How to write Response Paper: Step by Step Guide

How to write Response Paper: Step by Step Guide

Writing a response paper can seem like an intimidating process. But with the right guidance, you will be well on your way to writing a stellar paper! This blog post is going to provide you with some helpful tips for developing your own responses and responding to others’ papers.

What is a response Paper?

A response paper is an essay written to respond to a reading assignment. It should be concise, well-organized, and focused on the topic at hand. A response paper can serve as a good introduction for someone unfamiliar with the material or it can provide an in depth analysis of specific aspects of the reading that may not have been addressed by other papers.

A response essay, also known as a critical review, has two main purposes:

  1. To provide feedback on a certain work or event and
  2. Offer one’s own opinion about the topic.

Students often find it challenging to write a good response essay because they need to demonstrate analytical skills as well as personal voice.

Response Paper Format, structure and Outline

Response essays are usually written in three parts:

Write your response essay assignment in this order:

  1. First sentence: state your argument/thesis/claim and what you want readers to understand from reading your paper.
  2. Example(s)
  3. Explain how your example(s) proves or supports your thesis. (optional)
  4. Quote from the text to support paragraph (optional).
  5. Write 3 body paragraphs about:
  • Topic sentence that states an idea from the example;
  • How that idea is supported by evidence; and
  1. Conclude with a transition sentence and conclusion. (paragraph 1: topic, paragraph 2: evidence supporting topic, paragraph 3: conclusion)

20+ Response Paper Topics

  1. How do people develop their tastes in music? In other words, what factors influence the way you like/dislike music?
  2. Do you think it is fair that everyone gets a trophy just for playing a sport, even if they didn’t win? Why or why not?
  3. What do you think is more important: following your dreams and passions and risking failure, or doing what is most likely to make you successful and comfortable?
  4. How does an artist make him/herself heard in today’s world of musical overload?
  5. Do government-mandated school hours influence children’s academic performance positively or negatively? Please explain.
  6. Is technology making communication better, worse, or neither? Please justify your response.
  7. Should schools continue to allow cell phones in schools? Please explain your reasoning.
  8. Does the media have too much influence on society? Why or why not?
  9. What are some positive aspects of social media, and how might they affect people’s lives?
  10. In what ways do you think technology has influenced/will continue to influence both your school experience and future career(s)?
  11. Do you agree with Huck Finn’s decision to help Jim escape from slavery as depicted in Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ? In other words, was Huck right or wrong to assist Jim in his quest for freedom? Please explain your answer.
  12. What steps should the United States be taking to lower unemployment?
  13. What are some traits shared by boss and good friend, and how do your friendships differ from your relationships with family members?
  14. Is it possible for a person who is not religious or spiritual to lead a fulfilling, moral life?
  15. The “Flat Stanley” experiment: Do you think this could work in today’s world? Why or why not? What types of obstacles could arise as the result of such an assignment? Please explain.
  16. How can we prevent bullying at school?
  17. In what ways does fear influence people’s actions and thoughts on a daily basis, if at all? How might someone overcome those fears to accomplish their goals?
  18. Should public schools require uniforms for students? Why or why not?
  19. There is an article that states that the number of security cameras in the UK is going to double over the next five years. If you were a lawmaker, would this make you happy? Why or why not?
  20. Does a person’s economic status affect his/her likelihood to commit a crime? Please explain your reasoning.
  21. How does one become a great dancer?
  22. In what ways have video games influenced society as a whole and how has it impacted society for good/bad?
  23. What do you predict the world will look like as an adult compared to today as a teenager? In other words, what societal changes do you think are ahead for us as we grow into adults?
  24. Do you agree with Michael Moore when he says that capitalism inherently creates vast disparity between socioeconomic classes in the U.S.? Please explain your reasoning.
  25. What are some pros and cons of using social networking sites, such as Facebook?
  26. Is it possible for someone who is part of a minority group to change his/her race or ethnicity through sheer force of will?
  27. How does tribalism contribute to conflict in Africa today? What are some ways that these conflicts might be prevented from happening again in the future?
  28. Do you believe that our lives can have more meaning if we think about life after death, even if there isn’t one? Why or why not?
  29. What are some differences between your generation’s world view and older generations’ world view(s)?

Response Paper Examples

Sample 1:

My response essay follows a five-paragraph structure and includes an introduction and conclusion:

Introduction:

The city of San Juan is located on Puerto Rico’s north coast. The surrounding land features tropical forests, mountains, rivers, beaches, waterfalls and caves. While many people visit San Juan for its great location and natural beauty, others go there with intentions to cause harm. Crime rates in the city are high due to drug trafficking between Mexico and the United States. Firearms used by criminals often come from the United States as well since it has some of the weakest firearms legislation in the world. In my response essay, I will explain why we need to take precautions with our communities by thinking about what can happen when people visit San Juan and bring their weapons with them.

Body Paragraph 1:

In order to understand why we need to take precautions, it is important that you know what can happen in San Juan. The drug traffic between Mexico and the US has led to a rise of crime rates in the city as cartels fight for control over the streets. In fact, Puerto Rico’s homicide rate has been one of the highest in all of Latin America. One of these days, some people from those cartels might visit one of those beautiful beaches or forests with their firearms. If they have any children with them, those guns could pose a threat since they do not have proper training on firearm safety at home.

Body Paragraph 2:

Crime also rises along with tourism which means more people are going into those forests and beaches. The more people who go, the harder it is for first responders to protect everyone. If something does happen, authorities will have a hard time responding because they are under-equipped and already short staffed.

Body Paragraph 3:

To conclude my response essay, I want to say that we need to take precautions with our communities by thinking about what can happen when people visit San Juan and bring their weapons with them. This way, if anything ever happens, first responders will be able to keep us safe until help arrives. As you can see from my example, staying safe starts with understanding how certain environments could affect us. Only then can we prepare ourselves so that crime rates decrease even further in Puerto Rico’s beautiful city of San Juan!

Conclusion:

In conclusion, we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves from harm and crime by being aware of those who can cause us problems while visiting San Juan. We also need to practice these precautions because criminal activity is on the rise due to drug trafficking and firearms coming from the United States. Thank you for considering this information as knowledge that could help you stay safe when visiting Puerto Rico or anywhere else!

Sample 1:

Response Paper on Climate Change (pdf)

Sample 2:

Response Paper on the story of an hour (pdf)

Sample 3:

Response Paper on Sultana’s dream (pdf)

Sample 4:

Response Paper on child’s marriage (pdf)

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