Reaction Paper Essay Format

Reaction Paper Format

Reaction paper format is an outline that organizes your thoughts when writing a reaction essay. It is very important because it guides you and gives you a bird’s eye view on how your essay will look like. Similarly, it guides you to ensure smooth paragraph transitions.

Additionally, reaction paper outline plays a crucial role in planning your paper when it comes to length and content. Note that the topic of each reaction essay is usually straightforward. For this reason, you ought to read the assigned chapters clearly and think about what you have read. You are then expected to put your reaction or thoughts down on paper. This is why you need to have a clear outline to organize your thoughts and analysis naturally.

Parts of a Reaction Paper Format

A reaction paper format has four basic parts including:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion and
  4. List of citations

These parts form major sections of your essay and you have to begin each part carefully to keep your thoughts organized.

In writing a good reaction essay, the format will help you praise strengths and criticize weaknesses of the topic or text in question. Most importantly, you should be in a position to justify your response. In this case, you need to give solid reasons as to why you are taking a specific position.

You should also be in a position to show significance of your ability by further supporting your reasons. Therefore, write your paper following the format by

Creating a good outline and determining beforehand, the reactions you have

Search for justifications you will need in your writing as well as supporting theories

1st Paragraph-Introduction

Start your paper by drafting a good introduction- this should include a brief summary of the content, question or material you are asked to respond to. The rule of thumb is to devote at least 3 sentences for the introduction. Most importantly, include title and author of the text you are summarizing. At the end of the introduction, write your thesis and this should support your argument.

2nd Paragraph-Your reaction

The second paragraph of your paper should contain your response of first reaction. Write concisely and follow this format to ensure your paper flows well. Give reasons as behind your reaction or perception. In any case, it is preferable that you strictly focus on the text you are analyzing. This is because you have to substantiate your reasons for your perception by adding a theoretical content explaining your observation.

In the succeeding paragraphs, state other reactions. It is however imperative that you use personal indicators including in my opinion, I suppose, I think or I believe among others.


Conclude your reaction essay by restating your thesis statement and response. You can wrap up your paper by challenging target audience or the author of the work you are analyzing.

Writing in Reaction Paper Format

With an idea of what a reaction paper format entails, you should be in a position of putting your thoughts in paper using the above outline. Even so, it is essential that you understand how to apply the outline in your writing for a paper that stands out. Here are tips on how you should go about your writing

Prepare– keep a journal of the text you are analyzing. Whenever you come across a quote, indicate the page number. It will save you time when writing your paper

Start Writing– write your paper and, ensure the content addresses the question. This should be in essay style. Do not just answer or respond to the question. Therefore, write a good

  • Summary in two or three paragraphs summarizing the content of the text you are analyzing.
  • Write a good critique in two or more paragraphs. Remember, you are required to analyze given content critically. This doesn’t mean that you state the negatives about the text. You should simply analyze the paper addressing issues as
  1. whether the writer presents the ideas in a fair manner
  2. strengths of the content of text you are analyzing as well as weaknesses
  3. whether there is any material that could be added to the text to enhance it, make it better or complete

Give meaning: a good reaction paper should devote several paragraphs to give meaning to the paper. This is a major paper of the essay. For this reason, it is wise that you choose a major theme for the work you are analyzing. Show how the text author develops the theme. Give specific examples, cite theme and show the reader how the theme is presented in different parts of the work.

Give your reaction: state your personal reaction to the content. your response could include, why you feel the work of the author is bad or good choice for you to read and analyze, whether you enjoyed the reading followed by an explanation why and what you find surprising about the reading, what delighted or angered you among other responses.

Application: a reaction paper format should have a good conclusion. This can be written in two or more paragraphs addressing the question;

How does this material relate to your personal life experience? Explain

Writing a good reaction essay may seem like a daunting task. However, by following the above reaction format, you can be sure to organize your thoughts and ideas concisely. At the end of it all, you are guaranteed of a coherent and organized paper. The format also saves you on time.

A few more reminders about reaction paper format

An outline helps you to draft a good and relevant paper. However, you should ensure that you stick to your format to state your analysis and opinion of the work. Therefore, it is very important and appropriate that you write in first person at all times.

Additionally, use an academic tone

Go through your outline or format to select the most significant points

Arrange your thoughts and ideas in a sensible manner

Rewrite your thesis to check whether it expresses your key reaction and unifies the paper. In this case, practice and master how to write a reaction paper that truly identifies and justifies your response or reaction.

Revise, edit and proofread your essay. This will help you to make sure that the essay observes all technical requirements.

Reaction Paper Format Examples

Example 1



Body Paragraphs

Subheading including

  • supporting idea and main argument
  • supporting idea 2 and argument

Subheading including other supporting ideas and argument

Conclusion and


Check out the above structure for your format and get more tips on how to go about your reaction essay.

Example 2

Introduction– include all basic details in one or two paragraphs

Sentence 1-include details of the author, title of text you are analyzing and the publication

Sentence 2 to 4-gives a brief summary of what you read and it should be in a nutshell

Sentence 5– this should be your thesis statement and it states whether you agree, disagree with the text. It also identifies and evaluates the text.

When writing the introduction, use clear and concise sentences. Additionally, draft a focused thesis based on your reaction.


The body includes paragraphs supporting your thesis. Each paragraph should carry one idea. The topic sentence should enhance the thesis and the final sentence of each paragraph should lead to the next. Therefore, use the right transitions.


The conclusion should restate what you talked about in the paper. It can also be a comment focusing on your general reaction. Lastly, it can be a prediction of the effects of what you are responding to.

Note: wrap up your paper and include no new details.

Check out the above outline  and learn how to draft a good reaction essay.

