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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

🔗 References

❓ 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 .
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How to Write a Reaction Paper

Last Updated: September 15, 2022 Fact Checked

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. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,132,598 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

Step 1 Understand the purpose of a reaction paper.

  • 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. [2] 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." [3] X Research source

Step 2 Figure out what the assignment is asking.

  • 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.

Step 3 Read the text you are assigned right after it is assigned.

  • 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.

Step 4 Write down your initial 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...

Step 5 Annotate the text as you read.

  • 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

Step 1 Freewrite.

  • When you finish, read back over what you've just written. Determine what your strongest and most convincing reactions are. Prioritize your points.

Step 2 Decide on your angle.

  • 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? [7] X Research source

Step 3 Determine your thesis.

  • 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.

Step 4 Organize your paper.

  • 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.

Step 5 Gather quotations.

  • Draft paragraphs that introduce quotations, analyze them, and comment on them.

Step 6 Structure your paragraphs.

  • A good way to think about structuring your paragraph is: detail, example/quotation, commentary/evaluation, repeat.

Writing Your Final Draft

Step 1 Write your introduction.

  • The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis.

Step 2 Reread your reaction paragraphs to ensure you make a stance.

  • Look for places where you simply report what the texts says instead of providing a critique or evaluation of what the text says.

Step 3 Explain the greater implications of the text for the class, author, audience, or yourself.

  • 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.

Step 4 Edit for clarity and length.

  • Read through for clarity. Are your sentences clear? Have you supported and fully argued your points? Is there any place where you're confusing?

Step 5 Proof and spell check your document.

Writing Help

sample reaction paper format

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • 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

sample reaction paper format

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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

Rachel Scoggins, PhD

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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sample reaction paper format

How to Write a Reaction Paper: Ultimate Guide with Sample

sample reaction paper format

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 format 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 make a reaction paper. If your due date is close, you can get help from our essay writing service online .

write reaction paper

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 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.

Final Words

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

How to Write a Reaction Paper

sample reaction paper format

Guide for Writing a Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is a common assignment in most high schools and universities. It gives students the chance to show their understanding of source material by asking them to summarize, analyze, and give their personal opinion. A reaction paper requires critical thinking as well as creative writing skills, so it can be a challenge to write. Whether you were looking for the answer on how to write a reaction paper about a movie, how to write a reaction paper example, or how to write a reaction paper to an article, you will learn everything you need including a step-by-step guide and an outline here!  

What is Reaction Paper?

A reaction paper is a written assignment that asks a student to briefly summarize and then give personal opinions about a book, article, video, etc. Unlike a critique or review, the main focus is on the personal opinions, thoughts, feelings, and reactions of the student.

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How to Write a Good Reaction Paper?

Writing a reaction paper takes time and effort and there are several steps to take before getting to the actual writing. These steps will help you understand the source material as well as help structure the eventual paper. 

What is the purpose? 

Not all reaction papers have the same purpose. While all of them ask you to analyze and give opinions about the source material, the focus of the analysis can be different. Make sure you carefully read the guidelines of the assignment and if you have any questions ask your professor for clarifications.

  • Figure out whether the emphasis should be on the analysis or on your personal opinion and reaction.
  • The professor may ask you to react to the source material in a way that relates to the course that you are taking. For example, a reaction paper for a sociology class will be different from a reaction paper for an economics class even if the source material is the same.
  • Sometimes you may be asked to compare one source material to another piece of writing similar to a compare and contrast essay. 
  • A reaction paper can focus more on objective analysis or subjective opinion
  • Remember that the goal of a reaction paper is not just to state your opinion. Any claim you make must be backed up by evidence from the source material.
  • The purpose of a reaction paper is not to say whether you liked the source material or not, it is to analyze it and connect its deeper meanings to larger themes. 

Go over the source material several times

Just because it's called a reaction paper doesn't mean you can get away with going over the source material once and then quickly writing down what you felt about it. Even if you are trying to learn how to write a reaction paper to a movie, you can't just watch the movie once. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to go over the source material at least a few times. Not only do you have to understand every element of the source material, but you also need time to process, think about, analyze, and make connections. 

While it's good to think about deeper concepts when going through the source material for the first time, just focus on getting a general feeling about the article or movie. Focus on your specific insights and reactions when going over the source material for the second and third times. 

What to do after your first go through

After the first time you read the article or watch the video, spend some time writing down your initial reactions. Think of this as a brainstorming session where there are no bad ideas, write down whatever you want. This can include opinions of what you thought the strengths and weaknesses were, what you liked and didn't like, deeper meanings and connections that jumped out at you, connections to your course,  etc. 

The importance of notes

After you have your initial reactions down, it's time to go over the source material again and take in-depth notes. If it’s an article or a book, print it out so that you can take notes in the margins.  Highlight important quotes or pieces of information, draw arrows connecting different sections, write yourself notes and reminders in the margins, draw diagrams that help you understand the structure of the article, do whatever helps you understand the material better. No one else is going to see the notes you make so be as creative as you want to be. The more time you spend taking notes the better you will understand the source material and the easier writing the reaction paper will be.

Craft a thesis statement

Think of a thesis statement for a reaction paper as the main takeaway from your analysis. A good thesis statement is concise and focused. It should help guide the rest of your paper with every paragraph lending support to your thesis statement. You can come up with a thesis statement by asking yourself what the goal of the author was, how the source material impacts the world, what are the motivations of the main characters, what was the purpose of the source material, what were the major strengths or weaknesses of the source material, etc.

Paragraph Structure

Making a reaction paper outline is a useful endeavor because it helps organize your notes and understand the flow of the paper overall.  A reaction paper follows a typical five-paragraph essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The next section will go in-depth into how to write a reaction paper section by section. 

In general, the first introductory paragraph should contain a brief summary of the source material. The body paragraphs should start with a clear topic sentence followed by evidence for the claim that you are making, and the conclusion should reiterate the thesis and main evidence.

When making an outline, write down the topic sentence and then a quick list of evidence that backs it up. Make sure that each paragraph connects to your thesis statement so that you don't lose focus during the paper. A useful way to structure each paragraph is to first elaborate on something from the source material and then give your opinion backed by evidence.

Using quotations

Once you have an outline and understand how the paragraphs will be structured, go through your notes and find specific quotations from the text that back up your claims. Don't just list quotations, make sure you analyze them and explain why they are important as evidence.  Depending on the word count of the assignment you should limit the length of quotations and paraphrase when necessary. 

Revise and Edit

Once you're done writing your paper make sure that you go over it a few times. This is to get rid of typos and other silly mistakes, but more importantly to check for flow and clarity. You may find that certain paragraphs work better in a different order, or even that certain topic sentences don't back up the thesis statement. This is your chance to make your paper the best it can possibly be, so make sure you spend some time reviewing and editing. 

Double-check your assignment guidelines

It's always a good idea to check your assignment guidelines once you are done with any type of assignment. You’ve put in all the hard work and you don't want to get a lower grade than you deserve because of something silly. Question what the assignment guidelines are asking you to do and make sure that you have followed all the rules.

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A reaction paper follows a typical five-paragraph format structure of essay writing. Let's take a look at each section. 


Like any type of writing, the first sentence of a reaction paper should engage the reader and make them want to find out more. Write a catchy hook by making a provocative statement about the source material, hinting at an interesting conclusion or reaction, stating an interesting fact or anecdote, etc.

Next, give some background information about the source material including the name of the article, the author, where and when it was published, any awards won, etc.  

Follow this up with a concise summary of the source material. Remember, the goal of a reaction paper is to objectively analyze and then give personal opinions backed by evidence, so don’t take a lot of time on the summary in the introduction. The goal of the summary is to give readers an idea of what the source material is about, so highlight the most important elements and skip details. Specific information about the source material will come up as quotations and evidence in the body paragraphs. 

End with your thesis statement.

