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How to Write a Reflection Paper

Last Updated: October 25, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 24 testimonials and 85% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,620,346 times.

Reflection papers allow you to communicate with your instructor about how a specific article, lesson, lecture, or experience shapes your understanding of class-related material. Reflection papers are personal and subjective [1] X Research source , but they must still maintain a somewhat academic tone and must still be thoroughly and cohesively organized. Here's what you need to know about writing an effective reflection.

Things You Should Know

Sample Outline and Paper

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Organizing a Reflection Paper

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To write a reflection paper, start with an introduction where you state any expectations you had for the reading, lesson, or experience you're reflecting on. At the end of your intro, include a thesis statement that explains how your views have changed. In the body of your essay, explain the conclusions you reached after the reading, lesson, or experience and discuss how you arrived at them. Finally, finish your paper with a succinct conclusion that explains what you've learned. To learn how to brainstorm for your paper, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Reaction Paper: Format, Template, & Reaction Paper Examples

A reaction paper is one of the assignments you can get in college. It may seem easy at first glance, similar to a diary entry requiring your reaction to an article, a literature piece, or a movie. However, writing a high-quality paper often turns into a challenge. Here is a handy guide on how to write a reaction paper, with examples and topic suggestions.

✍️ Reaction Paper Format

💭 Reaction Paper Questions

🔍 Reaction Paper Examples

🔗 References

❓ what is a reaction paper assignment.

A reaction paper (or response paper) is an academic assignment urging students to explain what they feel about something . When crafting a good reaction piece, the student should aim to clarify what they think, agree or disagree with, and how they would identify with the object regarding their life experiences. The object of your response may be a painting, a book, an academic publication, or a documentary.

This task is not a simple summary of the text or film you’re assigned to. Neither is it a research paper; you don’t need to use external sources in a reaction paper. Thus, the writing process may seem confusing to newbies. Let’s clarify its main elements and features to help you out.

Every academic assignment has a specific structure and requirements to follow. Here we discuss the major elements of the response paper format to guide you through its components and the composition algorithm. As soon as you capture the structure, you can write stellar texts without a problem.

Reaction Paper Template

Every critical reaction paper follows the standard essay outline, with the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion as to its main parts. Here is a more detailed breakdown of each component:

Reaction Paper: APA Format

Depending on your teacher’s preferences and the academic subject, you may be given a reaction paper assignment in various referencing styles. The APA format is one of the possible variants. So, please don’t get confused about the writing approach; it only means that you should format your reaction paper according to APA conventions . These are:

The rest of the requirements are identical for reaction papers in all referencing formats, allowing you to choose.

🤔 How to Write a Good Reaction Paper Step-by-Step

Now, it’s time to clarify how to begin a reaction paper, what steps to take before writing, and how you will compose the entire assignment. Use our universal step-by-step guide fitting any reaction paper topic.

How to Write a Reaction Paper About a Movie?

When the subject of your reaction paper assignment is a movie, you should consider the context in which it was given. It’s probably a supporting material for your study course dedicated to a specific learning concept or theory. Thus, it would be best to look for those links when watching the assigned movie – “ Women’s Rights and Changes over the 20 th Century ” is an excellent example of this technique. It will help you draw the connections in your reaction paper, showing your professor that you understand the material and can relate theory and practice.

The steps you need to take are as follows:

How to Write a Reaction Paper to a Documentary?

Documentaries are also frequently chosen as subjects for reaction papers. They present valid, objective data about a specific event, person, or phenomenon and serve as informative, educational material for students. Here’s what you need to do if you get such a task:

A vital aspect of a response to a documentary is comparing what you knew and thought about the subject before and after watching it. It’s a significant learning experience you should share, showing whether you have managed to progress through the studies and acquire new information. Look through the “ Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory ” reaction paper to get a clear idea of how it works.

How to Write a Reaction Paper to an Article?

Once you get a home task to write a reaction paper to an article, you should follow this algorithm:

Please don’t forget about the following writing conventions:

An excellent example of a response paper to an article is “ Gay Marriage: Disputes and the Ethical Dilemma .”

Tips for Writing a Psychology Reaction Paper

If you were tasked with writing a reaction paper for a Psychology class, use the following tips to excel in this assignment.

By approaching a psychology piece with all these questions, you can create a high-quality response based on valid data, reflecting your reactions and opinions. Look through “ Peer Interaction in Mergers: Evidence of Collective Rumination ” to see how it can be done.

Reaction essay writing is a process that you can start only after answering essential questions about the content and your feelings. Here are some examples to ask yourself when preparing for the writing stage.

📋 Transitional Words for Reaction Paper

When you write a reaction paper, you express a personal opinion about a subject you have studied (a visual artwork or a text). However, the subjective nature of this assignment doesn’t mean that you should speak blatantly without caring about other people’s emotions and reactions. It’s critical to sound polite and use inclusive language.

Besides, you need to substantiate your points instead of simply stating that something is good or bad. Here are some linguistic means to help you develop a coherent reaction text:

It’s not mandatory to squeeze all these phrases into your text. Choose some of them sparingly depending on the context; they will make your essay flow better.

Here is a short reaction paper example you can use as practical guidance. It is dedicated to the famous movie “Memento” by Christopher Nolan.

