How to Write a Response Paper
The students are the ones who had to face this problem in their every semester as they are asked to read one book or one article which must be related to the academic of the semester and then provide or record their reaction and response over the material. Here the instructor would expect you to do two things mainly, one is summarize the whole material and the other is to record the reaction is the paper. Here are the following steps which will help the student with how to write a response paper:
- Step 1 – summarizing the whole work
For developing the initial part of the report here are some the steps which will help thoroughly:
- It is important to identify the author along with the title of the work, here this will also include parentheses and the publisher name with publishing date as well. If it is a magazine then the date of publishing must be provided.
- Writing a proper and informative summary of the material which you read.
- Condensing the overall content by utilizing the highlights along with the main points only. Here the main part is the supporting points.
- Direct quotations must be used from the work for illustrating or defining the important and smart ideas.
- Summarizing the whole material which will help the reader to understand general sense of every key aspects which has been mentioned in the content including the original work
- Detailed work must not be discussed in this report regarding any single aspect as it will keep your mind diverted from other important points to mention
- The summary must be objective and also factual. Personal reaction must not be included in the first part of the report as the second part of the paper will involve subject part of the paper.
- Step 2 – your reaction over the work
For the second part of the report the following points must be maintained thoroughly:
- Focusing into one or many questions. You should ask your instructor if they wants you to emphasize any specific point in this second part.
- How the assigned work is connected with the ideas and also concerns the discussed points for which the report is actually getting prepared. For example: what are the points made in that course textbook, what are the class discussion, and what lectures are mentioned fully in the work?
- How the discussed work is connected with the present-day problems of the world?
- How is the content relatable with your life, feelings, ideas, and experiences? After reading the content what emotion was there in you related to the work?
- How did the work increase understanding of you over any particular issue? Was it helpful in changing your perspective in any way?
- Define the merit of the work in detail which will conclude all the important points, the accuracy of the work, organization, completeness and etc.
- You must also include a section whether you will recommend the work to others or not and the reason behind the answer.
Points which needs to be maintained while writing the response report
- Four basics of the standard effective writing must be followed thoroughly and they are unity, coherence and clear, support, and error free sentences while writing the report.
- It needs to ensure that every major paragraph must provide and develop single main point. For example: in sample report where the student has written summary of the work in the first paragraph, other important details in the next three paragraphs regarding the work. Here the student will use last paragraph for conclusion of the work.
- General points must not be directly eliminated but rather they must be provided as general points and then detail must be expressed as a whole. Statements like “I agree with different ideas in the work” or “I found the article very much interesting” must be provided with proper evidences that will be helpful to understand why do you feel so.
- Organizing the material is very important. Here you must follow the basic steps like providing the summary of one or more paragraphs, reacting over two or more paragraphs and then concluding the whole work. Transitions must be involved carefully so that the relationship between the paragraphs is clear in the report.
- The paper must be edited carefully for zero grammatical mistakes, punctuations, spelling, mechanics and usage of words.
- Paraphrases must be smartly done, citation must be properly provided for every work. Style of the references needs to be properly maintained. You must confirm from your instructor regarding the usage of referencing styles and the number of references you are supposed to provide in the report.
- Quotation can be used in the report of reaction of paper. However, it needs to be kept in mind that you must not rely upon them too much or use them a lot. They can be used only when it is required.
- Publishing information are must to provide and hence they can either be incorporated in the beginning with other relevant information of the article or it can be provided in the footnote of the bottom of the report. In this case the instructor must be consulted or asked what details of the publishing information needs to be involved and where it will be placed in the article.
- It is important that content does not contain too less or too much of the information regarding the article which is provided for response. This will result into losing marks in the semester. You must try to stick to the important points only, follow the pattern and as per the format provide your own reaction in the second part only. No personal response must be there is the first part of the report.
- The content must also contain logical and relevant information which will be related to the topic or article and not with other articles. Even if it contains some lines of other articles then you must ensure that you provide the reference in the report properly.