How to Write a Response Paper

How to write a response paper? A response paper is one of the most widespread literary-critical genres, the purpose of which is to analyze, evaluate artistic, journalistic, or scientific work, comparing it with real life, as well as consideration of the social problems raised in the work.

The art of criticism is a complex process, and it requires the author to have a high aesthetic taste, the ability to analyze creative phenomena, that is, to have the skills of literary and art critic. A literary critic is also a journalist. The writer must respond promptly to actual events of artistic and social life and be able to present his or her observations in a popular, imaginative, productive manner. The critic should not only prove a certain truth but convince the interlocutor of it. If you want to know how to respond to articles correctly, read these recommendations.

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What is a Response Paper

In order to answer the question “What is a response paper” it is necessary to understand the essence of this genre. The main task of the response or reaction paper is to express the author’s attitude to the investigated work, which in turn requires him or her to have deep knowledge in a particular field, such as art or science. The main difference between response papers and other genres is that the subjects of the essay are not direct facts. Information phenomena are books, articles, plays, movies, and TV shows.

The response paper format usually implies consideration of one or two questions and gives them an appropriate evaluation without posing other, more complex tasks. In the case when the writer puts forward some socially significant problems based on in-depth analysis, his or her material is not a personal response but a literary critique, art criticism, or scholarly research.

It is clear that the author is simply not able to cover all the phenomena of cultural or scientific life. Therefore, the most famous performances, books, films, including scandalous materials, are usually criticized, as well as everything that attracts the attention of the public. Such an essay should pursue a practical goal, namely to tell the audience what works really deserve attention, and what things do not deserve it, to help the reader understand the issues of the sphere to which the material relates.

Secrets of Writing a Response Paper

When writing a response paper, you must focus on both the content and the form. You need to study the work deeply, taking into account the principles and rules that a writer, scientist, or artist guided, as well as be able to use the methods of analysis correctly. The basis of such a text is an analysis. The author should be able to notice something new, which can become a center of attention and his or her judgments in the analyzed material. Very often, reviewers focus on the transfer of storylines of the work and characterization of the actions of personages. However, this should not be the only method of your work. It becomes reasonable only in the case if such a transfer is organically intertwined with the analysis.

Each type of creativity has established value norms, patterns, and tasks for the writer during the writing response papers to reveal their observance, development in the investigated work, to show the novelty, achievements, and omissions of the author, to determine the place, importance of the work for the present and future. The writer has a difficult task to evaluate the work objectively and at the same time, to show his or her vision, understanding of the work, indicate the author’s errors and defects, as well as ways to eliminate them delicately, and to help to readers, viewers, and listeners to perceive and understand the work correctly.

In order to explore the unity of the values of the analyzed work, it is necessary to understand the aesthetic understanding of the interconnection of all elements, resorting to structural, qualitative analysis, to be able to reveal the author’s idea and to convey the impression of the integrity of the form and content of the work. The author must interpret the complex set of all elements of the work, their connection and decode images, symbols, revealing and expressing their own ideas and observations that have an independent social value.

How to Write a Response Paper in College

The task of the author of the response essay is to reveal the essence of the work, to form objective public opinion, attitude to the book, film, or scientific article. The reviewer must protect the public from mediocre, thoughtless, low-level products. Meanwhile, the relevance of the topic should not be justified by the artistic imperfection of the work. Young reviewers should avoid high-level, fierce assessments, claims of absolute truth, which offends authors, although it is of interest to readers. The reasoned, emotional essay always attracts the attention of many readers. Therefore, it is worthwhile writing clearly, without template phrases such as “good image,” “interesting thought,” “vivid work,” etc. The impressions of the writer must be professional and well-grounded. You can find a good response paper example on the Internet or in a library and see what the content and structure of such essays should be.

To prepare a high-quality critical response paper, some difficulties need to be overcome. One of the most complex types of analysis is a cinema and theatrical response paper. When the critic does not deal with the literary or artistic product only with the work itself, the skill of the author, then the theater, cinema, and television, in addition to the author include directors, actors, musicians, designers, etc. The case is complicated even more when the author sets the task of comparing the literary source with a screen version or theatrical interpretation. Creating a successful essay on works of synthetic genres (theater, cinema) is always conditioned by the professional ability of the critic to evaluate all the aspects. You have to keep this fact in mind if you want to learn “how to write a reading response”.