Response Essay Outline

Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays

The Summary:

A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay's thesis and supporting ideas; it may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of the author's ideas; it will NOT usually cite the author's examples or supporting details unless they are central to the main idea. Most summaries present the major points in the order that the author made them and continually refer back to the article being summarized (i.e. "Damon argues that ..." or "Goodman also points out that ... "). The summary should take up no more than one-third the length of the work being summarized.

The Response:

A response is a critique or evaluation of the author's essay. Unlike the summary, it is composed of YOUR opinions in relation to the article being summarized. It examines ideas that you agree or disagree with and identifies the essay's strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and logic, in quality of supporting examples, and in organization and style. A good response is persuasive; therefore, it should cite facts, examples, and personal experience that either refutes or supports the article you're responding to, depending on your stance.

Two Typical Organizational Formats for Summary/Response Essays:

1. Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the response in a block:

Summary (two to three paragraphs)
Agreement (or disagreement)
Disagreement (or agreement)

Note: Some essays will incorporate both agreement and disagreement in a response, but this is not mandatory.

2. Introduce the essay with a short paragraph that includes your thesis. Then, each body paragraph summarizes one point and responds to it, and a conclusion wraps the essay up.

Summary point one; agree/disagree
Summary point two; agree/disagree
Summary point three; agree/disagree

Developing An Effective Outline For A Response Essay

A response essay is a formal review of any book, artwork and is written from the perspective of a first person. Often when you read this piece of writing, you will occasionally come across phrases like, “I think” or ‘I believe.” It is a way where you express your own opinion without thrusting your belief or judgment upon the readers. This genre of writing leaves a space open for the readers to have a deep introspection about the topic they read.

If you have to write an assignment regarding this, you must know that it is different from another piece of writing you have written so far. In other types, you did not require reviewing a topic; you needed to collect evidence regarding that. But here you need to show how efficiently you can write a review. So, while you are going to write such a piece of writing, you need to follow a particular outline that we will discuss through this article.

Effective outline

  • Understand the topic
  • When you will be writing a response discourse, you need to understand the topic that you are given to write. Give a couple of reading before you start reflecting on the essential points which you think can be judged. Write down your thoughts in a logical way. Remember that the essay must lie somewhere between your ability to analyse and your personal experience.

  • Write the Introduction
  • After you have accumulated enough thoughts related to the writing, think about a compact introduction, so that the readers get hooked to your writing from the start. You must mention what topic you are responding at and the name of the creator.

  • State your opinion
  • Now start writing out the body, you must pose your judgment with élan because that is what the readers want to know from you. Present all the aspects of the original writing and your response in regard to that. You can take the help of simile, metaphor or alliteration to make your response strong.

  • Conclusion
  • Sum up the responsive evidence in the conclusion. The conclusion shall be followed by a thesis statement, which will enable the reader to think deeply about the matter.

This is the general outline on how you will write a responsive essay. Take help of the various online sites on the same and start writing the first draft of the topic.

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