Depending on the purpose of the assignment, your first body paragraph may be an expanded version of a summary or evaluation of the source material. 

More typically the body paragraphs are where you talk about your reactions to the source material and back it up with evidence. Make sure that each body paragraph talks only about 1 claim you are making and that each body paragraph relates to your thesis statement. You can ask yourself the following questions to come up with ideas for specific body paragraphs.

  • What were the main themes of the source material and how do they connect with your thesis statement?
  • Is there a connection between the source material and real-world events?
  • How does the source material relate to your course?
  • What are the major claims that the source material is making?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the source material and why?
  • Did the source material impact your emotions in any way and how did it achieve it?
  • Did the source material change your perspective on an important issue?


The conclusion paragraph should restate your thesis as well as the topic sentences of each paragraph. Concisely explain the main pieces of evidence you have used to support your thesis,  and briefly speak about any larger implications of the work. 

You may be required to have a brief work cited page. This will usually be quite short because the main source is the specific source material. Just make sure to know what citation convention you need to use. 

A reaction paper is one of the most enjoyable assignments for a student because it allows you to experience and give your opinion about something you like, if you were given the freedom to choose the source material, or something interesting if it was assigned by the professor. The most important thing to remember is to stay as objective as possible while expressing your opinion by backing up any claim you make with evidence.

If you have any more questions or need any help with writing a reaction paper, the experts at Studyfy are always here for you. They offer various academic writing services, including sociology essay writing services , help with argumentative essay , write my thesis for me , and college essay writing service . Their team of experts has vast experience in writing high-quality academic papers, and they can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to excel in your coursework.

Don't hesitate to reach out to Studyfy for any writing or academic support you may need!

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How to Write a Response Paper

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Most of the time when you are tasked with an essay about a book or article you've read for a class, you will be expected to write in a professional and impersonal voice. But the regular rules change a bit when you write a response paper.

A response (or reaction) paper differs from the formal review primarily in that it is written in the first person . Unlike in more formal writing, the use of phrases like "I thought" and "I believe" is encouraged in a response paper. 

You'll still have a thesis and will need to back up your opinion with evidence from the work, but this type of paper spotlights your individual reaction as a reader or viewer.

Read and Respond

Grace Fleming

For a response paper, you still need to write a formal assessment of the work you're observing (this could be anything created, such as a film, a work of art, a piece of music, a speech, a marketing campaign, or a written work), but you will also add your own personal reaction and impressions to the report.

The steps for completing a reaction or response paper are:

  • Observe or read the piece for an initial understanding.
  • Mark interesting pages with a sticky flag or take notes on the piece to capture your first impressions.
  • Reread the marked pieces and your notes and stop to reflect often.
  • Record your thoughts.
  • Develop a thesis.
  • Write an outline.
  • Construct your essay.

It may be helpful to imagine yourself watching a movie review as you're preparing your outline. You will use the same framework for your response paper: a summary of the work with several of your own thoughts and assessments mixed in.

The First Paragraph

After you have established an outline for your paper, you need to craft the first draft of the essay using all the basic elements found in any strong paper, including a strong introductory sentence .

In the case of a reaction essay, the first sentence should contain both the title of the work to which you are responding and the name of the author.

The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement . That statement will make your overall opinion very clear.

Stating Your Opinion

There's no need to feel shy about expressing your own opinion in a position paper, even though it may seem strange to write "I feel" or "I believe" in an essay. 

In the sample here, the writer analyzes and compares the plays but also manages to express personal reactions. There's a balance struck between discussing and critiquing the work (and its successful or unsuccessful execution) and expressing a reaction to it.

Sample Statements

When writing a response essay, you can include statements like the following:

  • I felt that
  • In my opinion
  • The reader can conclude that
  • The author seems to
  • I did not like
  • This aspect didn't work for me because
  • The images seemed to
  • The author was [was not] successful in making me feel
  • I was especially moved by
  • I didn't understand the connection between
  • It was clear that the artist was trying to
  • The soundtrack seemed too
  • My favorite part was...because

Tip : A common mistake in personal essays it to resort to insulting comments with no clear explanation or analysis. It's OK to critique the work you are responding to, but you still need to back up your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and reactions with concrete evidence and examples from the work. What prompted the reaction in you, how, and why? What didn't reach you and why?

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Response Paper: Outline, Steps & Examples

response paper

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Response essays are a frequent assignment in many academic courses. Professors often ask students to share their thoughts and feelings about a variety of materials, such as books, articles, films, songs, or poems. To write an effective response paper, you should follow a specific structure to ensure that your ideas are well-organized and presented in a logical manner.

In this blog post, we will explore how to write a good outline and how it is used to develop a quality reaction essay. You will also come across a response paper example to help you better understand steps involved in writing a response essay.  Continue reading to explore writing tips from professional paper writers that you can use to improve your skills.

What Is a Response Paper?

It is vital to understand the meaning of a response essay before you start writing. Often, learners confuse this type of academic work with reviews of books, articles, events, or movies, which is not correct, although they seem similar.  A response paper gives you a platform to express your point of view, feelings, and understanding of a given subject or idea through writing. Unlike other review works, you are also required to give your idea, vision, and values contained in literal materials. In other words, while a response paper is written in a subjective way, a review paper is written in a more objective manner.  A good reaction paper links the idea in discussion with your personal opinion or experience. Response essays are written to express your deep reflections on materials, what you have understood, and how the author's work has impacted you.

Response Paper Definition

Purpose of a Response Essay

Understanding reasons for writing a reaction paper will help you prepare better work. The purpose of a response essay will be:

  • To summarize author's primary ideas and opinions: you need to give a summary of materials and messages the author wants you to understand.
  • Providing a reflection on the subject: as a writer, you also need to express how you relate to authors' ideas and positions.
  • To express how the subject affects your personal life: when writing a response paper, you are also required to provide your personal outcome and lesson learned from interacting with the material.

Response Essay Outline

You should adhere to a specific response paper outline when working on an essay. Following a recommended format ensures that you have a smooth flow of ideas. A good response paper template will make it easier for a reader to separate your point of view from author's opinion. The essay is often divided into these sections: introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.  Below is an example of a response essay outline template:

  • Briefly introduce the topic of the response paper
  • State your thesis statement or main argument
  • Provide a brief summary of the source material you are responding to
  • Include key details or arguments from the source
  • Analyze the source material and identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluate the author's arguments and evidence
  • Provide your own perspective on the source material
  • Respond to the source material and critique its arguments
  • Offer your own ideas and counterarguments
  • Support your response with evidence and examples
  • Summarize your main points and restate your thesis
  • Provide final thoughts on the source material and its implications
  • Offer suggestions for further research or inquiry

Example of an outline for a response paper on the movie

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Response Paper Introduction

The success of response papers is partly dependent on how well you write the introductory paragraph. As with any academic paper, the introduction paragraph welcomes targeted readers and states the primary idea.  Below is a guideline on how to start a response essay:

  • Provide a compelling hook to capture the attention of your target audience.
  • Provide background information about the material, including the name and author of the work.
  • Provide a brief summary of main points to bring readers who are unfamiliar with the work up to task and enable them to follow up on your subsequent analysis.
  • Write a thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph to inform readers about the purpose and argument you are trying to relay.

Response Essay Thesis Statement

A thesis statement summarizes a paper's content within a sentence or two. A response essay thesis statement is not any different! The final sentence of the introductory paragraph of a reaction paper should give readers an idea of the message that will be discussed in your paper.  Do you know how to write a thesis statement for a response essay? If you follow the steps below, you should be able to write one:

  • Review the material you are responding to, and pinpoint main points expressed by authors.
  • Determine points of view or opinions you are going to discuss in the essay.
  • Develop your thesis statement. It should express a summary of what will be covered in your reaction. The sentence should also consider logical flow of ideas in your writing.
  • Thesis statement should be easy to spot. You should preferably place it at the end of your introductory paragraph.

