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How to Write a Response Paper: Outline, Steps & Examples

response paper

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Response essays are a frequent assignment in many academic courses. Professors often ask students to share their thoughts and feelings about a variety of materials, such as books, articles, films, songs, or poems. To write an effective response paper, you should follow a specific structure to ensure that your ideas are well-organized and presented in a logical manner.

In this blog post, we will explore how to write a good outline and how it is used to develop a quality reaction essay. You will also come across a response paper example to help you better understand steps involved in writing a response essay.  Continue reading to explore writing tips from professional paper writers that you can use to improve your skills.

What Is a Response Paper?

It is vital to understand the meaning of a response essay before you start writing. Often, learners confuse this type of academic work with reviews of books, articles, events, or movies, which is not correct, although they seem similar.  A response paper gives you a platform to express your point of view, feelings, and understanding of a given subject or idea through writing. Unlike other review works, you are also required to give your idea, vision, and values contained in literal materials. In other words, while a response paper is written in a subjective way, a review paper is written in a more objective manner.  A good reaction paper links the idea in discussion with your personal opinion or experience. Response essays are written to express your deep reflections on materials, what you have understood, and how the author's work has impacted you.

Response Paper Definition

Purpose of a Response Essay

Understanding reasons for writing a reaction paper will help you prepare better work. The purpose of a response essay will be:

  • To summarize author's primary ideas and opinions: you need to give a summary of materials and messages the author wants you to understand.
  • Providing a reflection on the subject: as a writer, you also need to express how you relate to authors' ideas and positions.
  • To express how the subject affects your personal life: when writing a response paper, you are also required to provide your personal outcome and lesson learned from interacting with the material.

Response Essay Outline

You should adhere to a specific response paper outline when working on an essay. Following a recommended format ensures that you have a smooth flow of ideas. A good response paper template will make it easier for a reader to separate your point of view from author's opinion. The essay is often divided into these sections: introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.  Below is an example of a response essay outline template:

  • Briefly introduce the topic of the response paper
  • State your thesis statement or main argument
  • Provide a brief summary of the source material you are responding to
  • Include key details or arguments from the source
  • Analyze the source material and identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluate the author's arguments and evidence
  • Provide your own perspective on the source material
  • Respond to the source material and critique its arguments
  • Offer your own ideas and counterarguments
  • Support your response with evidence and examples
  • Summarize your main points and restate your thesis
  • Provide final thoughts on the source material and its implications
  • Offer suggestions for further research or inquiry

Example of an outline for a response paper on the movie

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Response Paper Introduction

The success of response papers is partly dependent on how well you write the introductory paragraph. As with any academic paper, the introduction paragraph welcomes targeted readers and states the primary idea.  Below is a guideline on how to start a response essay:

  • Provide a compelling hook to capture the attention of your target audience.
  • Provide background information about the material, including the name and author of the work.
  • Provide a brief summary of main points to bring readers who are unfamiliar with the work up to task and enable them to follow up on your subsequent analysis.
  • Write a thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph to inform readers about the purpose and argument you are trying to relay.

Response Essay Thesis Statement

A thesis statement summarizes a paper's content within a sentence or two. A response essay thesis statement is not any different! The final sentence of the introductory paragraph of a reaction paper should give readers an idea of the message that will be discussed in your paper.  Do you know how to write a thesis statement for a response essay? If you follow the steps below, you should be able to write one:

  • Review the material you are responding to, and pinpoint main points expressed by authors.
  • Determine points of view or opinions you are going to discuss in the essay.
  • Develop your thesis statement. It should express a summary of what will be covered in your reaction. The sentence should also consider logical flow of ideas in your writing.
  • Thesis statement should be easy to spot. You should preferably place it at the end of your introductory paragraph.

Response Paper Body Paragraph

In most instances, the body section has between 1 and 3 paragraphs or more. You should first provide a summary of the article, book, or any other literature work you are responding to.  To write a response essay body paragraph that will capture the attention of readers, you must begin by providing key ideas presented in the story from the authors' point of view. In the subsequent paragraph, you should tell your audience whether you agree or disagree with these ideas as presented in the text. In the final section, you should provide an in-depth explanation of your stand and discuss various impacts of the material.

Response Paper Conclusion

In this section of a response paper, you should provide a summary of your ideas. You may provide key takeaways from your thoughts and pinpoint meaningful parts of the response. Like any other academic work, you wind up your response essay writing by giving a summary of what was discussed throughout the paper.  You should avoid introducing new evidence, ideas, or repeat contents that are included in body paragraphs in the conclusion section. After stating your final points, lessons learned, and how the work inspires you, you can wrap it up with your thesis statement.

How to Write a Response Paper?

In this section, we will provide you with tips on how to write a good response paper. To prepare a powerful reaction essay, you need to consider a two-step approach. First, you must read and analyze original sources properly. Subsequently, you also need to organize and plan the essay writing part effectively to be able to produce good reaction work. Various steps are outlined and discussed below to help you better understand how to write a response essay.

How to Write a Response Paper in 7 Steps?

1. Pick a Topic for Your Response Essay

Picking a topic for response essay topics can be affected either by the scope of your assignment as provided by your college professor or by your preference. Irrespective of your reason, the guideline below should help you brainstorm topic ideas for your reaction:

  • Start from your paper's end goal: consider what outcomes you wish to attain from writing your reaction.
  • Prepare a list of all potential ideas that can help you attain your preferred result.
  • Sort out topics that interest you from your list.
  • Critique your final list and settle on a topic that will be comfortable to work on.

Below are some examples of good topics for response essay to get you started:

  • Analyzing ideas in an article about effects of body shaming on mental health .
  • Reaction paper on new theories in today's business environment.
  • Movies I can watch again and again.
  • A response essay on a documentary.
  • Did the 9/11 terror attacks contribute to issues of religious intolerance?

2. Plan Your Thoughts and Reactions

To better plan your thoughts and reactions, you need to read the original material thoroughly to understand messages contained therein. You must understand author's line of thinking, beliefs, and values to be able to react to their content. Next, note down ideas and aspects that are important and draw any strong reactions.  Think through these ideas and record potential sequences they will take in your response paper. You should also support your opinions and reactions with quotes and texts from credible sources. This will help you write a response essay for the college level that will stand out.

3. Write a Detailed Response Paper Outline

Preparing a detailed response paper outline will exponentially improve the outcome of your writing. An essay outline will act as a benchmark that will guide you when working on each section of the paper. Sorting your ideas into sections will not only help you attain a better flow of communication in your responsive essay but also simplify your writing process.  You are encouraged to adopt the standard response essay outline provided in the sample above. By splitting your paper into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs, you will be able to effectively introduce your readers to ideas that will be discussed and separate your thoughts from authors' messages.

4. Write a Material Summary

For your audience to understand your reaction to certain materials, you should at first provide a brief summary of authors' points of view. This short overview should include author's name and work title.  When writing a response essay, you should dedicate a section to give an informative summary that clearly details primary points and vital supporting arguments. You must thoroughly understand the literature to be able to complete this section.  For important ideas, you can add direct quotes from the original sources in question. Writers may sometimes make a mistake of summarizing general ideas by providing detailed information about every single aspect of the material. Instead of addressing all ideas in detail, focus on key aspects.  Although you rely on your personal opinion and experience to write a response paper, you must remain objective and factual in this section. Your subjective opinion will take center stage in the personal reaction part of the essay.

Example of a Response Summary

Below is a sample summary response essays example to help you better understand how to write one. A Summary of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The classic film The Adventure of Robin Hood (1938), as directed by Michael Curtis and William Keighley, stars an infamous outlaw, Robin Hood, who "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor''. The charismatic and charming Saxon lord, Robin Hood (Flynn), becomes an outlaw and seeks justice for poor people by fighting Sir Guy of Gisborne (Rathbone), Sheriff of Nottingham (Copper), and Prince John (Rains), who were oppressing people. After assembling an outlaw group, Robin defies the excessive taxes imposed on poor people by stealing from wealthy individuals and redistributing wealth to the destitute in society. Robin Hood is eventually lured into an archery tournament and gets arrested, but survives an execution. He later helps King Richard to regain his lost throne and banish Prince John.

5. Share Your Reaction

After summarizing the original material, the second part of a response paper involves writing your opinion about author’s point of view. After a thorough review of the material, you should be able to express your perspective on the subject.  In this section, you are expected to detail how the material made you feel and how it relates to your personal life, experience, and values. Within the short response essay, you may also be required to state whether you agree or disagree with author's line of thinking. How does the material relate to current issues, or in what way does it impact your understanding of a given subject? Does it change your opinion on the subject in any way? Your reaction should answer these questions.  In addition, you may also be required to outline potential advantages and shortcomings of the material in your reaction. Finally, you should also indicate whether or not you would endorse the literal work to others.

Reaction in Response Body Paragraph Example

Below is a reaction in a response essay body paragraph sample to help you improve your skills in writing the response body paragraph: Reaction Paragraph Example

My main takeaway from watching The Adventure of Robin Hood (1938) is that society should prioritize good and justice over laws if the set rules oppress people. Prince John, Sir Guy, and Sheriff Cooper were cruel and petty and used existing laws to oppress and exploit poor people. In response, Robin Hood employed unorthodox means and tried to help oppressed people in society. I agree with his way of thinking. Laws are made to protect people in society and ensure justice is served. Therefore, when legislation fails to serve its purpose, it becomes redundant. Even in current society, we have seen democratic governments funding coups when presidents start oppressing their people. Such coups are supported despite the fact that presidency is protected by law. Although Robin Hood's actions might encourage unlawfulness if taken out of context, I would still recommend this film because its main message is advocating for justice in the community.

6. Conclude Your Response Essay

Do you know how to write a response paper conclusion? It should be the icing on the cake. Irrespective of how good previous sections were, your reaction essay will not be considered to be exceptional if you fail to provide a sum up of your reaction, ideas, and arguments in the right manner.  When writing a response essay conclusion , you should strive to summarize the outcome of your thoughts. After stating your final point, tell readers what you have learned and how that material inspired or impacted you. You can also explain how your perspective and the author's point of view intertwine with each other.  Never introduce new ideas in the conclusion paragraph. Presenting new points will not only disrupt the flow of ideas in the paper but also confuse your readers because you may be unable to explain them comprehensively.  You are also expected to link up your discussions with the thesis statement. In other words, concluding comments and observations need to incorporate the reaffirmation of the thesis statement.

Example of Response Paper Conclusion

You can use the responsive essay conclusion sample below as a benchmark to guide you in writing your concluding remarks: Conclusion Example

There are a lot of similarities between the film's message and my opinion, values, and beliefs. Based on my personal principles, I believe the actions of the main character, Robin Hood, are justifiable and acceptable. Several people in modern society would also agree with my perspective. The movie has provided me with multiple lessons and inspirations. The main lesson acquired is that laws are not ultimate and that we should analyze how they affect people rather than adhere to them blindly. Unless legislation protects people and serves justices, it should be considered irrelevant. Also, morality outweighs legislation. From the movie, I gathered that morality should be the foundation for all laws, and at any time, morality and greater good should be prioritized above laws. The main inspiration relates to being brave in going against some legislation since the end justifies the means sometimes. My point of view and that of the movie creators intertwine. We both advocate for human decency and justice. The argument discussed supports the idea that good and justice is greater than law.

