How to Write a Response Paper Guide with Structure and Example - UK Academic Writers Blog

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How to Write a Response Paper
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How to Write a Response Paper Guide with Structure and Example

When you reach college, the end of each semester will be inaugurated with an assignment referred to as; a response paper. Most people do not do write this assignment themselves because of the fact that it is complicated, so they hire assignment writers. For those who wish to do this themselves, a response paper is also known as a reaction paper and as the second name suggests, the core purpose of the paper is for you to record your reaction to some content that has been provided to you by your teacher. 

The content that is provided to you to squeeze a reaction out of you is normally in the form of a book, article, movie or show. You will be required to review the content provided to you with the eye of a critic, where you will have to summarize and then analyze the material. Your analysis is what fulfils the purpose of a response paper. 

What your teacher will derive when he/she is checking your paper is whether or not you have a clear judgment and if you can or cannot summarize your judgment into words. The summarization and your response are the two parts that you need to divide your paper into. Both the parts have been explained ahead:


You will start off with your response paper by summarizing the entire book/article/movie/show. In order to begin your summary, you will start off by identifying the author and the title of the book. If you have been asked to review an article, start off by identifying the publisher and the date of publication. Whereas, if it’s a magazine, you will also need to mention the date on which it was published. 

Moving ahead, you will dive into a deep and descriptive summarization of the entire gist of the material that had been provided to you. Your summary is supposed to be concise, but it is still supposed to cover every major aspect of the material that you were requested to analyze. Even your summary will have a short introduction, the main body and a conclusion. 

Your main body is supposed to contain all the main events or highlights of the book or article. If you have been asked to study an article about a certain issue or problem, your summary can contain all the points for and against that the publisher must have mentioned. 

The next step is for you to condense the summary that you have created by highlighting the main facts or main supporting facts to make your summary gain a bit more body to it. In order to make those facts even more prominent, use a couple of direct quotations from the material to illustrate an even bigger picture for the reader to understand those facts. 

Withstanding that you need to mention every key factor, you also need to keep in mind that you are writing a summary and writing a summary entails for you to be as concise and to the point, as you can be. Also, you need to understand that you cannot keep your approach singular and prolong your focus towards one specific point and neither can you neglect any other points. Basically, you need to keep a balance between every factor and point that you are using. 

Another thing that you need to keep in mind while writing the first part of your response paper is that; you need to be extremely subjective. You are strictly required to discuss the material only. You cannot deviate from the subject at hand that is, the summary and include your own views. Your views have been reserved for the second part of your response paper. Being subjective in the first part will create the platform that you need to begin your response or analysis. If you have remained subjective, the reader will be on the same level as you to develop a deeper understanding of your response. 


This part of your response paper will cover your actual response, which is the main purpose of the paper. Here you will need to convert your judgment about the material into words that the reader can interpret. This will basically be your analysis of the material that will be explained through a verbal response that you have derived from studying the material. 

When writing your response, you must first generate a list of questions that you think the readers will need answers to. Once you have generated a list of questions that you will answer in this part of your assignment, you might want to check with your teacher and ask if he/she wants you to emphasize any particular questions. 

Here is a list of possible questions that you might want to answer in your response:

  1. Question: How is the material provided to you to examine linked with the things you are being taught in the course for which you are composing a response paper?

Answer: To answer this question, you will have to cross-reference your work with your coursework and highlight how this work is related to what you have been learning through the entire semester. 

  1. Question: How is the material related to everyday life and how is it linked to society?

Answer: In this part, you will identify the concepts or facts in the material that are linked to your daily life and other people’s daily life. You will also describe how the material has an impact on society or what it decodes about society. 

  1. Question: How is the material provided to you associated with your opinions, mindset, ideas or thoughts and how it has any impact on them?

Answer: In this part, you will answer how the material that you analyzed was linked to your mindset or the way you think. Basically, if it represents the same ideologies that you possess, you will talk about that and vice versa. You will need to talk about how the material intrigued your emotions or thoughts.

  1. Question: What did you perceive from the subject that the material revolves around?

Answer: In this part, you will talk about if the material had an impact on your perspective or whether or not it aligns with your perspective. In the case that it does not align with your perspectives, then you will disagree with what the material claims and vice versa if they do align with it. 

  1. Question: Did the material help you develop an understanding of the issue that it circles around?

Answer: In this part, you will tell the reader if the material helped you understand that issue that it revolved around. If it did help you develop an understanding, start by talking about what you have understood after your analysis of the material. But if it did not help you understand the issue, talk about how your judgment is still cloudy with regards to the issue at hand. 

  1. Question: What is your personal evaluation of the credibility of the material?

Answer: In this part, you will pass an evaluation about the importance of the material’s points, its accuracy, completeness, organization, and so on. Basically, you will be passing a critical analysis of the material in a short space with minimal details. 

  1. Question: Would you recommend this material to anyone? If yes, then explain why.

Answer: This is the last question that you would want to answer and it will contain your recommendation to the readers of your response paper. This part will basically highlight the core of your response, whether you liked it or not. If you liked the material and you find it to be commendable, then you should write a convincing paragraph with facts and citations from the material that allowed you to think of it as commendable. Basically, you will need to formally explain why you liked it. 

Here are a few points that you should keep in mind when you are writing a response paper: 

  • Unity, support, coherence, and clear, error-free sentences are what you need to focus on when you are writing a report or paper like this. You will be graded on the basis of these four things. 
  • Make sure every new point starts with a new paragraph just so you can give a firm structure to your paper. 
  • Do not forget to back up your points or expressions with the right facts by referring to them from the book.
  • Structure it just like a response paper is supposed to be structured; with the summary first, then your response and end it with a conclusion. 
  • Review your paper multiple times to find any grammatical or syntactic errors that might lower the quality of your work. 
  • Make sure all your citations are covered using the documentation style.
  • Make sure to use a few citations and quotations from the material in your summary as well as your response.
  • Lastly, you will need to mention any use of published information and incorporate it parenthetically or at the bottom of the page in a footnote. Make sure to ask your teacher if it is necessary to use published information. 

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