Response Paper Body Paragraph

In most instances, the body section has between 1 and 3 paragraphs or more. You should first provide a summary of the article, book, or any other literature work you are responding to.  To write a response essay body paragraph that will capture the attention of readers, you must begin by providing key ideas presented in the story from the authors' point of view. In the subsequent paragraph, you should tell your audience whether you agree or disagree with these ideas as presented in the text. In the final section, you should provide an in-depth explanation of your stand and discuss various impacts of the material.

Response Paper Conclusion

In this section of a response paper, you should provide a summary of your ideas. You may provide key takeaways from your thoughts and pinpoint meaningful parts of the response. Like any other academic work, you wind up your response essay writing by giving a summary of what was discussed throughout the paper.  You should avoid introducing new evidence, ideas, or repeat contents that are included in body paragraphs in the conclusion section. After stating your final points, lessons learned, and how the work inspires you, you can wrap it up with your thesis statement.

How to Write a Response Paper?

In this section, we will provide you with tips on how to write a good response paper. To prepare a powerful reaction essay, you need to consider a two-step approach. First, you must read and analyze original sources properly. Subsequently, you also need to organize and plan the essay writing part effectively to be able to produce good reaction work. Various steps are outlined and discussed below to help you better understand how to write a response essay.

How to Write a Response Paper in 7 Steps?

1. Pick a Topic for Your Response Essay

Picking a topic for response essay topics can be affected either by the scope of your assignment as provided by your college professor or by your preference. Irrespective of your reason, the guideline below should help you brainstorm topic ideas for your reaction:

  • Start from your paper's end goal: consider what outcomes you wish to attain from writing your reaction.
  • Prepare a list of all potential ideas that can help you attain your preferred result.
  • Sort out topics that interest you from your list.
  • Critique your final list and settle on a topic that will be comfortable to work on.

Below are some examples of good topics for response essay to get you started:

  • Analyzing ideas in an article about effects of body shaming on mental health .
  • Reaction paper on new theories in today's business environment.
  • Movies I can watch again and again.
  • A response essay on a documentary.
  • Did the 9/11 terror attacks contribute to issues of religious intolerance?

2. Plan Your Thoughts and Reactions

To better plan your thoughts and reactions, you need to read the original material thoroughly to understand messages contained therein. You must understand author's line of thinking, beliefs, and values to be able to react to their content. Next, note down ideas and aspects that are important and draw any strong reactions.  Think through these ideas and record potential sequences they will take in your response paper. You should also support your opinions and reactions with quotes and texts from credible sources. This will help you write a response essay for the college level that will stand out.

3. Write a Detailed Response Paper Outline

Preparing a detailed response paper outline will exponentially improve the outcome of your writing. An essay outline will act as a benchmark that will guide you when working on each section of the paper. Sorting your ideas into sections will not only help you attain a better flow of communication in your responsive essay but also simplify your writing process.  You are encouraged to adopt the standard response essay outline provided in the sample above. By splitting your paper into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs, you will be able to effectively introduce your readers to ideas that will be discussed and separate your thoughts from authors' messages.

4. Write a Material Summary

For your audience to understand your reaction to certain materials, you should at first provide a brief summary of authors' points of view. This short overview should include author's name and work title.  When writing a response essay, you should dedicate a section to give an informative summary that clearly details primary points and vital supporting arguments. You must thoroughly understand the literature to be able to complete this section.  For important ideas, you can add direct quotes from the original sources in question. Writers may sometimes make a mistake of summarizing general ideas by providing detailed information about every single aspect of the material. Instead of addressing all ideas in detail, focus on key aspects.  Although you rely on your personal opinion and experience to write a response paper, you must remain objective and factual in this section. Your subjective opinion will take center stage in the personal reaction part of the essay.

Example of a Response Summary

Below is a sample summary response essays example to help you better understand how to write one. A Summary of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The classic film The Adventure of Robin Hood (1938), as directed by Michael Curtis and William Keighley, stars an infamous outlaw, Robin Hood, who "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor''. The charismatic and charming Saxon lord, Robin Hood (Flynn), becomes an outlaw and seeks justice for poor people by fighting Sir Guy of Gisborne (Rathbone), Sheriff of Nottingham (Copper), and Prince John (Rains), who were oppressing people. After assembling an outlaw group, Robin defies the excessive taxes imposed on poor people by stealing from wealthy individuals and redistributing wealth to the destitute in society. Robin Hood is eventually lured into an archery tournament and gets arrested, but survives an execution. He later helps King Richard to regain his lost throne and banish Prince John.

5. Share Your Reaction

After summarizing the original material, the second part of a response paper involves writing your opinion about author’s point of view. After a thorough review of the material, you should be able to express your perspective on the subject.  In this section, you are expected to detail how the material made you feel and how it relates to your personal life, experience, and values. Within the short response essay, you may also be required to state whether you agree or disagree with author's line of thinking. How does the material relate to current issues, or in what way does it impact your understanding of a given subject? Does it change your opinion on the subject in any way? Your reaction should answer these questions.  In addition, you may also be required to outline potential advantages and shortcomings of the material in your reaction. Finally, you should also indicate whether or not you would endorse the literal work to others.

Reaction in Response Body Paragraph Example

Below is a reaction in a response essay body paragraph sample to help you improve your skills in writing the response body paragraph: Reaction Paragraph Example

My main takeaway from watching The Adventure of Robin Hood (1938) is that society should prioritize good and justice over laws if the set rules oppress people. Prince John, Sir Guy, and Sheriff Cooper were cruel and petty and used existing laws to oppress and exploit poor people. In response, Robin Hood employed unorthodox means and tried to help oppressed people in society. I agree with his way of thinking. Laws are made to protect people in society and ensure justice is served. Therefore, when legislation fails to serve its purpose, it becomes redundant. Even in current society, we have seen democratic governments funding coups when presidents start oppressing their people. Such coups are supported despite the fact that presidency is protected by law. Although Robin Hood's actions might encourage unlawfulness if taken out of context, I would still recommend this film because its main message is advocating for justice in the community.

6. Conclude Your Response Essay

Do you know how to write a response paper conclusion? It should be the icing on the cake. Irrespective of how good previous sections were, your reaction essay will not be considered to be exceptional if you fail to provide a sum up of your reaction, ideas, and arguments in the right manner.  When writing a response essay conclusion , you should strive to summarize the outcome of your thoughts. After stating your final point, tell readers what you have learned and how that material inspired or impacted you. You can also explain how your perspective and the author's point of view intertwine with each other.  Never introduce new ideas in the conclusion paragraph. Presenting new points will not only disrupt the flow of ideas in the paper but also confuse your readers because you may be unable to explain them comprehensively.  You are also expected to link up your discussions with the thesis statement. In other words, concluding comments and observations need to incorporate the reaffirmation of the thesis statement.

Example of Response Paper Conclusion

You can use the responsive essay conclusion sample below as a benchmark to guide you in writing your concluding remarks: Conclusion Example

There are a lot of similarities between the film's message and my opinion, values, and beliefs. Based on my personal principles, I believe the actions of the main character, Robin Hood, are justifiable and acceptable. Several people in modern society would also agree with my perspective. The movie has provided me with multiple lessons and inspirations. The main lesson acquired is that laws are not ultimate and that we should analyze how they affect people rather than adhere to them blindly. Unless legislation protects people and serves justices, it should be considered irrelevant. Also, morality outweighs legislation. From the movie, I gathered that morality should be the foundation for all laws, and at any time, morality and greater good should be prioritized above laws. The main inspiration relates to being brave in going against some legislation since the end justifies the means sometimes. My point of view and that of the movie creators intertwine. We both advocate for human decency and justice. The argument discussed supports the idea that good and justice is greater than law.