Proofread Your Response Paper

It is important to proofread your response paper before submitting it for examination. Has your essay met all instructional requirements? Have you corrected every grammatical error in your paper? These are common questions you should be asking yourself.  Proofreading your work will ensure that you have eliminated mistakes made when working on your academic work. Besides, you also get the opportunity to improve your logical flow of ideas in your paper by proofreading.  If you review your work thoroughly before submitting it for marking, you are more likely to score more marks! Use our Paper Rater , it is a tool that can help you pinpoint errors, which makes going through your work even simpler.

Response Essay Examples

If you have never written this type of academic paper before, responsive essay examples should help you grasp the primary concepts better. These response paper samples not only help you to familiarize yourself with paper's features but also help you to get an idea of how you should tackle such an assignment. Review at least one written response essay example from the compilation below to give you the confidence to tackle a reaction paper. Response essay example: Book


Response paper example: Poem

Response paper sample: Movie

Example of a response paper: Article

Sample response essay: Issue

Response Paper Format

It is important to follow a recommended response essay format in order to adhere to academic writing standards needed for your assignment. Formats depend on your institution or the discipline.  A reaction paper can be written in many different academic writing styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago, with each demanding a slightly different format.  The outlook of the paper and referencing varies from one writing style to another. Despite the format for a response paper, you must include introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.

Response Essay Writing Tips

Below are some of the best tips you can use to improve your response papers writing skills:

  • Review your assignment instructions and clarify any inquiries before you start a response paper.
  • Once you have selected topics for response essay, reviewed your original materials, and came up with your thesis statement, use topic sentences to facilitate logical flow in your paper.
  • Always ensure that you format your work as per the standard structure to ensure that you adhere to set academic requirements. Depending on the academic writing style you will be using, ensure that you have done your in-text citation as per the paper format.
  • If you have never worked on this kind of academic paper, you should review examples and samples to help you familiarize yourself with this type of work. You should, however, never plagiarize your work.
  • You can use a first-person perspective to better stress your opinion or feelings about a subject. This tip is particularly crucial for reaction part of your work.
  • Finally, before submitting your work, proofread your work.

Bottom Line on Response Paper Writing

As discussed in this blog post, preparing a response paper follows a two-step approach. To successfully work on these sections, you need to plan properly to ensure a smooth transition from the reading and analyzing the original material to writing your reaction. In addition, you can review previous works to improve your writing skills.  So, what is a response essay that will immediately capture the attention of your instructor? Well, it should have a captivating introduction, evidence backed reaction, and a powerful conclusion. If you follow various tips outlined above and sum up your work with thorough proofreading, there is no chance that you can fail this type of assignment.


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FAQ About Response Paper

1. how long is a short response essay.

The length of a short response essay varies depending on topic and your familiarity with the subject. Depending on how long original sources are and how many responsive points you have, your reaction paper can range from a single paragraph of 150-400 words to multiple paragraphs of 250-500 words.

2. How to start a response body paragraph?

Use an argumentative topic sentence to start your responsive paper paragraph. Failing to begin a paragraph with an elaborate topic sentence will confuse your readers. Topic sentences give readers an idea of what is being discussed in the section. Write a responsive body paragraph for every new idea you add.

3. Is reaction paper similar to a response paper?

Yes. Reaction papers and response essays are used interchangeably. Responsive essays analyze author's point of view and compare them with your personal perspective. This type of academic writing gives you freedom to share your feelings and opinion about an idea. People also discuss how ideas, concepts, and literature material influence them in a response paper.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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24 How do I Write a Response Essay?

Pre-writing steps:

  • Read the essay prompt carefully.
  • Activate schema

Actively read the assigned article.

Analyze the article to determine the rhetorical situation.

  • Consider your own thoughts about the article.
  • Decide how you want to respond.

Conference #1

Structure your essay.

  • Outline the essay you want to write.

Draft a working thesis.

Drafting the essay:

Write a summary of the article as your introduction.

Write 3 or more body paragraphs in response to the article.

Review your draft so far.

Write the conclusion to summarize your thoughts.

Revising steps:

Peer review

Conference #2

  • Revise your essay.
  • Proofread your essay.


Read the essay prompt carefully

  • Highlight or note the important points
  • Ask questions for any part that isn’t clear to you.
  • Retrieve your assigned article.

Activate schema.

  • Skim and scan the article to identify the topic and the author(s).  Look for subtitles and boldly printed words.  Read the author’s bio which is often located at the beginning or at the end of the article.  Identify the publication.  Read the first sentence of each paragraph.  Ask yourself, “Am I familiar with this topic?” This will help you to activate your schema.
  • identify the key points and ideas
  • make note of where you agree or disagree
  • highlight impactful sentences to quote the author later
  • paraphrase the author’s words
  • summarize the article
  • What is the message?
  • What is the context?
  • Who is the author?
  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • What is the structure of the text?
  • Who is the audience?

Consider your own thoughts about the author and their message.

  • What do I think about this topic?
  • Is this author trustworthy?
  • Is the article written to inform or persuade me?
  • If it is written to persuade, on which points do I agree or disagree?
  • Is the author biased?
  • Does the article have an objective or subjective tone?
  • What did I like or dislike about what the author has written in this article?
  • What made the most sense to me? What was confusing about this article?

Decide how to respond.

There are several ways in which to respond to an article.  You may choose a type of response from the following list:

  • Before/After- Discuss your thoughts about this topic before you read the article, then explain what you learned from the article using evidence from the text.
  • Persuasion- Discuss which parts of the articles you found convincing and/or which parts of the article you did not find convincing.
  • Agreement or Disagreement- Discuss an idea that the author presented to which you agree or disagree. If there were two points of view that were presented, explain which one you agree with and explain why.
  • Affect- Explain the emotional effect that the article had on you. Explain why you responded that way including your own background and your own thoughts/ experiences.
  • Association- Share something from the article that is similar to your own experience.  Or relate the information to a different article that you have read before this article.
  • Most students wait until they have a draft, but seriously, this is the best time to talk to a writing tutor about your project.
  • HCC has several options for free tutoring. Best choice: after class, drop in at the Composition and Learning Center (CLC) in Duncan Hall 210. This is staffed by current HCC English professors, and you can talk to one for 10-20 minutes about your assignment and your ideas for your topic, and what to include in your essay.
  • There are also drop-in tutors at the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) in RCF 340.
  • an introduction- a summary paragraph of the article
  • a response- 3 or more body paragraphs responding to the author
  • a conclusion- a concluding paragraph summing up your thoughts.

Outline the essay your want to write.

  • Use the structure of the response essay to determine the order of each paragraph.  Gather your notes. Review the way you chose to respond.   Write a main idea statement for each paragraph of your essay.  Then, list (using bullet points) the details that you want to include under each main idea statement. You can also list relevant quotes from the article that support your ideas.
  • A thesis includes your topic and what you are going to say about this topic.
  • A thesis always has two parts: a topic AND something important about this topic that your essay is going to discuss.
  • A thesis is NEVER a question.
  • Use your notes and the rhetorical situation of the article to write a summary.  Begin with an introductory sentence that introduces the publisher, author, topic, purpose, and the main idea of the article.
  • Next, write a few sentences to describe the key points the author made to support the main idea.
  • End your summary with your thesis.
  • During your pre-writing, you decided how you might want to respond to the article.  Use your outline to draft your body paragraphs.  Use your synthesis skills to corporate relevant quotes from the article into paragraphs to support your ideas.
  • Is your summary of the article concise, objective, and accurate?
  • Do your body paragraphs respond to the article?
  • Do you have a main idea for each of the body paragraphs?
  • Do the sentences in each paragraph support each main idea?
  • This question is extremely important.  If you find that you did not respond to the article in the way you had originally planned, revise your thesis.
  • End your essay by summarizing the main points you shared in your body paragraphs.
  • A classmate; a friend; a relative: ask someone to read over your work. Note their questions as they read.
  • At the very least, read your essay aloud to yourself, stopping when you get tripped up in words or sentences. Consider how to make these rough spots easier to read.
  • Schedule a conference with your instructor, or drop in on their student/office hours, or send them a Zoom request to talk about any questions you have about your draft.
  • You can also drop in at the CLC in DH210 or LAC in RCF 340 to have a conference with a tutor.

Revise your essay

  • Look at your outline: have you forgotten anything?
  • Do a paragraph outline of just main idea sentences for each paragraph: you’ll have a 5-7 sentence summary of your whole essay.

Proofread your essay

  • take on an objective tone?
  •  introduce the article properly?
  • capture the main point of the article?
  • respond to the article?
  • capture your thoughts and opinions?
  • begin with a main idea statement followed by detail?
  • include quotes from the article?
  • concisely review your thoughts about the article?
  • Major grammar errors include run-on sentences, comma splices, and sentence fragments.
  • You are responsible for running Grammarly or another grammar/spellcheck before your essay is submitted.
  • Your instructors want to focus on improving your WRITING—not technical errors that machines can catch easily.
  • Use Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines for formatting your academic essay and for any in-text citations or a Works Cited page.

College Reading & Writing: A Handbook for ENGL- 090/095 Students Copyright © by Yvonne Kane; Krista O'Brien; and Angela Wood. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Write a Response Paper

  • Writing Essays
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  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
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Most of the time when you are tasked with an essay about a book or article you've read for a class, you will be expected to write in a professional and impersonal voice. But the regular rules change a bit when you write a response paper.

A response (or reaction) paper differs from the formal review primarily in that it is written in the first person . Unlike in more formal writing, the use of phrases like "I thought" and "I believe" is encouraged in a response paper. 

You'll still have a thesis and will need to back up your opinion with evidence from the work, but this type of paper spotlights your individual reaction as a reader or viewer.

Read and Respond

Grace Fleming

For a response paper, you still need to write a formal assessment of the work you're observing (this could be anything created, such as a film, a work of art, a piece of music, a speech, a marketing campaign, or a written work), but you will also add your own personal reaction and impressions to the report.

The steps for completing a reaction or response paper are:

  • Observe or read the piece for an initial understanding.
  • Mark interesting pages with a sticky flag or take notes on the piece to capture your first impressions.
  • Reread the marked pieces and your notes and stop to reflect often.
  • Record your thoughts.
  • Develop a thesis.
  • Write an outline.
  • Construct your essay.

It may be helpful to imagine yourself watching a movie review as you're preparing your outline. You will use the same framework for your response paper: a summary of the work with several of your own thoughts and assessments mixed in.

The First Paragraph

After you have established an outline for your paper, you need to craft the first draft of the essay using all the basic elements found in any strong paper, including a strong introductory sentence .

In the case of a reaction essay, the first sentence should contain both the title of the work to which you are responding and the name of the author.

The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement . That statement will make your overall opinion very clear.

Stating Your Opinion

There's no need to feel shy about expressing your own opinion in a position paper, even though it may seem strange to write "I feel" or "I believe" in an essay. 

In the sample here, the writer analyzes and compares the plays but also manages to express personal reactions. There's a balance struck between discussing and critiquing the work (and its successful or unsuccessful execution) and expressing a reaction to it.

Sample Statements

When writing a response essay, you can include statements like the following:

  • I felt that
  • In my opinion
  • The reader can conclude that
  • The author seems to
  • I did not like
  • This aspect didn't work for me because
  • The images seemed to
  • The author was [was not] successful in making me feel
  • I was especially moved by
  • I didn't understand the connection between
  • It was clear that the artist was trying to
  • The soundtrack seemed too
  • My favorite part was...because

Tip : A common mistake in personal essays it to resort to insulting comments with no clear explanation or analysis. It's OK to critique the work you are responding to, but you still need to back up your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and reactions with concrete evidence and examples from the work. What prompted the reaction in you, how, and why? What didn't reach you and why?

