Critical Tips for Writing a Reaction Paper

A response or rather a reaction paper requires you to analyze text and then develop a commentary related to it. Reaction papers are very common in academic assignments since they show a thoughtful reading of a student, their research and writing skills. If you follow the tips below, be sure to be a pro in writing this kind of papers in future.


You will not write a top grade reaction paper if you have not understood the purpose of that paper. The main aim of working on these reaction assignments is ensuring can carefully think about what you feel about a particular text. To determine the purpose, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your text and show how well the text was able to accomplish the objectives. Remember that, it is not just an opinion that is needed, you have to show that you have a close reading of that text and then go beyond the surface of that text’s meaning. From the beginning of the paper, show that you figured out what the question was asking. Be prepared on this because some professors will request personal response.

Annotate the text

As you read the text where your reaction is expected to come from, remember to highlight important messages and key themes along. These can be best achieved through annotation. Write in the margins to allow you quickly identify quotations, reaction, development of character or plot lines. Failure to do a thorough annotation will ultimately lead to a reaction paper that is less cohesive; hence fail to meet the order requirements.


It is only wisdom if you start highlighting your reactions through free writing to evaluate the ideas of the author. This will help you put in word what the author possibly tried to say, and it is here that you either agree or disagree. Ask yourself why you failed to agree and then explain in your own words. This technique is a great way of putting your ideas in a paper and going past the initial block of the writer. When you are done read back whatever you just wrote to determine if the strongest points in your paper make it qualify to be a reaction. After free-write, decide what angle the argument will take to justify your argument. This will ensure you remain coherent in your work all through.

Finally, the final draft of the reaction paper should show a clear thesis of what you wrote, clear and coherent body and a summative conclusion. If these tips are well put into consideration, good grades are not optional.

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