The Concept of Writing a Good Response Paper

By  //  May 11, 2023

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Suppose you are watching a movie. What will be your reaction after completing it? It’s the same for all. You will criticize it and share your opinion regarding the concept, acting, music, etc.

Likewise, a response paper does the same. It lets you express your understanding of a subject matter, be it a book, journal, or any other text in the course. So, how do you define it in your academics?

What is a Response Paper?

When professors assign you to write a short essay assessing a piece of literature, scholarly works, movies, TV series, or an article, it is called a response paper or a reaction paper. Unlike essays or other academic writings, a response paper is written in first-person, like using the phrases “In my opinion”, or “I believe”, maintaining a professional tone. The motive here is to summarize the content in a few short paragraphs and explain how you connected with the material intellectually and emotionally. These are some questions compiled by eduhelphub that you need to ask yourself before beginning to record your reaction –

  • What is the main idea and issue that the author is trying to address here?
  • What are the points of arguments and assumptions here?
  • Are there supporting evidence that the author conveys?
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the material.
  • Are there any other feasible counterarguments that need to be addressed?
  • What makes the content interesting?
  • Are there any places for improvements?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the author?

Now you integrate these questions collectively. For example,

To what extent did the author justify the central idea? Do the problems relate to one another? Do the claims contribute to a better understanding of an issue on a larger scale?

By creating an outline of your assessment, eventually, you will develop your critical thinking skills, synthesizing skills, and interpretation skills, which are all essential in academic and professional spheres.

How to Structure a Response Paper?

Keep note that you are restating an already published material in your own words providing your perception and including your beliefs and possibilities. Therefore, read or watch the content twice or thrice until you successfully decode the message of the author. It will be better if you record the points of your reaction roughly as you are going through the piece. Like any other custom papers for college, a response paper also consists of 3 components – an introduction paragraph, a body that includes your reaction, and a conclusion of your thoughts. Let’s get on with the process.

Outline Your Opinions

Your first draft will be a good start. Write down the answers to the questions mentioned above. Which aspects interested you the most? What are the areas that you disliked? Develop a thesis statement for your assignment and set the tone of your paper. Organize your ideas beforehand and be clear about what you have to persuade.

Write the Introduction Paragraph

This is where you have to make sure that the reader is not bored with your writing. Hence, always start with an impactful hook that introduces your main point.

  • Address the title and name of the author
  • Concise the gist of the material so that it will give a picture of the content to the reader even if they are not acquainted with the context
  • Brief the points that you will be covering in the rest of your paper

Body of the Response Paper

This is where you need to state your opinion with relevant evidence to support it, taken from the original piece. The actual text may cover different issues that may make your approach even lengthier. You can break down the complexity by dealing with different ideas in more than one paragraph. As recommended by PenMyEssays, a body paragraph typically varies from one to three paragraphs depending on the word count or page count provided by the professor.

Write about how the text relates to the issues in the current scenario, as well as your personal feelings and experiences. Mention what new information did it add to elevate your knowledge, measure its accuracy, and state how it influenced your perspective.

Wrap Up Your Reaction

Lastly, you have to present your observations and summarize your feedback. Make sure no new point is added here, instead assess what you have already discussed now. Provide insights on the assessment and point out unanswered questions, if any. Explore the ideas further and expand on the broader implications of the text. Always end with a thought-provoking kicker conclusion that will leave the reader concerned.

Remember to revise and edit whatever you have written before submitting, including quotes, relevance, grammatical errors, length, construction, etc. The personal touch in your opinions is what makes the response paper authentic and adds depth to the writing.

So, be comprehensive in your understanding, precise in your thoughts, and let your views soar.