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How to write response essay: guidelines from expert team.

January 31, 2022

How To Write Response Essay

Response writing can be tricky, but if you follow our step-by-step guide, you’ll have no trouble coming up with a great one! We will walk you through exactly how to write a response paragraph, how to properly structure it, and even give you some helpful tips to make your essay shine!

So, let’s get writing!

Table Of Contents

What is a response essay, structure of a response essay, steps to write a good response essay, 5 key features needed in a response essay, tips to write a stellar response essay, response essay example.

First things first – what exactly is a response essay? A response essay is a type of writing that allows the writer to respond to a piece of work. It can be a text, image, or event. It’s essentially a reaction paper – you’re giving your thoughts and feelings about whatever it is you’re responding to.

Response essays allow you to freely communicate your thoughts and feelings about any topic. Unlike summary essays where you just restate what you read, response essays require you to genuinely understand the content and context of the work you’re assigned.

Once you have a strong grasp of the subject material, you have to concisely put forth your insights, opinions, and analysis.

Now that you know what a response essay is, it’s time to learn how to structure one. A good response essay follows a specific format, which allows your ideas to be conveyed clearly and concisely.

Here’s the basic essay response format :

  • Introduction
  • Summary Of The Work
  • Reaction, Response, and Analysis

Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements that form the response paper format.

  • Introduction Your introduction should introduce the work that you’re responding to and mention the name of the author. You should also include your thesis statement in this section – this is your position on the subject matter. Overall, this part should be about 1-2 paragraphs long and it should keep the reader interested to read the rest of the response paper.

For example : “Should America atone for its past sins against black people? This is the question raised by Ta-Nehisi Coates in his powerful article ‘The Case For Reparations’. The author strongly believes that America should make reparations to the African-American community, and after much contemplation, I wholeheartedly agree with him”.

  • Summary Of The Work In your summary, you want to give a general overview of the content without giving away too much. You’ll highlight the main points of the work, provide direct quotations, and keep the writing objective and factual.

For example : “Ta-Nehisi Coates makes many compelling arguments for why America should make reparations to the African-American community. He cites statistics, historical evidence, and personal stories to support his position. According to him, “To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting American’s origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte.”.

  • Reaction, Response, and Analysis In this section, you’ll want to go into detail about your reaction to the work. What did you like or dislike? What were your thoughts and feelings? Be sure to back up your claims with evidence from the text.

For example : “I found Coates’ argument to be very convincing. He makes a strong case for reparations by providing ample evidence to support his position. I was also moved by his personal stories about the impact of slavery on African-Americans today. His writing is powerful and emotional, and it made me think about America’s history in a new light”.

Many students struggle with writing a good response essay simply because they’re confused about how to write response essay, where to begin, how to begin, and what to do next. Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of writing a fabulous response paper that is sure to get the attention of your teachers and professors.

  • Step 1 – Read and Understand the Work Before you can write a good response essay, you first need to read and understand the work that you’re responding to. Whether it’s a book, movie, article, or poem, the quality of your response paper is directly proportional to how well you’ve understood the source material. Take notes as you read and highlight important passages so that you can refer back to them later. This is an important step in learning how to start a response essay.
  • Step 2 – Brainstorm Your Ideas Once you’ve read and understood the work, it’s time to brainstorm your ideas. This is the part of the process where you let your thoughts flow freely and write down any and all responses that come to mind. Don’t worry about making sense or sorting them out yet – just get everything down on paper.
  • Step 3 – Write Your Thesis Statement Your thesis statement is your position on the subject matter – it should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. This is what you’ll be arguing for or against in your essay. Don’t be afraid to genuinely put forth your opinion, whether it’s positive or negative.
  • Step 4 – Support Your Thesis with Evidence Now it’s time to support your thesis statement with evidence from the text. Quote directly from the work and provide a brief explanation of how it supports your argument. Don’t forget to cite your sources! The summary of the work and your personal opinion on the matter will form the core content of your paper.
  • Step 5 – Write a Conclusion Once you’ve finished arguing for your position, it’s time to write a conclusion. Restate your thesis and summarize your main points. You may also want to leave readers with something to think about or a call to action. A solid conclusion can sometimes make all the difference between a great response essay and a mediocre one!

By following these steps, you’ll be able to write some of the best response essays that are well-organized, informative, and persuasive. All it takes is a little time and practice! On the contrary, you can choose buying custom college papers and be free of this assignment.

When writing a response essay, there are certain key features that you need to keep in mind. Whether it’s for school, college, or university, these five features will make your response essay unique and interesting.

  • Summarizing – This is probably the most important feature of writing a response essay. You need to be able to summarize the work succinctly, highlighting the most important points without giving away too much of the plot or story.
  • Paraphrasing/Quoting – In order to support your argument, you’ll need to quote and paraphrase the work extensively. Make sure that you always credit your sources!
  • Organization – Your essay should be well-organized and easy to follow. Start with a strong introduction, then move on to your main points. Wrap things up with a conclusion that reiterates your position. No professor likes reading a haphazardly put-together essay!
  • Transitions – To keep your essay cohesive, you’ll need to use strong transitions and connecting words between paragraphs. This way, the reader can move between different portions of your writing (e.g. Introduction > Summary > Thesis > Conclusion) without losing interest.
  • Argumentation – Last but not least, your essay needs to be filled with strong argumentation. Make sure to back up your points with evidence from the text, and don’t be afraid to state your opinion openly. This is what will set your response essay apart from the rest!

We’ll share with you a few of our tried and tested essay writing tips that will masterfully elevate your response essay.

  • Take your time and read the source material carefully.
  • Write a strong thesis statement that reflects your position on the matter.
  • When stating definitive opinions, cite instances from the text to strengthen your stand.
  • Argument your points persuasively and with conviction.
  • Proofread your essay for errors such as grammar, language, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Have someone else, like a trusted friend or teacher, read it over for you as well – fresh eyes can sometimes catch mistakes that you’ve missed.
  • Use the help of a reliable paper writing service to assist you in the process.

Now that you’ve read all our instructions, there’s only one thing left to do. You have a chance to ged extended response essay sample and see all our tips in practice.

Response Paper In his article “The Militarization of the Police”, James Bouie argues that recent traegy in Ferguson is only one symptom of the broad problem of increasing police militarization in the USA. The purpose of the author is to bring this question into light and warn American citizens about the danger it entails for the whole society, with a special emphasis being placed on racial minorities. Bouie addresses the general public who are concerned with political and social tendencies in the US. The author begins his article with discussion of the photographs from Ferguson demonstration, pointing out the signs of inadequate aggression of the police toward the citizens. He puts the Ferguson tragedy in the context of increasing militarization of the US police force, which he believes to be one of the major problems of the American society. Bouie asserts that this process began with the war on drugs in the 1980s and intensified after the 9/11 attacks and the wars in the Middle East. He estimates that the value of military hardware owned by U.S. police agencies increased at 450 times from 1990 to 2013, despite the falling crime rates. Bouie also discusses the issue of increased SWAT deployment, which is disproportionately utilized in black and Latino neighborhoods. The conclusion the author draws is that the availability of heavy military weapons and a long-standing tradition of punitive policing toward racial minorities are the major factors that are likely to cause repressive reactions of the police. The Ferguson tragedy has recently riveted the attention of the whole U.S. population. While we may lament the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, it is important to view these events in the broader context of police misconduct, as the author does it. Despite numerous changes and advancements in law enforcement over the last decade, such as community policing and recruiting more officers from racial minorities, the society is still staunchly opposed to the police force, and the negative sentiment has predictably grown after the Ferguson unrest. The frequent SWAT raids are definitely an overreaction, given that they are mostly deployed for low-level offenses, such as drug use. Repressive and punitive actions with the disproportionate targeting of racial minorities suggest that positive changes in the police were of purely decorative nature and were not effective to eradicate stereotypes, prejudices and aggression from the mind of law enforcement officers. While the author does not explore this perspective in detail, the increasing militarization of the police is often viewed as a logical consequence of the militarization of the whole US politics, which is obsessed with identifying and eliminating national enemies. Incessant employment of war rhetoric by the officials has the power to alter the mindset of the whole society, not only police officers. The article provides a comprehensive account of the author’s opinion. No doubts arise as to the appropriateness of his observations, largely because they are aligned with the common social reaction to Ferguson tragedy. However, the author does not explore any potential solutions to the problem, thus leaving this question open for the readers to consider. Another overlooked issue, which may interest the readers, is how the situation in the USA compares to other developed countries and what policies they implement to prevent the overreaction of police force. The author has achieved the purpose of persuading his readers that events in Ferguson are linked to a broader social problem, as his arguments appeal to the common sense and show clear causality between acquisition of military equipment and overreaction to offenses and unrest. The author made his article more persuading by referring to Ferguson photographs, statistics and authoritative specialists to support his argument.

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What Response Essays Are and How to Tackle Them

Writing a response essay might seem like a challenging task at first. Firstly, you need to understand to a great extent what the study that you are responding to is talking about and then make sure that you write an insightful, true to the source essay about it. Even if you need to write a response essay as part of your homework for faculty studies or high school assignments or you want to exercise your argumentative skills, it might seem like a lot of work at first. However, having in mind a clear structure of your future response essay is essential.

Before beginning to go through the main structure points that you need to check when writing a response essay, there are some tips that you need to know and that will help you lay your thoughts on paper in a more efficient way. First of all, after reading the essay or the article that you are responding to, you need to settle on whether you want to attack the ideas presented in that article or to agree with them. Based on that, you will structure the components of your response essay. For example, if your response essay is talking about protecting the environment and you want to show your agreement with the ideas presented in the original essay, then you should build your response essay around the idea of consolidating the thoughts in the main source.

Secondly, it is important that your readers clearly understand your position after reading your response essay. This means that you need to expose all possible arguments which might strengthen or attack the ideas presented in the main article. In order for you to achieve a strong position, it might be helpful to also expose a personal experience that can be related to the topic you are writing an essay about. This will not only make your argument points stronger but will also help your readers empathize with your writing. Also, it is important that you keep in mind that your response essay should be a response to something you have read, something that is a hot topic at the moment in various social contexts or something that has been debated for a long time and you want to present a new approach to things.

You also have to keep in mind that the more knowledge you show to your audience in your response essay about the author and the topic that is being debated, the more credibility you will gain. Read some cause or effect essay topics to get inspired. This is why it is important to also present a context in your response essay, such as details about the author and the paper you are choosing to respond to. Finally, after debating the ideas of the original text, you can also choose to talk about the effectiveness of the source text. It can be about how the main paper managed to reach the audience, if the writing style was effective, and how the author you are responding to had chosen to expose their ideas.

If we were to summarize the main points you should keep in mind before starting to tackle the components of a response essay, these would be:

  • Make sure to clearly expose your position regarding the article or paper you are responding to
  • Don’t forget to expose the personal experiences or thoughts that might help you relate to the matter in question and your reader to empathize with your way of writing
  • Prove that you have knowledge about the author of the main text and can put your response essay in a context
  • Evaluate the main text’s effectiveness and how it managed to reach the audience

Get Started: Write an Introduction

One important thing when writing a response essay is the way you structure the introduction. This is one of the key parts of your essay, as it embodies the topic you are about to debate and the premises you are basing your essay on. The introduction will make your audience decide if they want to keep reading your response essay or not. This is why it is important that you keep in mind the following tips:

  • Introduction is all about catching your audience’s attention
  • It should provide a brief description of the topic
  • You should be able to briefly summarize your thesis
  • Don’t forget to give a short description of the author and the article you are responding to

It might be the case that the source article that you are about to discuss contains several parts or has different ideas which can be debated and your response article refers only to a part of them. In this case, don’t forget to also mention this. Do not forget that you need to keep it short and catchy.

