper, showing your professor that you understand the material and can relate theory and practice.
The steps you need to take are as follows:
- Watch the film . It’s better to do it 2-3 times to capture all the tiny details.
- Take notes . Record the film’s central themes, messages, character traits, and relationships.
- Focus on a relevant element of the film in your response . If it’s a Film Studies class, you may write about the stylistic means and shooting techniques that the director used. If it’s a psychology class, you may write about characters and their relationships. If you need to compose a Sociology or Politics reaction paper, you may focus on the context of the film’s events.
- Revise the draft . Careful editing can save your grade, helping you locate minor errors, typos, and inconsistencies. Always reserve some time for a final look at your text.
How to Write a Reaction Paper to a Documentary?
Documentaries are also frequently chosen as subjects for reaction papers. They present valid, objective data about a specific event, person, or phenomenon and serve as informative, educational material for students. Here’s what you need to do if you get such a task:
- Watch the documentary several times . Watch it several times to understand everything nicely. It’s usually a much more data-rich video piece than a fiction film is, so you’ll need to take many notes.
- Present your documentary in the background of your reaction paper . Set the context for further discussion by naming the author, explaining its topic and content, and presenting its central claim.
- Talk about the documentary’s purpose at length . Please focus on the details and major claims made by the director; present relevant facts you’ve learned from it.
- React to the documentary’s content and explain how you felt about it . State what points you agree with and what ideas seem controversial; explain why you agree or disagree with the director’s position.
A vital aspect of a response to a documentary is comparing what you knew and thought about the subject before and after watching it. It’s a significant learning experience you should share, showing whether you have managed to progress through the studies and acquire new information. Look through the “ Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory ” reaction paper to get a clear idea of how it works.
How to Write a Reaction Paper to an Article?
Once you get a home task to write a reaction paper to an article, you should follow this algorithm:
- Read the article several times to understand it well . Make notes every time you read; new shades of meaning and details will emerge.
- Explain the key claims and terms of the article in your own words, as simply as possible . Then respond to them by evaluating the strength of those claims and their relevance.
- Assess the author’s stand and state whether you agree with it . Always give details about why you do or don’t support the author’s position.
- Question the evidence provided by the author and analyze it with additional sources, if necessary.
Please don’t forget about the following writing conventions:
An excellent example of a response paper to an article is “ Gay Marriage: Disputes and the Ethical Dilemma .”
Tips for Writing a Psychology Reaction Paper
If you were tasked with writing a reaction paper for a Psychology class, use the following tips to excel in this assignment.
- Identify the subject you need to react to . It may be a psychological theory, a book or article on psychology, or a video of a psychologist’s performance.
- Study the subject in detail . You need to understand it to form specific reactions, give informed commentary, and evaluate the presented claims effectively.
- Think about the topic’s relevance to modern times . Is the theory/book/article consistent with the ideas people hold today? Has there been any criticism of these ideas published recently? Did later research overturn the theory?
- Form a subjective response to the assigned subject . Do you agree with that position? Do you consider it relevant to your life experience? What feelings does it arouse in you?
By approaching a psychology piece with all these questions, you can create a high-quality response based on valid data, reflecting your reactions and opinions. Look through “ Peer Interaction in Mergers: Evidence of Collective Rumination ” to see how it can be done.
Reaction essay writing is a process that you can start only after answering essential questions about the content and your feelings. Here are some examples to ask yourself when preparing for the writing stage.
- What is the author’s key message or problem addressed in the piece?
- What purpose did the author pursue when creating this text/movie/sculpture/painting? Did the author fulfill it successfully?
- What point does the author intend to make with their work of art/literature?
- What assumptions can I trace throughout the subject, and how do they shape its content/look?
- What supporting facts, arguments, and opinion does the author use to substantiate their claims? Are they of high quality? What is their persuasive power?
- What counterarguments can I formulate to the claims made by the author?
- Is the raised issue relevant/interesting/significant?
- What are the author’s primary symbols or figurative means to pass their message across?
- Do I like or dislike the piece overall? What elements contribute to a positive/negative impression?
- How does this piece/subject correlate with my life experience and context?
- How can the reflections derived from this subject inform my life and studies?
- What lesson can I learn from this subject?
📋 Transitional Words for Reaction Paper
When you write a reaction paper, you express a personal opinion about a subject you have studied (a visual artwork or a text). However, the subjective nature of this assignment doesn’t mean that you should speak blatantly without caring about other people’s emotions and reactions. It’s critical to sound polite and use inclusive language.
Besides, you need to substantiate your points instead of simply stating that something is good or bad. Here are some linguistic means to help you develop a coherent reaction text:
- I think/feel/believe that
- It seems that
- In my opinion
- For example / as an illustration / as a case in point
- In contrast
- I think / I strongly believe / from my point of view
- I am confident that
- For all these reasons
- Finally / in conclusion
It’s not mandatory to squeeze all these phrases into your text. Choose some of them sparingly depending on the context; they will make your essay flow better.
Here is a short reaction paper example you can use as practical guidance. It is dedicated to the famous movie “Memento” by Christopher Nolan.
Memento is a movie about a man with a rare neurological condition – anterograde amnesia – seeking revenge for the rape and murder of his wife. He struggles to remember the recent events and creates various hints in notes and tattoos to keep the focus on his mission. Throughout the film, he meets different people who play weird roles in his life, contributing to the puzzle set by the director in the reverse scene presentation.
My first impression of the movie was confusing, as it took me half of the film to realize that the scenes were organized in the reverse order. Once the plot structure became more apparent, I opened many themes in the movie and enjoyed it until the end. Because of the severe brain damage, Leonard could not determine whether the story of his wife’s rape and murder was real, whether he had already been revenged for her death, and whether he was a hero or a villain. Thus, for me, the film was about a painful effort to restore one’s identity and seek life meaning amid the ruining memory and lost self.
