Reaction Papers have a three-part purpose. First they are intended to demonstrate your comprehension of the assigned readings or exercises. They will help you keep track of important ideas that you will need to review again later. Most importantly, they are intended for you to give your reaction to the assigned readings.
Your Reaction Paper should demonstrate comprehension of the assigned materials and contain a critical and thoughtful reaction to the reading. Reaction should make up the majority of the Reaction Paper. There are a number of ways you might approach the task of reaction to the readings.
a. Focus on an aspect of the reading that you will argue pertains to some issue or idea we
have discussed in class. 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 materials, respond by giving 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?
Introduce the topic you intend to argue. If you are addressing something specific from the course readings or outside related materials, you must reference the information (see Chicago Style – paper format example).
The body of the paper is the largest component of the Reaction Paper; it is here that the writer presents a persuasive argument or position addressing the topic introduced in the first paragraph. Again, remember to reference any materials you use to substantiate or refute the topic introduced in the first paragraph.
To end your paper, provide a conclusion that summarizes what you have proposed and argued. Remember this is your chance to write in a persuasive manner.
Your paper should be in the form of an essay with an introduction, body and conclusion and written in the formal writing style. Papers must be double-spaced, at least on full page, one-inch margins and size 12 font. It must have a title, your name, page numbering, and consistent use of references (outlined in the AAA Style Guide provided in Blackboard). Be sure to proofread; grammatical errors play a factor in the evaluation of papers.
What to Avoid:
A Reaction Paper is NOT a book report! You must give some brief summary of the assigned readings or exercise 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 readings. Base everything you say on 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.