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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

personal essay response

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

personal essay response

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

personal essay response

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

personal essay response

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

personal essay response

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

personal essay response

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

personal essay response

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

personal essay response

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

personal essay response

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


personal essay response

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Personal Response Essay

Rebecca Renner

How to Write a 200 Word Biography

Personal opinion writing is something that you’ve been doing since you started writing in elementary school. Who knows your opinion better than you? You may think writing a personal response essay will be pretty easy, but in reality, writing a personal response paper requires a great deal of critical thinking and introspection.

What Is a Personal Response Essay?

A personal response essay is a type of essay that asks students to think critically about a piece of writing (or sometimes another form of media like a movie, television show or article) and respond based on a critical analysis of the writing’s content in comparison to their own beliefs and personal experiences. A personal response essay is not a blow-off, fluff assignment. On the contrary, it asks students to dig deep and justify their personal beliefs and feelings in terms of concrete description, logic, philosophy and reasoning.

An excellent personal essay won't only make clear the writer’s personal beliefs, it will also justify their feelings about a piece of writing or other media by using analysis of direct quotations and examples from the response text. Because personal response essays require so much critical thinking and analysis, a well-prepared student will come at the essay as they would any research paper. Preparation, close reading, outlining and revision are all key steps to writing a well-rounded response.

Do a Pre-Reading Brainstorm

Even before you begin reading, you can start thinking critically about the text. Take out a piece of paper and jot down your preconceived notions before you get started. For example, you may have heard of the text before. It could be a short story that was made into movie or maybe your best friend read it last semester and told you all about it. If you’re feeling particularly organized, you can use the type of notes called KWL. These letters stand for what you K now, what you W ant to know and what you will L earn after you read the text. If you’ve already heard about the text before you started to read it, make a list of things you already think you know. You might not be right on every idea, but the beauty of KWL notes is that you don’t have to go back and erase what you got wrong just to make room for new ideas. Being able to compare your preconceived notions with what you’ve learned will help you form a more thorough response in your paper.

If you haven’t heard of the text before, do a pre-reading exercise. Start with the title and write about what you think it means. Some essays have strange titles, like David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster.” If your professor assigned something with an interesting title like that, you’ll have plenty to write about. If the title is more staid, you can still use it to make predictions. Ask yourself, just by reading the title, what do I think this text will be about?

After interrogating the title, glance over the rest of the story. Is there anything about the text that stands out to you, such as italics, bold words or subheadings? Consider them like you did the title. What do you think the story will include based on these characteristics of the text?

Read the Response Text

Now that you’ve finished brainstorming, read the text carefully. Don’t worry about annotation or taking notes just yet. Focus on reading for comprehension. But if you see something you don’t want to forget, like a paragraph that gives you a strong feeling or a particularly witty turn of phrase, underline it and make a note in the margin. You can circle back to these notes while you're doing a complete annotation.

Even though you’re going to read this text again, it's important to write down your first impressions. Your thoughts may change after careful analysis, but that doesn’t mean your initial ideas aren't valid. Indeed, one effective way to write a personal response essay is to delineate the changes in your thoughts about a single subject over time. For example, if you know you're going to read an essay about refugees and your initial idea was that your country shouldn't be as lenient on immigration even for those seeking asylum, the first read of the response text might not change your mind. After a close reading, you might better understand the subject matter and implications, and so, if the text then changed your mind, that would make for a significant personal response. In other words, make sure that you write down your opinions at every stage of the reading, planning and writing process. Your thoughts are the main focus of a personal response essay, so be very careful that you record them all.

Reread and Annotate the Response Text

After you record your initial reaction, reread the text. Use highlighters to select parts of the text that you'd like to go back to or quote. Write your analysis in pen in the margins. Unlike with many English papers, your analysis won't focus on literary devices like symbolism unless those devices affect you profoundly or cause you to think. Since the focus is on your thoughts, you could home in on rhetoric, especially if particular rhetorical devices in the text are effective at changing your mind. For example, if you're reading an essay written by a refugee, you might find their first-person description of fleeing their country quite moving. Or, perhaps you'll be more swayed by their use of statistics and logic. Remember that the essay depends on what you think and feel. Find portions of the text that back up those thoughts and feelings.

