After completing every semester, students are most likely to be asked to write a response paper on a recent movie they saw or a book they read. Students often get confused on how to write a response paper? Though many might think of a response paper as a generic movie or book review, there is a difference in tone when it is writing a response paper. Let’s start from the very basic to get it right.
By very definition, a response paper is a short written document that allows the writer to convey his reactions to something they have seen or read. With the help of a response paper, students can communicate their response and thoughts concerning the topic.
After learning how to write a response paper, you will not always need to adhere to formal reviews and write in the first person. However, just like a formal review, a response paper also demands valid facts and evidence to back up your claims and opinion.
A response paper can be divided into two distinct parts- the first part containing a brief description of what you saw or read, and the second part will contain the explanation for your reaction and arguments.
The summary of the work: This section should start with a very strong statement identifying the author of the book or the director of the movie. Make sure to include the exact title of the work you are scrutinising, including spelling and grammar errors. Also, add the name of the publisher or producer and the release date in parenthesis.
When learning how to write a response paper, make sure that you highlight all the critical aspects of the original piece in your introductory summary. Important ideas from work can also be highlighted with the help of direct quotations from the book or movie.
The reaction of the work: This section of the paper will focus greatly on your impressions of the original piece. Start with a strong thesis statement to make your opinion and stance very clear to the reader. This is the part where you express your opinions, so make sure that you don’t shy away. Just make sure to back up your claims and arguments with valid facts and pieces of evidence. Try to keep a balance between critiquing and discussing the original work.
After completing this section, evaluate the merit of the work by discussing the accuracy of the information provided and the cohesiveness and organisation of the narration. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the originality of your work to the readers.
For students struggling with how to write a response paper, here are few quick guidelines that you will need to keep in mind.
“Cell phones are dangerous.”
Written by John Doe
Published by ABCD Publications
Published on 20th July 2018
#1 Paragraph: Summary
Based on the short story by a late bloomer in the world of literature, John Doe tells a story that could have a negative impact on our lives. He starts his piece with the unfortunate story of a person who was on his phone while driving and meets with an accident. Following this example, John points out the statistics that show using a cell phone during driving is equally dangerous as drunk driving. In conclusion, John wraps up by emphasising the need to curb this habit and educate acquaintances on the dangers.
#2 Paragraph: Reaction
Though John goes into great detail to discuss the problem using valid data, a lack of solution can be seen in his writing. Though the piece reminds the readers about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, there is no clarity on how important calls are to be received while driving and still be safe. It is in the good interest of the public that a law should be made to restrict such practices. While many educated people are aware of the dangers, many are still ignorant towards the perils of using a cell phone while driving, and therefore a law will be binding to all. An example of this can be seen with the rules regarding seat belts, which has helped to save countless lives since it was introduced. As technology has become an indispensable part of our lives, it is impossible to abandon phone calls altogether, but policy changes would go a long way to remove this problem.
#3 Paragraph: Conclusion
I agree with John’s view on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. However, it is evident that the author stressed significantly on the problem without providing any concrete solution.
To conclude, you should write a response paper from a personal perspective but make sure all your claims are well justified. One of the major mistakes students fall for when learning how to write a response paper is that they tend to be very harsh critics without any concrete evidence. Make sure you do not make the same mistake and back up your arguments with proper evidence from reliable sources.
Start by following our guide on how to write a response paper where step by step descriptions are given for your help. If you are still confused, try looking for professional services offering help on writing response papers on various topics.
Apart from the generic rules of writing a paper, there is actually no strict rules on writing a response paper. Use the first person when writing a response paper from your perspective.
For those learning how to write a response paper, the paper can be divided into two sections for simplicity, namely, the summary paragraph and the reaction paragraph.