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Writing a Reaction Paper

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Writing a reaction

Reaction or response papers are usually assigned by teachers so that you will carefully consider what you think or feel about some material presented. Assignments may require you to formulate your reaction to your readings, your professors' lectures, and even to your classmates.

What is reaction writing?

Reaction writing may be

o Formal or informal, but it is

o Usually analytical

o Your reactions may also include your subjective evaluations

o Reactions can be about one point or many points in the text

You may be asked to write your reactions in

o your journal or personal writing,

o film or book reviews,

o critiques,

o illustrations of ideas,

o judgments of theories or concepts.

You will be asked to write your reaction to the material you read in humanities, social sciences or literature courses. Your reaction paper can be written in many ways. However, in this handout you will see how you can write a reaction for your prep English courses.


Reactions require close reading of the text you are reacting to. Read whatever you are asked to respond to and think about the following questions:

o How do you feel about what you are reading?

o What do you agree or disagree with?

o Have you learned or gained anything from reading the material presented?

o Did you like it? Why or why not?

o What is its purpose?

o Is it informative?

o Is it entertaining?

o Is it accurate?

o Do you recommend it to others?

How to write a reaction

Select one or two points from the following list and write a paragraph for each point.

o React to the idea or ideas presented

Are they clear and suitable? Compare and contrast with



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