Make an Outline

Effective annotation will make constructing your outline easier. Look back over your annotated text and select the portions that you'd like to include in your essay. Organize these thoughts into list-like notations that you'll later expand into paragraphs. Arrange them in sections that include their main idea, your thoughts on that idea and the evidence from the text that you’re commenting on. Look back at your pre-writes and your first impressions. Incorporate these ideas into the logical flow of your thoughts.

When you’re writing the actual paper, your life will be much easier if you write down the quotations verbatim in your outline. Put quotation marks around them and make note of the citation. That way, when you’re writing, you only need to look back at your outline and you won’t waste time continually going back to the text.

Remember to construct an outline that corresponds with the desired length of your paper. If you've been assigned a simple five-paragraph essay, create an outline with the introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. This form, however, won't be helpful if you have to write a longer paper. In that case, organize your ideas into subheadings and expand those into paragraphs. In the planning stage, it's better to have more ideas than fewer. Plan more than you think you'll need. If you reach the required length while you’re writing and still have more ideas, determine if your paper will make sense without them. There's no need to overwrite if you've already expressed your ideas efficiently.

Write Your Response

If you’ve already done a thorough job outlining your paper, the step of actually writing it will be one of the least arduous parts of the whole process. Go through your outline and expand on your thoughts. The most challenging part of this will be linking your thoughts in a logical flow. A lot of writers struggle with this part. The key is to understand each paragraph as a separate idea. Which smaller idea could act as a stepping stone and bridge the gap between them? Compose a sentence or two about these ideas and include them at the end and beginning of the paragraphs to act as linking sentences.

While you’re writing, make sure you're answering your writing prompt. You may have been given instructions that asked for certain details other than just your opinions and beliefs based on the text. Make sure you include everything that your teacher has asked for.

Try to write well using the active voice and descriptive language as needed. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are also vital parts to pay attention to, but if you get nervous while you’re forming your first draft, don’t let shooting for perfection make you nervous. It’s better to get the first draft out and have it be full of mistakes than to write nothing. Do your best when writing this first draft. If you make mistakes, you can fix them later.

Editing and Revision

Even most brilliant writers need editors. You do, too. Don’t fall into the easy trap of submitting your first draft to your teacher. Instead, there are a few additional steps you need to take before you're done.

First, read your essay over. Does the logic flow? Do all of your ideas have complete elaboration? Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Does what you've written make sense to someone who isn’t you? Using this kind of interrogation technique, fill in missing pieces of logic and elaboration in your essay. Don’t start proofreading before you do this. If you're adding a lot more content, you'll have to start the proofreading process over or else risk missing things.

After you've made all the additions you think you need, it's now time to proofread. If you know you struggle with a certain type of grammar, using commas for instance, pay extra attention to those details.

Once your essay is as complete as you can make it, ask a peer, parent or teacher to read it over and tell you how you might improve it. Make sure you choose someone who will give you a thoughtful critique, not someone who will tell you your essay is perfect. If you have time, ask more than one person to read and comment on your essay. The more differing opinions you can get on your writing, the more you'll be able to improve it.

Using the comments they've made, revise your paper. This could mean adding and elaborating. This could also mean polishing your grammar and syntax. Remember, you don’t have to change your work to suit everyone’s opinions. That's why it's important to get more than one person to read your essay. You're allowed to disagree.

Finally, before submitting your paper, make sure that it's formatted as required by your teacher. For longer papers, this means using a cover page. Most formatting requires that your name and the page number be on every page. Be sure to follow the guidelines, and if you need to, look on the internet for examples. This is a simple thing to lose points for, so be careful. If you’re still struggling, ask your teacher for a personal response example.

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Rebecca Renner is a teacher and freelance writer from Daytona Beach, Florida. Her byline has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Glamour and elsewhere.

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How to Write a Strong Response Essay

Woman writing a strong response essay

A response essay is your opinion of a work, including but not limited to songs, books, poems, films, and art. Response essays include two parts. Not only will you provide an overview of the work, but you'll share your response to it as well. Get an outline of the process for how to write a response essay from the prewriting to the final piece.

