Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques


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Reaction Paper

College and university students at one point in their studies face a reacting paper it is also referred to as a response paper. This type of writing demands the student to react to a book, or assigned text, watch a film or a podcast and respond to them accordingly. The best thing is to know how to write these papers since that is what drives so many students crazy. In this case, the write s supposed to analyze a text or any other material to which he is responding and develop a commentary that relates to it. The following steps will be very instrumental if you want to know how to go about the process.

Active reading and prewriting

  • You have to understand the purpose of the reaction paper
    They are assigned so that once you read the text you will have careful thoughts about your feels toward the text. When you write this paper, you have to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a text. You have to examine how and if it accomplishes its objective. In other words, a reaction paper is a platform to express your opinion.

    To write a good reaction paper you have to read the text and go beyond the superficial meaning. Respond to implied ideas, elaborate, evaluate, and analyze the purpose of the author and his main points. In most cases, you will use the first person pronoun. Your responses must be supported by evidence from the text alongside your own connection of ideas, text and overreaching ideas. If you are agreeing or disagreeing with the text, you must use sufficient evidence, which is convincing about your own feelings.

    If your analysis hinges on several texts, you must demonstrate their connection with each other. If you are dealing with a single text, you have to show the connection between the overreaching ideas and the themes you have discussed ion your class. Reaction papers can be assigned to films, lectures, field trips, labs, or even class discussions. Understand that this is not a summary of the text and does not simply state.
  • Find out what the assignment is asking
    Before you can even put pen to paper, you need to understand what your instructor is asking. It could be that he wants you to evaluate or analyzes a text. This is meant to be a personal response and as such, you have to know the kinds of reaction that the instructor is looking for in the assignment. If you are not sure, you can seek clarity from your instructor.

    You may also be required to respond to a text in light of another one. If this is the situation, you can use quotations from both texts in your reaction paper. You can also be asked to response t a text with respect to the class themes whereas, at times, you are required to give a personal reaction to the text. However, the personal reaction is an uncommon assignment, but if it so happens, the teacher is only looking to see if you have read the text and thought about it. If this happens, then focus on your opinion about the text.
  • Read the text immediately after it has been assigned
    If you want to give a good reaction to a text, you have to go beyond giving your opinions. Synthesize the paper by taking information that you are reading and putting it together for your evaluation and analysis. The most important thing is to digest whatever you have read and put the ideas together. Do not wait until the last minute to read and react to a text. When you are writing this paper, you should follow thoughtful consideration after reading and referring severally. You may require reading the text multiple times. The first reading is to familiarize yourself with the text and the next one is to start thinking about the assignment and your reactions.
  • Write down your initial reactions
    Once you do the first reading writes down your initial reactions to the text. Do the same for the subsequent readings. This will be essential when you are developing the overall argument of your paper.
  • Keep annotating the text as you read
    When you are reading the text again, you can start annotating it. This will allow you to locate these quotations, plot lines, character development, or reactions to the text. Failure to do a thorough annotation, it will be more difficult to come up with a cohesive reaction paper.
  • Question everything as you read
    As you read the text, keep questioning it. This marks the beginning of your evaluation and reaction of the material. Some of the aspects that you have to question include:
    • The issues or problems addressed by the author
    • The main argument of the author
    • The points or assumptions made by the author and how he backs them up
    • The strengths and weaknesses of the argument
    • The relation of the text to other works
    • How the ideas connect to the general ideas of the class and so on

Drafting you reaction paper

  • Do some free writing
    You can start by freewriting your reactions and evacuations of the author’s ideas. You can try to put into words what the author is trying to say and establish if you agree or not. Ask yourself why and then explain your thoughts. Freewriting helps you in getting your ideas on paper and moving past the ignition writer’s block. Once you finish the free write, read what you have come up with and determine your most strong and convincing reactions and then prioritize your points.
  • Decide your angle
    The paper that you are writing has to be critical and have some level of evaluation of the text. Once you free write, decide on the best angle that you will take. Keep asking yourself the same question as you write your paper. Think of the reasons why the author wrote the way they have. Think of why he structured it in a particular way and how it related to the outside world.
  • Formulate your thesis
    Once you have settled on the best angle to use, shape it into a coherent argument find out something interesting that you have to say about the text. This will be the epicenter of your reaction paper. Combine your points, opinions, and observations and into a single claim that you will now prove. This should be compressed into a single statement that explains why you want to analyze, criticize, or try to prove about the text. This will make your reaction paper to remain focused.
  • Organize your paper
    Your paper must follow the basic essay format of introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. When you write your body paragraphs, ensure that they support your thesis statement. Every paragraph must react to a single portion of the text. You should organize them together into a few common topics to enable you to write them into paragraphs.

    For instance, if your reaction paper hinges on a theme book, you can divide the paragraphs into how the setting, antagonist, and figurative imagery communicate these themes successfully or unsuccessfully.
  • Gather quotations
    This should happen after you organize your ideas into paragraphs. Find quotations that will support your points. Your evidence should come from the text that you are analyzing. If you had made some annotations for your quotations, you can locate and use them to support your thesis. You can draft paragraphs that introduce quotations, analyze them, and comment on them.
  • Structure your paragraphs
    Always start with a topic sentence, which can be what the author says. Follow that with your reaction. Alternatively, you can start with the author and then follow with the contrasts of your reactions a good way to structure your paragraph in detail, example or quotation, commentary or evaluation, repeat.

Writing your final draft

  • Write your introduction
    You should state the name of your text, the author, and the focus of your paper. You can also include the year of publication and the publication from which it was taken if it is relevant. The topic of the text also matters and the author’s purpose. Close your introduction to your thesis statement.
  • Read your reaction paragraphs to ascertain they make a stance
    You are supposed to be analyzing, evaluating, rather than just sticking to facts. You can locate where you can simply report what the text says instead of giving a critique or evaluation of what it says.
  • Explain the greater significance and implication of the text for the class, author, audience, or yourself
    You can connect the text with any ideas you have discussed in your class.
  • Edit for clarity and strength
    Read the assignment carefully to ascertain that you conform to the directions. Ensure that the sentences are clear and you have argued your points well.
  • Proofread your work
    Go through your work checking for any mistakes that relate to spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Ask yourself if you have responded to the assignment adequately
    You can do that by double-checking the assignment guidelines to ensure you have followed instructions.

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