How to Write a Response Paper from Scratch
What is a response paper? It is a paper that communicates one’s reaction to specific literature. Reaction papers are unique because they require a personal touch. Reaction papers can be written after reading a book, article, or speech or after viewing a film. One must communicate his or her opinions clearly and concisely to ensure the review is not robotic.
The most important skill to have when learning how to write a response paper is objectivity. This simply means the ability to analyze content without being overly emotional. To write the paper from scratch, you will have to read or view your assigned material objectively.
Response Paper Writing Tips for Beginners
Here are the essential tips that will help any beginner to navigate the world of response paper writing:
- Read or view the work with an objective eye. Avoid relying on your emotions or stereotypes as this limits your ability to give a wholesome review.
- Take notes as you go through the content. In fact, you can create an outline that you will fill out with points as you read further. This outline will form the basis of your reaction paper.
- Reread the several literature ties to ensure you have not missed any important points.
- Acknowledge opposing views that you may not agree with as they are just as important as those you agree with. These views may arise from the author’s own words or may just be an impression you get while reading.
- Stick to the writing norms such as proper paragraph structure to ensure your message is not lost due to poor presentation. Your paragraphs must start with a topic sentence, have adequate supporting evidence, and end with a summarizing statement that reiterates your main argument.
- Use the first person, that is, “I” when writing your paper. Most academic papers do not allow this, but it is standard practice for a reaction paper.
A Simple Response Paper Format That You Can Use
A response paper has two parts: a summary of the work and the writer’s reaction to it. This is a standard response paper format that is easy to use.
- Part 1: Summary of the work
This section must contain the name of the author, the title of the work with the publisher in parentheses. You must include a comprehensive but the summary of the material. This summary must be informative, assuming your reader has not read the literature. Great ideas can be illustrated with direct quotes from work. However, you should not discuss any components in great detail. Overall, you must present an objective and factual summary without stating your personal opinion.
- Part 2: Your reaction
To write this part well, you should answer at least one of several questions. How does the work relate to real life situations, your life experiences or ideas discussed in the course? Did the work change your perspective on any issue? You should also evaluate the work in terms of its accuracy, ability to relay the message and overall organization. Finally, you can state whether you would recommend it to anyone.
Any point you make must be specific and backed up with evidence from the reading. For example, when you say, “I found the book interesting,” you must also state your reasons and back them up with evidence.
How to Start a Response Paper?
The best response paper structure starts with an accurate summary of the work. The summary must not be too lengthy and only brief enough to give the reader an overall picture of the material. Direct quotes may be used where necessary to emphasize important points. These quotes must be appropriately cited according to your chosen academic format. It is important to note that the summary should not include your personal opinion as this belongs in the rest of the paper. Knowing how to start a response paper is a crucial factor for success in such an assignment.
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