Proofread Your Response Paper

It is important to proofread your response paper before submitting it for examination. Has your essay met all instructional requirements? Have you corrected every grammatical error in your paper? These are common questions you should be asking yourself.  Proofreading your work will ensure that you have eliminated mistakes made when working on your academic work. Besides, you also get the opportunity to improve your logical flow of ideas in your paper by proofreading.  If you review your work thoroughly before submitting it for marking, you are more likely to score more marks! Use our Paper Rater , it is a tool that can help you pinpoint errors, which makes going through your work even simpler.

Response Essay Examples

If you have never written this type of academic paper before, responsive essay examples should help you grasp the primary concepts better. These response paper samples not only help you to familiarize yourself with paper's features but also help you to get an idea of how you should tackle such an assignment. Review at least one written response essay example from the compilation below to give you the confidence to tackle a reaction paper. Response essay example: Book

Response paper example: Poem

Response paper sample: Movie

Example of a response paper: Article

Sample response essay: Issue

Response Paper Format

It is important to follow a recommended response essay format in order to adhere to academic writing standards needed for your assignment. Formats depend on your institution or the discipline.  A reaction paper can be written in many different academic writing styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago, with each demanding a slightly different format.  The outlook of the paper and referencing varies from one writing style to another. Despite the format for a response paper, you must include introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.

Response Essay Writing Tips

Below are some of the best tips you can use to improve your response papers writing skills:

  • Review your assignment instructions and clarify any inquiries before you start a response paper.
  • Once you have selected topics for response essay, reviewed your original materials, and came up with your thesis statement, use topic sentences to facilitate logical flow in your paper.
  • Always ensure that you format your work as per the standard structure to ensure that you adhere to set academic requirements. Depending on the academic writing style you will be using, ensure that you have done your in-text citation as per the paper format.
  • If you have never worked on this kind of academic paper, you should review examples and samples to help you familiarize yourself with this type of work. You should, however, never plagiarize your work.
  • You can use a first-person perspective to better stress your opinion or feelings about a subject. This tip is particularly crucial for reaction part of your work.
  • Finally, before submitting your work, proofread your work.

Bottom Line on Response Paper Writing

As discussed in this blog post, preparing a response paper follows a two-step approach. To successfully work on these sections, you need to plan properly to ensure a smooth transition from the reading and analyzing the original material to writing your reaction. In addition, you can review previous works to improve your writing skills.  So, what is a response essay that will immediately capture the attention of your instructor? Well, it should have a captivating introduction, evidence backed reaction, and a powerful conclusion. If you follow various tips outlined above and sum up your work with thorough proofreading, there is no chance that you can fail this type of assignment.


Order a response essay from our academic writing platform! Send us a ‘ write my college paper ’ message and our experienced writers will provide you with a top-notch essay according to your instructions. 

FAQ About Response Paper

1. how long is a short response essay.

The length of a short response essay varies depending on topic and your familiarity with the subject. Depending on how long original sources are and how many responsive points you have, your reaction paper can range from a single paragraph of 150-400 words to multiple paragraphs of 250-500 words.

2. How to start a response body paragraph?

Use an argumentative topic sentence to start your responsive paper paragraph. Failing to begin a paragraph with an elaborate topic sentence will confuse your readers. Topic sentences give readers an idea of what is being discussed in the section. Write a responsive body paragraph for every new idea you add.

3. Is reaction paper similar to a response paper?

Yes. Reaction papers and response essays are used interchangeably. Responsive essays analyze author's point of view and compare them with your personal perspective. This type of academic writing gives you freedom to share your feelings and opinion about an idea. People also discuss how ideas, concepts, and literature material influence them in a response paper.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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Write an Outstanding Reaction Paper in APA Style

sample reaction paper format


Welcome to The Knowledge Nest, your ultimate resource for learning how to write an outstanding reaction paper in APA style. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable insights, tips, and step-by-step instructions to help you create a high-quality and well-structured reaction paper that will impress your readers.

Understanding APA Style

Before we delve into the specifics of writing a reaction paper, it's important to have a clear understanding of the APA (American Psychological Association) style. APA style is widely used in the social sciences and is known for its specific guidelines on formatting, citing sources, and organizing written works.

Key Elements of a Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is a critical response to a particular text, article, book, or any other piece of literature. When writing a reaction paper, there are several key elements that you need to keep in mind:

  • Summary: Start your reaction paper with a brief summary of the text you are reacting to. Provide enough information to give your readers a clear idea of what the text is about.
  • Analysis: After summarizing the text, delve into a detailed analysis of its content. Discuss the author's main ideas, arguments, and evidence. Offer your own insights and interpretations, supported by solid evidence.
  • Impact: Reflect on the impact the text has had on you personally and intellectually. Did it change your perspective? Did it resonate with your own experiences? Discuss how the text has affected you and why.
  • Critical Evaluation: Provide a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the text. Identify any logical fallacies, biases, or gaps in the author's argumentation.
  • Connection to Course Material: If you are writing a reaction paper for a specific course, make sure to connect the text to the themes, concepts, or theories discussed in the course. Show the relevance of the text to the course material.
  • APA Formatting: Ensure that your reaction paper adheres to APA formatting guidelines in terms of font, margins, spacing, and citation style.

Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Reaction Paper

Step 1: read and understand the text.

Before you can write an effective reaction paper, it is crucial to read and thoroughly understand the text you are reacting to. Take notes, highlight important points, and make sure you have a solid grasp of the author's main arguments and ideas.

Step 2: Write a Summary of the Text

Begin your reaction paper with a concise summary of the text. Summarize the main points, key arguments, and supporting evidence presented by the author. Be objective and provide enough information to give your readers a clear understanding of the text's content.

Step 3: Analyze the Content and Organize Your Thoughts

After summarizing the text, delve into a detailed analysis of its content. Identify the author's main ideas, arguments, and evidence. Evaluate the effectiveness of the author's arguments and discuss any counterarguments. Organize your thoughts and supporting evidence to create a well-structured reaction paper.

Step 4: Include Personal Reflections and Reactions

A reaction paper is not merely a summary or analysis; it also requires your personal reflections and reactions to the text. Discuss how the text impacted you personally and intellectually. Did it challenge your beliefs? Did it inspire you? Share your genuine thoughts and emotions.

Step 5: Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses

In this step, critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the text. Identify any logical fallacies, biases, or gaps in the author's arguments. Provide examples and evidence to support your evaluation. Remember to be fair and balanced in your critique.

Step 6: Connect the Text to Course Material

If you are writing a reaction paper for a specific course, make connections between the text and the course material. Discuss how the text relates to the themes, concepts, or theories covered in the course. Demonstrate your understanding of the course material and its application to real-world examples.

Step 7: Revise and Proofread Your Paper

Once you have completed your reaction paper, take the time to revise and proofread it. Check for any grammar or spelling errors. Ensure that your paper flows well and that your arguments are coherent and supported by evidence. Make any necessary improvements to enhance the overall quality of your paper.

Congratulations! You now have all the necessary tools and guidance to write an outstanding reaction paper in APA style. Remember to follow the guidelines we've provided, organize your thoughts, and express your ideas clearly and concisely. By incorporating your personal reflections, thoughtful analysis, and adherence to APA formatting, you will create a reaction paper that stands out. Embrace the opportunity to showcase your critical thinking skills and contribute to the academic and intellectual discourse within your field of study.

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  • A Research Guide
  • Writing Guide
  • Assignment Writing

How to Write a Reaction Paper

  • Meaning of a reaction paper
  • Structure and outline
  • How to start reaction paper
  • Step-by-step writing guide
  • Reaction paper format
  • Examples of reaction papers

Reaction Paper – Meaning of a Term

Reaction paper outline and structure.

