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Handy Guidance to Reaction Paper Writing

You may ask 10 people about how to generate a high quality reaction paper and you will definitely get 10 absolutely different responses. Nobody seems to really know how to accomplish one, yet almost every student is assigned with the task to cope with a reaction paper at some point of his academic career. Here is a handy guidance on how to do a reaction paper with the minimal losses. In this article we have provided an example of what the tutors are usually looking for in a professionally completed reaction paper. Nevertheless, remember, that every tutor has his own requirements: some will want you to provide more “evaluating” or “analyzing” in the content, while the other one may require you to provide your personal reactions to the piece. The best recommendation is to ask your professor for clarification. What is more, you may even provide him with the guidance given below to revise it to give his expectations.

 

 

1.    Synopsis/Summary – What are you going to react to?

 

Key aim: Tell your reader what, in your opinion, the author of the piece does really well and what he fails to do.

 

Answer the w-questions: Why/Why not? What/Where? What for/What if? Who/Why? When/How?

 

Here are the key questions you may take up:

  • the piece title, author, the title of the journal/book from where this piece was taken, the publication year and the publisher;
  • the subject/topic of the piece – for instance, “Holden Caulfield’s ideas of becoming a real "catcher in the rye”. In other words, inform your reader about what the piece you work with is about in a single phrase/word;
  • the motive/purpose of the author for writing – for instance, “to show what it feels like for a young individual to come of age, or to grow up on the example of Holden’s fears of growing up and rejections of the adult world”;
  • the thesis statement of the author of the piece (it may appear similar to the purpose though not necessarily);
  • the author’s key supporting ideas.

                

                  2Analysis – Name the weaknesses/strengths of the piece

 

Key aim: Tell your reader what, in your opinion, the author of the piece does really well and what he fails to do.

 

Answer the w-questions: Why/Why not? What/Where? What for/What if? Who/Why? When/How?

 

Here are the key questions you may take up:

  • was the piece you chose convincing? If yes, why? If not, why not, specifically? Is it fully researched? Are the sources of information the author makes use of reputable? If not, why?
  • Why did the author of the piece overprivilege/overemphasize some points?
  • What did the author leave out?
  • How did the author present a well-balanced view, or he is 100% one-sided (point out whether he takes your side)?

 

 3 Personal Reactions – What kind of reaction do you have to the piece you’ve chosen on a personal level? In what way is the piece linked to your life-experience?

 

Key aim: Tell your reader about personal experiences and impressions of yours.

 

When working on this part of a reaction paper, make sure to give answer to the following questions:

 

  • did the piece provoke your interest? If yes, why? If not, why not?
  • did the piece information annoy/bother you in any way? If yes, why? If not, why not?
  • what would you tell/what question would you ask the author if you had such an opportunity
  • what kind of questions does the work of the author raise for you?
  • what did you comprehend as you finished reading the piece?


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