How to Make Your Introduction Catchy – Introduction Ideas

Writing a catchy introduction that will make your reader read the whole response article is challenging. This is why you will find here some ideas to start with, such as:

  • Making use of a statistic: some puzzling conclusion that researchers might have reached at some point and which is relevant to the topic you are about to respond to.
  • Citing someone who is related to the area of expertise of your topic or is known for having deep knowledge about the topic. The more popular the person you are citing is, the more efficient your introduction will be.
  • Story-telling or reproducing a dialogue might also help, provided they are relevant and short.
  • Starting with a question or with a situation regarding the topic you are about to talk about might also be a good introduction idea.

You might even want to combine some of these ideas and write your introduction based on an example and a statistic or any other possible combination. Whatever you choose, make sure it stays to the point and is catchy to the eye of the reader.

How You Can Connect Introduction to Conclusion

Another important aspect that you need to consider when writing your introduction to the response essay is that you need to somehow connect it to the conclusion. In order for you to achieve a perfectly cyclic response essay, you need to find a way to make the two feel correspondent. This will help your response essay have a “frame” and will help your writing style be more efficient.

It might be a bit difficult at first to start with an introduction and end with a conclusion that are connected, mostly if you want to write very long and thorough response essays. However, one important suggestion that might help is to always make sure that before starting off your response essay, you are clear about the ideas and position you want to present. This will help you avoid changing your position as you advance in writing your essay and make your introduction and conclusion connected, giving a sense of symmetry to your text.

Below you can find some examples of how you can connect your introduction with the conclusion:

  • If you are writing about the usage of mobile devices in our everyday life, you could start your introduction by exposing a real-life experience, maybe someone who is driving to work on a normal day and is stuck in traffic. You could start by asking your readers what they would do on their phones as they wait in traffic and end with several possible outcomes of this scenario.
  • If you are choosing to present an essay about a personal experience and you start with an introduction about how a certain day started in your life, you could end your essay with how that day ended. This way, you will make sure you keep your readers connected to the story and have their attention all throughout the essay.
  • If you decide to write about any other topic, such as a topic of national importance or even an environmental topic, you could start by stating the facts to which you want to draw the attention and end with the facts about the current situation or how it can be improved.

How to Write a Strong Thesis

After making sure that you have caught your readers’ attention, it is all about making it clear to them what your position regarding the source article is. However, you should also provide a context to your response article by mentioning details about the author and the main ideas in the article that you have chosen to respond to. It can be that you are choosing to respond only partially, to a few of the ideas presented there, so this is the reason why it is important to clearly state the ideas of the article you want to respond to. Make sure to give an account of whatever it is debated in the article, by presenting the information in an objective way. At this point, it is more important for your readers to understand what you are trying to agree or disagree with than hear your personal opinion. Also, exposing the ideas of the source text in an objective, impersonal way will help your readers decide for themselves if the position you are taking is one that they would take or not.

Afterwards, it is vital that you expose what is known as “thesis statement” by allocating one paragraph in which you clearly state if you agree or disagree with the main topic presented in the source text. This should start with “I agree/I don’t agree with” and should be followed by a short and powerful message about the main reason why you are taking this position regarding that text.

The next step is to talk more about the reasons you are considering attacking or agreeing with the ideas presented in the original text. This can be done by either reviewing what the author is saying or just expanding on the main ideas. You can, for example, try to understand why the author has reached a certain conclusion that you are debating by trying to relate it to the author’s background or career. It can be that the author has chosen to promote oil drilling because they work in a factory that wants to make this process a sustainable one. It is important that you stay true to your debate and present the situation from both points of view: yours and the author’s.

How to Respond to Articles – Ideas

After tackling the introduction and the conclusion, the main body of your response essay is left to deal with. This is mainly the way in which you choose to present the source text and where you are standing regarding it. It is up to you if you choose to agree or disagree, however, what you have to keep in mind is that you need to be consistent and stay true to the topic you have chosen to debate.

One way to do that is to map the main three components of the response essay, namely, the introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are some helpful suggestions on how to structure your responding ideas:

  • Whether you agree or disagree, you can state 3 or more reasons for which you are doing so. Make sure to start each new paragraph and allocate enough space for your ideas to be clearly distinguished and stated.
  • If you are partially agreeing or disagreeing, make sure to always mention that so that your readers will clearly understand your position.
  • It is always important to see how the author’s ideas managed to reach the audience and in which ways the ideas were brought forward.

How to Better Structure the Body of the Response Essay

Make sure to utilize evidence to back-up your thesis. In order to do this, you can use quotes, author tags or simply rely on other readings and give references.

Make sure that you achieve a personal voice throughout the text. This can be done by differentiating yourself from the author and using author tags.

By using author tags, you communicate to your readers the fact that it is the author you are responding to who has a certain idea or it is their article that makes this reference. You can use any of these suggestions when talking about someone’s article:

  • The author mentions
  • The author refers to
  • The author is suggesting
  • The author writes
  • The author asks
  • The author recommends
  • The author is presenting
  • The author points out
  • The author relates
  • The author pleads
  • The author denies
  • The author’s remarks point to
  • The author explains

Write a Conclusion Your Readers Won’t Forget

One important thing to keep in mind when writing a conclusion to your response essay is that you shouldn’t repeat the arguments in the same form in which you have presented them in the body. Offering a conclusion to your response article is still needed, as this will help your readers make a clear decision whether they agree or disagree with the ideas presented in your response essay.

Besides making sure that your essay is built around a very powerful introduction and a conclusion that sums up the main ideas of your position regarding this essay, you can also:

  • Present the topic that you have been debating throughout the essay in a broader perspective; for example, if the topic you are tackling is national, you can connect this topic to the situation in other countries worldwide
  • Promote an organization or an event that has some influence on the topic you have been responding to
  • Present the current situation of the topic you are talking about and ring the alarm if anything needs to be done about it
  • Summarize how your arguments shed a new light on the topic

A Brief Summary of How a Response Essay Should Look Like

Keeping everything in mind, the essential parts of a response essay and the main suggestions that you have to keep in mind when starting to write are:

  • Paragraph 1: The first part of the introduction which needs to be vivid, catchy and reflect the point you are about to make.
  • Paragraph 2: Provide a context to your response essay: details about the source-text and the author and what the main points in the article are.
  • State your position regarding the ideas presented in the introduction and if you agree with the author’s take on the matter or not.
  • Clearly mention if you are going to question the author’s position or expand on the author’s account of the facts.
  • Give clear arguments pro or against the matter and allocate one paragraph to each of these arguments.
  • Use statistics, story-telling, research findings, scientific discoveries, and any other tools suggested in this article.
  • Provide an insightful and catchy conclusion that correlates with the introduction you have chosen for your response essay.

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Goals and Goal Setting

Goals Common to All RST Writers

Other Goals to Consider

Defining My Own Goals

Advice about Assignments

Getting Started: Listing Topics to Write about in the Tutorial

Narrative One: Personal Piece on a Significant Experience

Narrative Two: Academic Piece on a Significant Experience

Summary/Response One

Summary/Response Two

Tutorial Evaluation Postscript

On Using the Resources for Writers

Generating and Developing Ideas

Finding/Expressing Main Ideas

Showing v. Telling Sentences

Focusing Topic Sentences

Thesis Statements

Reading Strategies

Assessing Your Reading Strategies


Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays

Discourse Analysis Worksheet

Trade Magazines

Selecting Readings

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:

Intro/thesis Summary (two to three paragraphs) Agreement (or disagreement) Disagreement (or agreement) Conclusion

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.

Intro/thesis Summary point one; agree/disagree Summary point two; agree/disagree Summary point three; agree/disagree Conclusion

essay response

How to Write a Response Paper: Understanding the Basics

essay response

Writing a response paper is an important task for students. It allows them to critically analyze a text, express their thoughts and opinions, and improve their writing skills. In this comprehensive guide, our ‘ write my essay ’ experts will explore the basics of how to write a response paper, pre-writing steps, and crafting a winning introduction, body, and conclusion. So, let's dive in and discover a flawless response paper at the end!

Defining What is a Response Paper

A response paper is a written assignment that requires the student to read a text and respond to it by expressing their views on the topic. It can be a stand-alone assignment or part of a larger project. When writing a response paper, it is important to remember the audience you are writing for. Are you writing for your professor, classmates, or a broader audience? This will help you tailor your writing style and tone accordingly.

Moreover, this kind of academic assignment should not only summarize the text but also provide a critical analysis of its main arguments and ideas. It should demonstrate your understanding of the text and your ability to engage with it in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

Purpose of Crafting a Response Paper

Writing response papers aims to demonstrate your understanding of the text, give your opinions and thoughts, and provide evidence to support your claims. In addition, this type of paper can help you develop critical reading skills and formulate coherent arguments. By engaging with the text, you can identify its strengths and weaknesses, evaluate its claims, and form your own opinions about the topic.

Furthermore, crafting response paper examples can be a valuable exercise in self-reflection. It allows you to articulate your thoughts and feelings about a particular topic and can help you better understand your values and beliefs.

Types of Response Papers

There are various types of response papers, each with its own unique characteristics and requirements. These include:

How to Write a Response Paper

  • Personal response : Here, you express your personal opinions, thoughts, and emotions about the text. This type of paper allows you to engage with the text more personally and explore your reactions to it.
  • Critical response : Involves analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting the text to provide a critique. This type of paper requires you to engage with the text more objectively and analytically, focusing on its strengths and weaknesses and providing evidence to support your claims.
  • Research-based response : Research-based response paper examples involve using external sources to support your claims. This type of paper requires you to engage with the text and supplement your analysis with evidence from other sources, such as scholarly articles, books, or interviews.

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How to Write a Response Paper: Pre-Writing Steps

Before diving into the writing process, laying a strong foundation through effective pre-writing steps is crucial. These initial stages not only provide clarity and structure but also enhance the overall quality of your response. And if you aren’t sure how to write a reaction paper , these steps can also be employed for your assignment.

How to Write a Response Paper

Carefully Read and Analyze the Text

The first step in response paper creation is to carefully read and analyze the text. This involves more than just reading the words on the page; it requires critical thinking and analysis. As you read, pay attention to the author's tone, style, and use of language. Highlight important points, take notes, and identify the author's main argument and themes. Consider the context in which the text was written and how it relates to contemporary issues.

For example, if you are reading a historical document, think about how it reflects the social and political climate of the time. If you are reading a work of fiction, consider how the characters and plot relate to larger themes and ideas. By carefully analyzing the text, you will be better equipped to write a thoughtful and insightful response.

Take Notes and Highlight Key Points

Another important step is to take notes while reading, as it helps you organize your thoughts and ideas. As you read through the text, jot down your reactions, questions, and observations. Highlight key points, evidence, and quotes that support the author's argument. This will make it easier to refer back to specific parts of the text when you are writing your response.

Additionally, taking notes can help you identify patterns and connections between different parts of the text. This can be especially helpful when you are trying to develop your thesis statement and outline.

Develop a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a central argument that you will be making in your paper. It should be clear and concise and provide direction for your essay. Your thesis statement should be based on your analysis of the text and should reflect your own perspective.

