A reaction or response paper is a piece of academic writing that requires the student to express their personal opinions and conclusions about a piece of writing or article. It is unlike a summary or review in that it should contain your opinion on the thoughts and problems illustrated in the text.
The text that you may be requested to write about may be a book, a set text, an article or a research paper. This kind of paper evaluates the understanding of whatever reading material was assigned. Writing a reaction paper can be a daunting task. Below are some tips to help you get through it.
Before you embark on the paper, there are some things that you should do.
- Understand the paper and what it entails
It goes without saying that unless you understand what you are writing about, your reaction will be half-baked and you will be operating from a limited point of view.
After reading the given text, focus on the ideas that it presents. Outline them and if possible, prepare backup for those ideas using excerpts from the set text.
- Create a summary of the text
While a summary is not part of a reaction paper, during the preparation for the paper, it can come in very handy. The process of creating the summary and reviewing the summary after helps you get the bigger picture that the text attempts to portray. It also gives you a better grasp of the text.
- Understand the assignment instructions
The course instructor must have issued instructions on what to write about. These may include the format to be used, what to look out for and some guidelines to help through the paper.
Understanding the assignment instructions will go a long way in helping you complete the paper.
- Write down initial thoughts and feelings
The reaction paper you are about to write is based purely on feelings and thoughts centered around the text. Write the initial thoughts down as you go through or after you are done with rereading the text given.
Writing the paper
This is the part where you introduce the assigned texts. Information that should be written about the text should include;
- Publisher and publication date.
The introduction should also contain facts and details of the text. The introduction should not contain a summary of the text. It should just have bits and facts derived from the text that are relevant to the course and the content that you have covered in the semester. The introduction should also include a thesis statement. This is vital in calling attention to the areas you intend to cover.
Keeping in mind that this is a reaction paper, you should have an angle that you intend to take when tackling the paper. The angle you choose should have both referential support from the text and argumentative support from the book.
When choosing an angle and the points to present as arguments, you should analyze the strongest and most controversial points that spark enough debate and have enough facts and are easy to support or contradict. You do not want to slave milking an idea that has no content in it at all.
Your paper should follow a specified format. This will depend on the course lecturer and the paper instructions. The paragraphs should embody a unique point of argument and anything derived from the book should be supported by quotations from the text itself.
- Proofread and error-check
On completion, you should proofread your paper and check for any grammatical and typographical errors. If you have a feeling that your work is subpar or need help proofreading your paper, you can seek professional help from our term paper writers.