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How to Write a Reader Response

Last Updated: February 23, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Diane Stubbs . Diane Stubbs is a Secondary English Teacher with over 22 years of experience teaching all high school grade levels and AP courses. She specializes in secondary education, classroom management, and educational technology. Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education from Wesley College. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 13 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 392,206 times.

A reader response assignment asks you to explain and defend your personal reaction to an assigned text. Reader response papers can be difficult because they force you, the reader, to take responsibility for giving meaning to the text. Often these assignments feel open-ended and vague, but don't worry, a good reader response paper will follow a standard essay format that you can easily master. This guide will walk you through the creation of a well-crafted reader response paper that's sure to wow your instructor and earn you an awesome grade.

Writing the Reader Response

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Drafting the Reader Response

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Reading the Text

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Sample Reader Response

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About This Article

Diane Stubbs

To write a reader response, develop a clear thesis statement and choose example passages from the text that support your thesis. Next, write an introduction paragraph that specifies the name of the text, the author, the subject matter, and your thesis. Then, include 3-4 paragraphs that discuss and analyze the text. Finish up with a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your arguments and brings the reader back to your thesis or main point! For tips on analyzing the text before writing your assignment, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Sample Essay On Reading Response

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature , Brooklyn , People , Island , Family , Hospitality , Beauty , Hard Work

Words: 2250

Published: 02/20/2023


Yeager by Tom Wolfe

Summary: ‘Yeager’ by Tom Wolfe is an essay about a wonderful U.S airline pilot named Chuck Yeager. The essay begins with an airline emergency situation in which the airline has had trouble with its controls and its pilot Yeager handles the situation very comically and adeptly. It was hard for the passengers that they were in an emergency situation, judging by the way in which the pilot spoke. These, according to Wolfe’s descriptions, are greatness of Yeager, who with his enthralling Appalachian accent, could move mountains in a very casually seeming way. Yeager had fought during the Second World War and undertaken several missions to fight against Germany, France etc. Even at the young age of twenty two, he had the honor of thirteen and a half kills. Due to his extremely fine capabilities, he was sent on a mission to Muroc, lying in the Mojave dessert. The mission was to test the world’s first jet fighter which travelled with the speed of sound. This was a crucial mission for the United States, entrusted to Yeager. In spite of fractured ribs, Yeager successfully flies the jetliner with the speed of sound, under extreme climatic conditions with some help given by his friend and aircraft engineer Jack Ridley.

1. Wolfe’s account of Chuck Yeager starts with humor. In the first paragraph we learn that Yeager was an airline pilot who was a very cool-handed person. He took even the most critical situations very lightly. This can be seen in the first paragraph where he tries to convince to the passengers that ht emergency situation in which they were, was nothing new for him. He was so humorous in his talk to the passengers that it was difficult for the passengers to believe that they were all in a tight situation. Nevertheless, Yeager pulled the aircraft to safety. This attitude of Yeager can also be seen in his earlier ventures when he amused people with his light, humorous talk and his conversation style. It really appealed to his listeners. Similar attitude can be seen in the remaining parts of the essay while he fought in the Second World War. He used humorous words such as ‘instability’ and ‘elevator effectiveness regained’ to show that he was calm even while undertaking such deadly missions. The author throws more light on this cool nature of Yeager during life-threatening operations such as flying the X-1 successfully and it appears from his words that such great feats were child’s play for him.

Strangers by Toni Morrison

Summary: Strangers by Toni Morrison is an essay in which we get a peek at human nature and how we react to strangers. The author relates an incident in which she encounters a woman fishing in her neighborhood. They talk casually to each other and the author seems amused by her manly clothes and wisdom. On the woman revealing that she came there almost everyday, the author looked forward to a casual friendship between them. However, she was not to be seen in the following days. Disappointed by her absence, the author tries to find out about her whereabouts but to no avail. The author feels cheated and betrayed as are expected to do mostly. Fur6ther, the author emulates that language and image are two things which enrich our experience. They have a long-lasting impact on the human mind. These factors have been subdued greatly by external factors such as the media. Routine media interpretations narrow the human mind and make it incapable to think from different aspects. The author concludes using Robert Bergman’s pictures as a basis to portray that there is no stranger in this world. It is only those traits of one’s own self which we have not realized as yet.

