Reaction Paper 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.

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