Memento is a movie about a man with a rare neurological condition – anterograde amnesia – seeking revenge for the rape and murder of his wife. He struggles to remember the recent events and creates various hints in notes and tattoos to keep the focus on his mission. Throughout the film, he meets different people who play weird roles in his life, contributing to the puzzle set by the director in the reverse scene presentation.

My first impression of the movie was confusing, as it took me half of the film to realize that the scenes were organized in the reverse order. Once the plot structure became more apparent, I opened many themes in the movie and enjoyed it until the end. Because of the severe brain damage, Leonard could not determine whether the story of his wife’s rape and murder was real, whether he had already been revenged for her death, and whether he was a hero or a villain. Thus, for me, the film was about a painful effort to restore one’s identity and seek life meaning amid the ruining memory and lost self.

The overall approach of Christopher Nolan deserves a separate mention. A unique design of shots’ sequence and the mix of chronological black-and-white and reverse chronological colored scenes is a puzzle that a viewer needs to solve. Thus, it becomes a separate thrilling adventure from the film’s storyline. My overall impression was positive, as I love Christopher Nolan’s auteur approach to filmmaking and the unique set of themes and characters he chooses for artistic portrayal.

Another example of a reaction paper we’ve prepared for you presents a reaction to “Night” by Elie Wiesel.

The horrors of World War II and concentration camps arranged by Nazis come to life when one reads Elie Wiesel’s Night. It is a literary piece composed by a person who lived in a concentration camp and went through the inhumane struggles and tortures of the Nazi regime . Though Wiesel survived, he portrayed that life-changing experience in much detail, reflecting upon the changes the threat of death makes to people’s character, relationships, and morality.

One of the passages that stroke me most was people’s cruelty toward their dearest relatives in the face of death. The son of Rabbi Eliahou decided to abandon his father because of his age and weakness, considering him a burden. This episode showed that some people adopt animal-like behavior to save their lives, forgetting about the cherished bonds with their parents. Such changes could not help but leave a scar on Elie’s soul, contributing to his loss of faith because of the cruelty around him.

However, amid the horror and cruelty that Elie Wiesel depicted in his book, the central message for me was the strength of the human spirit and the ability to withstand the darkness of evil. Wiesel was a living witness to human resilience. He witnessed numerous deaths and lost faith in God, but his survival symbolizes hope for a positive resolution of the darkest, unfairest times. Though reading “Night” left me with a heavy, pessimistic impression, I still believe that only such works can teach people peace and friendship, hoping that night will never come again.

The third sample reaction paper prepared by our pros deals with the article of David Dobbs titled “The Science of Success.”

The article “ The Science of Success ,” written by David Dobbs in 2009, presents an innovative theory of behavioral genetics. The author lays out the findings of a longitudinal study held by Marian Bakermans-Kranenbug and her team related to the evolution of children with externalizing behaviors. Their study presents a new perspective on the unique combination of genetics, environment, parenting approaches, and its impact on children’s mental health in adulthood.

The claim of Dobbs I found extremely convincing was the impact of mothers’ constructive parenting techniques on the intensity of externalizing behaviors. Though most children learn self-control with age and become calmer and more cooperative as they grow up, waiting for that moment is unhealthy for the child’s psyche. I agree that parents can help their children overcome externalizing behaviors with calm activities they all enjoy, such as reading books. Thus, the reading intervention can make a difference in children’s psychological health, teaching them self-control and giving their parents a break.

However, the second part of the article about “dandelion” and “orchid” children and their vulnerability caused more questions in me. I did not find the evidence convincing, as the claims about behavioral genetics seemed generic and self-obvious. Children raised in high-risk environments often develop depression, substance abuse, and proneness to criminality. However, Dobbs presented that trend as a groundbreaking discovery, which is debatable. Thus, I found this piece of evidence not convincing.

As you can see, reaction paper writing is an art in itself. You can compose such assignments better by mastering the techniques and valuable phrases we’ve discussed. Still, even if you lack time or motivation for independent writing, our team is on standby 24/7. Turn to us for help, and you’ll get a stellar reaction paper in no time.

⁉️ Reaction Paper Questions and Answers

What words do you use to start a reaction paper.

First, you need to introduce the subject of your paper. Name the author and the type of work you’re responding to; clarify whether it’s a film, a text, or a work of art. Next, you need to voice your opinion and evaluate the assigned subject. You can use phrases like, “I think… In my opinion… My first reaction was… I was touched by…”.

What Is the Difference Between Reflection and Reaction Paper?

The main distinction between reflection and reaction essays is their focus on the subject. A reaction paper approaches it from the viewpoint of your evaluation of the content and message of the assigned topic. It deals with how you felt about it, whether you liked it, and what thoughts it evoked in you. A reflection, in its turn, deals with your perceptions and beliefs. It focuses on the transformational experiences of either changing or reinforcing one’s views upon seeing or reading something.

What Is the Purpose of Reaction Paper?

The primary purpose of writing a reaction paper is to communicate your experience of reading, watching, or to see a subject (e.g., a movie, a book, or a sculpture). You should explain how you captured the author’s message, what you felt when exposed to that subject, and what message you derived. You can cite details and discuss your reactions to them before forming the general evaluation.

Can You Use “I” in a Reaction Paper?

