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Making a Response Essay

A response paper, as defined by Baukal, is a way to communicate in

writing about a persons personal viewpoint and personal learning as he/she
relate specifically to the book, essay, paper, article, etc. in question and the
ideas and values contained therein. A good response paper will artistically
make a connection between the subject at hand and ones own experience.
Response essays can be a reflection paper or a critique paper.
Reflection is a term often used in connection with meditation or deep
thought. That is the kind of reflection meant when writing a reflection paper
and it can only be done by looking back at something from different angles
until you see a fuller picture. (Taylor, 2013)
There are three parts of the reflection paper; introduction, body, and
conclusion. Presenting the expectations you had for the article based on the
title, before you read it is done in the introductory part. Then, the body is
where you explain the conclusions you arrived at and your rationale based
on concrete details from your reading and experience. Finally, the conclusion
should briefly describe the overall lesson, feeling, or understanding you got
as a result of the reading or experience. (Reflection Paper, Tips for
According to Tom Ryan of Demand Media, a critique paper is a paper in
which you analyze and evaluate an author's work requiring you to conduct a
thorough and detailed study of the piece you are critiquing, analyzing the
author's style, evidence, opinions, credentials, conclusions and logic.
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Like the reflection paper, a critique paper has three parts; introduction,
body, and conclusion. In the introduction, you just have to state the author,
title of the work, source and date of publication, together with a thesis
statement. The body is where you give supporting points for your thesis
statement by discussing the authors credentials or lack of credentials, the
audience he or she aims at and the appropriateness of the vocabulary, the
amount and kinds of support used to back up his or her major ideas, the use
and correct identification of outside research, how the author handles any
biases or opposing opinions, the logic of the argument, and how the authors
ideas correlate with knowledge you already have. Lastly, the conclusion
summarizes the authors purpose and main points. Restating your thesis
statement and discussing the success or failure of author to convince the
reader is also done in the final part. (Payne, 2008)
Thus, although a reflection and a critique paper are both under the
category of a response essay, they are very different in terms of the content
and the approach of writing. If reflection paper is more of on the personal
level, critique paper on the other hand is more formal research or analytical
essay. A reflection paper focuses on reactions, feelings and experience in a
personal way while a critique paper stresses the main points of the author by
analyzing, interpreting, and discussing the impact of the work/article.

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Baukal, T. (n.d.). WHAT A RESPONSE PAPER IS AND IS NOT. Retrieved February 3,
2016, from https://www.sonoma.edu/users/v/vazquez/ResponsePaper.html
Payne, M. (2008). How to write a critique. Retrieved February 3, 2016, from
http://www.lib.subr.edu: http://www.lib.subr.edu/demo/PDF/How%20to
Reflection Paper, Tips for WritingThis is a featured page. (2010). Retrieved February
3, 2016, from http://resources.cleary.edu/:
Ryan, T. (2001). How to Start a Critique Paper. Retrieved February 3, 2016, from
http://classroom.synonym.com/: http://classroom.synonym.com/start-critiquepaper-4743.html
Taylor, D. (2013). Definition of a Reflection Paper. Retrieved February 3, 2016, from
study.com: http://study.com/academy/lesson/reflection-paper-definitionexamples.html

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