When developing your thesis statement, consider the main argument of the text and how you agree or disagree with it. Think about the evidence and examples that the author uses to support their argument and how you might use those same examples to support your own argument. Your thesis statement should be specific and focused and should guide the rest of your essay.

Create an Outline

If you want to unlock the most important tip on how to ace a response paper perfection, it lies in creating a well-organized outline. Identify key points, evidence, and arguments that you want to discuss and organize them into a well-written paper format. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Start by introducing the text and your thesis statement. In the body paragraphs, discuss your main points and provide evidence from the text to support your argument. Use quotes and examples to illustrate your points. In conclusion, summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. In the following paragraphs, we'll delve deeper into writing each section with more details.

Actual Writing Process with a Response Paper Format

Now that you have completed the essential pre-writing steps, it's time to delve into the actual writing process of your paper. In this section of our comprehensive guide, we will explore how to start a response paper along with developing insightful body paragraphs and culminating in a powerful conclusion.

Engage the Reader In Your Introduction

The introduction is the first impression that your reader will have of your paper. It is important to make a good first impression, so you want to engage them right from the start. There are several ways to do this, such as providing context, using a hook, or starting with a rhetorical question.

For example, if you are writing a paper about the effects of social media on mental health, you might start with a hook like:

'Did you know that the average person spends over two hours a day on social media? That's more time than they spend exercising or socializing in person.' 

When working with your paper, this hook immediately grabs the reader's attention and makes them interested in learning more about your topic.

Provide Context and Background Information

Once you have engaged the reader, it's important to provide context for the text you are analyzing. This includes information like the author's name, the title of the work, and the publication date. This information helps the reader understand the context of the text and why it is important.

For example, if you are analyzing a poem by Maya Angelou, you would want to provide some background information about her life and work. You might mention that she was a civil rights activist and a prolific writer and that the poem you are analyzing was written in 1969, during a time of great social and political upheaval in the United States.

Present Your Thesis Statement

Finally, it's important to present your thesis statement in the introduction. The thesis statement is the main argument of your paper, and it should be presented clearly and concisely so that the reader knows exactly what your paper is about.

For instance, if you are crafting a response paper example about the effects of social media on mental health, your thesis statement might be something like:

'This paper argues that excessive use of social media can have negative effects on mental health, including increased anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.'

By presenting your thesis statement in the introduction, you are setting up the rest of your paper and giving the reader a roadmap for what to expect. This helps them stay focused and engaged throughout your paper.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about how to write an essay format and set the right referencing style for your assignment!

Crafting the Body

One key aspect of ensuring a well-structured and articulate paper is to utilize your typical response paper outline as a reliable roadmap. By following it, you can maintain focus, coherence, and logical flow throughout your response. Moreover, keep the following points in mind as you proceed with crafting the body of your response paper:

  • Use evidence and examples from the text:
  • Incorporate relevant quotes, statistics, or other evidence that supports your opinions and arguments.
  • By using evidence from the text, you can strengthen your argument and demonstrate a deep understanding of the material.
  • Analyze and interpret the text:
  • Demonstrate your critical thinking skills by thoroughly analyzing and interpreting the text.
  • Explain how the text relates to your thesis statement and overall argument.
  • Provide a clear and concise response that showcases your knowledge and understanding of the material.
  • Address counterarguments and alternative perspectives:
  • Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to demonstrate your ability to consider different perspectives.
  • Explain why your argument is stronger than the opposing viewpoint.
  • Provide evidence to support your claim and solidify your stance.

Concluding Your Paper

In the conclusion of your response paper example, it is essential to consolidate your reactions, ideas, and arguments regarding the text. Summarize the key points discussed throughout your paper, drawing inferences whenever applicable. 

When uncertain about ​​ how to write a conclusion for a research paper , the first important rule is to refrain from introducing new ideas or reiterating information already presented in the introduction of your paper. Instead, provide a concise and coherent summary that encapsulates the essence of your response, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

Response Paper Example

To show you how to write a response paper effectively, our essay writer has provided an amazing example below. It will inspire you and help you on your own learning journey. Get ready to explore new ideas and expand your knowledge with our response paper sample.

As we conclude this comprehensive guide on how to write a response paper, you have acquired the essential tools and knowledge to embark on your writing journey with confidence. With a firm grasp of pre-writing strategies, the art of crafting an engaging introduction, organizing a well-structured body, and understanding the significance of supporting arguments and addressing counter arguments with a good response paper example, you are poised to leave a lasting impression.

And if you ever find yourself struggling to find inspiration or facing challenges with any aspect of your essays, order essay online and take advantage of the opportunity to seek assistance from our professional writing service team. By trusting us with your college essays and ordering a response paper, you can confidently navigate your academic journey!

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Mastering the art of response essay., carla johnson.

  • June 13, 2023
  • Essay Topics and Ideas , How to Guides

A response essay is an important part of academic writing because they give students a chance to think about the ideas and arguments in a text and give their own thoughts and opinions on the subject. Response essays are different from other types of essays because students not only have to summarize the text, but also analyze and evaluate it in a critical way.

These essays are important because they help students learn how to think critically, improve their writing skills, and deal with complicated ideas and arguments. In this article, we’ll talk about how to write response essays and give students tips, examples, and ideas for topics to help them learn this important skill.

In this article, readers will learn what response essays are, how to write a good response essay, and what kinds of topics are good for this type of assignment. By the end of this article, readers will know exactly what it takes to write a good response essay and have the tools and knowledge they need to confidently take on this type of assignment.

What You'll Learn

What is a Response Essay?

In a response essay, the writer talks about how they feel about a certain text, article, or book. The goal of a response essay is to analyze the text critically and share the writer’s thoughts and opinions about the topic.

Response essays are different from argumentative and expository essays in that the writer must give their own opinion on the topic. Even though a summary of the text is often part of a response essay, it is not the main point.

An introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion are the most important parts of a response essay. The introduction should give background information about the text and include a thesis statement that shows the writer’s opinion about the text. The writer’s argument should be backed up by evidence and examples from the text in the body paragraphs. The conclusion should restate the essay’s main points and give a final opinion on the text.

Elements of a Response Essay

To write an effective response essay, it is important to include several key elements in the essay . These include:

Introduction: The introduction should provide background information on the text, including the author, title, and publication date. It should also include a thesis statement that expresses the writer’s opinion about the text.

Body Paragraphs: The writer’s argument should be backed up by evidence and examples from the text in the body paragraphs. It’s important to think critically about the text and give specific examples to back up the writer’s ideas and opinions. Each paragraph in the body should be about a different part of the text, and the writer should use transitions to link the paragraphs and keep the flow of ideas smooth.

Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and provide a final opinion on the text. It should not introduce any new ideas or information, but rather provide closure for the reader and reinforce the writer’s thesis statement .

Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is a critical component of a response essay, as it expresses the writer’s opinion on the text. The thesis statement should be clear, concise, and focused on the main argument of the essay. It should provide a roadmap for the reader and guide the writer’s analysis and evaluation of the text.

Evidence and Examples: In a response essay, the writer’s argument needs to be backed up by evidence and examples from the text. The writer should back up their ideas and thoughts with specific examples and quotes from the text. It is important to think carefully about the evidence and explain how it backs up the writer’s argument .

Writing a response essay means carefully analyzing and judging a piece of writing, as well as being able to say what you think and feel about it. By including the key points talked about in this article, writers can effectively communicate their ideas and make sense of complicated texts.

Don’t forget to use clear, concise language, give specific examples and proof, and stick to the main point of your essay . With these tips, writers can learn how to write response essays and effectively respond to academic texts in their writing.

How to Write a Response Essay

Writing a response essay can be a challenging task, but it can also be a rewarding one. Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a response essay:

Before you start writing your response essay, it is important to read the text carefully and take notes on important ideas and concepts . Consider the main argument of the text and evaluate the evidence and examples used to support it. Think about your own experiences and opinions on the subject matter and how they relate to the text.

Once you’re done with your planning, you can start writing your response essay. Start with an introduction that tells what the text is about and includes a clear thesis statement that shows what you think about it. Use body paragraphs to analyze and evaluate the text critically , using evidence and examples from the text to support your arguments. Use transitions between paragraphs to make sure the ideas flow smoothly. Finish with a summary of your main points and your final thoughts on the text.

After you finish the first draft of your essay, you should go back and fix any mistakes. Read your essay carefully , making sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and that it makes sense. Think about how your essay is put together and make any changes you need to make sure your argument is clear and well-supported. It’s important to follow a clear and logical format when setting up and organizing your response essay. Start with an introduction that gives background information about the text and a thesis statement that is clear and focused. Use the body paragraphs to back up your thesis statement with evidence and examples from the text, and make sure to use clear, concise language. Use transitions to link your paragraphs and keep your ideas moving smoothly. Finish with a summary of your main points and your final thoughts on the text. When writing a response essay, common mistakes to avoid include summarizing the text instead of analyzing and evaluating it, not giving specific examples and evidence to back up your arguments, and not revising and editing your essay carefully .

Response Essay Examples

Here are 10 fascinating response essay examples from different academic fields:

1. The Impact of Social Media on Teenagers” by Jane Smith

2. “The Role of Art in Society” by John Doe

3. “The Ethics of Genetic Engineering” by Sarah Johnson

4. The Importance of Education in Developing Countries” by Michael Brown

5. The Significance of the Civil Rights Movement” by Angela Davis

6. “The Future of Renewable Energy” by David Lee

7. The Effects of Climate Change on Marine Life” by Rachel Wilson

8. The Impact of Technology on Human Relationships” by Emily Jones

9. “The Role of Women in Politics” by Susan Lee

10. The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace” by Maria Hernandez

Each of these response essay examples provides a clear and focused thesis statement that expresses the writer’s opinion on the subject matter. The body paragraphs use specific examples and evidence from the text to support the arguments, and the conclusion summarizes the main points of the essay and provides a final opinion on the subject.

For example, in “The Ethics of Genetic Engineering” by Sarah Johnson, the thesis statement is clear and focused: “Genetic engineering poses ethical dilemmas that must be carefully considered before any scientific advances are made.” The body paragraphs provide specific examples and evidence to support this argument, such as the potential for genetic discrimination and the unknown long-term effects of genetic engineering. The conclusion summarizes the main points of the essay and provides a final opinion on the subject, emphasizing the need for caution and ethical considerations in genetic engineering.

Readers can use these examples to learn how to write effective response essays in their own academic fields. They can also analyze the key features of each example, such as the use of specific examples and evidence to support the argument, and use these techniques in their own writing. By learning from these examples, readers can become skilled response essay writers and effectively engage with complex texts in their academic writing.