Students can use the first-person “I” when writing reaction pieces. The use of the first person is generally banned in academic research and writing, but reflections and response papers are exceptions to this rule. It’s hard to compose a personal, subjective evaluation of an assigned subject without referring to your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. In this academic assignment, you can use phrases like “I believe… I think… I feel…”.

how to write a reaction paper wikihow

How to Write A Reaction Paper: Guide For College Students

10 Sep 2021

Many times is necessary for teachers and professors to assess the student's abilities in the paper, and that’s why the essays are so popular. And every kind of essay serves a purpose, so if you need to write a reaction paper keep reading, and we will tell you the details you need to know.

First Things First: What Is A Reaction Paper?

Reaction papers - or reaction essay - are a type of essay, written with a critical perspective in response to another text - which is why they are also known as a response paper or response essay . They are frequently used by teachers and college professors to asses the students reading comprehension abilities.

The process of writing a reaction paper includes two parts:

Sometimes people confuse a reaction paper with a research paper. And this is a big mistake because they have different purposes and should be approached with different methods. If you have doubts you can take a look at this article about how to write a research paper , so you can clear your thoughts on how to differentiate them.

It´s also important to learn to differentiate the reaction essay from the summary essay. A reaction paper concentrates on the opinion that the writer has of it, while a summary essay is more about rewriting the original text. Still, it is recommendable for the first paragraph of the essay to be a summary of the primary text. With this, you can give your reader a clear idea about the original text, before reading your opinion.

What about the reaction papers format?

A reaction essay is an academic piece, and as such it must be presented following some protocols regarding the format. And by format, we mean characteristics like page size, font sizes, and margins. There are some predetermined styles, established by several institutes, that are used frequently.

The format style of a reaction paper mostly depends on the protocols of your academy or teacher.

Stuck with finding the right title?

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What Are The Reaction Paper Outlines?

Every essay must have a precise structure, that works as a skeleton for the paper. This structure defines the outlines that the writer has to follow when writing an essay. They are actually very specific, and because of that are also easy to follow.


The introduction is the first part of every essay, and it should be about 15%-20% percent of the content. In this, you have to mention the main ideas of your paper, without going too deep in them. And also present the “problem” or “object” in which your essay centers.

Body Paragraphs

This is the largest part of every reaction essay and every kind of essay. Is where the writer has to explain, not only the main ideas but also the arguments to defend them. So, is the part of the text where there should be more citations and analysis.

Conclusion Paragraphs

The reaction paper should close with the conclusions of the writer, which are the results of the analysis and considerations of all the arguments. If the conclusions aren’t coherent with the arguments, then the analysis failed.

There are several ways to make citations, and each style defines its own. So the first thing you’ll need to check is the format you have to use and look on the internet or in a library for the specifications of that format.

Something that will be always as important in every paper is grammar since it proves knowledge and respect for the language. If you are having troubles in this regard, you could take a look at this site, where you’ll find grammar tips for students . Having some help is always a good way to improve your performance.

Some Tips On How To Write a Reaction Paper Properly

Writing a paper can seem challenging, and it is. But that doesn’t have to discourage you, because there are several ways to get an effective paper.

On the one hand you could look for services on academic writing, and if this is your preference, you could check this site where you can pay for assignment . If you rather do the reaction paper by your self then here is some inside information that can help you on your

Reaction papers are written works, and they take some time and effort. But you can find many ways to guide your process and help you create an excellent piece. Just keep in mind that these essays are about your opinion, and your originality is what will make them stand out.

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What Is a Reaction Paper?

How to write a reaction paper, reaction paper outline, helpful notes on writing a reaction paper, mistakes to avoid in reaction papers.

1. What is the difference between a reaction paper and a critique?

2. what is the main difference between a reaction paper and a review paper.

A reaction paper is a typical assignment that students get to complete so their tutor could see how they express their personal opinions on particular matters (like an argumentative essay). It's a great tool to evaluate research and argumentative skills. It might seem hard at first sight. However, completing such an assignment on a high level will allow you to ace other similar tasks in the future. Everything you need to understand about writing a reaction paper is here in this article. It is the primary goal of it and of our experts who are responsible for its creation. We will explain how to write a reaction paper using the knowledge you have at the moment and those you will adopt from this article.

First, you need to understand that your task is to impress your tutor. Show how good you are analyzing the situation and how well you can explain your opinion. So analytical, researching, and writing skills are equally important. There are two main parts your paper should be divided into by its meaning.

The deadline is approaching fast? Buy paper online and forget about stress. Qualified writers will deal with your paper while you are enjoying your time. 

Writing according to the proper format is the keystone of any academic task and one of the main reasons you can count on a good grade. Use appropriate reaction paper format instructions and notes to create an outline. Subsequently, you will complete an excellent first draft from scratch. Take as an example our argumentative essay format . The outline grants you the ability to check how the reflection paper looks in the final result. It also allows moving from one paragraph to another effortless. Additionally, it helps to set the paper's proper length and avoid missing any essential details. As most academic assignments, a reaction paper consists of three main parts plus the list of citations and sources:

The introduction part is probably the most important one as this is the first thing your reader sees and interacts with. Within just a few sentences and one paragraph, you need to hook your reader up. Introduce your topic, state your main points, and get your reader interested in reading the response paper to its end. Avoid making your introduction too long and all over the place. Make your thesis statement straight to the point and clear. Keep in mind that you will need to get back to the topic sentence all the time while writing your paper. 

