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How To Write a Response Paper

How to write a response paper

How to Write a Response Paper

1. The first paragraph should contain (preferably in the first two or three sentences) the main issue or problem being addressed in your paper. Choose ONE issue for your response paper (one is always better than many, and also makes for amore manageable and clear argument). The lead sentence(s) of the response paper should summarize what the article is about: it should state what troubles you about the reading, what the problem or issue is that stands out, or, conversely, it should state what you find compelling about the selection. It is always best to present this with a quote that provides support for your claim, this will make the response paper stronger.

2. Your subsequent paragraphs should seek to outline the author' framework (especially the part of it that you have selected for analysis) and you should go into greater detail about what your problem or issue is, and most importantly, provide solid evidence for your opinion. Always use relevant quotes and/or relevant anecdotal evidence and demonstrate their clear connection to the issue you raise in your leading sentences in your response paper. Try to avoid using the 1st person in your response paper. Your personal reflections should lead you to taking a position that you can articulate through argumentation that is not personal.

3. Try to intervene in the article rather than only summarize its points. One of the most effective ways to do this is to locate tension in the text it may be a contradiction or an aspect of the author’s argument that lacks clarity, or something you disagree with.

4. After writing your response paper, check for argumentative flow. Your response  writing should have internal coherence and focus, and your paragraphs should follow a logical sequence. Perhaps you could finish off with a set of questions left unanswered in light of your analysis.

5. Try to advance the conversation about the issue you are focusing on. This may be aided by your use of an external source. If you do choose to use an external source, make sure it is focused and reputable, preferably academic.

Whether you need to write a response paper on an article or a book, it is always better to follow the general standards to meet your professors' expectations. Academic writitng is quite hard as it is very canonical and, therefore, searching for how to write a response paper may help you get the generalized idea of how the response paper should be written. Check one of our Response Paper Sample Essays to get an idea of how an A+ response paper should look like.