How to Write Response Essay - Best Ideas

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Originally published Feb 01, 2021, updated Apr 20, 2021
How to Write Response Essay - Best Ideas

A response essay is a judgment, an opinion that contains an assessment of a book, film, a work of art, a piece of music, a speech, a marketing campaign, or a written work. To write a good response, you must have a notebook and a pen in your hands: the answer is already written at the stage of reading. To do this, as you read the work, you must mark theses about what you read.

It would help if you also wrote down your thoughts, attitude to what you read, highlight the most vivid and favorite moments, ideas that come to your mind. There is no need to enter data about the creator and extra touches of his biography - this is information available to everyone, as a rule, arousing interest in a narrow circle.

You can write in the form of reasoning, and then the response paper contains a persuasive essay structure:

  • thesis (the reader's opinion about the work);
  • evidence of the validity of this opinion;
  • conclusion (overall assessment of the work);
  • recommendations (to whom to read this work).

What Is a Response Essay?

An essay is a personal opinion, reasoning about something, be it a book, literary work, movie, or painting. The paper shows your informed view; with the help of this task, you share your impressions with others. Please do not confuse it with a reflective essay, because of such a document built on a specific situation that triggered your reflex. We advise you to study with a reflective essay example before getting started.

The document should be aimed at expressing the emotions that you received from the information you read. As a rule, this is a small document, just a couple of standard-sized pages. It includes an overview of an article or other work, consideration of the main storylines, and the behavior of the main characters.

Writing an essay is a matter that requires a lot of knowledge and time-consuming. You will not be able to limit yourself to merely analyzing the work. It is necessary to study the entire creative path of the author to draw analogies and conclusions regarding his works.

Main Purposes of Response Paper

When writing an academic paper in college, it is essential to remember that the main thing is to concisely write about impressions in general. In opinion essay topics or reaction essay topics are asked by professors to study what you feel or think about a particular work. This type of writing takes time, and it requires you to interpret a text and evaluate how it serves its unique purpose. What are the things to focus on? When reading your literary piece, identify the following:

  • how you feel about it;
  • whether you agree or disagree with the author;
  • the best way to value the entire story;
  • perform a training task according to the algorithm;
  • formulate statements using new terms; take into account different opinions and seek cooperation in the educational dialogue;
  • adequately interact in a pair and a group while completing an educational task;
  • write a review on the text read using reaction paper guidelines;
  • use speech means to present the result of the activity.

What Is the Difference With Other Essays?

Every response paper you write has a very similar structure that consists of an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. While this type is not an exception and is quite similar to an analytical essay, it still has differences. One of those is the fact that it contains two parts. The first part includes a quick summary of the analyzed work. The second part is a critique - an answer to the creator’s opinion, facts, examples, etc.

Value judgments must be present in the document. You can tell about personal reflections after studying the work, for example: what did it teach, whether there was a desire to revise the work again. In conclusion, you can express your opinion.

The argumentation system in this essay is based on the personal reading experience, individual tastes, and preferences. The creator should try to answer the questions proposed by the writer: how, why this work is impressive. And by his example to motivate the future reader to such reflections.

Step by Step Writing Process of Response Essay

We want to advise on a step by step write a response paper:

  • In work, you can choose one of the following strategies: a view from the outside, analysis without giving positive or negative ratings, critical analysis, or open polemic with the author.
  • It is mandatory to indicate the author and title of the work, bibliographic data. Indicate whether this is a new release or a reissue.
  • Avoid banal retelling of the book. You can make out the title, content, way of building the book, author's style, and skill, but to do it competently and intriguingly.
  • Express your impression of the book, while justifying all the negative and positive points.
  • Note the relevance of the work and the degree to which it reaches the target audience.
  • Indicate stylistic, factual, grammatical mistakes made by the author. Recheck their availability.

This composition is optional, but it can be a starting point for creating your work.

