Students often confuse the reaction paper with other essay types trying to reach the required number of words and not really caring about the peculiarities of writing. But even if they do get it right, this task still remains complicated and is based on the same mistakes all young people do when they have no experience. To make it clearer for you and easier to write, we decided to create this quick guide where we will share information on definition, logical structure, format and style of this paper and also include some good writing tips that will help you deliver a great essay and receive a high score.
The paper and its components
A basic reaction paper is an essay that is 300-500 words long and contains a thorough review of the examined topic and describes your reaction to this topic (it can be an object, literature piece, movie, article, book, etc.). This academic piece requires from you a thorough understanding of the object as well as providing several strong arguments based on relevant facts and evidence. In order to come up with the essay, you have to first deeply analyze the information you find in credible sources and then introduce it to the audience by structuring it logically and supporting with your comments and opinion.
Actually, your personal opinion is the top element of the reaction paper as you not only base your paper upon but also provide the readers with updated information on the topic, profound analysis and supporting arguments thus building their understanding and opinion on this. Your main goal is to persuade the audience to agree with your point of view so clear and logical content is a must.
Here is what we can suggest to start your reaction paper:
- Understand what feelings you have about the analyzed object and the intentions of the author. Context is necessary for good understanding;
- You have to provide the readers with a good background and descriptive information as well as examples from the book/article/movie;
- Explain the need in your opinion. Usually it`s included to the introduction part where you provide a hook to keep reading and some thesis that should be proved at the end;
- Your paper should be based on details which make the overall picture of your essay. You have to highlight every point of the analyzed piece;
- Plan and structure. We recommend starting an essay with an outline: this is your little plan that you will follow step by step and not miss a single important idea. An outline will help you see the overall structure, divide ideas into paragraphs and connect them logically;
- Depending on your teacher`s instructions, a typical reaction paper has all the parts of a standard essay: introduction, the main body and conclusion followed by a list of references. You start with some background information and catch the attention, then smoothly go to the main part where you give all the arguments and evidence. Describe your first reaction and then your reaction after reading/watching the piece a few times. What has changed? Finish with restating your thesis and summing up the main ideas. Don`t forget to use only relevant and updated sources with credible information for citing;
- Just like any other essay, the reaction paper can be ruined with typos, repetitions, grammar and stylistic mistakes and other things you missed not editing. Make sure everything is fine or let someone double check this.