How to Write a Reaction Paper
Reaction Paper – Meaning of a Term
Beside the definition of a reaction paper, many scholars find it hard to understand its meaning even though they come across this paper a few times in their career. It is true that for every action there is always a reaction and the same does apply to reading. When you are asked to write a reaction paper, you should not take it as being difficult at all because the examiner is just trying to test your ability to review the work of other authors and give personal opinions that are sensitive to the subject.
You may be asked to write a reaction paper indirectly, and you have to get the intention of the examiner fast. A good example is that you may be asked to give a critique about a certain subject, and this would constitute a reaction paper, or to write a review about a literature book; it also falls into the same group.
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A reaction paper is mainly based on response towards certain deeds in a story. Before getting to the reaction paper, one has to analyze the subject under investigation and acquire all the useful information before providing a critique on the matter.
The key thing in writing a reaction paper is giving an opinion on a subject and supporting your statement relevantly to the satisfaction of whoever would be reading your work. Let the reader be convinced that you are right and go by your opinion on the matter. A reaction paper usually has two audiences, the first audience is the readers of your work and the second one is the referees who choose the appropriate articles to post. In most cases, reaction papers might be used in the future for references by other authors, and therefore you should come up with clear content.
How to start a reaction paper
Some of the questions to ask yourself before you start a reaction paper include “what is my feeling about the intention of the writer of the book I am reviewing?” You have to understand the main objective of the author and know the feeling about it.
The start of any essay determines the score of the piece when grading it. If you go through various samples of reaction papers you will find out that the following guide is useful for starting your work:
- The context – while starting your writing you should first introduce the reader to the topic through a small background story on this theme. The reader should be able to understand it so that when you begin giving your opinions, they are not left hanging.
- The need – your readers should see the need for your opinion on the book or movie you are writing about, so you have a task of creating suspense to attract them to your work. You can do this by stating the significance of your opinion and how it impacts the lives of others.
- Thesis statement – you have to include a thesis statement at the beginning of your writing. The thesis constitutes a summary of the piece you are reacting to, the major points of it and the contradiction in opinions for different people.
- Details of the book – while writing about a book or a movie you have to introduce it to the reader by giving the name of the author and what the book is about. If it is a movie, you have to give the name of the movie and the characters to familiarize your reader with the piece. You also have to state the main objective of the movie or book that you are writing about in the introduction.
Reaction paper outline
The common topics that you might be asked to write about is a literature book or a movie. Most students are usually asked to prepare a critique for a movie because, in the modern world, this is one of the trending entertainment resources that most people are fond of watching. Movies are influential to many people, and utilized to pass their information to the audience.
To come up with great content for your movie or book analysis, you have to:
– Watch a movie and note down the main points in the episodes. If it is a book, you have to reread it and get all the themes found in the story before you can start complementing on it.
– After reading/watching the piece, the next step is evaluating the story and figuring out the needs of the paper. You have to get back to the instructions given by your examiner. You may be asked to react to a specific part of the story, and you have to center your opinions to that section, so the instructions of the examiner are very key because your paper must reflect the question. If you are asked to write on a specific part, then you will need to quote a sentence or theme of that region and relate it to the purpose of the author. There are two types of reactions you might be asked to write by your teacher.
First, you may be asked to give personal opinions concerning a certain theme in a book. In this case, the opinions that you give should be centered on your personal experience and the knowledge you have on the topic. The second option is that you might be asked to write about the opinion of the author for the literature resource allocated. In this case, you will have to major your points on what the author was thinking concerning the idea and not your own opinions. You are restricted to talk about the theme depending on how it is brought up in the book.
After understanding the essence of the question, you have to reread the book and note the information that would be useful for your content. It is good to repeat this several times so that you can have all the story at your fingertips and it would help you to avoid writing the ideas that are not evident in the source given.
Writing a reaction paper is mainly based on how you feel or think about something. After reading through the paper, you should annotate the text so that you do not miss any essential information.
Explain the personal opinion about the piece and illustrate using evidence from credible sources. In your explanation, be certain to include examples to act as a backup to your statement.
Format of reaction paper
A reaction paper adopts different formats depending on the instructions given. A reaction paper is divided into several parts. To organize your work, you have to understand every part of the essay and what it entails. In a reaction paper, just like in any other essay format, there is the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Besides the three main parts, a reaction paper constitutes the citation list.
- The introduction – the introduction is the face of your paper and therefore as a writer you have to make sure that it looks attractive and increases the urgency of the reader to proceed to your body paragraphs. In the introduction, you have to give a small description of the author and the main problems and ideas on the story. It should not be too long, as it will be boring to the reader; a good introduction should have three to four sentences. Immediately after the introduction, you should write a thesis statement which should be clear and brief.
- The body is the main section, where all the ideas for your essay are explained. In your body paragraphs, you should start each one with a topic sentence. The topic sentence should reflect the idea to be described in the section. You should include appropriate sources to back up your opinions. In the body, you can add theoretical evidence to support your statement.
- The conclusion – in writing your conclusion you should link your thesis statement with a summary of the ideas in the body paragraphs. A good way of encrypting your conclusion is by touching on the major points in summary then wrapping up everything by clarifying your opinion.
- List of citations – while writing a reaction paper you have to include the citation for the sources you have used within your paper. The sources used should be credible and scholarly so that they can persuade the reader.
Examples of reaction papers
To advance your skills in writing a reaction paper, you have to go through various samples. When you read and analyze them, you can be able to note the common mistakes made by writers and avoid them in your work. There are many reaction paper topics that one may be asked to write on, such as movies and novels. Most of papers samples are found in articles, journals, magazines and even educational websites. By going through various examples, you get exposed to different topics, and this improves your knowledge so that you cannot be taken aback when given any of them.
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