2. The fisherwoman’s absence first created a gloom in Morrison’s life as she looked forward to a casual and delightful friendship. Later, the gloom turned to bitter feelings which often follow absence. As time passed, the author realized that she had been too sentimental in assessing the fisherwoman’s absence. Using this sort of self-criticism, the author tells us that the qualities we try and find in strangers, is actually a reflection of our own traits. We have not been able to recognize it in us so far. Yes, it is ethically wrong to create stories about strangers we see. Strangers are like a blank blackboard. The human mind can write anything on it pertaining to whatever he perceives. But it is important we know that what we write must be ethically right. Maybe the story we perceive is entirely the opposite of what the truth is. This is to say that people cannot be judged completely by just looking at them. An entirely different story may lie underneath a smiling woman’s face. A popular saying goes: To the jaundiced eye, everything appears yellow. We only see what we want to see. It need not necessarily be what we ought to see.

Sowers and Reapers by Jamaica Kincaid

Summary: Jamaica Kincaid touches the very delicate topic of racial discrimination. The author give an offending speech in the tenth anniversary celebrations of Garden Conservancy and the gathering consisted of both white and colored people. She offends them by mentioning the statue of John Caldwell Calhoun, a former U.S. vice president and ardent racial segregationist. In her speech, the author also stresses on the evil and merciless ways of Calhoun been to colored people; as Hitler was to the Jews. This speech had created unrest in the hearts of several people who were present in the event, especially of one Mr. Frank Cabot, the chairman and founder of the organization. Later on, the author left for a tour and dinner at Middleton Place; filled with most exotic flowers. The author also emulates on the documentaries of Thomas Jefferson and his love for gardens. He had vast stretches of gardens and he boasted of its beauty. But the real beauty came from the slaves who worked in his farms. The sowed the seeds while the colored people reaped its benefits. This was often unspoken of. The second part of the essay tells us about the love of the author for gardens and beautiful flowers. She builds a huge, beautiful wall around her house knowing hundreds of exotic flowers. Using excellent designs and men who did their work beautifully. She seemed to like their work as she knew that they were the true symbols of hard work. She was only reaping their benefits and lying under the sun in repose. Under this repose, lay the sweat and hard work of several men.

1. Race and politics could have been left out if the author had not mentioned John Caldwell Calhoun who was a racial segregationist. He had imposed several strict laws on colored people due to which life became difficult for them. The author’s mention of Calhoun had stirred up the pain that lay hidden in the hearts of several people in the event. Some garden people ignored or suppressed colored people as they did want their skills and talents to be revealed. The white people did not encourage any development of the colored population. 2. The Charleston speech and the garden building project have one thing in common. Both speak of hard work especially hard work which is not visible to everybody. In the Charleston speech, elocutions are made about the most beautiful gardens and the variety of exotic flowers they behold. But nobody speaks of the slaves who worked really hard in growing these flowers. All credit would go to the garden owner. In the garden building project, all credit would go to the author who owns the project. Nobody would know the hard work of the four men who worked ardently to complete the project. Kincaid spends so much time on admiring the workers as she saw that the good design was only due to their hard work, just as the colored slaves worked for their masters who reaped their benefits.

Take the F by Ian Frazier

Summary: ‘Take the F’ by Ian Frazier is a descriptive essay on the features of Brooklyn City in New York. The author lives in Brooklyn with his wife and child in an apartment. He takes the ‘F’ train daily scene in Brooklyn. He goes through a subway and a canal, and has a glimpse of various topographical features of Brooklyn like bridges, hills, parks, tall buildings etc. All this indicates that Brooklyn is a busy place. The author also details to us about the busy scene inside the train. It consisted of ladies trilling ardently, young students getting to school, boys teasing and even the intervention of a crab inside the compartment. The author also tells us how the residents of the locality were polluting the parks. The author has also been able to lay his hands on several things lying on the ground. He also tells that he liked his apartment and his neighbors who were really helpful to each other in times of need. The author seems to enjoy his stay at Brooklyn, even though it is a highly congested city. The author has got accustomed to this kind of a lifestyle in Brooklyn.