Example 3

Format and structure for your essay


Thesis statement

Body paragraphs


You can use the above format and organize your paper by

Writing a summary

Offering a brief summary of the text you are analyzing in the introduction. This can be the central idea of the reading of text or even the subsidiary argument. However, avoid criticism of peripheral statements. Stick to a short concise paragraph.


Offer your criticism after the logic of your statement. Give evidence that your statement relies on. Keep in mind that you should be concise hence the need to avoid overstatements, invective comments and one sidedness. Focus on how the author would react to your criticisms and go ahead to discuss the responses.


Show implications for example, if your criticism is correct, what follows? If you have another positive alternative, state it here.

This link leads you to the above format. You will also find other useful tips on reaction paper format at the site.

With the above formats, you should draft an original, correct, coherent and relevant paper. Ensure to focus on original ideas throughout the writing process. You can also think of a unique angle to write an essay that stands out.

However, in case you have problems following reaction paper format and writing an outstanding a reaction essay, you can simply talk to us. We have the best writers who can craft an incredible essay for you. Visit our homepage and learn about our services.


If you are in college there is a big chance that your English or other professors will eventually assign a reaction paper. Some call it a response paper and that is acceptable too. These types of writing assignments are exactly what they sound like. You read a book or an assigned text, watch a film or a podcast, and give your response or reaction to that text.

Like other tasks that you will often be assigned in college, it’s not so much as why you have been assigned them as it is to the how to write them that drives so many students batty. So how do you write a reaction paper? Are there any guidelines in writing it that must be followed? It is OK to get help with reaction paper if you are not sure how to do it right and we have created a guide for you. 

How to Write an Introduction for a Reaction Paper

If you follow the steps below on how to write a reaction paper you will be able to complete your writing task with little or no dismay. This guide will touch on all aspects including how to write an introduction for a reaction paper.

Reaction Paper Psychology Topics

Before you begin you need a topic that focuses on your reading of the text. If your teacher has not given one some of these may be interesting depending on your text.

A recreation paper related to childcare and family issues:

  • Parental negligence reflection forms causes for child obesity
  • Hyperactive children: role of environment and biological factors
  • Ethical, religious and legal aspects of LGBT adoption

A recreation paper related to mental health and behavior:

  • Causes and consequences of shyness of adults
  • Signs of emotional abuse
  • Effects of the brands and designer babies in the modern society
  • Habits: how they are being formed and whether can be changed
  • Attractiveness and the changed perceptions

A recreation paper related to crime and society life:

  • Crimes in communities. Victims. The impact on people's life
  • Solitary confinement: emotional effects within it

Choosing a topic that focuses on your reaction also will help you to write an introduction and thesis.

The Summary

The first thing that you must do is summarize the text by writing the reaction paper outline format (or you can call it a sample). Developing your outline for the reaction paper will help keep you focused and your thoughts in order. It helps to use a highlighter as you read the text to show the points that you will later want to use in your summary.

When you are finished reading your text, go back, and develop a summary based on these highlighted crumb trails you have created along the way. Include in your summary the following:

  • The author and title (publisher and publication date)
  • If you have been assigned a film or video podcast, you must include the maker of the film. Some movies have subtitles so that you can quote sections.
  • Quotations that you will want to use in the assignment including pg. number
  • Facts in objective based detail of the work. You will get a chance to react later
  • Key ideas and points and what content supports them
  • Don’t get too informative in this summary, just the facts, keep it condensed

Next, go over your syllabus to make sure you are using the correct formatting so you can set up your paper in the style your professor requires. Look for any questions that you must focus on according to the assignment. You professor may want you to make sure you include in your reaction the following:

  • How is the text related to your course of study? (Biology, English Lit., Graphic Design etc.)
  • If applicable, how does the text help or harm today’s world problems or address them?
  • What can you associate in your life with the text? Does it have any bearing on your way of thinking? Living?
  • How has your perspective on the subject changed? If not, what was your perspective on the subject before reading the text?
  • Did the text cause you any emotional arousal within you, if so what?
  • Is the text relevant today? Did it change history in any way?
  • Would you recommend the work to others and why?

How to Write a Reaction Paper in APA Format

When you must write a reaction paper in your science classes, like psychology, you professor may want it in APA style, which in literature usually stands for American Psychological Association. If this is the case, there are specific guidelines that you must follow to develop an APA reaction paper. APA format is a different style than MLA, and if you have never used it, it would be to your best interest to practice this type of outline for your APA reaction paper before beginning.

Some of the basics of a reaction paper in APA format are:

  • Title Page: Each title page must have a running head at the very top. On the first page the words “Running head” should proceed the title, and on other pages, the running head will just have the title.
  • Abstract: You will then develop a small abstract summer of what the paperwork is about. This is right after your first page.
  • The Main Body: This is where the actual essay goes unless it is a lab report, then you must include an introduction, results, your methods, and discussions.
  • References: Each source used in your paper must be listed on your resources page. Do not bold the word reference and center it on its own page. All References should also be in alphabetical order and the first line of each reference will be flush left.
  • References not only are on the reference page but cited in-text. This includes any tables, pictures etc. If it is in your paper it must be on your reference page in APA style.

The layout of an APA paper may be daunting when you first write one, but if you start by breaking it down into smaller steps it will be easier and with time you`ll get handy with creating good papers. An APA outline is and bibliography will help structure the paperwork into the manageable steps you need before you begin.

Sites that teach how to write a reaction paper in APA style are available, and if you need professional writers to help you with your college assignments, they are eager to face you in the right direction on developing your APA style paper together with any outline for reaction paper.

Look for those sites that offer examples that include an introduction, body of paragraphs with supporting evidence for a thesis that is effective and lead to a proven conclusion with reaction paper outline format. These types of examples are usually downloadable and will be useful guides as you develop your paper and can help with picking reaction paper psychology topics.


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