Reaction paper writing requires you to analyze a given text anddevelop your commentaries about it. Nowadays, it’s quite apopular academic assignment that also requires thoughtfulreading, careful writing, and detailed research. How to write areaction paper? You can easily learn how to complete this writingtask by following a few basic guidelines. It requires yourpersonal conclusions and opinions on a given abstract, article,etc. Unlike a standard summary, reaction papers must contain yourthoughts and views on a particular problem discussed in the text.Its basic goal is showing teachers and instruction your deepunderstanding of a situation and how you can use analyticalskills.
Recommendations to write an outstanding paper
The first part of your reaction paper should contain basicinformation on the chosen topic and author. Write down key ideasand focus on the main points while using direct quotes whenneeded. In this essay section, you should avoid sharing anypersonal opinion because it should be included in the second partwhere you focus on the main matter and describe your view. Feelfree to explain to the audience how the materials you use relateto the modern society, world, and people. Support each statementyou make with the necessary sources and make valuable conclusionsif you agree with the author or not.
Writing reflection papers can be a challenging and confusing taskfor many students. That’s why you should use great examples tofind out more about the right structure and important features.Pay attention to the following recommendations because they canhelp you complete this academic assignment successfully:
- Read original articles or texts carefully and focus on themain points or ideas that will be discussed;
- Describe your personal opinion and support it with extra datawhen needed while using vivid examples;
- Use different sources of information to make a statement moreargumentative;
There are other useful tips that will help you avoid makingcommon mistakes:
- Avoid giving a summary of the chosen text instead of apersonal opinion;
- Be sure to support your major ideas with great examples;
- Avoid the examples that are hard to relate to a given topic.
If you use the above-mentioned rules, you’ll easily learn how towrite a reaction paper and submit an excellent work.
The importance of actively reading and prewriting
First, you need to understand the main purpose served by anyreaction paper. It’s assigned to force you to think carefullyabout what you think and feel about the given text after readingit. When completing this assignment, evaluate its weak and strongsides in addition to how well and whether it achieves the maingoal. This essay is not only a paper where you express yourpersonal stance, but it also requires your close reading thatgoes beyond a surface meaning. You need to respond to all impliedideas, evaluate, elaborate, and analyzing the main point andpurpose of the author. In most cases, students are allowed to usethe first person when writing their reaction papers.
When responding to the chosen text, support all ideas with enoughevidence taken from it and your own opinion about relevant ideasand overarching concepts. If teachers or instructors ask you toeither disagree or agree, you need to give convincing evidence toprove why you feel this way. When responding to multiple texts inone assignment, analyze how they relate. If you respond only toone text, connect it to relevant themes and concepts. This papercan be written about different lectures, movies, field trips, andso on.
Determine the main purpose of writing a reaction paper
Next, you need to figure out what you’re asked to do. How towrite a reaction paper? Before getting started, identify the mainpurpose of your writing. Some professors ask their students toreact by evaluating or analyzing texts, while others expect toreceive a personal response. Be sure to understand the type ofreaction that you should give. If you have any doubts, ask yourteachers to clarify their expectations. For example, you may needto react:
- To one text in the light of another text (use quotes from alltexts in your writing);
- To the given text in the light of specific class themes;
- To the text personally (focus on your personal opinion aboutit).
Why read the given text
To complete your reaction paper perfectly, you need not only toread it carefully, but also give your personal opinion and takeother steps. This essay synthesizes texts, and this means thatyou take any information that you read and bring everythingtogether for further evaluating and analyzing. Take enough timeto read everything attentively and understand all ideas to putthem together in your assignment.
Waiting until the last minute is one of the most common mistakesmade by students because any reaction is a thoughtfulconsideration after reading a few times. You should reread thechosen text multiple times to familiarize yourself with all ideasand start thinking about your reactions. After reading it thefirst time, write down all initial reactions and annotate allmajor points. Basically, annotating in text margins allows you toeasily find quotes, character development, plot lines, andreactions. If you fail to take this step, it becomes harder towrite a cohesive reaction paper.
As you read the given text, you need to start questioning it, asthis is where your personal reaction and evaluation starts. Someof the most useful questions include:
- What are the problems or issues addressed by the author?
- What is the main point discussed in the text?
- What are weak and strong sides?
- Are there any problems with the main argument?
- What assumptions or points do authors make?
- How do they support them?
- How do ideas connect to the overall theme?
- How do all given texts relate to each other?
The process of drafting a reaction paper
Start with freewriting your personal evaluations and reactionsrelated to the ideas of authors. Put into words everything theytry to do and state if you disagree or agree before explainingwhy you think this way. Freewriting is an effective method tostart getting all ideas on paper and avoid the initial writer’sblock. Once you finish it, read everything carefully to determinethe strongest and best reactions while prioritizing major points.
Determine your thesis and angle
Any reaction paper should be critical and offer some evaluationof texts. Otherwise, you just summarize everything you read.After freewriting, you need to determine your angle, so thinkabout why authors wrote their stories as they are. Why are theystructured in a particular way? How are they related to themodern world?
The next step is determining a thesis, so shape your angle andmajor ideas into a strong argument that you will prove in areaction paper. Consider the most interesting and importantthings that you can tell readers about the given text. Take allof your personal opinions, points, and observations and combinethem into one strong claim that you will prove. Your thesis is astrong and short statement that explains to others what you willcriticize, analyze, or prove about the chosen text. Besides, itfocuses your reaction paper to stay focused.
How to organize your paper correctly
How to write a reaction paper? It should follow a basic academicformat, so that it requires an introductory paragraph, body, andconclusion. Each section must support a thesis directly and reactto a different part of the text. Organize all of your reactionstogether into several common topics to write about them inparagraphs. As an example, when reacting to any theme in aparticular book, split paragraphs into how antagonists, settings,and figurative imagery communicate the main theme eithersuccessfully or unsuccessfully.
Once you organize all major ideas into paragraphs, find brilliantquotes to support major points. You need to support any claim youmake with enough evidence taken from the text. Check yourannotations for any quotes that can help you back up a thesis.Write the paragraphs that introduce the chosen quotes to analyzeand comment on them.
When structuring the paragraphs of your reaction paper, rememberthat they need to start with a separate topic sentence. Forinstance, you can start with what authors say and follow with apersonal reaction. One of the best ways to think aboutstructuring all paragraphs is providing readers with:
- Quotes and examples;
- Your evaluation and comments.
How to write a final draft
Ensure that an introductory paragraph includes basic informationabout the given text, such as its author, and the main focus ofyour reaction paper. The last sentence of this essay section isyour thesis.
Reread other paragraphs to ensure that you make any stance.Although many reaction papers don’t ask for a personal opinion,you should analyze, criticize, and evaluate a particular textinstead of simply sticking to facts. Search for the parts whereyou can report what the text says instead of offering anyevaluation. Explain a greater implication of this text for theaudience. Connecting it to other relevant ideas is a great way toevaluate and analyze it. When teachers or instructors ask you toprovide your personal opinion, the main body is the best place todo that.
Edit a final draft of your reaction paper for its length andclarity and make sure that you understand all assignment promptscarefully. Determine whether all sentences are clear and if yousupported and argued all major points. Find and rewrite anyconfusing part or sentence to submit an excellent paper andimpress readers.
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