1. In addition to the subway line, Frazier gives us directions to his apartment by saying that he lived very close to the LaGuardia Airport, on the left-hand side of Prospect Park, after the Green-Wood Cemetery. These give us neighborhood directions, even though Brooklyn may not as a whole. Brooklyn is presented to its readers by Frazier in a variety of ways. Even non-residents can get clear way of Brooklyn by the ways in which the author describes it. He describes Brooklyn from the subway train, its view from an airplane, the description of its roads and sidewalks, its parks and gardens, its eateries and its apartments. 3. Home is where the heart is and the author’s heart lies in the heart of Brooklyn. These features are universal to anybody’s home. The uniqueness of Frazier’s home in Brooklyn cannot be identified on maps due to its position; it can still be identified relative to its neighborhood in several ways. The unique and universal features both pertain to a certain locality. They both add to the greatness of a place as Brooklyn. It is unique in its references and universal in its appeal, both to residents and non-residents of Brooklyn.

Rhode Island by Jhumpa Lahiri

Summary: Rhode Island by Jhumpa Lahiri is an essay in which the author gives us a glimpse of Rhode Island, its geographical features, its inmates and its routine happenings. It also describes the author’s attachment to the place though she had not liked it much when she had moved from Kingston. The author grew up living in Kingston with her parents who were of Indian origin. Her father worked as a librarian at the University of Rhode Island. They lived in an old-fashioned house. Kingston was a mixed population of professors, Yankees and hippies etc. who came to study during the academic season. On their leave, the place looked deserted once again. Lahiri seemed greatly attracted to books ever since she was a child. At sixteen, she worked as a page at the Kingston Free Library where she discovered that she was very comfortable with books. She found a lot of solace in them and they soon became her good friends. Later, her family moved to Biscuit City to their own house. The neighborhood was both friendly and not-so-friendly. They lived in a serene atmosphere where everybody minded their own businesses. After her parents lived there for thirty-seven years, a drastic change had taken place in Rhode Island. It had become a mixture of both the modern and the rural. The author moves on to attend college in New York but as long as her parents lived, she would detour to Rhode Island to take a tour of the wonderful days she had spent there. Response: 1. The author compares several states to Rhode Island so that the reader may get a true feel of Rhode Island. She compares the states of South Kingston and Vermont. Rhode Island was a hotter and a more urbanized state than Vermont. Vermont boasted of its liberalism, its culture and its homogeneity. Rhode Island was more modernized and densely populated. It was a mixture of both the rural and the urban, of both floating and fixed population. It was thickly populated and boasted of malls, arcades and beaches which attracted tourists all the year round. The author gives lucid details to the reader about the life in Rhode Island. The place had become a part of her parents. They had lived there for a long time. Her mother had carved a niche for herself and gained recognition. Several people came to her help when she had a cardiac arrest. This shows that people of Rhode Island were helpful and friendly. The description of the Scarborough beach that it was now highly congested and filled with all kinds of activities. This was in high contrast to what it was when the author was young. However, Scarborough lacked the beautiful dunes and the lonely look of Cape Cod which the author seemed to like so much. Document word count: 2156

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Reading Response, Essay Example

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Reading Response, Essay Example

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This presentation tries to explore the Chinese travelling culture through the eyes of modern Chinese writers. Through their written works, the authors’ presentation of China and its people shall be given particular attention to. The definition they give shall be used as the foundation for the discussion presented in this response essay.

What makes a real Chinese traveler? The readings assigned for this particular task provides a clear view on how the Chinese culture view travelling and specifically give attention to how it impacts one’s particular culture makeup. For instance, the reading by Liang Yuchun entitled “On the Road” describes how her being a Chinese explorer in a scholarly way makes her one of the most known and noted travelers and is even called the Chinese Citizen of the World. Her willingness to expand her knowledge through reading and scholarly research and sharing what she has learned through writing made her one of the greatest foundations of modern Chinese literature that is celebrated well today. Using the smart way of putting words together, Liang Yuchun does more than just describe the life she has learned, she points out particular features referencing China’s culture and development thus imposing the real value of what she is writing about.

Yu Pingbo’s Splashing Oars on the other end provides a distinctive presentation on how an accidental situation puts him and his friend on a supposed adventure of their life. Exploring the Chinese beauty in boats while intoxicated, this writing presents China and its wonders in a rather conflicting manner that identifies the people, the culture, the traditions and the way the human element connects all the other factors mentioned. Zhu Ziqing presents the same story on a different perspective though; in his writing, he describes more of what they saw in reception of the myriads of beliefs that China has especially in relation to fairies and other mythical creatures which may have practically set his writing different than that of Pingbo’s. Citing several western elements into the story, it could be realize that Ziqing did have another background where he wanted to relate the night of adventure he shared with Pingbo.

