How to Write a Reaction Paper Nice and Easy

Updated May 2021

When you have a task to write a reaction paper, it is vital to ask yourself a question about how a certain piece of information makes you feel. Regardless if you have to provide a reaction paper based on a certain article or a full-length movie, the trick is to implement analysis where you react and explain what factors have made you focus on certain parts. Our how to write a reaction paper guide will help you to understand the structure and the aspects that will help you come up with an excellent reaction assignment.

What is Reaction Paper? The Important Factors to Consider

In simple terms, any successful reaction paper has a clear purpose and definition. You must express your personal opinion and show that you have understood the article or any other type of content. Explain what the article means to you to make it accessible to your target audience. In a certain sense, you have to study the content in advance before writing a reaction paper and noting the main ideas of the author to express your analytical skills as you write about it. Of course, you do not have to provide a summary since it has to refer to the readers who may have already read the original article. Therefore, you should use your own thoughts and professional experience (if there is any!) to help support your writing.

First of all, let us learn the list of Do's and Don'ts that will help you to make a checklist as you deal with a reaction paper:

how to write a reaction paper

Remember that, unlike a classic summary paper, you should base your work on your personal thoughts regarding the issue and discuss things that have been mentioned in the original text. Your college professor should see how well you have understood the text or a movie. Show your analytical skills and strategic thinking as you compose your introduction and, most importantly, the final part where you sum things up.

Reaction Papers Format & Structure

The most important aspect of how to write a reaction paper is to understand the outline or structure. It has to contain certain bits that will help your college professor see that you have done your homework right. Reading through our guide with examples, you will understand how to start a reaction paper and structure your thoughts without making them overly complex.

  • Introduction. The introduction of your reaction paper should have a hook that will keep your readers interested and inspired. If you are writing about Amazon forests, provide statistics or start with an unusual fact. Next, you should briefly describe the author and the paper in question. Proceed with the main ideas (problems) that you plan to discuss. Talk about the original text and the importance of your methodology that has inspired you for the reaction.
  • Thesis Statement. It has to be an important point that is clearly based on what you have read. It should not be out of place since you will refer to it in your body paragraphs. For example, if you are talking about stress among ER nursing personnel, it would be good to write something like this reaction paper example:
    The author states that there is a lack of mental culture among ER nursing departments, which is not true, in my opinion. They have an internal culture, body language, and barely any time to build up visible aspects of clear communicative psychology.

    By doing so, you will be able to make a statement that reflects your reaction.
  • Body Paragraphs. Speaking for this part of the reaction paper, it is where things will usually get challenging. This is where you start explaining your thesis and provide good evidence with the quotes. Remember that they should not take the majority of your work since it is your reaction, not one of the author. This section makes it possible to add external statistics or information related to a book that you may have obtained elsewhere. Feel free to analyze.
  • Conclusion. This part should be brief and always to the point where you connect the author's main idea(s) with your thesis by summing things up again. You can talk directly to your target audience and explain what you have learned by finishing your reaction paper. If you can recommend something on the subject, do so here.
  • List of Citations & Sources. Remember to support every thought that is not yours with reliable sources and references to avoid any plagiarism risks.

Remember to focus on details and provide interesting points that you could “read between the lines” as you have analyzed the article or any additional source. Make your thesis clear to show your take on a certain event or an issue. It will help you to back up every statement that you have made.

How to Write a Reaction Paper to an Article?

The most important is to understand that a reaction paper is not a summary paper or a critique. You do not have to focus on the bad or the good parts of the article per se. Even if finding every vital aspect will help you, it has to be your analysis that shows how you see and understand the article precisely. You can turn to your experience, professional skills, or anything you have studied during the course to see how the article has made you feel.

Another crucial aspect when learning how to make a reaction paper is to understand what the author tried to explain or tell his or her audience. The same goes for the movie as you have to understand the main argument, which is much easier to do when you are dealing with an article. Remember to read the text more than once as you evaluate it. If the article has statistical information, think about why it is important and ask yourself whether it has helped you or not. Here are some parts to consider:

  • The Article's Content. You should start by explaining the topic to your readers in general terms or use details if it matters. Your audience should be able to understand the subject if it is specific to how and why you provide your opinion.
  • The Importance. You must explain the importance of your reaction as you validate your choice for a certain aspect. You can also explain how it matters to the scientific community or society in general.
  • Your Thesis Statement. It must have your major point with a brief explanation as to why the article has made you feel this or that way. It has to be provocative and argumentative to keep your audience motivated.
  • Focus on Details. You should support each idea with quotes or provide similar ideas as you can compare your article to another similar work if it helps to support your thesis idea.

Once again, do not forget to proofread every reaction paragraph in your paper and ensure that every source that you have mentioned in your writing is also included in the References / Bibliography page. Even if you have just referenced some book sample, it must be there to make your reaction paper reliable.

Tips to Write a Perfect Reaction Paper

As you learn how to write a reaction paper, things will become much easier if you follow these simple tips:

  1. Understand What You Must Do! Remember that not every college reaction paper assignment will stand for the same pattern. Some may let you decide how to compose your paper, yet it is not always the case! Sometimes you have to deal with a specific question where the professor wants to know your opinion regarding an already specified author's point. Therefore, if you do not have a writing template, always check your guidelines twice!
  2. Take Notes As You Read! It is never enough to read the article or watch a movie that you know well. You have to take notes or write down the time frames. If something makes you feel happy or explains something, write it down and mention it. It will help you to provide your reaction paper with the topic sentences for the body paragraphs.
  3. Create an Outline. Once you have all your notes at hand, create a reaction paper outline to help yourself stay within a clear structure and fit the word count.
  4. Apply Critical Thinking! As yourself questions about how the article makes you feel, whether you agree or disagree with the author, and see if you can relate to the author's point. As for your conclusion part, ask yourself about how the article has changed your perspective and what assumptions you have gained.
  5. Focus On Analytical Work! The most common mistake that college students make when they write a reaction paper is talking about the facts instead of providing analysis with an opinion. Your college professor already knows what the article is about or what the movie plot contains! Be creative and show your reaction.

Another important aspect is providing examples that will make your thoughts connect with the original paper. Remember to edit and proofread your writing according to your academic style (APA, MLA, or Chicago) before you submit it!

The List of Competitive Reaction Paper Topics

As another chapter of our reaction paper guide, we shall help you to brainstorm various research paper topics and the general subjects as you think over your existing prompt or want to find something that will help you achieve success.

  • Is Being a Vegetarian Useful for Children?
  • The Social Networking Harms Physical Communication Methods.
  • How Can Exams Be Made More Personalized?
  • Can Overpopulation Be Approached Differently?
  • The Dangers of GMO Food.
  • Do Video Games Have a Negative Influence On Young People?
  • Can TV Shows Teach Average People About Medical Safety?
  • Can Child Violence Be Managed by Talking Alone?
  • Is The Use of Cryogenics Ethical?
  • The Bitcoin System Has No Future.

Remember that these are only reaction paper general ideas that will help you make your creativity flow!

EduBirdie Experts Know How to Shape Your Thoughts!


It is only natural to find it challenging to write down your reaction even if you know it inside. Just share your basic ideas the way you can with our professionals. Regardless if you need help writing a research paper outline or come up with a great thesis statement, we know how to offer original and timely assistance. Just place your order with EduBirdie and never worry about meeting the deadlines or fixing every formatting rule for your reaction paper or any other college task!

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