How to Write a Response Essay

A response essay seems like it would be easy, right? It’s just your opinion about a work. However, response essay writing has several parts.

Select a Topic

Before you even begin writing your essay , think about the topic you want to cover. Response essays can be about anything. Check out different media, such as art, music, and literature, to see which you’re most passionate about and can provide the best response for. Choosing something enjoyable can make the task of writing a response piece much easier.

Record Thoughts & Reactions

With a topic at hand, give it a critical listen, viewing, or read. For example, for a song, listen to it again. While listening, record your reactions. Keep these different questions in mind:

These questions can be modified based on the piece. For example, for a piece of art, look more at the colors or type of art and how this creates different reactions. For a piece of literature or a film, examine the plot devices and characters and how they worked cohesively.

The point is to start thinking critically about the work and your response. This will help in the creation of the thesis.

Create a Thesis Statement

A good thesis statement packs a lot of punch into a small sentence. It provides an overview of the opinions you plan to convey. For example, if your response to a song was horrible, state that in your thesis along with the points you will make to show it was horrible.

Thesis statements aren’t concrete. As you begin molding your essay, you might find your thesis statement changing and morphing. This is completely okay. As you summarize the work and your response, you may start to see something you missed.

Creating an Outline & Writing Your Paper

An outline isn’t a necessity. However, it’ll make the process of writing the actual paper easier because everything will be ready. The paper has four basic components.

Your outline doesn’t have to be neat. But using a keyword or sentence outline structure can ensure all the thoughts and ideas are in order.

Tips for Writing a Response Essay

All the prep you’ve put in will now pay off! Keep these points in mind as you write.

Writing a Response Essay

Compared to descriptive and expository essays , a response essay is relatively easy because you’re talking about your feelings. However, they still take a lot of work. Follow all the steps to make sure you get that A!


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A response paper (also known as a reflection or reaction paper) tends to be the most personal type of academic writing. Its purpose is to explain to a reader how you think or feel about a particular text. You may agree or disagree with an author, and in either case you’ll want to explain to your reader why. You may feel that an author is correct in some ways, but not in others. For example, perhaps you feel the author has overstated some things or left out something important. Whichever way you respond, the important thing about a response paper is that you need to be specific, and provide your reader with enough examples and explanation to be able to understand your response. Make direct references to your text, but also feel free to bring in examples from another text, a relevant film or news story, or your own experience.

The structure of a response paper is standard for academic writing: there should be an introduction in which you present your source text and your response, body paragraphs in which you support and explain your response, and a conclusion that wraps up your paper and leaves your reader with something to think about.

English 102 Critical Response

Assignment: Write a critical response to one topic from selected chapters of  Fast Food Nation  by Eric Schlosser, after giving your reader a brief summary of the text.

[Instructor comments appear in bold, italic font within brackets below.]

The Workforce of the  Fast Food Nation

The Fast Food industry in some eyes has been one of the smartest inventions this world has seen since the invention of the wheel. It has been driven by our stomachs and our wallets for 40 to 50 years and it's still growing to this date. The man who invented it can be called the smartest person, or best business man, this country has ever seen. The Fast Food Industry is so big that it has affected our health, changed our culture, and distorted our land ever since day one.  Fast Food Nation  by Eric Schlosser is a book about lots of charges that are backed up by some great research and lots of facts. He shows how it has changed our country and the people living and working inside. The book is very against anything that has to do with Fast Food from the way it was invented to the way it is running now. I agree with everything Schlosser states and know what he is describing because he describes my job at Chucky Cheese. It’s amazing how the fast food industry became as successful and dominant as it did. Out of all the factors that do go into the success, I believe the workforce will always keep the fast food industry at the top.  [Good – You make a clear “Yes, and” argument: You agree with the author about the dominance of the fast food industry and then go beyond the book by arguing that the biggest reason for the industry’s success is how it treats workers. This argument allows you to offer your own critical perspective, rather than simply summarizing and repackaging what the author has said.]  

