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A REACTION PAPER demonstrates comprehension of the assigned readings and contain a critical and thoughtful reaction to the reading. Reaction should make up the majority of the Reaction Paper. Make sure that your paper is in the form of an essay with an introduction, body and conclusion.

a) Focus on an aspect of the reading that you will argue pertains to some issue or idea’ “Does the reading support, undermine or come into tension with previous issues or concepts?” Explain why it is significant.

b) Focus on a particular theme or issue raised by the reading and give your own perspective on it. Be sure to elaborate on your opinion.

What is your thinking based on?
What are the strengths and the weaknesses of the main sides of the issue, as you see it?
Do you have any personal experience that is relevant to the issue?

What to Avoid:

A Reaction Paper is NOT a book report! You must give some brief summary of the reading in order to write a good paper, but only summarize what is necessary to write your reaction.

It is also important to avoid vague impressions about the reading. Base everything you say in something specific in the reading, such as a quote, or a concept or an argument. Dig into something solid. Make sure you make proper reference to these specific details.

Criteria of a good reaction paper:

In writing a good reaction paper, it is not enough to simply praise the strengths or criticize the weaknesses of the text in question. More than that, you must be able to justify your "reaction." It is important to provide the reasons why, for example, why the thesis of a particular essay carries a strong point. Of equal significance is your ability to further support your reasons with academic theories or even statistical data. Here are some tips on how to write a reaction paper.

It is highly advisable to create an outline before you start writing your reaction paper. Doing so will help you determine beforehand how many "reactions" you have. It also affords you the opportunities to search the justifications you need and to list the supporting theories to them.

In a paragraph, start your reaction paper with your introduction that includes a brief summary of the material you are tasked to respond to. Devote at least three sentences for this purpose. Remember to include the title and author of the work you have summarized. At the end, write your thesis statement.***

The second paragraph should contain your first "reaction." Write it concisely, preferably in one short sentence. Follow this with your reason for having that perception. In both cases, always refer to the work you are responding to. Further substantiate your reason by adding a theoretical perspective that will explain your observation.

Apply the previous method with the succeeding paragraphs for your other reactions. As much as possible, use personal indicators such as "I believe," "I think," "I suppose," "In my opinion," and others.

End with your conclusion. Conclude with a restatement of your thesis and reactions. You may wish to wrap-up your reaction paper with a challenge to your reader, if not the author of the work you have just responded to.

Here are a few more reminders. In writing a reaction paper, keep in mind to state your opinion and analysis of the work. It is thus appropriate to use the singular first-person point of view [the "I"], but also adopt an academic tone.

with a bibliography only quote those sources which have been quoted within the reaction paper generally speaking always write in the past tense

Format: the title of your piece is centered the paragraphs are aligned to the left margins are 1 inch wide all paragraphs have their first line indented pagination the number of the page is located in the top right corner the font to be used is Times new Roman, 12 point and not in bold all citations are installed within the text long quotations are not encouraged

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**** A thesis statement in an essay is a sentence that explicitly identifies the purpose of the paper or previews its main ideas.

A thesis statement is an assertion, not a statement of fact or an observation.
Fact or observation: “People use many lawn chemicals.”
Thesis: “People are poisoning the environment with chemicals merely to keep their lawns clean.”

A thesis takes a stand rather than announcing a subject.
Announcement: “The thesis of this paper is the difficulty of solving our environmental problems.
Thesis: “Solving our environmental problems is more difficult than many environmentalists believe.”

A thesis is the main idea, not the title. It must be a complete sentence that explains in some detail what you expect to write about.
Title: “Social Security and Old Age.”
Thesis: “Continuing changes in the Social Security System makes it almost impossible to plan intelligently for one's retirement.”

A thesis statement is narrow, rather than broad. If the thesis statement is sufficiently narrow, it can be fully supported.
Broad: “The American steel industry has many problems.”
Narrow: “The primary problem if the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment.”

A thesis statement is specific rather than vague or general.
Vague: Hemingway's war stories are very good.
Specific: Hemingway's stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words.

A thesis statement has one main point rather than several main points. More than one point may be too difficult for the reader to understand and the writer to support.
More than one main point: “Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world-renowned physicist, and his book is the subject of a movie.”
One Main point: “Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world renowned physicist.”

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