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How To Write A Reaction Paper: Definition, Suggestions, Step-by-step Guide, The Key Features Of Reaction Papers By Types


Students face dozens of tasks everyday. Yet, they lack time to cope with everything successfully. Sometimes they simply don’t know how to write a research paper, create a term paper, make a lab report or complete another assignment. That is why we created a guide on how to write a reaction paper.

What Is a Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is a form of assignment where a writer is supposed to express his thoughts upon a read or viewed source. It is spread in all studying establishments to improve students’ communication skills and upraise their ability to analyze. Containing personal thoughts only, it might be unofficial, two pages long. It distinguishes from summary paperwork, although the conclusions are a part of this work as well.

Reaction Paper Format

Proper formatting allows a student to keep thoughts well-chained and logically flowing based on a clear action plan. A reaction paper main parts are:

•   introduction;

•   body chapters;

•   the summarizing;

•   citations, sources, references. 

Each part should include an argument and supporting facts. In many cases, the text becomes a future reference of other authors, so come up with concise content.

How to Write a Reaction Paper: Where to Start?

To write a good text, students should think out the answers to the following questions:

•   What are the sensations after the read or viewed source?

•   Do you agree or disagree with the meaning?

•   Can you determine the situation?

•   What are the ways of evaluation of the story?

Keeping the answers to these questions in mind, an author should move to the writing. 


This part should include all the ground information in one-two paragraphs. Be maximally concise:

•   sentence 1: the information about the seen or read source;

•   sentences 2-4: author’s general impressions about it;

•   sentence 5: the thesis statement that should be confirmed by this paperwork.

Remember that introduction is the only chance to hook the reader’s attention and catch the interest. 

Body Chapters 

These should provide the facts that support the thesis statement. Each chapter should include only one idea. The last sentence of each paragraph should smoothly follow the reader to the next one. Therefore, it is useful to make a list of points to keep the work well-ordered. During writing, remember the word limit. Exceeding word length will highly likely lead to using unnecessary information and a low grade subsequently. 

The Summarizing

This part should be brief, containing the proves supporting the thesis settled at the beginning with summarizing the body chapters’ points. Also, it should represent the influence of these conclusions on society. 

This part should chain all the paragraphs together without repeating or providing new information.

Suggestions for Writing a Reaction Paper

The main features of the reaction paper writing process are pausing, reflecting, and analyzing with further expressing a personal point of view. It looks simple. Nevertheless, many students fail this task. The most common mistake is that they do not understand the difference between a reaction paper and summarizing, which leads to an unwelcome result. 

Thus, we present a step-by-step guide on how to write a reaction paper.

Writing Tips: Step 1

Although a recreation paper supposes expressing a writer’s opinion, it has a strictly determined structure. An author should not speak emotionally but to adhere to answering the questions mentioned above. Make sure that you understand the given or chosen topic well enough to do in-depth research.

Writing Tips: Step 2

Thorough work with the source material is essential. Reading or viewing it only once is not enough. Setting the purposes of work with the source is an effective technique. During the first time of reading, focus on a general understanding of an idea thinking out the thesis statement. The next reading or viewing is devoted to concentrating on the factors related to the main problem or question. Then you can mark the details. Making notes during work is highly suggested. This exercise of numerous reading allows a complete understanding of the source without missing the essential points. 

Writing Tips: Step 3

After numerous readings, it is useful to write a draft for idea generation. Do not worry about the quality of the text at this stage cause the inside view matters. Then you can group the appeared ideas into the body chapters. This efficient training upraises concrete thinking without missing the vital details. 

Writing Tips: Step 4

Refuse from the emotional passing of the thoughts and give the privilege to a critical way of thinking. For instance, try to answer such questions as:

•   what are your feelings after reading or viewing the source?

•   Do you agree with the author’s point of view?

•   What confuses you?

•   Does the source change the general opinion on the matter?

•   Is it persuasive enough?

The list of questions is far incomplete. The more you ask, the better evaluation of the material you can reach.

Writing Tips: Step 5

Once the point of view is ready, it is time to formulate the thesis statement. Being the central thought and essence, it guides all reaction paperwork. It must be strong, expressed through powerful words. Therefore, a working thesis statement may come at the beginning, which will be polished later during writing.

Writing Tips: Step 6

Many students make one similar mistake: they start by providing the facts. The correct way of writing a reaction paper is focusing on their analysis and giving an opinion upon them. Beginning from source facts means that a student has no imagination of a reaction paper but only writes anything to reach the word count. Do you best to avoid this typical mistake. 

Writing Tips: Step 7

The data is a piece of information found in some sources. An analysis is the way of their acceptance by an author. There is no one right opinion — it is a well-known fact. And that is right what your professor needs. Making your theory support it with clear evidence. Here the facts can do a brilliant job for you. The paperwork with dry facts only is destined for cancellation.

Writing Tips: Step 8

Regardless of your agreement or disagreement with the source, an author should use strong supporting examples that support each argument across the whole work. Quotes are a forcible tool to do that. Thanks to the clear evidence, you can convince the reader and defend your point of view, which guarantees your paper admission.

Writing Tips: Step 9

As soon as your draft is ready, read the work several times for checking the whole text. It should not contain stylistic errors and flow smoothly. Then start the grammatical and punctuation corrections. Even a well-written work does not make a good impression if it contains any errors. Proofreading is a solemn part of work, so leave enough time for it to match the deadline frames.

How to Write a Reaction Paper on a Book

A reaction paper on books is rather academic than informal. The clue features of this type of reaction paper are:

 •   the wide use of citing;

•   write it short, including the ideas that can be supported from the sourcebook only;

•   leave only necessary book lessons and facts;

•   adhere to the core theme of the book. 

Write your reflection paper according to the general suggestions. 

A Reaction Paper on a Movie

Have you ever thought about how to write a reaction paper on a movie? It is supposed to open up the viewer’s emotions and thoughts.  Including a vivid description of feelings and reactions to the specific film and developing accurate images of the relevant historical personality features are preferable. 

A Reaction Paper on a Journal Article

A journal article reflection paper should focus on the main point rather than general facts. It should include the analyzing methods and their positive impact on research findings. The provided examples must strictly relate to the content of the article. The citing once per paragraph is appreciated. 

A Reaction Paper on a Speech

A reaction paper on a speech should not belittle the orator. Pay attention to the details, such as tone, style of conversation, and content. For a well-balanced response, do additional research on the topic given by a speaker.

A Conference Reaction Paper

The reflection content should express the writer’s experience of the conference, either it is a personal presentation or someone else. This type of paper is usually up to 1000 words. It is flexible in its structure. It does not include an evaluation of the conference theme. Meanwhile, it distinguishes from a report by reflecting on the experience received in the conference without retelling it. 

A Reaction Paper About an Interview

Using a notebook or loose-leaf paper is vital for this type of work. Mention the date, time, and place in the beginning. A text should go from the first person and expose as many details as possible such as favorable aspects of the interview, clearness of answering questions, etc. 

If You Are Stuck…

Many students experience problems while writing a reaction paper because writing academic texts requires experience. Either you can not do the work or have no time for it due to strict deadline, our professional team of writers is at your service. We can do all the work for you regardless of the content source. All you need to do is to give the reaction paper theme and settle the time frames. Our professionals will take care of the rest. The reasonable prices are one more pleasurable benefit. We’re always glad to assist.

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