Response Essay Topics

Here are 50 response essay topics that are sure to impress your professors:

1. The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

2. The Ethics of Animal Testing

3. The Role of Government in Healthcare

4. The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture

5. The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

6. The Role of Art in Society

7. The Impact of Technology on Education

8. The Ethics of Cloning

9. The Significance of the Civil Rights Movement

10. The Future of Renewable Energy

11. The Effects of Immigration on the Economy

12. The Role of Women in Politics

13. The Impact of Video Games on Youth

14. The Ethics of Capital Punishment

15. The Importance of Voting Rights

16. The Effects of Globalization on Culture

17. The Role of Religion in Society

18. The Impact of Technology on Human Relationships

19. The Ethics of Stem Cell Research

20. The Significance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement

21. The Future of Space Exploration

22. The Effects of Social Media on Politics

23. The Role of Education in Reducing Poverty

24. The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

25. The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Job Market

26. The Ethics of Euthanasia

27. The Significance of the American Revolution

28. The Future of Self-Driving Cars

29. The Effects of Income Inequality on Society

30. The Role of Media in Shaping Public Opinion

31. The Impact of COVID-19 on Education

32. The Ethics of Gene Editing

33. The Importance of Free Speech in Democracy

34. The Effects of Technology on Privacy

35. The Role of Sports in Society

36. The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

37. The Ethics of Cybersecurity

38. The Significance of the Industrial Revolution

39. The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

40. The Effects of Social Media on Body Image

41. The Role of Animal Rights in Society

42. The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

43. The Impact of Technology on Mental Health

44. The Ethics of Abortion

45. The Significance of the Women’s Rights Movement

46. The Future of Green Energy

47. The Effects of Immigration on Cultural Identity

48. The Role of Music in Society

49. The Impact of Technology on Privacy

50. The Ethics of Human Cloning

Each of these topics is interesting and important, providing ample opportunity for critical analysis and evaluation. They cover a broad range of subjects, including social issues, technology, ethics, history, and the environment . By choosing one of these topics for your response essay, you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the subject matter and engage with complex ideas and arguments.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is the difference between a response essay and a summary.

A response essay requires critical analysis and evaluation of a text, while a summary simply provides a brief overview of the text. In a response essay, the writer provides their own opinions and thoughts on the text, while in a summary, the writer remains objective and simply summarizes the main points of the text.

2. What is the appropriate tone for a response essay?

The tone for a response essay should be professional and objective, while also expressing the writer’s personal opinions and thoughts. It is important to remain respectful and avoid using emotional language, while also conveying a sense of passion and engagement in the subject matter.

3. What are some tips for writing a strong conclusion for a response essay?

A strong conclusion for a response essay should summarize the main points of the essay and provide a final opinion on the text. It should also provide closure for the reader and reinforce the writer’s thesis statement. To write a strong conclusion, it is important to avoid introducing any new ideas or information and to end on a strong and memorable note.

Response Essay Outline and Structure

A clear and logical structure is essential for writing an effective response essay. Here is a sample response essay outline:

I. Introduction

A. Background information on the text

B. Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraph 1

A. Topic sentence

B. Evidence and examples from the text

C. Analysis and evaluation of evidence

III. Body Paragraph 2

IV. Body Paragraph 3

V. Conclusion

A. Summary of main points

B. Final opinion on the text

This outline can be customized for different topics and purposes by adjusting the number of body paragraphs and the amount of evidence and analysis required for each paragraph. For example, a more complex topic may require additional body paragraphs with more evidence and analysis, while a simpler topic may only require two or three body paragraphs.

Transitions are also important for maintaining a clear and logical structure in a response essay. Transitions help to connect the paragraphs and ensure a smooth flow of ideas. Some effective transition words and phrases to use in a response essay include “furthermore,” “in addition,” “however,” “on the other hand,” and “finally.”

In conclusion, response essays are an important part of academic writing that require critical analysis and evaluation of a particular text. To write an effective response essay, it is important to include key components such as an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It is also important to use a clear and logical structure, including transitions between paragraphs, to ensure that the essay is easy to read and understand.

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Response Essay Examples

A response essay is a sub-genre of critical writing. It describes your impressions from a book, movie, art, music, research paper, or any other creation. Its distinctive feature is the unlimited subjectivity allowing you to express whatever emotions the analyzed object has evoked. It is the main difference from a standard critical essay which is more objective and requires argumentation.

The structure of a response essay is not too strict. Still, it usually consists of two parts: source overview and personal response to the reading.

Below you can find an extensive list of response essay examples. Please be sure to reference the source whenever you decide to quote any part of them.

75 Best Response Essay Examples

“supersize your child” by richard hayes.

  • Subjects: Evolution of Humans Sciences
  • Words: 1189

Richard Hayes: Supersize Your Child

  • Words: 1210

Applying Learning Models in a Particular Setting

  • Subjects: Education Learning Challenges
  • Words: 1167

Indecent Behavior in Moral Standards

  • Subjects: Ethics Sociology

Lady Anne Clifford’s Life and Family

  • Subjects: British Literature Literature
  • Words: 1414

Students’ Creativity: Imagination

  • Subjects: Education Study Courses and Education Programs

Propaganda in the Democratic Society

  • Subjects: Entertainment & Media Journalism

The Negative Consequences of Employing High School Students in Fast Food Restaurants

  • Subjects: Business Management

Monstrous and Human Relationship in “The Odyssey”

  • Subjects: Literature Plays

“The Odyssey”: The Relationship Between the Monstrous and the Human

Culture and business practices in asia.

  • Subjects: Business Employees Management

Kant’s Prolegomena Concerning Any Future Metaphysics

  • Subjects: Philosophical Theories Philosophy
  • Words: 2271

Relationship Between Body and Consciousness by Jean-Paul Sartre

  • Subjects: Philosophical Concept Philosophy
  • Words: 1407

Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng: The Plum in the Golden Vase

  • Subjects: Literature World Literature
  • Words: 1678

The Church as a Forgiving Community

  • Subjects: Religion Religion, Culture & Society

“Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity” by David N. Entwistle

Family and marriage therapy.

  • Subjects: Family Psychology Psychology
  • Words: 1898

Jackson and His Environment

  • Subjects: Behavior Psychology
  • Words: 2212

Death Penalty Role in the Criminal Justice System

  • Subjects: Politics & Government Social & Political Theory

Job Analysis and Selection

Leading with soul response.

  • Words: 1147

Explanation of Cancer Disease

  • Subjects: Health & Medicine Oncology

“The Thatcher Revolution” by Earl A. Reitan

  • Subjects: History Western Europe
  • Words: 1900

Leadership and Communication

Animals with rich histories.

  • Subjects: Environment Environmental Studies

Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling

  • Subjects: Literature on Religion Religion
  • Words: 1152

Satellite Dishes Company Marketing Process

  • Subjects: Business Marketing

Empowerment of Students for Their Motivation

  • Subjects: Academic Performance Education

A Global Health Discussion: Ebola

  • Subjects: Epidemiology Health & Medicine

Americans With Disabilities Act

  • Subjects: Interpersonal Communication Episodes Psychology

“What is Academic Language?” by James Paul Gee

  • Subjects: American Literature Literature

“Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges”

  • Subjects: Ecology Environment

Climate Change and Corporate World

  • Subjects: Climate Change Environment
  • Words: 1139

Vision for Your Teaching and Learning & Role as a Teacher-Leader or Teacher-Researcher

  • Subjects: Education Teacher Career
  • Words: 1129

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) in Reducing the Effects of Climate Change

  • Subjects: Disasters Environment

Slaughterhouse-Five Movie Analysis

  • Subjects: Art Film Studies

Overcoming the Tyranny of Segregated Minds in Desegregated Schools

  • Subjects: Education Education Issues

Living Buddha, Living Christ

Experience of reggio emilia critique.

  • Subjects: Education Education System

The Art of Pastoring

  • Subjects: Religion Religious Education
  • Words: 3679

History From the Inside Out: Prison Life in Nineteenth-Century by L. Goldsmith

  • Subjects: History United States

Gender Violence in the News

  • Subjects: Sociology Violence
  • Words: 1195

The End of History: Views of the Philosophers

  • Words: 1963

Antecedents and Outcomes of Entrepreneurial and Market Orientations in a Non-Profit Context

Children in at-risk families.

  • Subjects: Family, Life & Experiences Parenting

Families With Members Who Experience Disabilities

  • Subjects: Family Members Family, Life & Experiences

“The Experience of Space and Time”

Positivism and interpretivism.

  • Subjects: Sciences Scientific Method

Team Learning as a Way of Education

  • Subjects: Challenges of Psychology Psychology

Japanese Soldiers in the World War II

  • Subjects: Asia History

Origins of Religion

  • Words: 1384

Napoleon Bonaparte in his study

  • Subjects: Art Paintings
  • Words: 1105

System Thinking: Contributing to the Learning Organization

  • Subjects: Business Management Priorities

Using Leadership to Improve Ethical Performance

  • Subjects: Business Business Ethics
  • Words: 1234

Hispanic Americans: Racial Status

  • Subjects: Immigration Sociology

Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspective

  • Subjects: Culture Ethnicity Studies

“With Training and Development for All” by Goodman and Preston

  • Subjects: Business Global Scale Management

Why No Apple in Europe?

  • Subjects: Social Movements Sociology

Last Night I dreamt of Peace

  • Subjects: Historical Figures History

Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson

Three cups of tea, insights on green automotive development.

  • Subjects: Engineering Tech & Engineering

Capitalism: A Love Story: A Reflective Paper

  • Subjects: Economic Systems & Principles Economics

Ethnography Reflection

  • Subjects: Anthropology Sciences
  • Words: 1710

Misery – Anton Chekhov. Analysis of Summary and Themes

  • Subjects: Dramatic Literature Literature

Infantile Sexuality: Thumb Sucking

  • Subjects: Development Psychology

Pride and Arrogance in the “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles

The corporation & our media, not theirs.

  • Subjects: Documentaries Entertainment & Media
  • Words: 1109

Maldoror and the Completed Works of the Comte de Lautréamont

  • Words: 1390

Folklore: Contemporary Legends

  • Subjects: Literature Modernist Literature
  • Words: 1641

Gods and Humans: Myths of Ancient Rome and Greece

  • Subjects: Comparative Literature Literature

Summary: James Wertsch’s “The Multivoicedness of Meaning”.

Social networks benefits and disadvantages.

  • Subjects: Sociological Issues Sociology
  • Words: 1122

The Problem of Global Overpopulation

Molto agitato: the mayhem behind the music at the metropolitan opera.

  • Subjects: Art Music Industry
  • Words: 1112


  • How to Write a Response Essay
  • How to Write a Response Essay: Things That Make It Work

How to Write a Response Essay: Things That Make It Work

What is a Response Essay?

Response paper purposes and objectives, how to write a response paper step-by-step, develop a strong response essay thesis, creating response essay outline, response essay structure, 1. response essay introduction, 2. main body, 3. response paper conclusion, response essay examples, what are important dos and don’ts, common response paper format mistakes, where to get expert assistance, 1. what is a reader response essay, 2. what is a short response essay, 3. what is the difference between summary and response essays.

Response essays are written to teach you to reflect on a specific written piece . Such essays are perfect for checking your ability to express your points coherently. How to write a response essay? Organize your workflow - define major points , provide logical reasoning to draw a reader in.  And, of course, close it with a strong summary . Your teacher may ask you to express your attitude to a text. You may be required to describe the writer's intention, topic or story. In any case, a good response paper requires quite an effort. So let’s start and find out where to start, how to focus on school work and what our final goal is.

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According to the response paper definition, this piece of writing has to trigger thought-provoking questions or issues . Feel free to include your personal perspective and give a deep analysis and overall meaning. All of your statements and arguments should be sound. Support them with enough evidence and examples.

A response or reaction essay is asked by professors so that you carefully study what you feel or think about a particular work. This type of writing takes a considerable amount of time for research. You need to interpret a text and review how it serves its unique purpose . What are the things to focus on? When reading your literary piece, answer the following questions:

  • How you feel about it
  • Whether you agree or disagree with the author
  • The best way to value the entire story

Your major objective is to find your unique angle and to disclose it with references and critical commentary.

