This article was co-authored by Rachel Scoggins. Rachel Scoggins is a Lecturer of English at Lander University. She received her PhD in Literary Studies from Georgia State University in 2016. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. 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. Understand the purpose of a reaction paper. Reaction or response papers are assigned so that after reading a text, you will think carefully about what you feel or think about the text. 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 interesting things to write a research paper on text. It also does not state, «I liked this book because it was interesting» or «I hated this because it was boring. Figure out what the assignment is asking. Before beginning your paper, you must figure out exactly what your teacher or professor is looking for.
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Some teachers want you to react by analyzing or evaluating the reading. Other teachers want a personal response. Make sure you understand which kind of reaction the assignment calls for. 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. Read the text you are assigned right after it is assigned. To complete a reaction paper, you don’t just read, give your opinion, and turn in the paper. A reaction paper synthesizes the texts, which means you take the information you read and bring it together so you can analyze and evaluate. 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. After you read through the first time, jot down your initial reactions to the text. Do the same thing on any subsequent readings. Annotate the text as you read. As you read through the text again, annotate it.
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Use a template to format your paper in APA Style and learn some useful tips for developing strong content in a research paper.
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