How To Write A Reaction Paper

Writing a reaction paper entails giving your opinion or comments about a particular text or media. Do you know how to write a good reaction paper or how to write a response paper? Or parts of reaction paper?

With the personal and subjective point of view, it expresses the commentator’s thoughts towards the media/text in an emotive manner.

Just as the name suggests, reaction essays are meant to portray personal viewpoints towards a text/media.

These essays are used to highlight the values and ideas contained in the texts/media under review.

They do so by artistically creating a connection between the text/media and the reviewer’s personal experiences.

In a response essay, the reviewer attempts to give meaning to the text/media by transforming it into a meaningful context for the audience.

Before you start writing a response paper, there are certain pertinent aspects that you need to keep in mind.

This will help you draft a commentary that brings out your thoughts in a way that portrays deep understanding towards the subject under discussion.

Preparation for an A+ Reaction Paper

This is arguably the most crucial stage as far as writing a reaction paper is concerned.

Whether your commentary is about a book, a movie, an advert, an article, or even a documentary, you must prepare beforehand so that you have adequate information about the topic.

Preparation may entail collecting and analyzing crucial information concerning the topic and author.

It also involves jotting down the main ideas of the text/media under review.

You will also be doing this in a research paper introduction example, when coming up with topics for cause and effect essay, and how to write a lab report for chemistry.

The preparation phase of writing a reaction paper inevitably involves extensive research.

For this reason, one needs to go through the article/media for an initial understanding without falling prey to biased personal opinions.

In retrospect, he/she should focus on the main ideas and their relationship to everyday situations.

Personal opinions relating to the main ideas should be noted down. If need be, such opinions should be backed by credible sources.

Taking note of interesting facts about the text/media under review is of great importance.

When reacting to a book, for instance, one should consider marking interesting pages. Such pages ought to be re-read, and the reviewer’s thoughts noted down.

How To Write A Reaction Paper

How To Write A Reaction Paper

What You Need to Know

When writing a reaction essay, you should keep in mind the fact that your article not only reflects your personal opinion towards the subject under discussion but also a reasonable and objective reaction towards the topic.

Therefore, you must write an informative article, which condenses the main ideas of the text/media under review. Main ideas and key supporting ideas ought to be brought to light.

Creating an Outline

A good outline should also be created when preparing to write a reaction essay.

This helps the reviewer to establish the number of reactions that they have in mind, and how to justify them.

A well-written outline guides you towards the right direction as you write your work.

It is the framework upon which the entire article will be based just as you would do in a how to start a persuasive essaywrite my term paper, and definition essay on success.

Figuring Out the Text/Media

After writing an outline, carefully think about what you feel about the text/media under review.

You should similarly envision the purpose of your reaction paper. This will help you bring out the strengths and weaknesses of the article/media.

Keep in mind that a reaction paper doesn’t just express your opinions, but also requires you to do it objectively.

This highlights why you need to adequately respond to all implied ideas besides elaborating, analyzing, and evaluating the author’s main ideas.

Evidence is Key in a Response Paper

When responding to any text/media, ensure that your ideas are backed up with credible evidence.

In your reaction, you must also loop in your collection of overarching ideas and concepts besides with convincing evidence like in example of a rhetorical analysis essay.

Take note of the fact that a reaction essay goes beyond summarizing a text/media. Justify your ideas and try making use of real-life examples.

When going through the article/media, question it along the way since this is where your evaluation and consequent reaction begins.

Try understanding what issues the author is trying to bring out, and the assumptions that he/she makes.

Therefore, avoid ambiguous and biased statements such as “I love the movie/book because it looks interesting.

Organizing Your Reaction Essay

A good reaction paper needs to be organized into several sections according to its depth and breadth.

Each section should clearly bring out a new idea or a counterargument to the views that are expressed in the text/media under review.

Typically, the first part of your response should state the title author name of whatever you are responding to.

Here, you may also include a brief one-sentence reaction statement. The second part is usually a concise summary of the text/media.

It is at this last part that you express your analysis, agreements, and disagreements.

Since the body is made up of paragraphs, which support your response, each paragraph needs to bring out a new idea.

It is equally advisable to ensure that your topic sentences prop up the thesis. Besides this, the final statement in each of your paragraph should lead the reader to the next section.

This makes your response essay more readable.

You must provide a summary at the end of your reaction paper. The conclusion simply echoes your ideas besides proving your point to readers.

