What is a reaction paper?

 A reaction paper is one of the common academic assignments for college students. Students are required to respond to a   particular text as part of their coursework. Presenting a reaction paper means analyzing a text by developing their own commentary. Writing a reaction paper entails responding to the author's ideas and supporting the idea based on your own perspective. In several instances, the instructor might require students to take a specific position, whether they agree or disagree with the statement within a particular text.

What is the purpose of the reaction paper writing?

As part of class assignments, your tutor would request you to write a summary of certain class reading to determine whether you have understood the text. By assigning a reaction paper assignment, the tutor simply wants to know if you have read and understood the text including your thoughts. Therefore, one needs to focus on stating his opinion about the text.

How to start reaction paper

Writing a response paper means evaluating the text by highlighting the author's strengths and weaknesses and also state if the text managed to achieve its objectives.  One should not just express his opinion, a reaction paper goes beyond understanding the surface meaning, it requires close reading to understand the hidden message the author is trying to convey. Before beginning the paper, students need to figure out what is expected of him and what the tutor is looking for. Some tutors would want students to analyze or evaluate the reading, others would simply want a personal response. It's important to know which kind of reaction the assignment wants before writing your paper

Students need to decide which angle to take, think about why the author wrote the article and how does it relate to the situation in the world today. It is important to reread the text several times to understand the theme and think about the response you would want to present before writing.

The introductory paragraph should be concise with a focused thesis statement in relation to your response. A good thesis statement should present your position than just announce the subject.

To present a convincing thesis, think about what interesting things you read in the text, state why the text is interesting and important. This forms the core of your reaction paper.  Present all your points, opinion and observation in a few sentences to make a good thesis.

Ensure that the introductory paragraph indicates the name of the text, the author and year of publication. It's also important to indicate the author's purpose. An example of a reaction paper would be reading a book on gender roles in sociology, your response would include annotating the reading and present your opinion on gender roles as the book describes.

How to write the body

The body paragraph should present a detailed explanation of the text,  a  good essay body paragraph should always begin with a topic sentence to announce what you want to present in the following paragraphs.  The writer can either start with what the author says and present his reaction to the author's opinion.  The ideas should be organized into three paragraphs supported by the quotations from the text.  All claims should be backed up with evidence to show that the writer has understood the main ideas in the text.  According to essayzoo.org, each body paragraph should be directly related to the thesis statement presented at the beginning of the essay.

For example, if you are reacting to a theme in a book, you can divide the body paragraphs into how the plot is presented.  The body paragraphs can include the general setting, the antagonist and the artistic tools used like imagery.  One good idea of writing the body essay is to evaluate the text connecting it with other ideas discussed in class, this includes analyzing how the text as compared to others present the theme.

How to conclude

The concluding paragraph should be convincing, therefore before winding up, the author needs to review his argument and further appreciate the text argument and its significance.  He needs to further state why the text is valuable 

How to polish reaction paper

After completing the first draft, review the paper to check for any omissions and unnecessary information that does not make sense.  Check to ensure that the paper is written according to the essay format including the length. Remove unnecessary words and review the sentences to ensure that they flow properly. Check out or any spelling and grammatical errors that might make your paper look unprofessional and make corrections where necessary. If you have adequate time, request your friend to read your paper and note down his opinion to make adjustments before handing in your paper. Reaction papers require more than just summary a reading. It requires careful attention to specific elements. Reacting to a text entails, presenting the author's ideas and reacting to them by either supporting author's ideas or refuting the ideas based on your own perspective. By following the above steps, students are aware of what to include when writing a reaction paper.

Published by Arina Smith