If you question yourself “What is a response essay,” then you are probably a freshman and need to know the basic details about academic writing. Every essay should have a clear and strong thesis statement, which will reflect writer’s position and state what the paper will discuss further. Thesis statement can be compared with a primary argument, which writer wants to emphasize. There is always a need to support your thesis with a number of back up ideas, which can be called as
“topic sentences” placed in the beginning of each paragraph.
If you were asked to write a response essay, most likely, you were asked to cover one of the following topics:
- Modern business trends and their influence on marketing.
- Are there any positive features of “yellow pages”?
- Tell about your favorite movie.
- Platonic love. Does it exist?
- True friendship never ends. Do you agree?
- A book or an article that made you think differently.
- Your future aspirations: Should people plan anything?
It is just a small list of topics that your instructor might ask you to explore. If you were asked to write a literary response essay, then you will have to carry out research and gather relevant supporting ideas apart from presenting your standpoint. In any case, response writing deals closely with your subjective point, so that you will have to use personal pronouns like “I” and “we” to get closer to your reader and break all the borders.
The Middle Section: Main Body
When it comes to a response essay, you will have to think how many paragraphs can encompass your ideas. Make sure to introduce a significant amount of statistical data and other research evidence to prove your standpoint. However, please check your instructions carefully because sometimes professors ask to rely on your personal opinions only and do not ask to conduct any extra research. In any case, even if you introduce some research ideas, be sure that they contain proper in-text citations.
As in any essay writing, you may start writing your essay from an outline, which will show how your final paper should look like. In a response paper, your outline should entail all primary paper sections like introduction, main body, and conclusion.
Oftentimes, students are asked to write a response paper based on what they have read or watched. Writing a response paper in literature should include a discussion of the literary devices like: similes, metaphors, alliteration, cliff-hanger, setting, plot, characters, sounds and rhythm (depending on the type of reading). If you properly discuss literary elements, your professor will definitely see how diligent you are in terms of analyzing the primary reading.
If you would like to appeal to readers’ emotions, you can use some vivid examples from the text. However, do not include too many examples, especially direct quotes, which can constitute no more than 10% of the whole paper.
Creativity in Response Writing
Even if you have already found some good samples of how to write a response paper, think outside the limits and find out how you can stand out from the rest of classmates. Be creative and try to generate ideas that will be appreciated by your professor. If you include some unique opinions, you will definitely get the highest grade. Remember that response writing is an individual work and you have to introduce your personal attitude to the text or an issue, so there is nothing to be ashamed of, if you think differently than everybody else.
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