Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays
A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay's thesis and supporting ideas; it may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of the author's ideas; it will NOT usually cite the author's examples or supporting details unless they are central to the main idea. Most summaries present the major points in the order that the author made them and continually refer back to the article being summarized (i.e. "Damon argues that ..." or "Goodman also points out that ... "). The summary should take up no more than one-third the length of the work being summarized.
A response is a critique or evaluation of the author's essay. Unlike the summary, it is composed of YOUR opinions in relation to the article being summarized. It examines ideas that you agree or disagree with and identifies the essay's strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and logic, in quality of supporting examples, and in organization and style. A good response is persuasive; therefore, it should cite facts, examples, and personal experience that either refutes or supports the article you're responding to, depending on your stance.
Two Typical Organizational Formats for Summary/Response Essays:
1. Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the response in a block:
Summary (two to three paragraphs)
Agreement (or disagreement)
Disagreement (or agreement)
Note: Some essays will incorporate both agreement and disagreement in a response, but this is not mandatory.
2. Introduce the essay with a short paragraph that includes your thesis. Then, each body paragraph summarizes one point and responds to it, and a conclusion wraps the essay up.
Summary point one; agree/disagree
Summary point two; agree/disagree
Summary point three; agree/disagree
Tips for Writing a Good Reaction Paper
The main aim of this article is to give students a chance to understand what is a reaction paper and to explain how to complete it without any efforts. A reaction paper is a type of written assignment, which requires personal opinion and conclusions on a given article or abstract. Unlike a summary, a reaction paper should contain your own thoughts on the problem, discussed in the original text. It aims to show professor how deep your understanding of the situation is and how well you can use your analytical skills.
The first part of your paper should contain information on the author and the topic. You need to write down the main ideas and highlight the main points of the paper. You can use direct quotations if needed. Avoid your personal opinion in this section. The second part should contain your personal thoughts on the subject. Focus on a main problem or address all of them and describe your opinion. Explain how the material can relate to the modern world, to the society or separate individuals. Back your statements with sources if needed and make conclusions whether you support the author or not.
Writing a reaction paper can be quite a challenging task, so many students use examples to learn more about its structure and key features. Here are a few recommendations, which will help you complete an outstanding reaction paper:
- Read the original article carefully and highlight the main ideas and points you want to discuss;
- Describe your point of view and back it with additional information if needed. Use vivid examples;
- Use various sources to make your statement more argumentative.
There are also a few tips, which will help you to avoid common mistakes. First, don’t give a summary of an article. You should perform your personal opinion, not an overview. You should always back your ideas with examples. However, avoid using examples, which are difficult to relate to the topic. With the help of these simple rules, you will learn how to write a reaction paper and will be able to create an outstanding work!
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Samples and Examples of Reaction Paper
Nowadays it is impossible to find a student, who is capable of completing all the tasks without anyone’s help. Because of a heavy workload and tight schedules additional help may be more than useful, so let's continue to simplify your studying. While many students don’t have a chance to order a paper or want to create it on their own, using online samples can be a great way out. They can help students get an overall idea on the subject, structure and main tips. By downloading a sample, you will learn how to write reaction paper and avoid common mistakes.
You will also be able to shape your ideas in an appropriate form and emphasize the strongest points of your paper, while omitting those, which lack examples and support.
Reaction paper format
Formatting gives every student a chance to create an outstanding paper, using previous experience and a clear plan of actions. With the help of such an outline, you will be able to see how the paper will look like and will be able to go from one paragraph to another smoothly. Usually you will have specific information on the size of the paper, so a plan will be of a great help.
A reaction paper consists of four main parts:
- List of citations and sources.
Reaction Essays Examples
Reaction Paper Example
Reaction Paper Format
Reaction Paper Sample
Reaction Paper Samples
Reaction Paper Template
Introduction section is the face of your paper, so you need to pay extra attention to this part to gain interest of the reader. Here you should describe the author and the paper you are analyzing, the main ideas and problems you are going to discuss. You should write at least three-four sentences about the original text and close the introduction section with your thesis, which will be discussed later in the paper. Make sure your statement is brief and straight to the point, because you will need to get back to it over and over again throughout your paper.
The second part of the paper is where the real work begins. You need to write down your thoughts on the main ideas of the paper, backed with appropriate quotes and sources. Remember to stick to the original article and always get back to it, while providing your personal thoughts. However, you are free to add theoretical information to support your ideas. This section is crucial and should contain a thorough analysis of the obtained data.
Conclusions should be brief and contain information on your thesis and main ideas, which were shaped throughout the work. You can also refer to the target audience and the impact these conclusions may have on the society. The list of citations should contain a brief but structured information on the sources, used in your work.
Writing a reaction paper can be a real challenge, but at the same time it will help you to improve your analytical skills and share your opinion with the world!