A reaction paper requires you to formulate analysis and reaction to a given body of material such as readings, lectures, or student presentations.
The organization of a reaction varies according to the audience, purpose, and limitations of your assignment. You may use a general-to-specific or specific-to-general organization. You may use a structured format, such as those for argument, or you may use an informal one of your choosing. However you organize your reaction paper, be sure that your approach emphasizes and reflects your analysis and serious consideration of the author’s text.
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It's really very simple. Reaction papers are late for only two reasons: either the writer has a legitimate and reasonable excuse of dreadful circumstances outside of her/his control (e.g., an accident or serious illness of some sort involving the writer or a close relative) or the writer utterly screwed up (e.g., got too lazy/drunk/otherwise stupid and forgot when it was due). I'm going to let you in on a dark little secret; I'm going to whisper, so come closer and listen very carefully. . . .
Reactions require close reading of the text you are reacting to. Like reviews, reactions go beyond the literal content of the text, requiring that you bring to the text meaning not explicitly stated, to elaborate on or explore the implications of the author’s ideas. Your reactions may include your subjective interpretations; you may even use the first-person narrator “I.” Your reaction paper need not follow the organization and ordering of the text you are writing about; in fact, reactions can begin with the last point the author made and then move to other points made earlier. Reactions can be about one or many of the author’s ideas. Although the reactions are focused on your own thinking, you can also include summaries, paraphrases, or quotations from the examined text.The best one of these three reaction papers is the first one: it's at least one full page, it's not a summary, it shows that the student has read and understood the story, it contains reaction to the story itself, and it's interesting for me to read. If you open up the printer-friendly Word document, you can see that they all follow the format of Times New Roman, 12 pt font, double-spaced (wiht no extra spacing) and 1" margins. While the remaining reactions are interesting, they are way too short.