It may seem like an easy task to write a reaction paper when it is assigned. Now, after you have put it off until the last minute, you find out that even though it is based on your opinion, it is much harder to complete than you originally thought. A reaction paper is designed to express your response to a piece of writing. It is a tool for analyzing the piece. You will need to show your reactions to a certain article or book, the author’s focus, and how it was written.
When you have to go further than “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it”, the paper gets a bit more challenging. You need to expand on your ideas and create a paper that expresses the information in a logical and well-organized manner.
The structure of a reaction paper needs to be much like a five paragraph essay with an introduction that includes a thesis statement, body paragraphs to back it up, and a conclusion that works to wrap it up. One of the best ways to make sure that this paper is a success is to answer these 7 key questions. If your paper answers them, you can be sure that you have done everything the right way.
- What Are Your Feelings about What Was Said?
After you read the piece, jot down a few things about how it made you feel. Did you feel annoyed, sad, happy, glad, or indifferent? If you felt indifferent or the piece didn’t really appeal to you, then jot that down. It can show how the author failed to invoke your opinion or feeling on the subject.
- Are You on the Same Page with the Author?
This is a yes or no question, however, don’t stop there. Explain the reasons why you agreed or disagreed with what the author had to say. Focus on thinking of at least three reasons to support your claims.
- Have You Experienced Anything That Can Be Applied to the Main Ideas?
You have been through a lot in your lifetime and in order to really get the most out of this paper, think about whether or not you have had any life experiences that you can apply to the piece. Have you experienced anything that gives you an advantage over others who have read the article/book and does this change your opinion on the topics being discussed?
- Do You Have Any Deep Knowledge Regarding the Discussed Topic?
Now think about what you have learned over the years. Does anything that you’ve learned relate to the topic that the reader is discussing? If so, this information can help you write this paper.
- Did You Have a Different Opinion on the Topic before Reading the Paper?
Before you read the paper, did you have a differing opinion about the topic? How did it change your opinion? Why is this significant? These are some questions that you will want to consider as well.
- Did the Author Strengthen Your Previous Opinion of the Topic?
Think about whether or not the paper firmed your opinion on the subject and why it did. This will help you decide whether or not the paper was persuasive and whether it had good evidence.
- Is the Main Point Supported by Evidence?
Did the paper support the main point? Did the author back up the claims with evidence? This is a vital question that you need to consider.
If your paper touches on these key points, it is a safe bet that your writing is effective and relevant. When you are able to determine the effect that the piece had on you and express it effectively, you are sure to write a great reaction paper.