The overall approach of Christopher Nolan deserves a separate mention. A unique design of shots’ sequence and the mix of chronological black-and-white and reverse chronological colored scenes is a puzzle that a viewer needs to solve. Thus, it becomes a separate thrilling adventure from the film’s storyline. My overall impression was positive, as I love Christopher Nolan’s auteur approach to filmmaking and the unique set of themes and characters he chooses for artistic portrayal.
Another example of a reaction paper we’ve prepared for you presents a reaction to “Night” by Elie Wiesel.
The horrors of World War II and concentration camps arranged by Nazis come to life when one reads Elie Wiesel’s Night. It is a literary piece composed by a person who lived in a concentration camp and went through the inhumane struggles and tortures of the Nazi regime . Though Wiesel survived, he portrayed that life-changing experience in much detail, reflecting upon the changes the threat of death makes to people’s character, relationships, and morality.
One of the passages that stroke me most was people’s cruelty toward their dearest relatives in the face of death. The son of Rabbi Eliahou decided to abandon his father because of his age and weakness, considering him a burden. This episode showed that some people adopt animal-like behavior to save their lives, forgetting about the cherished bonds with their parents. Such changes could not help but leave a scar on Elie’s soul, contributing to his loss of faith because of the cruelty around him.
However, amid the horror and cruelty that Elie Wiesel depicted in his book, the central message for me was the strength of the human spirit and the ability to withstand the darkness of evil. Wiesel was a living witness to human resilience. He witnessed numerous deaths and lost faith in God, but his survival symbolizes hope for a positive resolution of the darkest, unfairest times. Though reading “Night” left me with a heavy, pessimistic impression, I still believe that only such works can teach people peace and friendship, hoping that night will never come again.
The third sample reaction paper prepared by our pros deals with the article of David Dobbs titled “The Science of Success.”
The article “ The Science of Success ,” written by David Dobbs in 2009, presents an innovative theory of behavioral genetics. The author lays out the findings of a longitudinal study held by Marian Bakermans-Kranenbug and her team related to the evolution of children with externalizing behaviors. Their study presents a new perspective on the unique combination of genetics, environment, parenting approaches, and its impact on children’s mental health in adulthood.
The claim of Dobbs I found extremely convincing was the impact of mothers’ constructive parenting techniques on the intensity of externalizing behaviors. Though most children learn self-control with age and become calmer and more cooperative as they grow up, waiting for that moment is unhealthy for the child’s psyche. I agree that parents can help their children overcome externalizing behaviors with calm activities they all enjoy, such as reading books. Thus, the reading intervention can make a difference in children’s psychological health, teaching them self-control and giving their parents a break.
However, the second part of the article about “dandelion” and “orchid” children and their vulnerability caused more questions in me. I did not find the evidence convincing, as the claims about behavioral genetics seemed generic and self-obvious. Children raised in high-risk environments often develop depression, substance abuse, and proneness to criminality. However, Dobbs presented that trend as a groundbreaking discovery, which is debatable. Thus, I found this piece of evidence not convincing.
As you can see, reaction paper writing is an art in itself. You can compose such assignments better by mastering the techniques and valuable phrases we’ve discussed. Still, even if you lack time or motivation for independent writing, our team is on standby 24/7. Turn to us for help, and you’ll get a stellar reaction paper in no time.
⁉️ Reaction Paper Questions and Answers
What words do you use to start a reaction paper.
First, you need to introduce the subject of your paper. Name the author and the type of work you’re responding to; clarify whether it’s a film, a text, or a work of art. Next, you need to voice your opinion and evaluate the assigned subject. You can use phrases like, “I think… In my opinion… My first reaction was… I was touched by…”.
What Is the Difference Between Reflection and Reaction Paper?
The main distinction between reflection and reaction essays is their focus on the subject. A reaction paper approaches it from the viewpoint of your evaluation of the content and message of the assigned topic. It deals with how you felt about it, whether you liked it, and what thoughts it evoked in you. A reflection, in its turn, deals with your perceptions and beliefs. It focuses on the transformational experiences of either changing or reinforcing one’s views upon seeing or reading something.
What Is the Purpose of Reaction Paper?
The primary purpose of writing a reaction paper is to communicate your experience of reading, watching, or to see a subject (e.g., a movie, a book, or a sculpture). You should explain how you captured the author’s message, what you felt when exposed to that subject, and what message you derived. You can cite details and discuss your reactions to them before forming the general evaluation.
Can You Use “I” in a Reaction Paper?
Students can use the first-person “I” when writing reaction pieces. The use of the first person is generally banned in academic research and writing, but reflections and response papers are exceptions to this rule. It’s hard to compose a personal, subjective evaluation of an assigned subject without referring to your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. In this academic assignment, you can use phrases like “I believe… I think… I feel…”.
- Reaction vs. Reflection Paper: What’s the Difference? Indeed Editorial Team .
- Response Paper, Thompson Writing Program, Duke University . Guidelines for Reaction Papers, ETH Zürich .
- Film Reaction Papers, Laulima .
- How to Make a Reaction Paper Paragraph, Classroom, Nadine Smith .
- How to Write a Response Paper, ThoughtCo, Grace Fleming .
- Reviews and Reaction papers, UMGC .
- Reaction Paper, University of Arkansas .
- How to Write a Reaction Paper, WikiHow, Rachel Scoggins .
- How to Write a Reaction (Steps Plus Helpful Tips), Indeed Editorial Team .
- Response Paper, Lund University .
- How to Write a Reaction Paper in 4 Easy Steps, Cornell CS .
- Response Papers, Fred Meijer Center for Writing & Michigan Authors, Grand Valley State University .