The introduction is important, but it is the body paragraphs where the actual writing starts. Support all your thoughts and ideas with facts. You may also use quotes from reliable sources. But remember to keep your arguments always within the initial theme. You can add any information to support your point of view, but it should be directly related to the main topic.

The conclusion is the last part of an academic paper and this one in particular. Wonder how to summarize an article ? Here restate your thesis but avoid adding any new information to the table. Your point of view is clear, and now the reader is to decide if you were right. 

Now it is clear reaction paper is a tricky thing to write. And it is always a good idea to use samples to learn from them. Mixed with various guides such as this one you are reading opens more angles of the task. Here are a few valuable notes you can consider:

Like other writing tasks, a reaction paper has some common mistakes we need to avoid while writing. Here are a few we are sure about:

Like any other writing task, a reaction paper has specific details you need to reckon with. Hopefully, this guide helped you sort things out completely. We believe that every student can request assistance during their studies, especially if they don't have enough time to cope with numerous assignments. In case any problems occur with your task, you can always ask any writer from our team to help. Just contact us in any way available, and we will create the perfect paper you need.

Frequently Asked Questions 

A reaction paper aims to react to the issues described in a source and provide some counterarguments for them. More attention here is paid to the approach you take to argue the main points. The goal of a critique is mainly about HOW you present your view of a particular source. Here you focus on a more formal evaluation of the reviewed content and conduct an objective, unbiased analysis.

The difference between a reaction paper and a review is that a reaction paper includes a commentary, personal reaction, take or stand regarding a topic. On the other hand, a review synthesizes the topic, and is subjective in manner.  

The process essays are a special type of academic assignments. In two words, writing a process essay is to explain to a reader ideas how to do something. If you want to know how to write a process essay, you’ll need to learn what topic to compose, how to arrange all steps into a complete instruction...

The learning process forces students to have a wide range of academic essays to be written. Some types of academic writing tasks are pretty simple to handle. In the meanwhile, there are also certain essay types which induce great problems and require professional writing skills from the one. You are...

If you are a student who is looking for some guide, tips on how to write a good exploratory essay, that’s the ticket. Consider it done, you’ve found what you are looking for. Read the article and you will learn what is an exploratory essay, how to write it, how to choose the topic, find the problem ...


How to Write a Reaction Paper

How to Write a Reaction Paper

how to write a reaction paper wikihow

Guide for Writing a Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is a common assignment in most high schools and universities. It gives students the chance to show their understanding of source material by asking them to summarize, analyze, and give their personal opinion. A reaction paper requires critical thinking as well as creative writing skills, so it can be a challenge to write. Whether you were looking for the answer on how to write a reaction paper about a movie, how to write a reaction paper example, or how to write a reaction paper to an article, you will learn everything you need including a step-by-step guide and an outline here!  

What is Reaction Paper?

A reaction paper is a written assignment that asks a student to briefly summarize and then give personal opinions about a book, article, video, etc. Unlike a critique or review, the main focus is on the personal opinions, thoughts, feelings, and reactions of the student.

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How to Write a Good Reaction Paper?

Writing a reaction paper takes time and effort and there are several steps to take before getting to the actual writing. These steps will help you understand the source material as well as help structure the eventual paper. 

What is the purpose? 

Not all reaction papers have the same purpose. While all of them ask you to analyze and give opinions about the source material, the focus of the analysis can be different. Make sure you carefully read the guidelines of the assignment and if you have any questions ask your professor for clarifications.

Go over the source material several times

Just because it's called a reaction paper doesn't mean you can get away with going over the source material once and then quickly writing down what you felt about it. Even if you are trying to learn how to write a reaction paper to a movie, you can't just watch the movie once. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to go over the source material at least a few times. Not only do you have to understand every element of the source material, but you also need time to process, think about, analyze, and make connections. 

While it's good to think about deeper concepts when going through the source material for the first time, just focus on getting a general feeling about the article or movie. Focus on your specific insights and reactions when going over the source material for the second and third times. 

What to do after your first go through

After the first time you read the article or watch the video, spend some time writing down your initial reactions. Think of this as a brainstorming session where there are no bad ideas, write down whatever you want. This can include opinions of what you thought the strengths and weaknesses were, what you liked and didn't like, deeper meanings and connections that jumped out at you, connections to your course,  etc. 

The importance of notes

After you have your initial reactions down, it's time to go over the source material again and take in-depth notes. If it’s an article or a book, print it out so that you can take notes in the margins.  Highlight important quotes or pieces of information, draw arrows connecting different sections, write yourself notes and reminders in the margins, draw diagrams that help you understand the structure of the article, do whatever helps you understand the material better. No one else is going to see the notes you make so be as creative as you want to be. The more time you spend taking notes the better you will understand the source material and the easier writing the reaction paper will be.

Craft a thesis statement

Think of a thesis statement for a reaction paper as the main takeaway from your analysis. A good thesis statement is concise and focused. It should help guide the rest of your paper with every paragraph lending support to your thesis statement. You can come up with a thesis statement by asking yourself what the goal of the author was, how the source material impacts the world, what are the motivations of the main characters, what was the purpose of the source material, what were the major strengths or weaknesses of the source material, etc.

