response-paperResponse papers are meant to teach you how to become an active reader. When preparing for response essays, you will need to investigate the text, picking on details and evaluating peculiarities. In this way, you will create personal associations and commit the information from the text to your long-term memory. This quick guide will help you write excellent response papers and receive only excellent grades for them.

Response paper: main goals

When writing a response essay, your main goals are:

  • to show that you perfectly understand the author’s messages (by providing a brief summary);
  • analyze the authors’ style and techniques;
  • express your personal opinion about the text under analysis
  • explain why the work affected you the way it did.

Response paper: good starters

How to write a response paper? Imagine that you have a unique chance to write a letter to the author and share your opinion of his/her work and ideas concerning the discussed problem. Respect the author and show that you have done your homework and you have something to say about the text. However, you should note that the author already knows what his/her text contains and therefore, if you provide a summary, it should be a very brief one and followed by your concrete response to the ideas and text itself.
What you always need to add toresponse papers is a discussion of the ideas and impressions that you had after reading. To do this, you could try for instance to answer the following questions:


  1. How do you feel about the author’s main ideas?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with the author?
  3. Do you have any experience relevant to the topic and that you would like to share?
  4. Have you read or heard previously anything related to the discussed topic?

Response paper: sample outline

This is a sample response paper outline you may want to use in your essays:

  1. Introduction (do not forget to introduce the author and the work you are going to discuss and briefly state your main response in a thesis statement.)
  2. Main body
    • A brief summary
    • Analysis and evaluation of the author’s main ideas and manner of presentation.
    • Personal response (discuss your reaction to the text, your feelings and impressions and try to explain why you feel that way.)
  3. Conclusion (briefly summarize what you have said and repeat your thesis statement using different words.)

Response paper: phrases to use

When writing response papers, feel free to use “I”. Also, these phrases can be helpful for expressing your personal opinion:

  • In my opinion...;
  • I feel that...;
  • It seems to me that...;
  • I am suggesting that...;
  • I would argue that...;

As you see, writing papers of response can be rather easy. You could simply use this quick guide to direct your efforts and gain maximum effect.