How to Write a Reaction Paper

How to Write a Reaction Paper

It is essential that you master the art of how to write a reaction paper in order to be successful. A reaction paper basically refers to an academic paper that requires you to give your views after reading and analyzing certain text. It is one of the assignments that you will often be asked to write in school. Therefore, we have outlined some of the best guidelines herein to enable you find out how to write a top notch reaction paper.

The aim of writing a reaction paper is to ensure that you have carefully read the given text, analyzed it and able to give a compelling clarification. This will confirm to the instructor or lecturer whether you have understood the text or not. Since writing a reaction paper is often limited to the presentation of the ideas of another person, the instructor will join it with an assignment to determine your opinion.

At certain times, you may be asked to write a response essay. In such an instance, there is n o reason to panic because the assignment basically requires you to write a reaction paper.

In order to know how to write a reaction paper that is unique and appealing, it is also important to note that after stating the main ideas of the author supported with evidence, you should outline your responses to them while also presenting evidence to clarify the given points. In most cases, the lecturer or instructor will expect you to either agree or disagree with the text, highlighting your reasons.

Tips on how to write a reaction paper

The guidelines below will also help you on how to write a reaction paper effortlessly. They are meant to advice you on the preparations to be made before the actual writing.

Read and understand the text

You can only write a good reaction paper if you have read and understood the given text. Therefore, it is advisable that you properly read the text as many times as you can in order to get the ideas that are expressed therein. While reading, try to find some of the outstanding elements in the text according to the author. If possible, you can mark them out for easy reference when writing.

Many students often wait until the last minute to read and write reaction assignments. However, it is advisable that you start reading the paper immediately it is assigned so that you can have time to analyze the text and come up with a good work.

Figure out what the assignment is seeking

You should always know what the paper is asking before beginning to write it. In fact, this is what should follow after you have read the text. Based on what the assignment is asking, you can now align your points correctly. In case you do not get the aim of the assignment, you should ask.

It is also important that you consider the required length for the reaction paper. These kinds of papers are usually short and can range between 500 words to five pages long.

Organize your ideas

After you have read the text and clarified the assignment, it is now time to jot down what you think of the paper. It is very important that you be very keen when doing this since your reaction paper will be based on the points outlined in this stage. However, there is no limitation on the level of changes that you can make in the process of writing.

In organizing your points for the paper, you need to begin with the thesis statement. This mainly refers to a statement or few sentences explaining the things that you aim to analyze, criticize or give proof of with regards to the text. In fact, the entire paper will be based on the thesis statement; hence you should be quite thoughtful in framing it.

Another important thing to note is that a reaction paper should follow the format of an essay. This implies that after the introduction which includes the thesis statement, you should include the body and conclusion. However, each of these should support the thesis.

To make your work easier, the reactions should be put together in the form of topics which you will further elaborate on while writing.

As you organize the ideas to discuss, you should also bear in mind the required length of the paper.

Step by step process on how to write a reaction paper

Writing is a process that may take you some time but the results are always worth it. The following are the simple steps on how to write a reaction paper.

  • Write the introduction

In writing the intro of your paper, you should ensure that it clearly states the name of the text, its author and also the direction that you plan to take. Besides, you may also include the text’s year of publication, topic and aim of the author.

The introduction should end with a thesis statement.

  • Craft the body

After telling the reader the things that you will be discussing in the paper, you can now move on to tackle each one of them comprehensively. It is advisable that you always have a different paragraph for every point. To support your points, give evidence for each and make sure that every borrowed idea is well referenced.

While writing the body, do not just stick to the facts but give more information to show that you have read, understood and analyzed the text. Do not just criticize or give praises without supporting it. If possible give examples, quotes and any other supporting information that you can get.

  • Close the discussion

The conclusion should bring the paper to a finer close by covering any loop holes that might be lurking in the body. It should vividly show that your argument throughout the paper is critical and can be relied upon. In some instances, the conclusion can also point out to the future.

After you are through with writing the paper, it is advisable that you read through it in order to make any necessary corrections. You can also give the paper to a friend to proofread so that you are able to present an outstanding work.

Reaction paper examples

In order to find out more on how to write a reaction paper and the way to present all the elements outlined above, you should also look at the following examples.

Example 1
Democracy in America by Tocqueville

‘’In Democracy in America,’ Tocqueville is worried about the loss of ancient aristocratic ranks and privileges, and the emergence of democracy. The author states that the ‘key to almost the entire work’ can be found in his chapter where he has discussed the ‘point of departure’ for the Anglo-Americans (Torcqueville, p. 17). In this section, I will discuss how this chapter on the early history of Puritan New England shed light on the extent to which the European governments can go in adopting democracy…’’  see more at

Example 2
George and Martha by James Marshall

‘’The book ‘George and Martha’ (just like other books in the series) by James Marshall is in many ways, a prototype case. The book is mainly for children of between four to eight years old. Every book has five stories about tow hippopotamuses that are best friends and act similarly to humans. Each of the stories starts with a title page written in bold yellow bubbles. As one reads the pages, the right side of the page is dedicated to the story while the opposite contains an illustration of that story. This is much like a prototype case based on its consistency, simplicity in both visual and even reading. Each of the stories is quite short in length, confirming the idea that children are easily bored…’’ view the rest of the paper here.

Example 3
Beauty and Beast

‘’As a little girl, I pretended to be Belle from the story of Beauty and Beast. I had the desire of finding my prince charming. I danced around to the songs, and would have loved a castle filled with enchanted creatures, or a library full of books. After watching the same story many years later, I can honestly say that Belle could be my role model based on how she lived her life. She has a strong personality, open minded and loving. Throughout the story, Belle faces opposition that pushes her to defining and thinking about who she is. Gaston and other people in the town try to mold her into the perfect person which they consider ‘normal.’ The story of Beauty and Beast is about Belle going against the idea of what is normal, right and supposed to be…’’ read the entire sample response paper at

We hope from the above information you are now familiar with writing a reaction paper with ease.

However if you are still finding it a challenge get in touch with us today for assistance in writing reaction papers or visit our homepage for more information about our custom writing services. Alternatively you can continue reading more essay writing guidelines and samples on our blog.