  • Watch a movie and note down the main points in the episodes. If it is a book, you must reread it and get all the themes in the story before you can complement it.
  • After reading/watching the piece, the next step is evaluating the story and figuring out the needs of the paper. You have to get back to the instructions given by your examiner. You may be asked to react to a specific part of the story, so the examiner’s instructions are key because your paper must reflect the question. If you are asked to write on a specific part, you must quote a sentence or theme of that region and relate it to the author’s purpose. You might be asked to write two types of reactions by your teacher.

How to Start a Reaction Paper?

  • The context – while starting your writing, you should first introduce the reader to the topic through a small background story on this theme. The reader should be able to understand it so that when you begin giving your views, they are not left hanging.
  • The need – your readers should see the need for your view on the book or movie you are writing about, so you have an assignment of creating suspense to attract them to your work. You can write this by stating the significance of your opinion and how it impacts the lives of others.
  • Thesis statement – you must write a thesis statement at the beginning of your text. The thesis constitutes a summary of the piece you are reacting to, the major points of it, and the contradiction in views of different people.
  • Details of the book – while you write about a book or a movie, you have to introduce it to the reader by giving the author’s name and what the book is about. If it is a movie, you have to give the name of the film and the characters to familiarize your reader with the piece. You must also state the main objective of the movie or book you are writing about in the introduction.

How to Write a Reaction Paper: Step-by-step Guide

Step 1. carefully study the work, step 2. highlight the main idea of your reaction, step 3. write a plan, step 4. write your reaction, step 5. reread the text and edit your reaction, reaction paper format guidelines.

  • The introduction of the reaction – the introduction is the face of your paper. Therefore as a writer, you have to make sure that it looks attractive and increases the reader’s urgency to proceed to your body paragraphs.
  • The body of the reaction is the main section, where all the ideas for your essay are explained. You should start each paragraph with a topic sentence in your body paragraphs.
  • The conclusion of the reaction – while you write the conclusion, you should link your thesis statement with a summary of the ideas in the body paragraphs.
  • List of citations of your reaction – while you write a reaction paper, you must include the citation for the sources you have used.

Examples of Reaction Papers

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How to Write a Response Paper: Outline, Tips, & Reaction Paper Example

A response paper includes a summary, analysis, and personal response to a text, a movie, or a song.

A response or reaction paper is a form of a written assignment that includes a summary, analysis, and personal response to a piece of literary work (it can also be about an article, a movie, a story, a song, or a video).

This essay aims not only to express your thoughts and ideas but to prove them with facts and evidence. In this article, you will learn what kinds of response papers exist and what the difference between them is. You will also find 7 simple steps to writing a reaction paper and a simple reaction paper example .

❓ What Is a Response Paper?

  • 📎 Response Essay: Summary, Critical, & Personal
  • 👣 7 Steps to Writing a Reaction Paper

👀 Response Paper Example

📝 reaction paper example, 🔗 references.

The below guide breaks down the process of writing a response essay from scratch.

So, what is a response paper?

A response paper (or a reaction paper) offers a personal opinion on the given text. Since you need to show your opinion, it is important to state it based on your reaction and experience. It would help if you made it logical as well.

This kind of paper is usually assigned to students who work with scientific or literary texts in college. Since most majors involve these, almost every student has to write a response paper at some point. For example, a novel reaction paper or a political science reaction paper.

On the picture, the three types of response paper are compared: summary response essay, critical response essay, and personal response essay.

The three main types of response essays are:

  • Summary response essay
  • Critical response essay
  • Personal response essay

Let’s dive deeper into each of them.

Summary Response Essay

A summary response essay is a sort of reaction paper. It consists of two parts:

  • the summary of the piece of work,
  • your response to it.

It is usually around five paragraphs long.

The first part of the essay consists of a summary. Here, you need to mention the author, publisher, and publishing date. Then, summarize the piece of work and be sure to cover all the key points. You also should include some citations from the story.

By the way, we offer a free summarizing tool if you need to make a summary quickly.

Do not put your personal opinion in the first part. The second part of your essay is where you need to express your impression and give your reaction.

Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay is a form of reaction paper. It is more detailed and includes critical analysis . This essay aims to show your critical thinking and the ability to express your opinion.

To write a good critical response, you need to:

  • analyze the text,
  • interpret it,
  • summarize it.

You may think that critical response requires only analyzing the drawbacks of the text. However, the crucial part here is that you need to:

  • analyze the author’s idea,
  • think of its strengths and weaknesses,
  • find evidence supporting your point,
  • explain the evidence.

Personal Response Essay

A personal response essay is also a kind of a response paper. Here, you need to analyze the piece of writing and give a personal opinion based on your own experience . The important part is that you need to compare the author’s ideas with yours.

This kind of assignment aims to express your personal beliefs from a philosophical and logical point of view. You should prove it using the evidence from the given text.

The personal response essay requires your critical thinking and analytical skills. Try to write down all your thoughts and reactions as you read the text.

📎 Response Essay: Summary vs. Critical vs. Personal

Even though all three types of the essay are different, they have a lot in common. Before you begin writing your essay, make sure to read the guideline carefully.

Let’s break down what we’ve learned so far:

👣 How to Write a Reaction Paper? 7 Simple Steps

A good reaction paper offers a thorough analysis, reasonable claims, and a good structure.

Here’s the detailed step-by-step guide on how to write a reaction paper. You’ll find out what to include in the introduction, body, and conclusion with these simple steps.

The picture contains 7 steps to writing an A+ response paper.

Step 1: Understand Your Assignment

You must be wondering how to start your reaction paper.

Before starting your writing, you need to understand what kind of paper you need to write. Read your assignment carefully and define if it’s a summary response, critical response, or personal response.

The format of your essay depends on what kind of assignment you have. After defining the type of paper you need to write, you can manage your time effectively and start preparing an outline.

Note that you can use first-person point of view in your response essay.

Step 2: Read the Text Assigned

A lot of people don’t start reading the assigned text until the very last moment. Here’s why it is entirely wrong.

If you read the assigned text as soon as possible, you’ll have more time to digest and evaluate the information and get more ideas and insights.

Sometimes, your opinion might change over time. That’s why you should try giving yourself more time to reflect on what you’ve read.

Moreover, it is necessary to read the text more than once to get a better understanding. Remember that you need to summarize it, so try reading it as many times as you can.

Simply giving your opinion on the piece of writing is not enough. You should analyze it, evaluate, and combine all the ideas you get from it. That’s why you need to read it very carefully.

Step 3: Work with the Text

There are also techniques for working with the text more effectively.

While reading the text for the first time, try to write down the rough draft of your thoughts.

Then, reread and try to put your comments. It will be much easier to find the correct quote or your initial reaction if you do this. Moreover, it can save a lot of time later.

Finally, ask questions. Think of the questions that can uncover more details about the text.

Some of the questions you can ask:

  • What are the strong and weak parts?
  • What are the author’s main ideas?
  • How does the author support their claims?
  • How are the topics from the text related to what we have discussed in class?

By answering these questions, you can understand the author and the text better.

Step 4: Write Down the Ideas

Now, you need to collect all your ideas and reactions by writing them down. Give your opinion on the author’s ideas and explain their point of view. Here, you need to either agree or disagree with the author.

After you finish, choose the points that you’re most confident in. These will be the basis of your essay.

After that, try to decide on your point of view. Since analyzing is the key, try asking questions about the text. Why did the author write this story from this angle? What connection does it have to real life? You can evaluate the text by answering these questions.

Now, you should collect all the points that you’ve made and write down your thesis statement . The thesis statement should contain the claim that you’ll prove in your essay. Try to summarize all your observations and ideas into one statement.

Need help with formulating a thesis statement? You are welcome to use our free thesis maker !

Step 5: Outline Your Response Paper

How to outline a response paper? Well, it depends on its type, but usually, an outline consists of:

  • Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Body (around 3-4 paragraphs)
  • Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)

Here’s the sample of what you can write in each part:

Step 6: Write Your Draft

Now, let’s start writing your draft.