In my opinion the way they run their business has propelled them to where they are now. It all starts in the Workforce. They prefer unskilled workers that have absolutely no experience. In their case, teenagers become their ideal employees. Where I work I talked to about 80% of the workers and asked where they have worked and for whom. 37 out of the 48 co-workers that I talked to said they have no experience before our job at Chucky Cheese. The ones that did have experience are 50 years old and got laid off from their long term jobs, and have nowhere to go.  [Great evidence. You effectively use your own experience in the fast food industry to comment on the issues raised by the book. Your interviews with coworkers – and the statistics you include from those interviews – are especially effective.]  It amazes me how well run fast food is! They target us because we have no experience and we have no almost no choice in where and what jobs we can get. That way we go straight to fast food so we can get the so called experience that we need just to go one step further and work at the mall. “Teenagers have been the perfect candidates for these jobs, not only because they are less expensive to hire than adults, but also because their youthful inexperience makes them easier to control” (68)  [You cite Schlosser effectively and appropriately, but this quote, like others in the essay, is stuck in with no introduction. Try to transition more smoothly into your quotes by telling readers whom you are about to quote and how the quote relates to the content you have been discussing in the paragraph so far].  Schlosser states that teenagers are willing to accept the low pay and work the high amount of hours and that way we are the “target” employees. The reason for working at Chucky Cheese was because I went all through high school looking for a job and all that was available to me was fast food. Eventually I gave in and this summer I applied and got the job.

Fast food is not a very hard job to do; everything is set up just for us so it won’t be a difficult job and that a person with a third of a brain or less can do it. The hard thing about fast food is the amount of work.  Fast Food Nation  describes how everything is set up like the assembly lines in Detroit. Everything is done in steps from start to finish; it has all been prepared so it won’t be time consuming and there is a lot of output in a small amount of time. Schlosser states how all fast food restaurants have manuals, explaining how everything should be done. Some manuals were as long as 75 pages explaining how the burgers should be cooked and how they should be placed. It was almost like he was describing my training because I had to almost completely memorize a 50 page manual describing how I should weigh things and how and for how long things should cook. Then we were tested just to show them that we did look over the manual and if we didn’t get a certain score we could have lost our job without even working a single second  [Again, you effectively use personal examples and paraphrases from the book to explain your response].

The way we are treated is also exactly the way Schlosser states. Fast food managers spend more time motivating the members of the workforce than really running the store. They want to make them feel like they are doing something special and exciting. “In absence of good wages and secure employment, the chains inculcate “team spirit” in their young crews” (74). He explains how if in some way the workers relax they are disappointing the coworkers and in the end they are giving them more work. That way they can motivate the workers to always be on time and go to work every day. ”One of these techniques is called “stroking” – a form of positive reinforcement, deliberate praise, recognition that many teenagers don’t get at home.” I can easily say that I see this everyday. I never noticed it until I read that exact quote. It blew me away when I started to look back and I noticed how almost everyday if I did something wrong it was okay. All they would say is try not to do it next time or that eventually I won’t make those mistakes.

Fast food corporations employ more people than other corporations in the world. They are paying their workers minimum wage for long hours and a job that demands too much work in such a small amount of time. The hours can be really rough too. I’ve worked until 1 or 2 a.m. in the morning on some weekdays and weekends closing the store. I never knew that scrubbing and preparing the store for the next day could take so long. They will also try to cut hours for other workers and they put the whole shift on our shoulders and that makes even more work for us. Schlosser gives some great stats about how many people they employ and exploit just to run hundreds of thousands of fast food joints: “The three big corporations (known as: McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tricon Global Restaurants also known as taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC) now employ 3.7 million people worldwide” (71).  [This is a good way to incorporate statistics to demonstrate your point.]  They have employed about 90 percent of people for the new jobs in the United States. Soon they will end up employing a whole country if everything pans out: “An estimated one out of every eight workers in the United States has at some point been employed by McDonalds” (4). The company hires about a million people each year. In a couple of years though, I think these figures should double. 

