Reaction Paper, Tips for Writing

A reaction paper features your intellectual reaction to an assigned piece (usually an article or film clip). You goal is to tell your reader very clearly and concisely what the assigned piece accomplished. The summary should be clear and interesting to anybody whether the person read the article or seen the movie.

When expressing your own intellectual reaction, remember to back up your claims (you may use the textbook, other articles, other video examples). Your writing should be purposeful and concise. Tell the reader what you are planning to do in the first paragraph. Then, in the remaining pages, implement this plan. Write well. Avoid wordiness. Avoid typical grammatical and word-choice mistakes.

Questions to Ask


• What is the main problem or issue that the author is addressing?
• What is the author’s central claim, argument, or point?
• What assumptions does the author make?
• What evidence does the author present?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses?
• What are possible counterarguments to the claims?
• Why are the problem(s) and the argument(s) interesting or important?

Additional Resources


Writing a Reaction Paper
Writing a Reaction or Response Essay

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