Writing a draft is the essential part of your essay writing. It is better to start writing your body first. If you do that, you can build the basis of the essay. Then, you can proceed to the introduction and the conclusion.

Structure Your Arguments

Start your paragraphs with the topic sentences . After that, state the author’s idea and your reaction to it. Keep in mind that you can either agree or disagree with the author. So, it would be best to show how your ideas correspond with theirs or how they contrast.

Don’t simply write, “I disagree with the author because I don’t like his idea.” You should sound logical and always be ready to prove your claim.

Some of the templates you can use in your paragraph:

  • In my opinion
  • The author seems to
  • I did not like / I liked
  • My favorite / least favorite part was… because
  • The reader can conclude that
  • I agree/ disagree with the author because
  • I can’t understand the connection to
  • I felt that

Write Your Introduction & Conclusion

Let’s now dive deeper into the introduction and conclusion parts.

First of all, in your introduction, you should mention the author’s name, the title of the text, and the publisher if it’s required. The last sentence should be your thesis statement.

The introduction should grab your reader’s attention, so don’t make it too long and complicated.

Some of the introduction and conclusion ideas:

Step 7: Polish Your Draft

Now, it’s time to polish your essay. Follow these steps to do it.

Reread your paper and make sure your writing makes sense. Remember that instead of simply giving your opinion, you should prove it with facts.

Some teachers require your personal opinion in conclusion, but some may also allow it to be in the body parts. So, if there are any confusing parts of the assignment, make sure to ask your teacher.

If you’ve discussed some topics in class, it may be a good idea to connect them to the ideas in your paragraph.

Remember to keep it short. Your reaction paper should be from 500 words up to 5 pages long.

Proofread it carefully and check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Double-check the guideline and make sure you understand the meaning of the assignment correctly.

Now, you are ready to submit your response paper.

If you’re still wondering how to write a reaction paper, here’s a sample. It is A Rose for Emily response paper with a marked outline.

A Rose for Emily Response Paper

We’ve previously explored how to craft a response paper for a book, but what about scientific writings? When it comes to reacting to non-fiction papers, a well-structured response typically includes a concise summary of the work, your response to the findings with references to concepts learned in class, and a thoughtful conclusion. Here’s an example of how to approach a psychology reaction paper.

Psychology Reaction Paper Example

Now you’re all set to write your response paper. Share your lifehacks in the comments below.

  • Response Paper
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  • Writing a Response Paper
  • Writing a Response or Reaction Paper — Hunter College
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Response Papers

Response papers can be designed to address several different purposes, and precise nature of your assignment can be tailored to the skills you want your students to use and/or the concepts you want them to engage with:

  • Have you just taught your students about a scientific concept, and you want them to read and interpret a paper that describes how that scientific concept was discovered?
  • Have you just taught your students about a scientific concept, and you want them to read about how that scientific concept has been proposed to design a new technology?
  • Have you just taught about a scientific phenomenon that we do not fully understand—perhaps one that could be explained by several possible models—and you want students to read a paper that provides evidence supporting one model and refuting another? The students could then be asked to explain how the experiments and data of a paper can be used to support one model and rationalize why the experiments were set up in the way that they were by the authors.
  • For example, do you want students to analyze two arguments that are in disagreement, and choose one that they agree with more with, explaining why they do so?
  • For example, do you want your students to read an article or paper that introduces a type of experimental methodology that is novel to the students, and ask students to apply that methodology to study a set of concepts you have been studying in class?

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How to write a reaction paper: a detailed step-by-step guide for beginners

How to write a reaction paper

Well, how to write a reaction paper? Before beginning your reaction paper, fully understanding what the assignment entails is crucial. Each reaction paper has its specific requirements and goals. Determine whether you must focus on a particular aspect of the content or provide a general response.

Understanding these requirements is the first step to ensure your paper meets the expectations. Consider the length, reaction paper format, and any specific questions or themes you should address. Don't hesitate to ask your instructor for clarification if anything is unclear. A clear understanding of the assignment will help you focus your thoughts and structure your paper more effectively.

What is a reaction paper

What is a reaction paper? A reaction paper is a form of writing that critically responds to specific content such as a book, article, film, or event. Writing a reaction paper is a unique opportunity to combine personal reflection with critical analysis. Typically assigned in academic settings, reaction papers allow you to express your views and critically evaluate a piece of content, whether a book, article, film, or event. I'm sharing some foolproof tips to make this daunting task enjoyable. So, let's embark on this adventure together!

How to start a reaction paper: selecting the right content

The content, whether assigned or chosen by you, is the centerpiece of your reaction paper. Ideally, this content should be relevant to your assignment and engaging enough to provoke a thoughtful reaction. If you can choose, select a piece that genuinely interests you or resonates with your experiences. It could be a provocative article, a compelling film, or a thought-provoking book. Your engagement with the content is crucial in crafting a meaningful reaction paper, so choose something that sparks your curiosity and invites deep thinking.

Tip: Select engaging content: choose content that fits the assignment and sparks your interest. Engaging with material that resonates with you leads to a more authentic and insightful reaction, enhancing the depth of your paper.

How to start a reaction paper: engaging with the content

You must immerse yourself in the content to write an influential reaction paper. It involves more than just reading or watching; it requires active engagement. As you go through the material, take detailed notes. Highlight critical themes, note your emotional reactions, and jot down any questions or thoughts that arise. This active engagement will help you to understand the content more deeply and provide a rich foundation for your reaction. It's also beneficial to consider the context of the material, such as its historical background, the author's or creator's perspective, and its relevance to current events or personal experiences.

Formulating your thesis statement

The thesis statement is the backbone of your reaction paper and other writing, like a dissertation. It should encapsulate your primary response to the content, summarizing your viewpoint clearly and concisely. Your thesis statement should be specific enough to give direction to your paper but broad enough to allow for a detailed discussion. Spend time refining your thesis to ensure it accurately reflects your perspective and sets the stage for your argument. Remember, a strong thesis statement not only states your position but also piques the reader's interest.

Crafting an outline for reaction paper

An outline is invaluable in organizing your thoughts and ensuring your reaction paper has a coherent structure. Start by mapping out the main sections: an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In every section, outline the main concepts using bullet points, ensuring each item reinforces and is consistent with your thesis statement. Your outline for reaction paper doesn't need to be overly detailed, but it should provide a clear roadmap for your paper. A well-thought-out outline will streamline the paper writing service process and help maintain focus on your thesis throughout the paper. If you find yourself in need of additional support, you may consider seeking guidance from academic resources or even  buy a dissertation  from professional writing services to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the topic and a well-structured paper

Writing the introduction

The introduction of your reaction paper sets the stage for your argument. Begin with a compelling hook — a surprising fact, a poignant question, or an engaging anecdote related to the content. Then, provide background information to orient your reader, briefly introducing the content and its creator. Conclude your introduction with your thesis statement, clearly stating your primary reaction to the content. Just as seeking assistance from a 'Write My Paper for Me' service can streamline crafting a well-structured and articulate document, a well-crafted introduction serves a similar purpose in your paper.

Tip: Develop a strong introduction: craft an introduction that presents the content you're reacting to and captivates the reader's interest. Use a hook, like an intriguing quote or a surprising fact, to draw the reader in.

Developing the body paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you delve into the specifics of your reaction. Each paragraph should focus on a particular aspect of the content that supports your thesis. Use examples and evidence from the content to back up your points. It is where your notes and active engagement with the material pay off. You can quote directly, paraphrase, or refer to specific scenes or arguments. Ensure each paragraph has a clear point and connects logically to the overall argument of your paper. Balancing personal reflection with critical analysis in these paragraphs is vital to a nuanced and insightful reaction paper.

Tip: Transition smoothly between ideas: ensure your paper flows logically using smooth transitions between paragraphs and ideas. It helps to guide the reader through your arguments and maintains the coherence of your paper.

