A Step-by-Step Approach to How to Start a Reaction Paper

how to start a reaction paper Sofia Woodstone Writer
Sofia Woodstone
Content strategist and writer

The Main Features of a Reaction Paper

Being assigned to a reaction paper, many students find it difficult to get the meaning of this type of writing. Even some scholars would doubt about how to characterize a reaction paper. Well, some key ideas behind it we can understand from the name itself, as far as the focal point of a paper should be a reaction. You shouldn’t perceive a reaction paper as something totally challenging because what your instructor wants is your own thoughts and impression after reading a book. Therefore, you should apply critical thinking and steadily analyze the most important aspects you paid attention to.

There is a possibility that you’ll be writing a reaction paper indirectly, and then you should try hard to catch the instructor’s attention. Your task may be to tell your opinion about some subject or the whole literary book; however, the approach to apply is the same.

Some deeds in the story may be more directed at good or evil and, actually, this is what you should response to. But it is not all that plainly simple as expressing your thoughts and voila! – you have a complete writing. Before analysis, you should dig deeper searching for background information on a subject and some other facts that matter. So, undertaking research is vital.

It is also essential that your target reader could enjoy your thoughts and claims on a certain subject. Your statements should be supported by some argumentation. The purpose of a reaction paper is mainly to persuade, as a reader should perceive you as a trustworthy person, and all that you say are not plain words but your own position that you can support and tell why you have chosen that party in a suit.

The audience you are aimed at could be divided into two types. The first ones are the readers of a written work, and the second ones are the referees, who are looking for quality writings to be posted. It is likely that your reaction paper could be used for references in future; that is why you have to do your best to compose a well-structured and coherent paper.

Which Steps are Important at the Beginning of the Process

Once you are going to start a reaction paper, you should answer a couple of essential questions:

  • What was an intention of a writer of a book? How do you feel about it?
  • What is the main object to be discussed? What feeling does it evoke?

One more necessary thing is to give a book a grade. To do it successfully, you should refer to some sample reaction papers, and you will definitely notice that the following tips have their place in all the pieces you’ll find.

Here are some ideas that would guide you in the process:

  • Begin with making a reader acquainted with the writer and telling a couple of words about a background of the story. You may also present some historical facts related to the story or the biography of an author. Your task is to lead the reader and make him or her prepared to perceive the further info in a written piece. In case you’re analyzing a movie, you should introduce its title and characters.
  • Explain why casting light on your position about the piece is so important. So, you need to kindle the spark of interest in a reader and convince to read your paper. Tell how significant your opinion is and what does it change in a current situation.
  • Compose a thesis statement at the beginning. It should be included somewhere at the beginning of the writing. The thesis is required to conclude the literary work you are going to write about and show the contradicting subject to discuss.
  • Do not forget to insert some actual facts and detailed information taken from the literary piece or movie.
  • One more essential element of an introduction is the main objective of a book or movie you have decided to write about.

Completing an Outline of a Reaction Paper

The main topics for a reaction paper are usually a movie or a literature work. However, movies are, for sure, more popular among students. It is understandable as people of our century are more interested in watching films, and they are not really into reading many books all the time. The movie trend is catching up, and the film industry is thriving these days. The effect it has on audience is unimaginable. But how to make a real critical analysis of the content and ideas introduced in a movie staying apart from the impressive graphics and effects?

    • Watch a movie and make notes in the process. Make a small plan of the key episodes and their messages. If you have undertaken a book analysis, then read it one more time to note a narrative strand.
    • Now it is high time you turned to the evaluation of a piece you have read or watched. You should also understand the main aspect that should be uncovered in your reaction paper. Also, do not forget to keep up with the instructions you have been given by your instructor. You may be asked to react not to the whole piece but only some episode or part of a work. If it is your situation, then concentrate on this part and answer the questions stated by your professor. Additionally, you should use quotations of an author related to the theme under analysis.
    • You should figure out the purpose of the author. Prove your opinion by some sentences taken from the text.

These are the possible tasks you could get from your examiner:

You may be asked to reflect your thoughts on a certain theme in a book. So, you’ll tell something from your experience and personal beliefs concerning the topic.

That is also possible that you may be reacting to the writer’s opinion. In this situation, you should be concentrating on what the author thinks about some ideas and subjects.

It doesn’t matter what type of a reaction paper you’ll be assigned to, you should not write much on the theme of a piece. Anyways, it will look like retelling a story but not analyzing.

Once you have understood what you should write about, to what question to respond, you should reread a book or watch a film one more time. The point of it is to refresh your knowledge of content and to pay attention to some other details, which were overlooked before. What is more, it is better to reread a couple of times if you have such a possibility.

A reaction paper is more about telling your own thoughts and feelings. Do not forget to write them down once they come to mind. But you should not only state, your task is to explain and not to get off the track. Remind that somebody is going to read it and should not be puzzled with the random ideas you write. To sound trustworthy, you should give some evidence and illustrate some points.

Now, once you know so many useful tips on how to start a reaction paper, you could confidently kick off devising a reaction paper on a selected book or movie! Read thoughtfully and carefully not to miss any vital fact or scene. Do not be afraid to tell your position and be proud of it.

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