Therefore, you must carefully select your words so that you leave a lasting impression on whoever will read the reaction paper.

The conclusion should simply sum up your ideas, and must, therefore, be concise.

After writing your summary, ensure cite all sources that you may have used in your reaction papers.

Ensure that the sources are credible and scholarly since this will make your essay sound more persuasive.

Shaping Your Arguments  

Writing a response essay is all about putting down a counter-argument expressing your ideas vis-a-vis those of the creator of a text/media.

Therefore, your opinion ought to be shaped into valid arguments since it forms the basis of your essay.

Your thesis statement should provide direction by explaining what you will be analyzing or proving in your piece. Use our best essay writing service and college essay writing services to achieve this. 

Rather than playing along to the creator’s tune, aim at evaluating his/her ideas based on real-world facts and your ideas.

Your arguments should also explain to the readers the implications to the text/media that you are reviewing.

You should also try to create a comparison with other similar texts/media.

If you are required to give your personal statement, do not insert it into the body. Instead, do it in the concluding paragraph of your reaction paper.

How to Write a Reaction Essay to a Movie, Documentary, or a Play

Writing a reaction essay on a movie, documentary, or even an advert requires you to delve more into your personal opinions and observations.

In this case, your arguments are not based on credible sources or supporting evidence.

In retrospect, you are required to portray your feelings and thoughts towards the movie/documentary under review.

As easy as it may sound, there are certain pertinent aspects to keep in mind. The following tips come in handy:

Do Not Retell the Storyline

Writing a response paper about a movie, documentary, or advert is totally different from narrating the storyline to your readers.

For this reason, you should totally avoid retelling the story. Avoid the temptation of writing the movie’s synopsis because it is relevant. Instead, focus on the main themes.

Treat The Film as a Piece of Art

While watching the movie/documentary that you wish to write a response paper on, it is advisable to treat it as a piece of art.

Regard it like any other literature piece that you may have studied or reviewed in the past.

This will help you elaborate the main themes once you embark on your writing.

Draw your attention to the characters and the effect that they have on your perception.

Besides, show how these characters helped in the development of the themes.

Elements to Include

Before proceeding to write your response paper, select elements that will be highlighted in your essay.

This typically implies any standout production aspects within the film. Show how the main themes harmonize to bring out the central theme.

Using other reaction paper examples, try to establish how accurate the events in the film are. For instance, you can talk about the connection that exists between characters in the film.

This will help you capture outstanding and not-so-good scenes within your essay.

Don’t Play the Role of a Critique

Many people confuse writing a reaction essay on movies with writing a critique.

Though closely related, these two are totally different. A reaction paper on a film/play should not focus on criticizing.

It should not be about the lighting, filmmaking, or editing process of that film.

Use scenes, characters, and situations within that film to show how it manages to address certain topics.

All relevant components of the movie/documentary/advert should be used to adequately but briefly describe the characters and scenes.

Incorporating other reviews and studying a reaction paper example will help you substantiate your arguments and bring out a well-articulated essay.

Bring Out the Central Theme

The secret to writing a good essay on a movie lies in bringing out the message but not the action itself.

Although you have the liberty to talk about all topics that are incorporated in the film, your opinion ought to be articulated around the main theme.

This will show that you have an in-depth understanding of the issue under discussion.

Providing Bibliographical Information

When writing any reaction paper, ensure that you acknowledge all sources that you used in the development of your essay.

If you are writing a reaction essay to be posted online, be sure to include correct URLs.

The Organization of Your Paper is Key

For your response paper to be eye-catching, it is imperative to ensure that it is properly organized in neat paragraphs.

Do not jumble up your ideas but instead, create a perfect storyline that brings out your ideas well.

Consider using headlines, and bullet points to demarcate different segments of your essay. Besides this, avoid unnecessary punctuation and grammatical errors.

Proofreading the final document can help you pinpoint such errors and omissions.


Just like it is the case with writing any other type of reaction essay, a movie reaction paper also needs a conclusion.

This is basically a summary of your ideas. While concluding, you need to restate the man themes discussed in the article briefly.

Keep the conclusion short so that it doesn’t give forth a fresh discussion.

Moreover, you should not introduce a new idea when writing the conclusion since it might confuse your readers besides altering the flow of ideas within your article.