Qinqiang by Jia Pinwa, on the other end, explores the culture of China depending on the season. In his writing, he brings his readers into a sense of realization on China’s wonderful variety of cultures defined by the weather that surrounds a particular region. In his writing, he tries to define the Chinese people based on the region that they belong to and the season surrounding such areas. Through this, he is able to point out that as a traveler, he is able to explore more than just the places but the wonders of the people as well.

Overall, the reading tasks assigned for this particular response provides a clear vision on how modern Chinese literature is able to explore the different possibilities of life and culture in China. Writers in China at present specifically note a distinct condition of making a representation of their culture and tradition in different yet effective matters of sending out a message to the world about the richness of their lives and their background that is worth knowing by the world.

Pinwa, J . Qinquiang . The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature.

Pingbo, Y. Splashing Oars and Lantern Light on the Qinhuai River. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature.

Yuchun, L. On the Road. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature.

Ziqing, Z. Splashing Oars and Lantern Light on the Qinhuai River. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature.

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reading response essay example

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…

reading response essay example

Response essay types

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

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:

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:

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.

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Reading Response

Category: Compare and Contrast Essay

Subcategory: Classic English Literature

Level: High School

Student’s Name Tutor’s Name Course Date Reading Response. • What problem is the author identifying? Who does the problem relate to? For whom is this topic important and why? Looking critically at the post, “Stop Penalizing Little Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still” and “Little Girls Doubt They Can Be Brilliant, Study Says,” it is evident that the authors of the texts are trying to put forward the fact the various activities taking place in schools today affected students negatively. For instance, the first post uses a personal narrative to discuss how teachers especially female teachers perceive teaching boys. This problem relates to young teachers. It is evident that the post aims to discuss the discrimination that the young innocent students go through while in school due to their hormones. I agree with the author that boys may be too disruptive. However, teachers should understand that there is a stage when a boy child has to become adventurous and therefore too fidgety. Female teachers in mixed or boy schools should be strategic when teaching them and avoid subjecting them to too much. They should understand that boys will pass through some stages where they may show some rebellious behaviors. This does not mean that they will remain like this forever. ● What would I point out as important about this topic to others who either question or disagree with my point of view? In the second article, the author’s motive is to demonstr…

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reading response essay example


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  1. How to Write a Reading Response Essay With Sample ... - Owlcation

    Reaction to how ideas in the text relate to other things you've read. Your analysis of the author and audience. Your evaluation of how this text tries to convince the reader and whether it is effective. Your response to a piece of writing is your opinion. It is usually fine to use "I" in your essay.

  2. How to Write a Reader Response (with Examples) - wikiHow

    Writing the Reader Response. 1. Write the introduction. Make sure that the introduction clearly specifies the name of both the text and the author. It should also include some ... 2. Write the body paragraphs. You should write 3-4 paragraphs that discuss the text and the reading questions in depth. ...

  3. How to write a reader response paper Prof. Margaret O’Mara

    Sample format for a reader response paper of 4-5 pages: 1. Introduction/theme: 1-2 paragraphs that “set the stage” for what will follow. Possible entry points include: a broader trend that interests you in American history and how this book’s contents explain it; another book (or school of thought) that this book either supports or

  4. Reading Response Essay Example | WOW Essays

    Check out this awesome Good Essays On Reading Response for writing techniques and actionable ideas. Regardless of the topic, subject or complexity, we can help you write any paper! We use cookies to enhance our website for you.

  5. Reading Response, Essay Example | essays.io

    Reading Response, Essay Example Pages: 2 Words: 585 Essay This Essay was written by one of our professional writers. You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work. Need a custom Essay written for you? HIRE A WRITER! Abstract

  6. Response essay examples for students - Pro-Papers

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

  7. Reading Response Examples - 854 Words | Bartleby

    A clear example in the reading has to be the one about Nick. He upgraded from his old Honda Civic to a Mercedes. He justified his new purchased saying that it was safer and that he deserved it. Going in to read the reading I didn't think that it would be as engrossing, but I was proved wrong.

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