At Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Technological Institute this past year, an introductory computer science class was completely revamped. All students received a robot called a Scribbler, which they then used as a tool to learn the subject of computer science. (To give you a sense of the robots, they are blue and disk-shaped, of diameter approximately six inches, with two motorized wheels and light and infrared sensors and a few other capabilities.) The project was funded by a Microsoft grant. At the end of the semester at Bryn Mawr, the final class assignment was to write a reaction paper on their personal experience of the course. Professor Deepak Kumar, who had assigned the paper, then compiled the twenty-two papers he received into a booklet. I read over the twenty-two essays, and in doing so I noticed and jotted down a number of common, recurring themes in the essays which I would like to describe here.
The first step to write a reaction paper is to read the text and to fully understand it. One cannot overemphasize the importance of understanding the text, its plot, the climax, the main themes, the characters and the context of the text. The next step is to pose and to discuss interesting, and non-trite questions relevant to the text. Discussion of the text and themes alone does not suffice. A student should relate his ideas to the ideas of the author of the text as well as to the texts previously discussed in class. He should utilize personal knowledge and experience in such a way so that to analyze the author’s ideas in a novel, non-standard manner pertinent to the problems and challenge of the contemporary (or modern) society.
Essay Tips: How to Write a Reaction Paper
To write a great reaction paper, your analysis must be astute and comprehensive. Continuing with the example of a reaction paper on a primary source document outlining the Industrial Revolution, it is in this part of your paper in which you should emphasize and illustrate your feelings on the topic or subject matter you are dissecting.