How to Write a Reaction Essay on a Book, an Article, an Essay, or a Book Chapter

Most reaction essays are on books, articles, and book chapters. These reaction papers result from the interaction between the reviewer’s and writer’s meanings towards the main themes.

They prove how deep the reviewer understands the topic under discussion, and how he/she is effective at using analytical skills are research tools to come up with a new perspective on the topic.

Whether responding to a book/article/essay/book chapter, you should keep in mind the fact that your readers are familiar with the text. They are not interested in reading a recount of events.

Therefore, you should aim at showing how deeply you understand the concepts, attitudes, and values embedded in that piece of work.

Mismatch of Ideas

A response paper can also play the role of a heartfelt and objective letter to the author of the text under review.

Therefore, it needs to be clear, relaxed, and uncensored. In your writing, you should consider the fact that the author definitely wanted to express his/her ideas.

Therefore, your first task should be to show your audience what you think about the creator’s ideas.

This shows that you have not only gone through the text but also analyzed its content.

In your response, you also need to show your ability to reflect the values, positions, and attitude of the author vis-a-vis your own.

You must, therefore, reflect on the author’s position in a bid to determine whether or not it is in tandem with your own experiences.

Whatever you discover after analyzing the author’s viewpoint and its relation to yours should form the basis of your reaction paper.

Key Questions to Consider

When reacting to a text, you should also address how the author’s perspective interweaves with yours. Ask yourself whether both perspectives are similar or different.

Besides, highlight how perceiving things from the author’s viewpoint has shifted or reaffirmed your outlook.

There are some key questions that you should ask yourself when writing a reaction paper. These include: What values is the author trying to pass across?

Your position and how it relates to the author’s, and how the text has affected your overall perception towards everyday life.

The Dos and Don’ts

Reviewing a text goes beyond picking a reaction paper format to use. To arouse your readers’ interest, you need to highlight the main themes and supporting ideas right from the introduction.

Starting with the first paragraph, you should show the readers what you are reacting to, besides giving them a general idea about the text that you are reacting to.

Try as much as possible to support your essay with direct quotes from the text being reviewed. Avoid providing lengthy quotes, which might make your essay sound unoriginal.

You should also try mentioning all the crucial aspects of the text beside making your essay objective and factual. Do not include subjective reactions in the introduction since there is plenty of space for that in the body.

Your reactions ought to be supported with specific reasons. Do not use general and ambiguous statements such as “the book’s ideas are acceptable.”

In your write-up, ensure that you devote each of your reactions to a paragraph instead of mixing different ideas or opinions in a single paragraph.

In the conclusion paragraph, you should recommend the original work to readers who are yet to read it.

How Long Should  Reaction Paper Be?

This is arguably the most confounding question that you will encounter before embarking on your essay.

Regardless of whether this has been included in the instructions or not, you should dwell more on the content of your response rather than filling up the pages.

Keep in mind that four pages of a well-written response are more readable than fifteen pages of fluff.

The most important thing as far as writing a response essay is concerned, is to show your readers that you have an in-depth understanding of the text/media under review and all the main and supporting ideas therein.

Regardless of the length of your response, its veracity will be ascertained based on how your ideas and opinions are expressed.

Your effectiveness at responding to the original creator will be determined by how you pass your message across.

The research that you conduct in the course of writing your reaction essay should go beyond surface meaning.

Try as much as possible to elaborate and evaluate the creator’s attitude. Ultimately, you must show that your essay is based on a close evaluation of certain references and keep the introduction body conclusion reaction paper at reasonable lengths. 

Outline Reaction Paper Format: Parts of Reaction Paper

Your reaction paper needs to follow a specific format. Typically, most reviewers use APA, MLA, and Chicago formatting styles when writing reaction essays.

Besides ensuring that your essay contains an introduction, body, conclusion, and list of citations, ensure that it is in narrative format. Each paragraph in your essay must have at least three paragraphs.

Our do my paper for me service advise that you avoid contractions. Words such as “cannot” should be written in full form rather than in their contracted versions.

The inclusive language also needs to be used in response essays.

For instance, when referring to unknown gender use him/her without being specific to either of the genders.

In as much as citations within your articles are not necessary, ensure that you acknowledge other people’s ideas. As you master how to write a response paper, Keep in mind that the essential parts include reaction paper with introduction body and conclusion, parts of reaction paper, reaction paper conclusion, body of reaction paper, reaction paper conclusion example, reaction paper essay, reaction paragraph, and reaction paper body example.

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