Traditional Academic Essays In Three Parts
Part I: The Introduction
An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic essay. If you’re writing a long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:
- Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
- Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the essay you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.
Part II: The Body Paragraphs
Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your essay:
Main Idea. The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that main ideas are…
- like labels. They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
- arguable. They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
- focused. Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.
Evidence.The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…
- quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
- facts, e.g. statistics or findings from studies you’ve conducted.
- narratives and/or descriptions, e.g. of your own experiences.
Analysis.The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.
Transition.The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.
Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “Transition” and the “Main Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.
Part III: The Conclusion
A conclusion is the last paragraph of your essay, or, if you’re writing a really long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:
- Summarizes the argument. Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.
- Explains the significance of the argument. Some instructors want you to avoid restating your main points; they instead want you to explain your argument’s significance. In other words, they want you to answer the “so what” question by giving your reader a clearer sense of why your argument matters.
- For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period.
- Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region.
- Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future. You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.
Handout by Dr. Liliana Naydan. Do not reproduce without permission.
Tips for Writing a Good Reaction Paper
The main aim of this article is to give students a chance to understand what is a reaction paper and to explain how to complete it without any efforts. A reaction paper is a type of written assignment, which requires personal opinion and conclusions on a given article or abstract. Unlike a summary, a reaction paper should contain your own thoughts on the problem, discussed in the original text. It aims to show professor how deep your understanding of the situation is and how well you can use your analytical skills.
The first part of your paper should contain information on the author and the topic. You need to write down the main ideas and highlight the main points of the paper. You can use direct quotations if needed. Avoid your personal opinion in this section. The second part should contain your personal thoughts on the subject. Focus on a main problem or address all of them and describe your opinion. Explain how the material can relate to the modern world, to the society or separate individuals. Back your statements with sources if needed and make conclusions whether you support the author or not.
Writing a reaction paper can be quite a challenging task, so many students use examples to learn more about its structure and key features. Here are a few recommendations, which will help you complete an outstanding reaction paper:
- Read the original article carefully and highlight the main ideas and points you want to discuss;
- Describe your point of view and back it with additional information if needed. Use vivid examples;
- Use various sources to make your statement more argumentative.
There are also a few tips, which will help you to avoid common mistakes. First, don’t give a summary of an article. You should perform your personal opinion, not an overview. You should always back your ideas with examples. However, avoid using examples, which are difficult to relate to the topic. With the help of these simple rules, you will learn how to write a reaction paper and will be able to create an outstanding work!
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Samples and Examples of Reaction Paper
Nowadays it is impossible to find a student, who is capable of completing all the tasks without anyone’s help. Because of a heavy workload and tight schedules additional help may be more than useful, so let's continue to simplify your studying. While many students don’t have a chance to order a paper or want to create it on their own, using online samples can be a great way out. They can help students get an overall idea on the subject, structure and main tips. By downloading a sample, you will learn how to write reaction paper and avoid common mistakes.
You will also be able to shape your ideas in an appropriate form and emphasize the strongest points of your paper, while omitting those, which lack examples and support.
Reaction paper format
Formatting gives every student a chance to create an outstanding paper, using previous experience and a clear plan of actions. With the help of such an outline, you will be able to see how the paper will look like and will be able to go from one paragraph to another smoothly. Usually you will have specific information on the size of the paper, so a plan will be of a great help.
A reaction paper consists of four main parts:
- List of citations and sources.
Reaction Essays Examples
Reaction Paper Example
Reaction Paper Format
Reaction Paper Sample
Reaction Paper Samples
Reaction Paper Template
Introduction section is the face of your paper, so you need to pay extra attention to this part to gain interest of the reader. Here you should describe the author and the paper you are analyzing, the main ideas and problems you are going to discuss. You should write at least three-four sentences about the original text and close the introduction section with your thesis, which will be discussed later in the paper. Make sure your statement is brief and straight to the point, because you will need to get back to it over and over again throughout your paper.
The second part of the paper is where the real work begins. You need to write down your thoughts on the main ideas of the paper, backed with appropriate quotes and sources. Remember to stick to the original article and always get back to it, while providing your personal thoughts. However, you are free to add theoretical information to support your ideas. This section is crucial and should contain a thorough analysis of the obtained data.
Conclusions should be brief and contain information on your thesis and main ideas, which were shaped throughout the work. You can also refer to the target audience and the impact these conclusions may have on the society. The list of citations should contain a brief but structured information on the sources, used in your work.
Writing a reaction paper can be a real challenge, but at the same time it will help you to improve your analytical skills and share your opinion with the world!