Paragraph Structure

Making a reaction paper outline is a useful endeavor because it helps organize your notes and understand the flow of the paper overall.  A reaction paper follows a typical five-paragraph essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The next section will go in-depth into how to write a reaction paper section by section. 

In general, the first introductory paragraph should contain a brief summary of the source material. The body paragraphs should start with a clear topic sentence followed by evidence for the claim that you are making, and the conclusion should reiterate the thesis and main evidence.

When making an outline, write down the topic sentence and then a quick list of evidence that backs it up. Make sure that each paragraph connects to your thesis statement so that you don't lose focus during the paper. A useful way to structure each paragraph is to first elaborate on something from the source material and then give your opinion backed by evidence.

Using quotations

Once you have an outline and understand how the paragraphs will be structured, go through your notes and find specific quotations from the text that back up your claims. Don't just list quotations, make sure you analyze them and explain why they are important as evidence.  Depending on the word count of the assignment you should limit the length of quotations and paraphrase when necessary. 

Revise and Edit

Once you're done writing your paper make sure that you go over it a few times. This is to get rid of typos and other silly mistakes, but more importantly to check for flow and clarity. You may find that certain paragraphs work better in a different order, or even that certain topic sentences don't back up the thesis statement. This is your chance to make your paper the best it can possibly be, so make sure you spend some time reviewing and editing. 

Double-check your assignment guidelines

It's always a good idea to check your assignment guidelines once you are done with any type of assignment. You’ve put in all the hard work and you don't want to get a lower grade than you deserve because of something silly. Question what the assignment guidelines are asking you to do and make sure that you have followed all the rules.

Did you like our Reaction Paper Guide?

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A reaction paper follows a typical five-paragraph format structure of essay writing. Let's take a look at each section. 


Like any type of writing, the first sentence of a reaction paper should engage the reader and make them want to find out more. Write a catchy hook by making a provocative statement about the source material, hinting at an interesting conclusion or reaction, stating an interesting fact or anecdote, etc.

Next, give some background information about the source material including the name of the article, the author, where and when it was published, any awards won, etc.  

Follow this up with a concise summary of the source material. Remember, the goal of a reaction paper is to objectively analyze and then give personal opinions backed by evidence, so don’t take a lot of time on the summary in the introduction. The goal of the summary is to give readers an idea of what the source material is about, so highlight the most important elements and skip details. Specific information about the source material will come up as quotations and evidence in the body paragraphs. 

End with your thesis statement.

Depending on the purpose of the assignment, your first body paragraph may be an expanded version of a summary or evaluation of the source material. 

More typically the body paragraphs are where you talk about your reactions to the source material and back it up with evidence. Make sure that each body paragraph talks only about 1 claim you are making and that each body paragraph relates to your thesis statement. You can ask yourself the following questions to come up with ideas for specific body paragraphs.


The conclusion paragraph should restate your thesis as well as the topic sentences of each paragraph. Concisely explain the main pieces of evidence you have used to support your thesis,  and briefly speak about any larger implications of the work. 

You may be required to have a brief work cited page. This will usually be quite short because the main source is the specific source material. Just make sure to know what citation convention you need to use. 

A reaction paper is one of the most enjoyable assignments for a student because it allows you to experience and give your opinion about something you like if you were given the freedom to choose the source material, or something interesting if it was assigned by the professor. The most important thing to remember is to stay as objective as possible while expressing your opinion by backing up any claim you make with evidence. If you have any more questions or need any help with writing a reaction paper, the experts at Studyfy are always here for you.

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Each semester, you will probably be asked by at least one instructor to read a book or an article (or watch a TV show or a film) and to write a paper recording your response or reaction to the material. In these reports—often referred to as response or reaction papers—your instructor will most likely expect you to do two things: summarize the material and detail your reaction to it. The following pages explain both parts of a report.


To develop the first part of a report, do the following:


To develop the second part of a report, do the following:


Here are some important elements to consider as you prepare a report:


Here is a report written by a student in an introductory psychology course. Look at the paper closely to see how it follows the guidelines for report writing described above.

Part 1: Summary

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How to Write a Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is a typical assignment for college students. Its main difficulty is working with resources, citing and adding references. The essence of a reaction paper is to express their point of view regarding a specific text. This part usually resembles an essay, and it is unlikely to cause you problems. However, as you write, you must reinforce your position by quoting articles or even verses. That is where you can get stuck without any ideas on how to continue the document.

We have prepared step-by-step instructions on how to write a reaction paper without stress. With this article, you will be able to solve the main problems in writing a reaction paper. If you are swamped and cannot devote your time to another homework, order reaction paper on our website. Contact Assignmentpay anytime you need and we will start collaborating.

What is a Reaction Paper

Students often confuse reaction paper and summary. This confuses them because reaction paper requires not only the summation of what they read but also the expression of their point of view. You must analyze a part of the text, express your understanding of the problem and reinforce your position with appropriate quotes. A reaction paper is the right assignment to show your attainments of analysis and critical thinking.

The reaction paper concept is reminiscent of a mixture of a research paper and an expository essay. You must provide basic information about the text that you will analyze. This includes the author, publication date, and idea of ​​the article. Besides, you should tell readers what topic you will discuss and what is the main message of the text. Define your attitude to the text and its relevance among your audience. You will find tips for writing a good reaction paper below.

