Response Essay Writing: A Complete Guide

Response essay writing is one of the most interesting and at the same time difficult tasks to do. Sometimes, a response essay is also called a reaction paper. It is not by chance because you are expected to react to a certain piece of writing, an article, a book, anything that your teacher has asked to consider and express your opinion on. On the one hand, this assignment gives you a great opportunity to communicate your own ideas while on the other hand, its writing requires much time and efforts due to the necessity to conduct an in-depth analysis of the topic.

What is a Response Essay: A Clear Picture of It

When being assigned to write a response essay, make sure you have a clear picture of its goal. So, what is a response essay? That is the very first question you should find an answer to for the successful paper writing. A response paper is a piece of writing, which is intended to demonstrate your personal attitude towards a certain topic. The purpose of a response essay is to find out what you think about a specific idea and check your ability to express your point of view clearly.

Most students confuse this kind of work with the book review. However, this is not the same. The main difference is that when being assigned to craft a response essay, you aren't supposed to retell the content of the text. The reader knows what the discussed text is about. He/she is interested in your personal vision of the situation, your evaluation of the topic.

Writing a Response Essay: Your Helpful Tips

Are you new to writing a response essay? You are welcome to check the simple tips for composing a good paper that will definitely impress your teacher. Follow the tips below, and the success is guaranteed!

  • Try to understand your impressions: It is very important to concentrate on your first impressions. Sure that it is not less important to research and analyze the theme, but you should also trust your initial opinion. After reading the text for a response paper, ask yourself what the main idea of this text is.
  • Concentrate on the entire atmosphere: Often, the text has some subtext, which can be read between the lines. The author frequently uses some symbols to tell the reader about his/her feelings and emotions. Try to understand whether there is any subtext and provide your interpretation of the major idea.
  • Evaluate the text: At this stage, you are expected to find both the pros and cons of the text. It won't be as easy as ABC, but you should do your best to evaluate the text not saying just that you think it is really good or, vice versa, it is not well-written. You should give evidence of why you think so. Don't be afraid to agree or disagree with the author of the text.
  • Prepare an outline. A clear and concise plan will be very helpful for writing a response essay. If you are lazy to craft it, you take risks to miss something important. You should identify the main points and organize them the right way.

Response Essay Format: Check the Requirements

Like any other academic assignment, a response essay should be written in accordance with a certain format. You should take this into account and not think that if the main aim of the paper is to express your opinion, you can do this in any convenient way. If you have already written essays, you must be acquainted with the general format you are expected to stick to. However, a response essay has its own peculiarities you should be aware of if you want to get an A-grade. Let's have a look at the response essay format for you to meet the expectations of the teacher.

  • The 1st part: The very first line should contain the name of the author and the name of the work. Your first part of the paper will be devoted to the summary of the text. You are allowed to use quotes from the text if they allow reflecting the atmosphere of the text better or if you can't express a certain idea better than the author did. You need not just retell what the text is about. Your task is to process the information you have got, and share it with the reader. Your beginning should obligatorily contain a response essay thesis statement, which is a sentence or two communicating the major idea.
  • The 2d part: The second half of your paper is aimed at discovering what your personal attitude to the text is. You are expected to provide a reflection. You should find the connection between the main points with your own life experience. At the very end, you should say whether the text is worth reading or it is just a waste of time and why.

Response Essay Outline: How to Write It the Right Way?

A response essay outline is used to be your helper when writing an essay. The best way to write a good paper worth an A-grade is to have an example of an outline in front of you. Check the sample of an outline you can use when writing your response assignment.

  • The name of the author, the title of the text;
  • A thesis statement;
  • Analysis of the successful and unsuccessful points of the text;
  • The reflection of your opinion on whether the author did a good job.

A response essay will be evaluated high only if you structure your thoughts the right way. That's why first concentrate on your feelings and ideas, and then write an outline for you to organize your reflection paper in a clear, logical manner. Follow the tips above, and the process of expressing your standpoint will definitely seem to you enjoyable instead of time-consuming and difficult.