Incorporating personal reflection

Your reaction is what makes your paper unique. Share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the content, but always link these back to your analysis. Reflect on why you reacted a certain way, what this reveals about the content, and how it connects to broader themes or issues. This introspection personalizes your paper and deepens your critical engagement with the material. Remember, a reaction paper is not just about how you feel; it's about examining why you feel that way and what that reveals about the content.

Tip: Maintain a professional tone: even though a reaction paper is personal, it's essential to maintain a professional and academic tone. Avoid overly casual language and ensure your writing is respectful and objective, especially when critiquing the content.

Balancing critique and appreciation

A well-rounded reaction paper acknowledges both the strengths and weaknesses of the content. Even if your overall reaction is adverse, try to find aspects you can appreciate and vice versa. This balanced approach demonstrates your ability to think critically and objectively. For those who struggle with crafting such nuanced responses, exploring options like "pay for essay" could be a solution, offering professional guidance in achieving this balance. 

Writing the conclusion

So, we discussed how to start a reaction paper; now, let's find out about the conclusion. The conclusion of your reaction paper is your chance to bring your arguments full circle. Reiterate your thesis statement and briefly summarize your main points. It is also an excellent place to reflect on the broader implications of your reaction, how the content relates to more prominent themes or issues, or how it has affected you personally. A firm conclusion leaves the reader with something to think about, whether a new perspective on the content, a deeper understanding of a particular theme, or a call to action.

Tip: Conclude with impact: your conclusion should summarize your main points and leave a lasting impression. Consider reflecting on the broader implications of your reaction or suggest ways the content could be further explored or understood.

Reaction paper format: revising and refining

After completing your first draft, revising and refining your paper is crucial. Look for areas where you can clarify your points, strengthen your arguments, and improve the overall flow of your writing. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and ensure your paper follows the required formatting guidelines. Revision is integral to the writing process, allowing you to polish your thoughts and provide your paper with the ability to communicate your reaction.

Seeking feedback

If possible, get feedback on your paper from peers or your instructor. Fresh eyes can offer new perspectives and point out areas needing improvement. Constructive feedback can help you see your paper in a different light and inspire new ideas. Take the time to consider this feedback carefully and make appropriate adjustments to your paper. Remember, the goal is to create a reaction paper that meets the assignment criteria and reflects your insights and critical thinking.

Final touches

Before submitting your paper, give it a final read-through. Ensure it flows well, supports your thesis statement, and conveys your reaction to the content effectively. Pay attention to the finer details, like word choice and sentence structure, to ensure your paper is engaging and clear. Finally, double-check that your paper adheres to all the assignment guidelines, including word count, reaction paper format, and citation style. A thorough final review will ensure your paper is polished and ready for submission.

Writing a reaction paper, the same as a descriptive essay, is an enriching exercise that allows you to engage with content on a deeper level and articulate your personal and critical perspectives. You can create a compelling and insightful paper by understanding the assignment, engaging thoughtfully with the content, telling your reaction clearly and deeply, and balancing personal reflection with critical analysis. An excellent reaction paper is not just about stating your opinion; it's about presenting a well-reasoned argument that reflects your unique viewpoint and engages your reader. Following these steps will help you craft a reaction paper that is both insightful and engaging.

What is a reaction paper?

A reaction paper is an academic assignment where you critically respond to content like books, articles, films, or events, blending personal reflection with critical analysis.

How do I start a reaction paper?

Begin by selecting engaging content and thoroughly understanding it. Formulate a clear thesis statement and create a structured outline to organize your thoughts.

What should I include in a reaction paper?

Include an engaging introduction with a thesis statement, detailed body paragraphs with personal reflections and critical analysis, and a conclusion summarizing your insights. Revise your work and seek feedback for improvement.


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Reaction Paper Examples

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285 Reaction Paper examples are found

Top 10 Technologies to Learn in 2022, Reaction Paper Example

What was the First Smartphone? The above YouTube video, which is titled by the same name, appears on the ColdFusion Channel, and it mainly argues that the first smartphone ever [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 329

History Based on Collingwood, Reaction Paper Example

Introduction Historian Collingwood has long known that history revolves around past actions by human beings. Additionally, these pursuits are mainly about the human actions done by reasonable humans. Therefore, Collingwood [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1424

Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, Reaction Paper Example

Introduction One of the most significant books of history ever written is Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon’s goal is to explain Rome’s decline and demise. He [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1882

The First Genuine Autobiography, Reaction Paper Example

Sigmund Freud’s Leonardo Da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood Question 1: What are the compelling arguments formed by other critics on Freud’s psychological idealisms? This question was not [...]

Words: 368

The Place of Women and Feminism, Reaction Paper Example

The rise of the modern world spawned profound systemic changes to western civilization and thus provides a fruitful site for the analysis of seemingly seismic cultural, social, political, and economic [...]

Words: 1265

Anatomy and Physiology II, Reaction Paper Example

I enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology II because I was extremely interested in the medical science field and how the relationship between body form and physiological components of the body [...]

Words: 312

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CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Paper Analysis 2024: Student Feedback, Difficulty Level and Expert Review

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CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Exam Analysis 2024: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Higher Secondary Exams 2024 are going on. CBSE 10th exams started on February 15, 2024, and will continue until March 13, 2024. Today, February 19, 2024, the Class 10 Sanskrit paper was scheduled. Though a comparatively lower percentage of the higher secondary students take Sanskrit as one of the language subjects, it is an important paper. Here, students who appeared for the paper today will get the proper exam analysis. This will help them know how the paper went for other students. The parents and teachers will get an idea of how the students performed and what they can expect from the result. To know more about the paper, read this complete article. 

Importance of CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit 2024 Analysis

A paper analysis might make sense to some and be considered irrelevant by others. Knowing the paper analysis is like knowing the paper. This helps students, teachers, and parents understand the difficulty level of the paper and accordingly judge or predict the outcome. It is expected that papers with high difficulty tend to have lenient markings. Thus, it is better to check the paper analysis after the exam.

CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Paper Format 2024

There were four sections in the higher secondary 10th Sanskrit paper 2024 (Paper Code 122). Each was allocated with defined marks. Check the mark distribution and question variety below:

CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Exam 2024: Student Reaction

Post-examination, the students' reactions were recorded. Although not many students were able to talk about the Sanskrit exam, a few shared their experiences. As per students:

  • The paper was easy and completed on time.
  • The most engaging section was Section D. 
  • Questions 15 and 17 were the most difficult questions of the paper.
  • The paper followed the 2024 sample paper in terms of question format and variety.

CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Exam 2024: Expert Review

As per experts “The paper was easy, and all the questions were correctly placed in the expected format. The student must have done a good job of writing the answers and was expected to score well. The rest is based on the evaluator's checking, which will be reflected in the 2024 CBSE result.” 

For more clarity check CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Answer Key 2024 . 

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CBSE Class 10 Sanskrit Paper Analysis 2024: Student Feedback, Difficulty Level and Expert Review

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CBSE Class 10 Hindi Answer Key 2024 and Question Papers, Download PDF All SETs

Cbse class 10 hindi answer key 2024: in this article, students will get the answer key of cbse 10th hindi board paper 2024. students can check their answers and assess how they have performed in the exam..

Atul Rawal

CBSE Class 10 Hindi Exam 2024: The Higher Secondary students of CBSE took their Hindi exam today. As per the CBSE Class 10 Exam Schedule 2024, the Hindi A and Hindi B exams were planned for February 21, 2024. The exam duration was 3 hours, and the timing was from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

CBSE Class 10 Hindi Paper Answer Key 2024

The students who appeared for the Class 10 Hindi 2024 exam are eagerly waiting for the answer key. Here, you will get the set-wise CBSE Hindi Class 10 answers. The solutions here are provided by our internal experts and are considered provisional. It is suggested that students confirm the answers with their teachers before completely relying on this answer key.