Reaction paper outline

The focus of reaction paper is always creativity. Therefore, your task is to analyze an essay, article or film. The latter option is the most frequent because when watching a movie, you can combine business with pleasure. We prepared a guide on how to write a reaction paper. Regardless of which resource you need to evaluate, here is a step-by-step action plan:

In addition to it, you can take a look at the reaction paper examples. It is an opportunity to find some inspiration.

how to write a reaction paper wikihow

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The proper reaction paper format

First of all, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of the teacher. If you have not found instructions regarding the structure of the document, use the standard reaction papers format. Like most papers, the reaction one consists of the introduction, a few body paragraphs and summarizing conclusion. However, you also have to create a list of citations and references. Let’s take a look at each part.

The introduction

You should use the introduction to interest the reader and make him continue reading. In the first paragraph, you should talk about the topic of the paper, add a thesis and key ideas. Note that the thesis should state your central position, which you will explain further. Use brainstorming to fit your thoughts into multiple sentences.

The bulk of the paper should consist of 3-4 paragraphs. Each of them should have an argument, proof, and reinforcement in the form of a quote. Start with the strongest idea that will be the center of the paper. Each proposal should continue the idea, develop it. I work with arguments, make sure that they do not contradict the thesis. Moreover, the arguments should be proof of the thesis, a way to describe it from different angles.

When moving between paragraphs, use catchy phrases. For example, add a rhetorical question at the end of the paragraph that matches the next argument. At the beginning of the paragraph, we recommend using statistics or scientifically proven facts. This works especially well if you write a reaction paper about a documentary or science fiction.

The conclusion and citations

Writing a conclusion is a great opportunity to remember and leave the reader impressed. The final paragraph should combine the key elements of the paper. Rephrase the thesis and put your arguments in several sentences. Some people begin familiarizing themselves with the paper with a conclusion, so it should be concise and clear.

Read the conclusion to your friends and ask them to describe the paper’s arguments. In conclusion, you would be better off recalling your point of view to summarize what was said. To put it another, the conclusion is an excerpt from a whole paper.

An important difference between reaction paper is that you must add a paragraph with citations and links. Therefore, write down the details of each resource that you use. The list of quotes will help both the reader and you. This is a great opportunity to explore the topic more deeply and find out different opinions.

How to Write a Reaction Paper Step by Step

It’s time to go through the key elements of an outstanding reaction paper.

SUMMARY/SYNOPSIS: What are you reacting to?

Explain how you feel about the topic, the author’s arguments, and his approach to the problem. Be sure to include the name of the paper and the subject of discussion. This will help the reader tune in to the desired wave.

ANALYSIS/EVALUATION: Write about strengths and weaknesses of the piece

Explain how you understand contentious issues. I answer questions, feel confident and do not hesitate. Tell how convincingly the author argues his position. Suggest your option for structuring information. Evaluate the quality of the text, make a list of shortcomings. Be direct and unbiased.


Add your attitude to both topic and article, make a list of emotions that have arisen. Think about what kind of associations that book or movie is causing you. Tell who you advise that resource in which areas you can use the materials discussed. Perhaps you want to continue researching that issue or gather an interested audience.

Reaction Paper Example and Samples

If you want to practice creating reaction papers, use examples of reaction paper from older students or online authors. This is a great opportunity to improve your understanding of work standards and broaden your horizons. When reading reaction documents, emphasize successful elements and failed structures. Pay attention to references, evaluate resources for reliability. Try to conduct a study and draw conclusions.

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How to Write a Philosophy Paper

Last Updated: May 6, 2021

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 122,326 times.

Writing a philosophy paper is quite different from other types of papers. In a philosophy paper, you have to provide an explanation of a philosophical concept and then either support or refute that concept. This means that you have to fully understand the concepts that you read about and you have to do some philosophy of your own to respond to these concepts. While writing a philosophy paper may be challenging, it is possible with some careful planning and hard work.

Planning Your Philosophy Paper

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Drafting Your Philosophy Paper

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Revising Your Philosophy Paper

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About this article

wikiHow Staff

To write a philosophy paper, start with an introduction that grabs your reader’s attention and provides a preview of your argument. After that, explain your argument in a clear, objective manner with all of the relevant details. Then, evaluate your argument by providing examples that support your thesis such as, if you are arguing that beauty and virtue are unrelated, you could give an example of a convicted criminal who many consider beautiful. Finally, identify the strongest objections to your argument, refute these objections, and conclude with a summary of your paper. For more tips, like how to revise your paper, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Tell When an Egg Is Boiled

How to write a Reaction Paper? What is Expected?

How to write a Reaction Paper? What is Expected?

The word “critical” is often associated with a negative perspective, not in this case. How to write a critical analysis essay? “There is not enough time to organize my thoughts and plan the assignment. Worse, I lack crucial writing skills and have no clue how to write a critical analysis article.” Do not fret, and the article contains information on how to go about a critical analysis composition.

What Is a Critical Essay?

A critical essay is like all other academic essays. It analyses and interprets the text. The goal is to help the student demonstrate their analytical abilities and their comprehension level on literature. The student is to make claims based on the theme of the book or article. Critical means evaluating the significance of the episode and judging the quality of the content. The claims ought to be backed from primary or secondary sources. Do not confuse a critical essay with a report.

