What is a reaction paper?

Reaction or response papers are designed so that you'll consider carefully what you think or feel about something you've read or seen.


Read or view whatever you've been asked to respond to read or view. While reading or viewing think about the following questions:

  • How do you feel about what you are reading (seeing)?
  • With what do you agree or disagree?
  • Can you identify with the situation?
  • What would be the best way to evaluate what you read or see?

Pre-writing for Your Reaction Paper

Keeping your responses to these questions in mind, complete as many statements as possible about what you read or saw.

  1. I think that ...
  2. I see that ...
  3. I feel that ...
  4. It seems that ...
  5. In my opinion ...
  6. Because ...
  7. A good quote is ...
  8. In addition ...
  9. For example ...
  10. Moreover ...
  11. However ...
  12. Consequently ...
  13. Finally ...
  14. In conclusion ...

The above statements become your rough draft. Now it needs to be organized. Your paper should have:

  • An introduction (no more than two paragraphs),
  • A body, and
  • A conclusion.


  1. Introduction
    Sentence 1 should include pertinent information such as author, title, and publication or presenter, title, and place.
    Sentence 2, 3, and 4 should give a summary or overview.
    Sentence 5 should be your thesis (i.e., you agree, disagree, identify with, or evaluate)
    Note: A thesis statement is an assertion, not a statement of fact. A thesis should take a stand, contain one main point, and be sufficiently specific and narrow.
    Non-Example: Students write many papers in college courses.
    Example: Students write papers in college to advance their knowledge of certain subjects.
  2. Body
    The body should contain paragraphs that provide support for your thesis.
    Each paragraph should contain one idea.
    The topic sentence of each paragraph should support the thesis.
    The final sentence of each paragraph should lead into the next paragraph.
  3. Conclusion
    The conclusion can be:
    A restatement of what you said in your paper,
    A comment that focuses your overall reaction, or
    A prediction of the effects about your topic.
    Note: Your conclusion should include no new information.