CBSE Class 10 Hindi Course A  Answer Key 2024

This answer key is for Hindi Course A (SET 1)

1. निम्नलिखित गद्यांश को ध्यानपूर्वक पढ़कर उस पर आधारित दिए गए प्रश्नों के सर्वाधिक उपयुक्त उत्तर वाले विकल्प चुनकर लिखिए। भारत एक विशाल देश है। यहाँ के विभिन्न राज्यों की अपनी क्षेत्रीय भाषाएँ हैं। स्वतंत्रता के पश्चात से मातृभाषा को प्रोत्साहित करने की बातें चर्चा में रही हैं। परंतु इनके विकास के लिए कोई ठोस उपाय नहीं किए गए। इसके कारण प्रत्येक क्षेत्र में विदेशी भाषा अंग्रेजी का वर्चस्व स्थापित हो गया। नेल्सन मंडेला ने कहा था कि किसी भी व्यक्ति के सोचने की प्रक्रिया अपनी मातृभाषा में होती है। अगर किसी व्यक्ति से उसकी मातृभाषा में बात करें तो वह बात दिल तक पहुँचती है। यह सर्वविदित है कि मातृभाषा में शिक्षा प्राप्त करना अत्यंत सहज एवं सुगम होता है। अपनी मातृभाषा में विद्यार्थी किसी भी विषय को सरलता से समझ लेता है जबकि अन्य भाषाओं में उसे कठिनाई का सामना करना पड़ता है। विश्वभर के शिक्षाविदों ने मातृभाषा में शिक्षा प्रदान किए जाने को महत्त्व दिया है। विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन की एक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार अपनी मातृभाषा में चिकित्सा की पढ़ाई करवाने वाले देशों में चिकित्सा एवं स्वास्थ्य व्यवस्था की स्थिति अन्य देशों की तुलना में अच्छी है। चीन, रूस, जर्मनी, फ्रांस और जापान सहित अनेक देश अपनी मातृभाषा में शिक्षा प्रदान कर रहे हैं। सर्वविदित है कि ये देश लगभग प्रत्येक क्षेत्र में अग्रणी हैं। इन देशों ने अपनी मातृभाषा में शिक्षा प्रदान करके ही उन्नति प्राप्त की है। यदि स्वतंत्रता के पश्चात भारत में भी मातृभाषा में चिकित्सा एवं तकनीकी शिक्षा प्रदान की जाती तो हम आज विश्व में और अधिक बेहतर स्थिति में होते। वर्तमान में इस दिशा में ठोस और क्रांतिकारी कदम उठाए जाने की आवश्यकता है।

(i) किसी भी देश के आधारभूत विकास के लिए आवश्यक है : (A) तकनीकी शिक्षा का विस्तार होना (B) चिकित्सीय शिक्षा का विस्तार होना (C) किसी भी भाषा में शिक्षा देना (D) मातृभाषा में शिक्षा का विस्तार होना

(ii) स्वास्थ्य और चिकित्सा की दृष्टि से कौन-से देश अच्छी स्थिति में हैं? (A) मातृभाषा में चिकित्सीय शिक्षा देने वाले देश (B) अपनी राष्ट्रभाषा को मातृभाषा बनाने वाले देश (C) राष्ट्रभाषा और मातृभाषा को समान मानने वाले देश (D) अंग्रेजी भाषा से दूरी बनाने वाले देश

(iii) भारत में क्षेत्रीय भाषाओं के अपेक्षाकृत कम विकसित होने के क्या कारण हैं? (A) हिंदी भाषा का वर्चस्व (B). अंग्रेजी भाषा का वर्चस्व (C) उपयुक्त प्रयासों का अभाव (D) स्थानीय इच्छाशक्ति का अभाव

(iv) 'मातृभाषा में शिक्षा प्राप्त करना आसान होता है।' इस कथन के पक्ष में निम्नलिखित में से कौन-सा /कौन-से तर्क सही है/हैं? 1 मातृभाषा में प्राप्त ज्ञान को समझना सरल है। 2. मातृभाषा में प्राप्त ज्ञान को समझना जटिल है। 3. मातृभाषा अन्य भाषाओं से सरल स्वरूप होती है। 4. मातृभाषा और दूसरी भाषाओं में कोई अंतर नहीं है।

विकल्प : (A) 1 सही है। (B) 3 सही है। (C) 1 और 2 सही हैं। (D) 1 और 4 सही है।

CBSE Class 10 Hindi Course B Answer Key 2024

This answer key is for Hindi Course B (SET 2)

1. निम्नलिखित गद्यांश को ध्यानपूर्वक पढ़कर उस पर आधारित दिए गए प्रश्नों के लिए सर्वाधिक उपयुक्त उत्तर वाले विकल्प चुनकर लिखिए : गरमियों के दिन 'छुट्टी और यात्रा' पर जाने के दिन होते हैं। 'छुट्टी पर जाने' का यह अनुराग काफ़ी आधुनिक है, क्योंकि लोग 'कर्मोन्मत्त' बन गए हैं और वे जो कुछ भी करते हैं या नहीं करते हैं, वह उनके लिए तनाव पैदा करता है। पहले 'छुट्टी' शब्द मूल रूप से धार्मिक दिनों के लिए इस्तेमाल होता था; आजकल इसका मतलब सामान्य दिनों के विपरीत आराम या विश्राम का कोई विशेष दिन है। लेकिन असली सवाल है कि छुट्टी पर जाने से पहले क्या आपका मन और शरीर नई जगह का आनंद लेने की स्थिति में है? यात्रा की सारी तैयारी बाहरी होती है, लोग विश्राम की भाषा पूरी तरह भूल चुके हैं। जब आप कुछ नहीं करते, तो यह मत सोचना कि समय बर्बाद हो रहा है। कुछ न करने के दौरान आपकी ऊर्जा खुद को स्वस्थ करती है। सतत काम करते रहने का जुनून ही आपको छुट्टी का आनंद नहीं लेने देता। आप जहाँ हैं, वहाँ मौजूद रहना सीखें, इसका अर्थ है अभी और यहीं होना । बाहरी दुनिया के बिना जीवित रहना सीखें। इसका स्पष्ट मतलब है, अपने साथ रहना शुरू करें, खुद को जानना सीखें । छुट्टी का मतलब यह कदापि नहीं कि आप सिर्फ कामकाज से दूरी बनाएँ, बल्कि अपने मन, उसके दबावों और उलझनों से भी दूरी बनाइए।

i) 'छुट्टी पर जाने का यह अनुराग काफ़ी आधुनिक है' पंक्ति का आशय है. (A) प्राचीन समय में लोग छुट्टियों का आनंद घर पर ही लेते थे। (B) छुट्टियों में घर से बाहर जाने का प्रचलन वर्तमान समय की देन है। (C) वर्तमान समय में छुट्टियों के प्रति प्रेम बढ़ा है। (D) कार्यस्थलों/शिक्षा केन्द्रों में छुट्टी पर जाने का प्रचलन बढ़ा है।

(ii) 'कर्मोन्मत्त' शब्द का अर्थ है - (A) कार्य से विमुख (B) कार्य करने का आदी (C) कार्य न करने का आदी (D) आराम करने का आदी

(iii) यात्रा पर निकलने से पहले क्या आवश्यक है ? (A) गंतव्य स्थल की जानकारी हासिल करना (B) गंतव्य स्थल की टिकट बुक कराना (C) आवश्यक सामान को बैग में डालना (D) तन और मन को आनंद लेने के लिए तैयार करना

(iv) गद्यांश के अनुसार कुछ न करने से भी समय बर्बाद नहीं होता, क्यों ? (A) शरीर की ऊर्जा नष्ट नहीं होती । (B) शरीर की ऊर्जा खुद को स्वस्थ करती है। (C) हम आत्मावलोकन करते हैं। (D) तन और मन को विश्राम मिलता है।

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