To write an excellent critical analysis essay, you require a thorough understanding of the film, video, book, art, photography and other subjects. Despite the various themes, all critical essay share common characteristics:

Steps to Writing Good Critical Analysis Paper

A well-done essay must be organized properly and describes the author’s attitude towards the work done by another writer or artist.  We all want to score a high grade in our assignments, so let’s discover how to write a critical analysis essay step by step.

a) Essential Reading

To write a good critical analysis essay paper, you need to understand the text not by going through the academic writing but by reading in between the author’s line to uncover the intended message or the slightest mistake. You are looking for something peculiar about the writer's work, both positive and negative. Identify the main ideas and what makes the characters appealing to you and other readers. Did the author achieve the intended purpose while narrating the message? If there are unfamiliar terms, it is advisable to research the meaning to help you better understand the material.

b) Create an Outline

Not planning is planning to fail in all aspects of life. Make a plan on how to write the critical composition. A great outline will make the writing easier and narrow your focus. Take note of the format of the paperwork and remember to ingrate the basic essay structure discussed above.  Following the essay structure paying close attention to the introductory phrase. A detailed outline means you are halfway through with your assignment.

с) The introductory statement

The introductory clause is crucial in all academic essays. In all writing assignments always ensure you have a killer introduction. The statements should hook the reader, get them into paying more attention to what is in your essay.  Include the author’s thesis statements and at the end of the paragraph include your thesis statement.  Write and rewrite the item several times if necessary until you get it right.  On the Studicus.com browse through our blog section and read an article on how to write an introduction for a critical analysis essay.

d) Practice

Unless you are an experienced online writer, it is unlikely you will write a perfect essay on the first attempt. You have to draft several rough articles before settling on the best copy. It is also advisable to practice active reading. Active reading is a technique that helps the reader to stay focused and retain more information. Therefore, if you are experiencing trouble reading the literature books, active reading is an excellent strategy though it takes time and works to master the skills.

e) Active Reading

There is a bad habit of glossing through the papers when we are bored with the book or find a problematic passage. Take a moment and identify the new words and quiz your understanding of the words.

What is the thesis of the text you are reading? Remember you have to include the argument in your introduction and the main idea may be hidden in the passages.

Create a preliminary outline of the text, and you can use it as a reverse of creating a framework of your own. The exercise helps your brain better plug in the information into your article. As you read, try to create a mental picture, more like a sketch of the information contained in the book. Critically analyzing the text will create wanders as you write your work.

In conclusion, it is evident writing a critical analysis paper is easy. It needs mental preparation and enough time to read the text and understand. It is no brainer that most students find it challenging to finish the assignment on time. Have you been in a situation wondering “who will do my essay?” Look no further, Studicus.com is the solution.

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How to Write a Reaction Paper

Reaction paper – meaning of a term.

Beside the definition of a reaction paper, many scholars find it hard to understand its meaning even though they come across this paper a few times in their career. It is true that for every action there is always a reaction and the same does apply to reading. When you are asked to write a reaction paper, you should not take it as being difficult at all because the examiner is just trying to test your ability to review the work of other authors and give personal opinions that are sensitive to the subject.

You may be asked to write a reaction paper indirectly, and you have to get the intention of the examiner fast. A good example is that you may be asked to give a critique about a certain subject, and this would constitute a reaction paper, or to write a review about a literature book; it also falls into the same group.

A reaction paper is mainly based on response towards certain deeds in a story. Before getting to the reaction paper, one has to analyze the subject under investigation and acquire all the useful information before providing a critique on the matter.

The key thing in writing a reaction paper is giving an opinion on a subject and supporting your statement relevantly to the satisfaction of whoever would be reading your work. Let the reader be convinced that you are right and go by your opinion on the matter. A reaction paper usually has two audiences, the first audience is the readers of your work and the second one is the referees who choose the appropriate articles to post. In most cases, reaction papers might be used in the future for references by other authors, and therefore you should come up with clear content.

How to start a reaction paper

Some of the questions to ask yourself before you start a reaction paper include “what is my feeling about the intention of the writer of the book I am reviewing?” You have to understand the main objective of the author and know the feeling about it.

The start of any essay determines the score of the piece when grading it. If you go through various samples of reaction papers you will find out that the following guide is useful for starting your work:

Reaction paper outline

The common topics that you might be asked to write about is a literature book or a movie. Most students are usually asked to prepare a critique for a movie because, in the modern world, this is one of the trending entertainment resources that most people are fond of watching. Movies are influential to many people, and utilized to pass their information to the audience.

To come up with great content for your movie or book analysis, you have to:

– Watch a movie and note down the main points in the episodes. If it is a book, you have to reread it and get all the themes found in the story before you can start complementing on it.

– After reading/watching the piece, the next step is evaluating the story and figuring out the needs of the paper. You have to get back to the instructions given by your examiner. You may be asked to react to a specific part of the story, and you have to center your opinions to that section, so the instructions of the examiner are very key because your paper must reflect the question. If you are asked to write on a specific part, then you will need to quote a sentence or theme of that region and relate it to the purpose of the author. There are two types of reactions you might be asked to write by your teacher.

