How to Write a Response Essay (Reaction Essay)
A response essay is generally meant to provide the reader with a better understanding of how you personally feel about a particular subject. As such, when you write a response or reaction essay, you will discuss your personal thoughts and feelings on the subject at hand.
In many cases, a response or reaction essay is written in response to a video, a reading assignment, or a special event. For example, if something interesting or shocking has been reported in the news, you might write a response or reaction article that expresses your viewpoint on the events. Similarly, if you are in a class that has taken a trip to an art museum, you might be called upon to write response essays about the trip or about a particular piece you saw while on your trip.
When you write response or reaction essays, you will discuss your personal feelings on an issue. Therefore, you will write your essay in the first person, which means you will use the word "I" while writing the document.
In many cases, you will write a response or reaction essay in order to tell if you agree or disagree with a topic or you might be asked to write about whether you like or dislike something. If this is the case, your introductory paragraph will contain a thesis statement that asserts your point-of-view. The rest of the response or reaction essay will then serve to support your thesis.
Since your thesis statement will likely start out as "I think that..." or "In my opinion..." or something similar, you will likely use the same types of phrases throughout your response or reaction article. In other words, your essay will not rely on facts because it focuses more on your opinions.
At the same time, you will utilize facts that you know or your own observations to help support your opinion. For example, if you are writing a response or reaction essay to something you have read, you might say something like "In my opinion, the story was very confusing because the author used too many words that were unfamiliar to me and she changed the point-of-view too often." Although someone else may not have had a problem with the words or with keeping up with the changes in point-of-view, it is a fact that you did not know many of the words and that the author did make frequent changes in the point-of-view of the story.
After supporting your thesis statement with the body of your response or reaction essay, you will then need to write a conclusion. The conclusion is used to summarize what you have said and to once again state your thesis, or opinion. Be sure to state your thesis in a different way than you said it in the introduction, however, as redundancy is a sign of poor writing. Finally, check over your work and write your final draft.
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