There are thousands of fast food joints on every corner today; from every fast food restaurant it seems as though 5 more pop out. Imagine how many workers they go through in a year. While they are trying to force feed us fast food they are making money at the expense of teenagers and unskilled workers just to make a wad of dough. They attract us by the bright colors and manipulate our senses just to make them a buck, while Carlos is in the back, in the kitchen working his butt off for $7.25 an hour, trying to make it through another day of making pizza. The three big corporations open a new fast food restaurant every two hours, not counting Chucky Cheese. I could only hope that the working conditions change and we get paid more but I really know that that’s never going to happen. These companies are too smart and well run that only the consumer can stop it. 

There are lots of factors that contributed to the rise of the fast food industry. From the way they market to kids as their target customer, to the way they sell their food. However, in my eyes the workforce is and will be what keeps these corporations making billions of dollars. I can now say that I’ve seen some of the factors myself over the last couple of months. Will this evil empire eventually fall and what will drive it to the ground? Will it be the workers trying to do something about the work conditions and the low pay? These are some of the things that we can’t tell until the future becomes the present. All I could do is hope that eventually it does get better.  [Conclusion wraps up paper effectively].

Instructor end comment:  

[This essay is very well organized, with a clear central thesis, focused paragraphs that develop the thesis, an effective introduction and conclusion, and good transitions between topics. As you move through the essay, you make it clear when you are summarizing something from the author and when you are offering your own commentary or examples. Areas for improvement: your opening summary of the book could have been a bit more specific, you could have used more statistics to demonstrate the dominance of the fast food industry, and you could have pushed your ideas further, such as exploring why this factor is more important than other factors. In terms of language, you also often use more words than you need, which makes your writing less powerful. In your editing process, try to focus on tightening up your sentences by being more direct and concise. You also need a “works cited” page (bibliography) at the end of the paper listing the sources used.]

** Minor mechanical errors/typos have been corrected by the creators of CHARLIE

Early Childhood Development: ECD 51 Informal writing/reflection on a film

Assignment: After viewing the film Safe from the Start about the social fabric in which children live, the students were asked to name and explain three things that they could do to improve or create social fabric for children in their lives.

Three Things

The first situation in which I can implement solid, concrete behavioral changes is the preschool class that I sometimes substitute in. I feel I am a very friendly, outgoing person and treat everyone with respect. Approximately 80% of the children are Spanish speaking. I am fluent in Spanish.

I enjoy all the children alike, but I find myself reaching out to the Spanish speaking parents more. I have created a bond with them. After viewing the video, I have realized that I am not giving the other parents with other ethnic backgrounds the same opportunity to communicate.  [Very important realization.]  Their needs are just the same as the other parents. They all want to know how their child’s day went. This will provide social fabric by interacting more with other ethnic groups and open lines of communication.  [Yes!]

The second situation is when I walk my daughter to and from school. We pass a Catholic school. Parents are dropping off their children as well. I believe we both have a pre-conceived idea that we are from different biosocial domains as well as socioeconomic status. The majority (9 out of 10) do not speak, greet or acknowledge anyone else’s presence but their own school’s parents. I have realized after viewing the video that I can too make the first move. Once a week I will attempt to greet one of the parents. This might bring about some dialogue or maybe just not feel this tension and bring about some social fabric.  [Terrific idea.]

The third situation takes place at my children’s doctor appointments. The office has a wide variety of patients with a very diverse social context (history, socioeconomics, and cultural ethnicities). To my best recollection, I don’t remember ever speaking to anyone in the waiting room besides my children and the office staff. It is a very cold environment. I am so used to that pattern, that I never make an effort to speak to anyone. After viewing the video, I have realized that each time I have gone to the office there have been different people, but I have prejudged the situation and assumed no one will speak, so I don’t speak. Next time I go to the office I will be more receptive to communicating with others. This will promote social fabric by opening lines of communication with other members of my community.  [Outstanding!]

Assignment: After viewing the film "Safe from the Start" about the social fabric in which children live, the students were asked to name and explain three things that they could do to improve or create social fabric for children in their lives.

