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Response essay examples

From the assassination of President Kennedy to the collapse of the Berlin wall, the 60s will forever remain a crucial period for the world and US…

Response Essay

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This genre assumes that an author expresses personal opinion on a text he had read. What could be easier? Although the performance of such a task really does not involve special difficulties, there are some nuances about which you should know to compose a qualitative paper. Also, reading experience is needed to cope with such an assignment properly. If you do not know how to write a response essay, an example written by other author may help you learn the main features of the genre and take the first steps.

Response essay types

Your paper may be focused on one of the following objectives:

  • To agree with the central idea of the text or refute it.
  • To characterize the audience and the author.
  • To tell how the text influenced your life.
  • To describe how the text is related to other literary works.
  • To analyze the argumentation of the text, whether it is convincing.

In any case, each reader response essay example consists of two parts: a summary and a personal reaction.


When writing the first part of the work, you should follow these steps:

  • Specify the name and author of the text, the date of publication and the publishing house.
  • Present a short retelling of the material. Use your own wordings. Do not copy the text from the original work. However, sometimes it is reasonable to use quotes if they express important ideas. The main thing is not to overdo with the quotes.
  • Focus on the main concepts of the work and the plot development.
  • The review should be objective and unbiased. Avoid excessive emotionality. The personal impressions should be described further.

Personal reaction

To create the second part, the authors of the response essay examples use several or all of the questions below. You need to answer them too:

  • How does the topic of the essay correspond to the discipline in the framework of which an assignment was prescribed? Recall in what lectures and textbooks the similar concepts were mentioned.
  • How does the work relate to the problems of the modern world?
  • How is the topic connected with your life experience and feelings? What emotions did the text evoke in your soul?
  • Did the work cause any changes in your mind? Did it influence your worldview?

It is necessary to evaluate the significance of the text, its integrity, completeness, accuracy of style and other attributes. It is also worth mentioning whether you would recommend a work to other readers and why.

Secrets of a perfect response essay

Remember the following rules if you want your work to surpass the best summary and response essay examples:

  • Make sure that the paper is holistic, has a reliable argumentation and does not contain errors.
  • Each paragraph should perform a separate task. For example, if you write a classic essay with 5 paragraphs, in the 1st of them, it is necessary to provide a brief overview, in the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th - the author's reactions to various aspects of the work, in the 5th - a brief conclusion bringing the previous reflections to the final point.
  • Considering the examples of a response essay, you will see that all statements are backed up by reliable facts and evidence. Writing that you did not like some character of a play, you also should explain why. The statements "I like this book" or "The article is written badly" are meaningless if there is no further explanation. If you will not provide it, a reader may consider your paper useless.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between the paragraphs and the two main parts of the essay. The examiner should not have the impression that he is reading two different works.
  • Pay special attention to the final check of the text. Correct grammatical, punctuation mistakes, get rid of unnecessary information, rephrase complex sentences. Ideally, you should use drafts. Rewriting the essay for a clean copy, you will notice many new nuances.
  • Ask your teacher about the rules for citing the text from an original work. The same applies to the place for information about the author and the date of publication. These data can be indicated at the top or at the bottom of a page or as a footnote. You can ask for an example of a response essay to clarify all the other formatting requirements.

Practice as often as you can. Read the works of experienced authors. Very soon you will write papers capable to delight the most rigorous examiner. Good luck!


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