Writing Tips, Samples and News for Students

How to Write a Response Paper to a Book

How to accomplish brilliantly a response writing to a book? This question is asked by all students who have been given a task to describe their impressions of a particular literary work. As a rule, this involves the student’s independent work, which they need to pass in the format of a response paper. Therefore, today we will analyze how to write this specific type of essay – a response paper to a book.

Prior to proceeding to the actual guide, everyone who intends to start working on this research piece must be aware that there should be present the first-person active voice writing style. It’s important!

What Should Be Written?

A response essay is a statement of an individual person about a particular work, which has an emotional and evaluative character, containing the argumentation of the author’s opinion, supported by evidence. It sounds complicated, but, in fact, you just need to give an assessment (like it or not like it), and also explain why. It is very important to reveal the topic as much as possible and give a detailed answer. A response paper is a subjective thing. In it, the author not only shares an emotional impression, but they also reveal themselves through their reading habits. Much of the reasoning is based on personal experience, book tastes, and preferences.

What does it mean? In fact, it means the student has the right to their own independent opinion about any book, especially if they correctly formulate their thoughts and back them up with evidence (quotes, text fragments).


Response Essay To A Book Plan

Where should you start? First, you should read the book carefully and thoughtfully, it is better to do so at least twice. Meanwhile, you are reading, do not hesitate to make notes about interesting events, important plot twists, and your personal impressions. After looking through a literary piece, you should not immediately sit down to work, you need to give yourself time to think about intriguing and engaging thoughts and ideas. You should also not wait too long, as a rule, in order for the read book to settle down in your head, 2-3 days are enough.

Next, you need to draw up a response paper to a book plan. This may be as follows:

  • Introduction. It should contain the title of the book and the name of the writer. You can start the text with the words: “I recently read …” or “This work was written by a famous author of children’s books …”.
  • Description of the book. Here, you need to talk about the characters, you can start like this: “The main characters of the novel are …” or “In this story, the author told about …”.
  • Plot. There is no need to do a detailed retelling of the entire text, two or three explanatory sentences are enough. For example: “The story describes the conflict between …” or “The book introduces the reader to the adventures of …”.
  • Reasoning. The main part of the response paper. In it, you have to express your opinion about the work, argue for it, you can give a separate assessment to various episodes, characters. It is possible to start like this: “Of all the characters in the story, I liked the most … because … (list the character traits).”
  • Final part. Here, you ought to give a generalized assessment of the entire book, perhaps by comparing it with other works by the same author or the same genre orientation. But, you can limit yourself to recommendations: “I advise everyone to read the book because …”.

responce paper format

Questions that May Help with Work

In order to understand how to write a response paper to a book, you can try to ask yourself a few questions. Namely:

  1. What is the story of the book?
  2. Do you know the author, what other works of this writer have you read?
  3. The main idea of the piece?
  4. What did you like the most (individual episodes, characters)?
  5. What didn’t you like?
  6. Who do you want to be like from the heroes?
  7. Where and at what time does the story in the book take place? Does the book describe any historical events, unusual natural phenomena?
  8. Are there any peculiarities of the book’s language – unusual expressions, interesting literary techniques?
  9. Have the piece made you empathize with the main characters and is there something special about this story?
  10. What are you thinking after reading?

Templates (Cliché) for Writing a Response Paper

To avoid the appearance of speech errors when writing a response essay, you can use the following synonyms and expressions:

  • A book (work, novel, story, fairy tale, story);
  • I liked this book (It left an impression/bright trace, deeply touched, attracted my attention, drew attention to myself, impressed, took my soul);
  • An interesting (fascinating, exciting, impressive, curious, engraved in the memory, entertaining) book;
  • The author tells (shows, describes, depicts life, presents, speaks, illustrates, introduces problems …, outlines a range of issues such as …);
  • I especially like the main character of the story, he/she is interesting (cute, intriguing, attractive, memorable, colorful, unusual, touched me …);
  • This tale (story, book) allows us to conclude …;
  • It is easy to read this book, it contains interesting (beautiful, bright, memorable) illustrations.

When working on a response paper, you should not be “nerdy” and invent something that was not in the book and thus trying to show your originality. This type of essay is deeply personal and should express your true perception and, so to speak, “aftertaste” following reading the book. You have to be honest and frank. The teacher is interested in your individual opinion and thoughts about a particular work.

It is important to try to find the strengths and weaknesses of the work. To do this, the book should be viewed from different angles, to determine what you like and what embarrasses or upsets you. Of course, this must be done grammatically and stylistically correct to assist the reader to follow your thoughts and make the essay to be completely understandable.

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