The First Three Threads

After watching Dr. Bruce Perry in, “Safe from the Start” I began to rethink the way I existed in this world. When Dr. Perry talked about “social fabric” and how our communities need to weave a better one, I thought, “How can I create or improve myself to help out in my community?” I thought of a couple of ways to begin simply and easily. First I would start in my home with a more stable routine for my son and family. For example, dinner at a regular time each night, a night time routine just before bed, and last, being a less aggressive driver.  [Three specific, measurable ways. Excellent!]

Although we always have dinner at the table together our dinner times vary. I feel that if we eat at a regular time everyday then my son will get used to the routine and feel more stable. Dr. Perry says that for an emotionally strong child to develop, there needs to be stability and routine in the household. And I feel a set meal schedule will help as well as a steady bedtime routine.

When I was growing up my parents always had a routine for me when it was time to go to bed. For instance: put on my pajamas, brush my teeth, and wash my face, then into bed at 8:30pm with a bedtime story read to me by one of my parents. I remember feeling comforted by this regularity. It was a ritual that was something that was silently understood that once my parents said, “ok, get ready for bed,” I would automatically jump into bedtime mode. I want to start that with my son. He is two now and I believe that at this age it is a good age to start his bedtime routine.  [Oh yes, it is high time!]

The last thing I plan to do to help out our social fabric is when I am driving I plan to be more courteous and let people merge. I noticed that I do not really help out when it comes to driving. I think of myself just as many people do when they drive. If I am a pleasant driver then maybe it will rub off on someone else and so one and so on, then the road will be less aggressive and safer.  [Wonderful.]

I know that these changes are not huge and drastic, but I wanted to start out simple: start with something I know I can do, and start today.  [Yes, those end up being the most meaningful.]  As time goes by and my new goals become old ones, I will try three more and eventually one day I will be a generous contributor to this community. But first I am taking just one step at a time.

Personal Response Essay Examples

personal essay response

Into The Wild Personal Response

Into the Wild a story that gave a life event and a deranged experience. I personally believe no one would want to experience what Mcandless went through ever. Unless of course they like to be lonely like sir and have " freedom." like McCandless himself. Even then I would still think people out in this world would not want to live what he went through, So frightened to know you prefer being alone with no ones help. To come to think that freedom does exist and you'll have it one day but, will you really

Response To The Scaffles-Personal Narrative

Note 2. A cascade of striking old images and memories are stealing my sleep, old-but-new (and fresh) memories increasingly arising from a past I didn’t recognize twenty-something years ago. Most of the old you already have heard of, the ones that, with your help, I left in your office I don’t know how many times. The old-but-new are fresh and painful – the ones I collected throughout the time since I made the decision to follow my husband and move to California, to leave my country, my community

The Most Dangerous Game Personal Response

Imagine you are walking into a library. You pick up a book and start reading the summary. You notice that the character’s life is very similar to what you are experiencing at home, at school, and in your personal life. The character is also similar to you in behavior. What you probably don't know is that what you are relating is characterization, conflict, and narration. I have experienced this too while I read and because of that I can say that literature and life are connected through characterization

Maya Angelou: Quote Response To Personal Success

Quote Response Success is characterized by meeting a certain social standard either from meeting an outward expectations or achieving a personal dream or goal. Maya Angelou put it as, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”. I believe that success should be sought after as reaching personal happiness rather than pursuing a goal set forth by others. I do believe it is amendable for your peers, mentors, and supporters to believe you have reached the level of success

Personal Bias: Response

Personal Bias: Response Paper Personal bias is a topic that many do not enjoy discussing, but understanding bias is crucial to social progress and acceptance. The series of articles we read discussed many aspects of personal bias including snap judgements and unconscious bias. The article How Your Looks Betray Your Personality by Roger Highfield discusses in-depth how people make immediate judgements and inferences when they first see someone and how these judgements can lead to overgeneralization

Coaching Personal Response

Personal Response Gary Collins provides a plethora of valuable information for individuals in pursuit of life coaching. The presented literature provides clear and concrete information that easy to apply to practice. I think the most influential information that Collins describes is the process of growth and the role of the coach. Tony Stoltzfus states, “Coaching is helping people learn instead of teaching them” (As seen in Collins, 2009, p. 19). Coaches are the individuals who walk through