Summary of the Primary Source

When writing work, you need to describe what the primary source is about briefly. It is necessary to talk about what this work teaches and what the main idea is. There is no need to retell the entire content; it is enough to do only the main theses. You can write 2-5 sentences, but not too long.

The degree of compression of the text of the can be different, up to the expression of the main idea of ​​the stated in one thesis, in one sentence. A brief retelling usually comes close to business style. An example of a concise retelling is the abstract of an article or book.

The creators do not like it when the text is a retelling in reviews, because, in any document, there is a certain intrigue. Thus the performer gives out all this intrigue to possible readers at once. Do not retell the material; do not give up all the creator's conspiracy, and do not deprive others of the pleasure of guessing for themselves how the plot will develop further.

Analyze the Primary Source

Before you start writing an paper, you need to study the primary source in detail and make an analysis. The format of such a task is used in works of art, including books, paintings, and films.

The first thing you should do is collect a lot of information about the subject. The work of other researchers on the same theme or reviews of writers will also help you analyze it. Your task is to carefully read the entire document or an excerpt from it to have a good idea of ​​what you need to write.

When working with a primary source, we advise you to take notes in the margins. Choose those episodes that are convenient to work with, which are suitable for your analysis, and on you can form your own opinion. By answering these questions, you can write better text:

  • Have you read the entire document, or have you carefully studied your source?
  • Did you find information on the theme of your assignment?
  • Have you written down the key points that you intend to use in your paper?

Create a Strong Thesis

In topic it is imperative to let the reader understand your position and what lies in the main idea. In the context of the article, you should mention the creator of the primary source, his main purpose, to which you formed your answer.

If you have chosen to answer only part of the article, you need to form a strong thesis explaining your position. Provide objective information about what to discuss in the paper. Thanks to the thesis, the reader will understand whether you agree with the creator or still have your point of view.

If the reader cannot decide whether to read a particular work, then it is your opinion that will influence his decision. The next thing you need to do is open the thesis statement. This should start with the words “I agree/disagree with” and should accompany by a short and compelling message about the main reason you are taking this position on this document.

Express Your Response/Reaction

To express your response/reaction, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What makes you happy with the story?
  • What have you learned from the text?
  • What seemed the most interesting?
  • Do you agree with the actions of the creator?
  • In good reaction paper topics are there helpful tips for the community?

The document should briefly describe the work's plot - how it begins, what happens in it in the course of the action, what message it carries. Next, write how the plot seemed interesting, exciting, or, conversely, boring, and memorable.

If your emotionality goes off scale, it is better not to show it in the essay. When the students' emotions are too provocative, each sentence ends with three exclamation marks; what will the reader think? He will not think about the document, but about the excessive emotionality of the writer. Write in a neutral but objective way.

Types of Responses You Can Express

There are several types of answers for essays:

  • Agree / Disagree Answer.
  • Interpretive / Reflective Answer.
  • Analytic / Evaluative Answer.

If you agree/disagree with the document, then write about your feelings and sensations. Tell us which scenes made a particular impression on you and why. If the work does not hook you, burn with the desire to express your anger to the creator, open his eyes to some scenes, actions of the heroes, think about precisely what the views did not like.

Reflective answers mean that the writer is looking for alternative ideas, analysis. A reflexive text requires not only knowledge of the work, but also a critical mind.

The analytic answer allows you to evaluate specific parts of an object. Usually, analytical essays study a particular problem; that is, consider the question itself and identify patterns. The purpose of the analysis can be scientific or artistic work.

Writing Your Response Paper

The text should be not only short but, more importantly, coherent. There is no need to draw up paper in the form of answers to questions. It is necessary to make a small ledge in a journalistic style, pleasing to the ear.

It is necessary to show in the peer-reviewed work that its theme, ideological orientation, the behavior of the characters, the content of actions, their mood, and the position of the creator become clear. It is also necessary to note the decorative features of the work (performance, film).

