My reading response paper is about a short story that we read in our class. Our assignment is to write a response to the story and express our opinion, Can you explain how to do this?

Answer

I'm glad you've asked whether a reading response paper can be about a piece of literature. You can actually use many of the same techniques in writing about a short story as you do in writing about non-fiction articles. Here is a step-by-step:

1. Begin your paper with a brief description of the story, using the author and full title of the story to start. Here is an example:

In the short story, "I'm Afraid of Bears" by Jon Junko, a young man in college named Ben goes on a camping trip with friends to overcome his fear of being outside which started when he was bit in the head by a bear while sleeping in a tent with his parents when he was eight. Ben's journey on this camping trip parallels his journey through his fears to overcome them and includes...

2. End this paragraph with a thesis sentence which tells your main response and opinion about the story. Here is an example:

Junko's story is engaging, and his character of Ben is believable, authentic and relatable; moreover, I found the story suspenseful and was moved to think about how I needed to confront and overcome my fears.

3. In this "roadmap thesis," you can give yourself (and your reader) an outline of everything you will be talking about in the paper. So turn these ideas into topic sentences. Example:

Junko's story is engaging

The character of Ben is well described and believable.

The story is suspenseful.

While reading, I was moved to think about how I need to confront and overcome my fears.

4. Conclude your paper with why you liked or did not like the story and maybe what you will continue to think about or do after having read the story. If the class discussion also influenced you, you can talk about that as well.

Updated on May 6, 2018

Original Article:

How to Write a Reading Response Essay with Sample Papers
By Virginia Kearney
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