Night Personal Response

“Night” by Elie Wiesel – Personal Responses Chapter 1 • Moché the Beadle’s story is very disturbing. He had experienced horrible atrocities and risked his life to warn his fellow townspeople. However, the latter did not believe him yet alone listen to him. They called him the madman. This passage is hard for the reader, who knows what is going to happen to the Jews later on (situational irony). Moché was also foreshadowing what was going to happen to the Jews. This warning also brings about the

Personal Response to creation

Personal Response Creation Lenses by Leah Silverman The main theme is humans can find it emotionally difficult to conform to society, but usually end up doing so. The meaning of this theme is that we all want to do things that are practical to society even if it feels wrong in our hearts.The main driving component which draws people too conformity are the desire to be accepted in certain status groups. People fear that if they do not conform to society, they will be

Apa Personal Response

Question 1: Rebecca, you do seem quite depressed today thinking about your family’s support of your efforts in college. There are just few things I would ask we explore today. As a MSW 1st semester student the workload is intentionally heavy. It is quite natural, and I think most of your classmates would agree, to feel overwhelmed by the course work. Have you explored these feeling and have your discussed the workload with your fellow classmates? Could there be some additional pressure, as the

Beastly Personal Response

The book “Beastly” by Alex Finn is about a boy name Kyle Kingsbury he was a teenager living a normal life. He so popular until one day he asked this girl to the dance. The girl said yes when though he already had a date to the dance he was trying to be jerks because she was ugly. His flower that his maid bought was different from what he wanted were white. 2 Petals fell off it. The day of the dance came, he called her out and tried to make fun of her, but it didn’t work,she ran out the door and

Personal Response To Bessie

I feel the same way Bessie did when she said she didn't understand why she would would hear these white people were doing such terrible things to black people. See i'm known for being a flower child, advocating love even if means rebelling against what society wants, I view all lives as equal and I dont discriminate for someone's race, gender, sexualtiy, their background, etc.. Thats not to say I didn't grow up hearing about it like bessie did, and like Bessie, I still hear it today. I’ve just always

Ww1 Personal Response

During the Second World War everyone in the United Kingdom had to step up to help the war effort and defeat Germany. This included the Girl Guides who found themselves having support the home front in many different ways. The Girl Guides used the many different skills they had obtained at their meetings and camps to help the country to survive the war. Some of the ways the Girl Guides helped was by providing the public with services such as health care, and child care as well as food for the people

The Crucible Personal Response

I really wanted to rate more than 3.5 to this book, but I have to be honest, there were too many WHAT THE HECK moments for me, in the end I felt really conflicted... I love a good rocker novel, and when both characters are musicians that really makes me happy. I thought Abby and Jake's story was sweet and funny. Though I enjoyed it, and it was another page turner for me, thus I really wish I would've liked it more. I couldn't get past the fact that Jake might possibility have some sort of multiple

PHS Personal Response

As my four years end at PHS I look back on my life as a journey down a road and see PHS as a red right. You encounter a lot of people at a red light, looking left, right, infront, and behind you, there's few that you want to see, the few you don’t want to see, and the lot that doesn’t matter if you see. As everyone tries to go on there way people try to be the best they can, most are passive trying to get on their way, but there's the people that are slow and aggressive. People that you know are

Odb Personal Response

Every day I stand near the garbage compactor and watch pounds and pounds of produce go down the garbage hole never eaten for many reasons. Some produce is simply too ugly for customers to want to consume, for example like a deformed bell pepper, a bent cucumber, a freckled banana. Some produce is gently bruised like an apple that was pressed a little too hard or a tomato that was bruised from customers “testing” it for juiciness. So much produce that has little to nothing wrong with it is simply

Wonka Personal Response

This book is suitable for children and appealing to them because it embraces the concept of family in an important, but sadly underrepresented way. The book does not focus on the typical father-son, mother-son, or even sibling-sibling relationship. Instead, it expands this framework to include an even older generation, the grandparents. In many ways, the figure of the grandparent in our current culture and when the book was written take on an absent or separating characteristic. They are normally