First, you may be asked to give personal opinions concerning a certain theme in a book. In this case, the opinions that you give should be centered on your personal experience and the knowledge you have on the topic. The second option is that you might be asked to write about the opinion of the author for the literature resource allocated. In this case, you will have to major your points on what the author was thinking concerning the idea and not your own opinions. You are restricted to talk about the theme depending on how it is brought up in the book.

After understanding the essence of the question, you have to reread the book and note the information that would be useful for your content. It is good to repeat this several times so that you can have all the story at your fingertips and it would help you to avoid writing the ideas that are not evident in the source given.

Writing a reaction paper is mainly based on how you feel or think about something. After reading through the paper, you should annotate the text so that you do not miss any essential information.

Explain the personal opinion about the piece and illustrate using evidence from credible sources. In your explanation, be certain to include examples to act as a backup to your statement.

We also know that some students experience difficulties with writing some particular kinds of papers. Use the best essay writing services to get help, if that’s the case.


Format of reaction paper

A reaction paper adopts different formats depending on the instructions given. A reaction paper is divided into several parts. To organize your work, you have to understand every part of the essay and what it entails. In a reaction paper, just like in any other essay format, there is the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Besides the three main parts, a reaction paper constitutes the citation list.

Useful information: What does a research paper look like ?

Examples of reaction papers

To advance your skills in writing a reaction paper, you have to go through various samples. When you read and analyze them, you can be able to note the common mistakes made by writers and avoid them in your work. There are many reaction paper topics that one may be asked to write on, such as movies and novels. Most of papers samples are found in articles, journals, magazines and even educational websites. By going through various examples, you get exposed to different topics, and this improves your knowledge so that you cannot be taken aback when given any of them.

However, if you need your own unique paper, we suggest getting help from academic writing platform:

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  1. How to Write a Reaction Paper (with Pictures)

    1. Write your introduction. Make sure your introductory paragraph states the name of the text, the author, and the focus of your paper. You may also want to include the year of publication and the publication it was taken from if relevant. It is also good to include the topic of the text and the author's purpose.

  2. How to Write a Reflection Paper: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Keep it short and sweet. A typical reflection paper is between 300 and 700 words long. Verify whether or not your instructor specified a word count for the paper instead of merely following this average. If your instructor demands a word count outside of this range, meet your instructor's requirements. 2.

  3. How To Write a Reaction (Plus Steps and Helpful Tips)

    3. Create the paper's outline. Again using your notes, start building the framework for your arguments. Fleshing out these ideas while writing your reaction will be much easier and more organized when you're following an outline. 4. Compose the first draft. Use your outline to form the first draft of your work.

  4. How to Write a Reaction Paper: Format, Template, & Reaction Paper Examples

    Make a reaction essay outline. The outline is the backbone of your content, which will serve as your compass during the actual writing process. Compose the draft. Use the outline as a structure and add details, evidence, and facts to support your claims. Then add an introduction and a conclusion to the final draft.

  5. How to Write A Reaction Paper: Guide For College Students

    Writing is a process that is more effective if you follow it step by step. Take notes while reading. This way you can keep track of your reaction. Read the text several times. The first two times you are processing the content, but after a third time, you start creating your own thoughts.

  6. How to Write a Reaction Paper

    Within just a few sentences and one paragraph, you need to hook your reader up. Introduce your topic, state your main points, and get your reader interested in reading the response paper to its end. Avoid making your introduction too long and all over the place. Make your thesis statement straight to the point and clear.

  7. How to write a reaction paper

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  8. How to Write a Reaction Paper (with Pictures)

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    A reaction paper follows a typical five-paragraph essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The next section will go in-depth into how to write a reaction paper section by section. In general, the first introductory paragraph should contain a brief summary of the source material. The body paragraphs should start with ...

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    Go into detail on your findings and reactions related to the text and try to maintain consistency and a clear flow throughout the body of your response paper. 5. Summarize your thoughts. In the conclusion of your response paper, sum up your reactions, ideas and arguments concerning the text. Draw inference when possible and a clear summary of ...

  12. Writing a Response or Reaction Paper

    To develop the first part of a report, do the following: Identify the author and title of the work and include in parentheses the publisher and publication date. For magazines, give the date of publication. Write an informative summary of the material. Condense the content of the work by highlighting its main points and key supporting points.

  13. How to Write a Reaction Paper with Examples

    Create a reaction paper outline. Write down ideas for the introduction and body paragraphs. Make a list of sources that can illustrate your position. Such a plan will help you keep keeping all thoughts in one place. Analyze the target audience. If only the teacher sees your assignment, check for the required items.

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    Whatever your topic is, you will have to have a thesis. 3. Use your main ideas and thesis to write your hook. Make sure the hook leads into your introduction and your paper. That is, make sure your hook is relevant to your thesis, and to your paper as a whole. In particular, keep the tone of your paper in mind; a serious paper should not begin ...

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    1. Put your paper aside for a few days. Revising is easier if you can take a break from what you have written for a few days. After you return to the paper again, you will have a fresh perspective that should help you to improve the content of your work more easily than if you had attempted to revise it right away.

  16. How to write a Reaction Paper? What is Expected?

    Write and rewrite the item several times if necessary until you get it right. On the Studicus.com browse through our blog section and read an article on how to write an introduction for a critical analysis essay. d) Practice. Unless you are an experienced online writer, it is unlikely you will write a perfect essay on the first attempt.

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