An inconsistent presentation of thoughts and impressions, or a lack of logical transition from one part of the review to another, is something to avoid. There are many ways to write a good response paper, but here's a general guide to help you organize your ideas, namely according to the scheme - introduction, central part, conclusion.

Critical Response Introduction

The introduction should include the title of the book, film, other work, and the writer's name. You can start the text with the words: "I recently read ..." or "A famous creator wrote this work...".

Through the introduction, the reader will decide whether or not he should read your paper. We recommend that you check out a few tips for writing the first sentences:

  • Introductions are the central part of getting the audience's attention.
  • The first few paragraphs should contain a brief description of the theme of the work.
  • Briefly outline your thesis.
  • Describe the creator's biography in a few sentences.

Write your document concisely but memorable for people. If the original article you describe contains several chapters or several completely different ideas, then indicate exactly which situation you are describing, all or just one.

Critical Response Paragraphs

Each moment you want to write about should have a separate paragraph. The structure of the text is based on the strong statement first, followed by the corresponding evidence. After that, describe your thoughts and give some examples, proofs from the source document.

Each statement should correspond to your idea, they complement each other, and the thesis does not stand out from the general concept. The intrigue is in the first paragraph, then does develop the idea gradually. At least one quotation from the source should confirm your statements.

For each of the points, you need to answer several questions:

  • Do statements from the source support the thesis?
  • Are your questions covered with critical answers?
  • Is there an argument for each clause?

If you have answered all the questions and figured out the theme, then proceed to the next final paragraph.

Critical Response Conclusion

In the final part, you need to give a generalized assessment of the entire book, film, what you assessed, perhaps by comparing it with other works of the same creator or the same genre orientation. But you can also limit yourself to recommendations, for example: "I advise everyone / I do not advise everyone to read the book ...".

Requirements for the conclusions:

  • there should be a clear correlation with the designated goals and objectives;
  • references are allowed exclusively to the sources cited in work, or to your conclusions;
  • clarity and unambiguity of wording.

There is no need to rewrite the previously stated document in your own words, and to formulate conclusions in this way is wrong. Conclusions summarize the material and based on this generalization, and new findings are made.

Captivating University Reaction Essay Topics

Choose those response essay topics that are closest to you, that resonates with you, because your task is to demonstrate personal maturity. It will help if you express your attitude to the chosen theme, your position on the problem, individual assessment of the facts. And this can be done most convincingly only when the reader feels your interest in the chosen topic.

So that you don't have any questions, we have prepared interesting essay topics to write about:

  • Frodo from The Lord of the Rings / Dorian Gray from The Portrait of Dorian Gray.
  • Explore the setting and atmosphere in Gone With the Wind / Jane Eyre.
  • Explore the cultural or historical background of Romeo and Juliet / Macbeth.
  • Describe the influence of a minor character: Horatio in Hamlet / Renfield in Dracula.
  • Describe the genre of the piece and its effect on the mood of the article: Make a Fire / For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Ideas How to Respond to Articles

After you have seen that the introduction and conclusion are written without errors, you should pay attention to the central part. In this part, only you decide to agree or disagree with the creator of the text, but you must remember the sequence of the addition of thoughts.

This task can be approached creatively; for example, on a poster, write the three main components of the document: the introduction, conclusion, and central part. We've put together some tips on how to structure ideas and answers properly:

  • Indicate three or more reasons why you are writing an answer on a given theme, regardless of whether you agree with the creator. For each soap, read a separate paragraph, do not mix them.
  • Be clear about your position, whether you like the creator's idea or not, so that the reader understands where you are more inclined; uncertainty is not the answer.
  • Indicate how the creator's ideas influenced you.
Tasha Kolesnikova
Content Team Member

I write articles and do SEO-optimisation here at Studybay. I'm obsessed with creating content both people and Google love, surfing in Portugal, and dancing Jazz-funk.