Frankenstein Personal Response

1.) Initially, my first impression of this excerpt was unique. I felt as though I have read similar situations in other novels, however, the author describes the environment unlike any other. First, I wondered what the aliens were planning, and what effect it would have on humanity. Similarly, the characters in the book behaved the same way, some trying to communicate with the aliens, and others just wondering about them. It felt as though we were all moths flying around a bug-zapper, too mystified

Atticus Personal Response

I am reading the book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The recent chapters we have been reading focus on how to walk in someone else’s shoes. In chapter 10, 11, and 12 mostly talks about how Aunt Alexandra comes and lives with them for a while and how Jem is maturing more. In chapters 13, 14, and 15 shows that Atticus goes to the jail cell where Tom Robinson is and so Jem, Dill, and Scout sneak out and go looking for him. They see that a mob of men are coming towards Atticus and Tim, so Scout

Cinderpelt Personal Response

I'm now on the last book of, The New Prophecy so far it's a great book! Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw realize they really did love each other! I felt like I was going to explode if they had one more fight! What brought them together was a fight against the beaver's! When that beaver kill Cinderpelt I was bawling my eyes out. Though Cinderpelt's death was terribly sad, I think Cinderpelt was an awesome character and the Erin's didn't have to kill her off. The cats in the book said she was a very

Personal Response To The Things They Carried

Personal Response When I first picked up this book I thought that it was another Vietnam era book talking about the battles and other things of that nature. When I got past the first chapter my views on this book flipped around. This is one of my favorite books I have read so far in 2016. Plot The Things They Carried is about the psychological effects the Vietnam war had on the soldiers. The author, Tim O’Brien, has witnessed the war and is the main character. Tim describes the effects of the

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How to Write a Personal Response in College

A personal response is an essay in which you describe and analyze your own thoughts and feelings about a reading. The personal response is usually one of the first assignments in a beginning writing course. It teaches you to think about what you are reading and then ask yourself why you feel that way.

Read and Annotate

Read through the assigned material. Think about how it makes you feel as you read it, and take ten minutes after you finish reading to think about what you just read.

Read through the material again. This time, make comments in the margins. Write down questions, impressions and feelings that you have. Make note of ideas you agree or disagree with, as well as statements that seem to contradict each other or that do not make sense. Underline words, phrases and paragraphs that interest you and comment on why you find them interesting. Note ideas and words that come up repeatedly.

Go back through the material a third time and make more comments. Try to expand on your previous comments and answer your previous questions. By this point, you should have a strong understanding of the material and your ideas about it. If not, continue reading and annotating until you do.

Writing Process

To begin the writing process, try freewriting. Look over your annotated copy of the assigned reading and your comments. Sit for 15 or 20 minutes and write down any thoughts that come to mind without worrying about grammar or structure. Think of how you feel and try to explain why. When the time is up, go through what you have written and look for good ideas and strong arguments. Choose a few of these to start your essay.

Draft an outline of your response by deciding which ideas are your main ideas and grouping ideas that support those main ideas under them. This is a good chance to look for problems before you spend the time writing. Do the ideas make sense? Can you support or illustrate them with quotations from the reading? Is any information missing? Consider, too, how you'll organize your ideas so that each one flows logically from the previous idea.

Working from your outline, start filling in your essay. Write down a topic sentence for each paragraph that deals with one main idea, then use the rest of the paragraph to expand on that idea and use examples from the assigned reading to support it.

Edit your work. Pay close attention to your instructor's guidelines, and make sure your essay follows the required format and style. Check that you have an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs with well-supported topic sentences and a conclusion. Look also for clear transitions between each paragraph and idea. If you are both agreeing and disagreeing with the author, that's fine, but be clear about it in your essay. Make sure all your ideas are explained and supported.

Erika Wright is a writer from California with a Master's degree in postcolonial literature. She has lived in five different countries. She enjoys the challenge of combining her love of travel and academia with the lessons and adventures of daily life in her writing.


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