Writing a reaction Reaction or response papers are usually assigned by teachers so that you will carefully consider what you think or feel about some material presented. Assignments may require you to formulate your reaction to your readings, your professors’ lectures, and even to your classmates. What is reaction writing? Reaction writing may be oFormal or informal, but it is oUsually analytical oYour reactions may also include your subjective evaluations oReactions can be about one point or many points in the text You may be asked to write your reactions in your journal or personal writing, ofilm or book reviews, ocritiques, oillustrations of ideas, ojudgments of theories or concepts. You will be asked to write your reaction to the material you read in humanities, social sciences or literature courses. Your reaction paper can be written in many ways. However, in this handout you will see how you can write a reaction for your prep English courses. Prewriting Reactions require close reading of the text you are reacting to. Read whatever you are asked to respond to and think about the following questions: How do you feel about what you are reading? oWhat do you agree or disagree with? oHave you learned or gained anything from reading the material presented? oDid you like it? Why or why not? oWhat is its purpose? oIs it informative? oIs it entertaining? oIs it accurate? oDo you recommend it to others? How to write a reaction Select one or two points from the following list and write a paragraph for each point. oReact to the idea or ideas presented Are they clear and suitable? Compare and contrast with your own ideas on the subject. Discuss what you have gained from reading the material Discuss each insight or fact you have learned from the text, giving examples from the text. oMake a judgment Did you like or dislike the text? Why? Write about your impressions, focusing on the points you particularly liked or disliked. o Analyze the material What is its purpose? Does it achieve its goal? Tell others what they may gain from the material. Did you find the information in the text useful? Was it informative, entertaining, or accurate? Do you recommend it to others? Organizing your reaction
The organization of a reaction varies according to the audience, purpose, and limitations for your assignment. You may use a structured format, such as those for an argument, or you may use an informal one. In the first sentence, you usually give the title, author, and publication you read. In a few sentences you give a very brief summary of what you read. Then, you write your reaction/response to the material. The following phrases may be useful in expressing your opinions/feelings about the material: I think that I see that I feel that It seems that In my opinion,
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