If you wonder how to write a good response essay , follow these simple steps :

  • Understand your first impressions
  • Define a subject and give reasoning
  • Determine strong and weak points
  • Make a summary outline

Focus on your personal impressions when reading a text. Firstly you should outline its title, style and specify the major idea. Pay attention to the key questions or issues you deal with. Also, define the subtext, provide an explanation for specific details. Point out their meaning or importance on global and personal levels. Reflect on your life experiences. Determine weak and strong points of the entire content in body paragraphs. Tell readers your attitude towards those ideas. Let them know if you disagree or agree with the writer’s point. To sound legit, you need to present good counter arguments that you can bring up. Finally, summarize all thoughts and restate your thesis in a conclusion.

Response essay thesis is a major idea that you stand for in your paper. In most cases, the thesis is reflected in just 1-2 sentences. But completing this task can be pretty challenging. You need to interpret and understand a text and express your opinion. State your major idea in a brief sentence in an opening paragraph. A good thesis statement is a cornerstone of a successful paper. Do not haste with it and spend some extra time composing the best one.

Response paper outline is a planned structure of the text, key ideas, and points. Write an outline before starting a paper to get the major idea of your structure. But what to include in its outline? There are certain components that should be present in your plan. For instance, the chosen point of view, major argument, and so on. Your opinion can take the following forms:

  • Disagreement or agreement with ideas
  • Examination of authors and their audience
  • Reflection on how concepts describe other ideas
  • Feedback to how major arguments relate to your own experiences
  • Assessment of how a text influences readers

A good essay outline may facilitate your writing process. So it’s always better to start with one when you have already defined the topic. Still have some questions? Read one more blog - it is about an argumentative essay outline . This essay type has the same structure and you can get more useful tips.

Response essays have a regular 3-part essay structure. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. However, the actual content and intent of this essay are different. Learn its specifics and check the easy steps to writing its structure.

Response paper introduction starts with a few sentences to summarize the work you have read. You may also make notes while researching the topic to use in your intro. It should be brief and precise. An introduction should be closed and summed up with a strong, debatable thesis statement.

In the main body of the response paper, express your main ideas and reactions. It should consist of at least three paragraphs. Make sure to explain one reaction per paragraph. Otherwise, you risk making your paper messy.

The response essay conclusion should summarize the main ideas mentioned in the paper. Restate the writer’s thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. Avoid repeating the same ideas, preferably synthesize new ones. Also, do not introduce any new ideas in conclusion. And don’t use ideas that contradict the arguments given in the paper.

And now, it will be good for you to check out response essay examples. We offer several professional essay samples. Examine the structure, the style, and the narration. Pay attention to important elements as the thesis statement and conclusion. Check out the paper attached below.

A good response paper should include a review of the author’s work based on your critical judgments about its concept. Make sure that your writing reflects the ideas that you disagree or agree with.  Make sure that it classifies weak and strong points logically. A good response essay has to be convincing. It must be based on relevant examples and strong evidence. And, of course, to reflect your attitude. Dos:

  • Analyze a figurative and thematic meaning of your story
  • Describe your emotional attitude towards characters
  • Use interesting examples or quotes
  • Review text several times to make sure you noticed everything
  • Add your unique perspective and vision
  • Avoid simply reviewing and summarizing the plot
  • Never say that you don’t like major or minor characters for no reason
  • Don’t simplify, don’t give vague reasons behind your analysis and reflection
  • Avoid making obvious or superficial insights
  • Don’t repeat the ideas of other students

Also, keep in mind such basic things as grammar and punctuation. If you want your response paper to look great, spend some effort on proofreading.

Response essay format requires a writer to follow certain stylistic rules. To submit a perfect draft, make sure that you avoid all common mistakes. For instance, including your personal story in a response essay can be inappropriate. It is not an essay about yourself to feature your life experiences. Don’t reiterate the same thoughts again. Never retell readers the whole text because teachers expect you to analyze the information. The other typical mistake is procrastination. Many students tend to procrastinate because of the task’s difficulty. This academic assignment is time-consuming, and it requires in-depth analysis and reading. Set aside enough time to complete it successfully. Look for useful samples or templates to avoid making common mistakes. It's a winning strategy to end up with top-quality content.

After reading this helpful guide , you’ll get a clear idea of how to write the best response essay with ease. What if it’s not enough? If you feel that you need extra help , turn to online professionals! Reach your academic goals with effective custom writing solutions.

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A reader response essay is a form of reflection on a book, essay, or another historical source. This essay requires good knowledge of the text and may involve direct quotations. The author needs to express the attitude to the text, not to retell the plot.

A short response essay is normally between 300 and 500 words. This variation usually serves as classwork for 25-30 minutes.

The difference between summary and response lies in the writer’s intent. In the summary essay, you need to analyze and interpret the information. When in a responsive essay, you need to express your opinion on some point. In most cases - opinion on a book, essay, or text.  

When your rhetorical analysis essay is due next week, you cannot escape this problem anymore. Further procrastination will lead to the failing grade. As far as each paper matters for your final score per course, it is important to catch up with all deadlines.You may face this kind of assignment for ...

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You have definitely learned some definitions at school and college or even had to give your own definition of some terms or things. You know that definitions are usually short and consist of one to three sentences. But now you’ve got a task to write the whole definition essay. Have no idea how to wr...

How to Write a Critical Response Essay With Examples and Tips

16 January 2024

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A critical response essay is an important type of academic essay, which instructors employ to gauge the students’ ability to read critically and express their opinions. Firstly, this guide begins with a detailed definition of a critical essay and an extensive walkthrough of source analysis. Next, the manual on how to write a critical response essay breaks down the writing process into the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing stages and discusses each stage in extensive detail. Finally, the manual provides practical examples of an outline and a critical response essay, which implement the writing strategies and guidelines of critical response writing. After the examples, there is a brief overview of documentation styles. Hence, students need to learn how to write a perfect critical response essay to follow its criteria.

Definition of a Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay presents a reader’s reaction to the content of an article or any other piece of writing and the author’s strategy for achieving his or her intended purpose. Basically, a critical response to a piece of text demands an analysis, interpretation, and synthesis of a reading. Moreover, these operations allow readers to develop a position concerning the extent to which an author of a text creates a desired effect on the audience that an author establishes implicitly or explicitly at the beginning of a text. Mostly, students assume that a critical response revolves around the identification of flaws, but this aspect only represents one dimension of a critical response. In turn, a critical response essay should identify both the strengths and weaknesses of a text and present them without exaggeration of their significance in a text.

Source Analysis

How to write a critical response essay

1. Questions That Guide Source Analysis

Writers engage in textual analysis through critical reading. Hence, students undertake critical reading to answer three primary questions:

  • What does the author say or show unequivocally?
  • What does the author not say or show outright but implies intentionally or unintentionally in the text?
  • What do I think about responses to the previous two questions?

Readers should strive to comprehensively answer these questions with the context and scope of a critical response essay. Basically, the need for objectivity is necessary to ensure that the student’s analysis does not contain any biases through unwarranted or incorrect comparisons. Nonetheless, the author’s pre-existing knowledge concerning the topic of a critical response essay is crucial in facilitating the process of critical reading. In turn, the generation of answers to three guiding questions occurs concurrently throughout the close reading of an assigned text or other essay topics .

2. Techniques of Critical Reading

Previewing, reading, and summarizing are the main methods of critical reading. Basically, previewing a text allows readers to develop some familiarity with the content of a critical response essay, which they gain through exposure to content cues, publication facts, important statements, and authors’ backgrounds. In this case, readers may take notes of questions that emerge in their minds and possible biases related to prior knowledge. Then, reading has two distinct stages: first reading and rereading and annotating. Also, students read an assigned text at an appropriate speed for the first time with minimal notetaking. After that, learners reread a text to identify core and supporting ideas, key terms, and connections or implied links between ideas while making detailed notes. Lastly, writers summarize their readings into the main points by using their own words to extract the meaning and deconstruct critical response essays into meaningful parts.

3. Creating a Critical Response

Up to this point, source analysis is a blanket term that represents the entire process of developing a critical response. Mainly, the creation of a critical response essay involves analysis, interpretation, and synthesis, which occur as distinct activities. In this case, students analyze their readings by breaking down texts into elements with distilled meanings and obvious links to a thesis statement . During analysis, writers may develop minor guiding questions under first and second guiding questions, which are discipline-specific. Then, learners focus on interpretations of elements to determine their significance to an assigned text as a whole, possible meanings, and assumptions under which they may exist. Finally, authors of critical response essays create connections through the lens of relevant pre-existing knowledge, which represents a version of the element’s interconnection that they perceive to be an accurate depiction of a text.

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

Step 1: pre-writing, a. analysis of writing situation.

Purpose. Before a student begins writing a critical response essay, he or she must identify the main reason for communication to the audience by using a formal essay format. Basically, the primary purposes of writing a critical response essay are explanation and persuasion. In this case, it is not uncommon for two purposes to overlap while writing a critical response essay. However, one of the purposes is usually dominant, which implies that it plays a dominant role in the wording, evidence selection, and perspective on a topic. In turn, students should establish their purposes in the early stages of the writing process because the purpose has a significant effect on the essay writing approach.

Audience. Students should establish a good understanding of the audience’s expectations, characteristics, attitudes, and knowledge in anticipation of the writing process. Basically, learning the audience’s expectations enables authors to meet the organizational demands, ‘burden of proof,’ and styling requirements. In college writing, it is the norm for all essays to attain academic writing standards. Then, the interaction between characteristics and attitudes forces authors to identify a suitable voice, which is appreciative of the beliefs and values of the audience. Lastly, writers must consider the level of knowledge of the audience while writing a critical response essay because it has a direct impact on the context, clarity, and readability of a paper. Consequently, a critical response essay for classmates is quite different from a paper that an author presents to a multi-disciplinary audience.

Define a topic. Topic selection is a critical aspect of the prewriting stage. Ideally, assignment instructions play a crucial role in topic selection, especially in higher education institutions. For example, when writing a critical response essay, instructors may choose to provide students with a specific article or general instructions to guide learners in the selection of relevant reading sources. Also, students may not have opportunities for independent topic selection in former circumstances. However, by considering the latter assignment conditions, learners may need to identify a narrow topic to use in article selection. Moreover, students should take adequate time to do preliminary research, which gives them a ‘feel’ of the topic, for example, 19th-century literature. Next, writers narrow down the scope of the topic based on their knowledge and interests, for example, short stories by black female writers from the 19 th century.

B. Research and Documentation

Find sources. Once a student has a topic, he or she can start the process of identifying an appropriate article. Basically, choosing a good source for writing a critical response essay occurs is much easier when aided with search tools on the web or university repository. In this case, learners select keywords or other unique qualities of an article and develop a search filter. Moreover, authors review abstracts or forewords of credible sources to determine their suitability based on their content. Besides content, other factors constrain the article selection process: the word count for a critical response essay and a turnaround time. In turn, if an assignment has a fixed length of 500 words and a turnaround time of one week, it is not practical to select a 200-page source despite content suitability.

Content selection. The process of selecting appropriate content from academic sources relies heavily on the purpose of a critical response essay. Basically, students must select evidence that they will include in a paper to support their claims in each paragraph. However, writers tend to let a source speak through the use of extensive quotations or summaries, which dilutes a synthesis aspect of a critical response essay. Instead, learners should take a significant portion of time to identify evidence from reliable sources , which are relevant to the purpose of an essay. Also, a student who is writing a critical analysis essay to disagree with one or more arguments will select different pieces of evidence as compared to a person who is writing to analyze the overall effectiveness of the work.

Annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is vital to the development of a critical response essay because it enables authors to document useful information that they encounter during research. During research and documentation stages for a critical response essay, annotated bibliographies contain the main sources for a critical analysis essay and other sources that contribute to the knowledge base of an author, even though these sources will not appear in reference lists. Mostly, a critical response essay has only one source. However, an annotated bibliography contains summaries of other sources, which may inform the author’s critical response through the development of a deep understanding of a topic. In turn, an annotated bibliography is quite useful when an individual is writing a critical response to an article on an unfamiliar topic.

Step 2: Writing a Critical Response Essay

A. organization..

Thesis . A thesis statement sentence is a crucial component of a critical response essay because it presents the student’s purpose, argument, and the conclusion that he or she draws from the textual evidence. Also, the thesis statement is the response to the thesis question, which an author creates from assignment instructions. After completing the research stage, students can develop a tentative thesis statement to act as a starting point for the writing stage. Usually, tentative thesis statements undergo numerous revisions during the writing stage, which is a consequence of the refinement of the main idea during the drafting.

Weigh the evidence. Based on the tentative thesis, an author evaluates the relative importance of collected pieces of textual evidence to the central idea. Basically, students should distinguish between general and specific ideas to ascertain that there exists a logical sequence of presentation, which the audience can readily grasp. Firstly, for writing a critical response essay, learners should identify general ideas and establish specific connections that exist between each general idea and specific details, which support a central claim. Secondly, writers should consider some implications of ideas as they conduct a sorting process and remove evidence that does not fit. Moreover, students fill ‘holes’ that are present due to the lack of adequate supporting evidence to conclude this stage.

Create an outline. An essay outline is a final product of weighing the significance of the evidence in the context of the working thesis statement. In particular, a formal outline is a preferred form of essay structure for a critical response essay because it allows for detailed documentation of ideas while maintaining a clear map of connections. During the formation of an outline, students use a systematic scheme of indentation and labeling all the parts of an outline structure. In turn, this arrangement ensures that elements that play the same role are readily discernible at a glance, for example, primary essay divisions, secondary divisions, principle supporting points, and specific details.

Drafting. The drafting step involves the conversion of the one-sentence ideas in an outline format into complete paragraphs and, eventually, a critical response essay. In this case, there is no fixed approach to writing the first draft. Moreover, students should follow a technique that they find effective in overcoming the challenge of starting to write a critical response essay. Nonetheless, it is good practice to start writing paragraphs that authors believe are more straightforward to include regardless of specific positions that they hold on an outline. In turn, learners should strive to write freely and be open to new ideas despite the use of an outline. During drafting, the conveyance of meaning is much more important than the correctness of the draft.

Step 3: Post-Writing

Individual revision. An individual revision process focuses on the rethinking and rewriting of a critical response essay to improve the meaning and structure of a paper. Essentially, students try to review their papers from a perspective of readers to ensure that the level of detail, relationship and arrangement of paragraphs, and the contribution of the minor ideas to the thesis statement attain the desired effect. In this case, the use of a checklist improves the effectiveness of individual revision. Moreover, a checklist contains 12 main evaluation categories: assignment, purpose, audience and voice, genre, thesis, organization, development, unity, coherence, title, introduction, and conclusion.

Collaborative revision. Collaborative revision is a revision strategy that covers subconscious oversight that occurs during individual revision. During an individual revision of a critical response essay, authors rely on self-criticism, which is rarely 100% effective because writers hold a bias that their works are of high quality. Therefore, subjecting an individual’s work to peer review allows students to collect critique from an actual reader who may notice problems that an author may easily overlook. In turn, learners may provide peer reviewers with a checklist to simplify the revision process.

Editing . The editing step requires authors to examine the style, clarity, and correctness of a critical response essay. In particular, students review their papers to ascertain their conformance with the guidelines of formal essay writing and the English language. Moreover, sentence fragments, subject-verb agreement, dangling modifiers, incorrect use of punctuation, vague pronoun references, and parallelism are common grammar issues that learners eliminate during editing. Then, writers confirm that their critical response essays adhere to referencing style guidelines for citation and formatting, such as the inclusion of a title page, appropriate in-text citation, and proper styling of bibliographic information in the reference list. In turn, students must proofread a critical response essay repeatedly until they find all errors because such mistakes may divert the audience’s attention from the content of a paper.

Sample Outline Template for a Critical Response Essay

I. Introduction

A. Summary of an article. B. Thesis statement.

A. First body paragraph

  • The idea for the first paragraph.
  • Evidence for the first point from an article.
  • Interpretation of the evidence.

B. Second body paragraph

  • The idea for the second paragraph.
  • Evidence for the second point from an article.

C. Third body paragraph

  • The idea for the third paragraph.
  • Evidence for the third point from an article.

III. Conclusion

A. Summary of three points that form a body section. B. Closing remarks.

Uniqueness of a Critical Response Essay Outline

The presence of a summary in the introduction and an interpretation for each piece of evidence are defining features of a critical response essay. Typically, the introduction, being one of 5 parts of an essay , does not contain a succinct summary of a source that an author uses in body paragraphs. In this case, the incorporation of a summary in the introduction paragraph provides the audience with specific information concerning the target article of a critical response. Specifically, a critical response essay differs from other response papers because it emphasizes the provision of reasonable judgments of a text rather than the testing and defense of one’s judgments. In turn, authors of a critical response essay do not provide evaluation for their judgments, which implies that critical responses may be different but correct if a specific interpretation is reasonable to the audience.

Expanding an Outline Format Into a Critical Response Essay

1. introduction.

The introductory paragraph in a critical response essay consists of two primary sections: a summary of an article and a thesis statement. Firstly, a summary of an article consists of the text’s central argument and the purpose of the presentation of the argument. Basically, students should strive to distill the main idea and purpose of the text into a few sentences because the length of the introduction is approximately 10% of the essay’s word count. Then, a summary provides the audience with adequate background information concerning an article, which forms a foundation for announcing the student’s primary idea. In this case, writers may include an additional sentence between a summary and a thesis statement to establish a smooth flow in the opening paragraph. However, learners should not quote thesis and purpose statements because it results in a fragmented introduction, which is unappealing to readers and ineffective.

  • All body paragraphs have in a critical response essay four main elements: the writer’s idea, meaningful evidence from a reading text, interpretation of the evidence, and a concluding statement.

A. Writer’s Idea

The writer’s idea for a paragraph appears in the first sentence of a paragraph, which is a topic sentence. For example, if students know how to write a topic sentence , they present readers with a complete and distinct idea that proves or supports a thesis statement. In this case, authors should carefully word their topic sentences to ensure that there is no unnecessary generalization or spillovers of ideas from other paragraphs. Notably, all the topic sentences in the body of a critical response essay share a logical relationship that allows the audience to easily follow the development of the central idea of a paper.

B. Evidence

Students should provide evidence that supports the idea that they propose in the topic sentence. Basically, the evidence for all body paragraphs is the product of critical reading of an article, which allows writers to identify meaningful portions of a text. During the presentation of evidence, learners should ascertain that the contextual meaning of paraphrases or quotations is not lost because such a strategy will harm interpretations that follow after it. In turn, critical response essays must not contain lengthy or numerous quotations unless the meaning or intended effect of a quotation is not replicable upon paraphrasing.

C. Interpretation.

Interpretation segments of paragraphs allow authors to explain the significance of the evidence to the topic sentence. In a critical response essay, the interpretation is the equivalent of an author revealing the possible assumptions behind a text paraphrase and commenting on whether or not he or she finds them reasonable. Moreover, students make inferences concerning their meaning in the context of the entire narrative and its relation to the paragraph’s idea. In turn, learners should refrain from reading too much into a piece of evidence because it may result in false or unreasonable inferences.

D. Concluding Sentence

The concluding statement is the final sentence of any paragraph. In this case, the primary role of the concluding sentence is to emphasize the link between the topic sentence, evidence, interpretation, and the essay’s central idea. Also, the concluding statement should not contain an in-text citation because it does not introduce new evidence to support the topic sentence. Therefore, authors use concluding sentences to maintain the unity between body paragraphs and a critical response essay in its entirety.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion comprises of three core elements: a restatement of a thesis statement, a summary of the main points that authors present in body paragraphs, and closing remarks. In particular, the first statement of the conclusion draws the attention of the audience to the central idea, which an author proposes in a thesis statement. Then, students review the main points of a critical response essay to demonstrate that written arguments in body paragraphs adequately support a thesis statement. Moreover, writers should summarize the main points of a paper in the same order that they appear in the main part to guarantee that logical pattern in the body is readily discernible in summary. Finally, learners make their closing remarks, which creates a sense of wholesomeness in a critical response essay or ties a paper to a larger relevant discourse.

Example of Writing a Critical Response Essay

Topic: American Capitalism: The New Face of Slavery

I. Sample Introduction of a Critical Response Essay

Capitalism is a dominant characteristic of the American economy. In this case, Matthew Desmond’s article “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation” discusses the role of slavery in shaping contemporary business practices. Specifically, the author attempts to convince the audience that the brutality of American capitalism originates from slavery. In turn, Desmond lays a strong but simple foundation for his argument, which ensures that the audience can conceptualize the link between plantation slavery and contemporary American capitalistic practices.

II. Example of a Body in a Critical Response Essay

A. example of the first body paragraph: american capitalism.

Early in the article, Desmond informs readers of the high variability in the manifestation of capitalism in societies, which creates the impression that American capitalism is a choice. For example, Desmond (2019) argues that the brutality of American capitalism is simply one of the possible outcomes of a society built on capitalistic principles because other societies implement the same principles in a manner that is liberating, protective, and democratic. Moreover, Desmond begins his argument by eliminating a popular presumption that exploitation and oppression are unavoidable outcomes of capitalism. In turn, this strategic move to establish this fact is in the introductory section of the article because it invites the audience to rethink the meaning of capitalism. Furthermore, its plants doubt regarding the ‘true’ meaning of capitalism outside the context of American society.

B. Example of the Second Body Paragraph: American Capitalism: Slavery and American’s Economic Growth

After establishing that the perception of capitalism through the lens of American society has some bias, Desmond proceeds to provide detailed evidence to explain the attempt to camouflage the obvious link between slavery and America’s economic growth. For instance, Desmond (2019) notes the role of Alfred Chandler’s book, The Visible Hand, and Caitlin Rosenthal’s book, Accounting for Slavery, in breaking the link between management practices in plantations and modern corporations by suggesting that the current business practices are a consequence of the 19th-century railroad industry. In this case, Desmond uses this evidence to make a logical appeal to the audience, which makes his argument more convincing because he explains the reason behind the exclusion of slavery in the discourse on modern industry. As a result, Desmond dismisses one of the main counterarguments against his central argument, which increases his persuasive power.

C. Example of the Third Body Paragraph: Input vs. Output Dynamic

Desmond emphasizes the link between slavery and American capitalism to readers by using the simple input vs. output dynamic throughout the article. For example, Desmond (2019) compares the Plantation Record and Account Book to the heavy digital surveillance techniques in modern workplaces because they collect data, which the employers use to maximize productivity while minimizing inputs. In particular, the comparison reveals that employers did not stop the practice of reducing laborers into units of production with fixed productivity thresholds. Moreover, the constant repetition of the theme of low input and high output dominates the body paragraphs, which makes it nearly impossible for readers to lose sight of the link between slavery and business practices under American capitalism. In turn, the simplification of the underlying logic in Desmond’s argument ensures its clarity to the audience.

III. Sample Conclusion of a Critical Response Essay

Desmond carefully plans the presentation of his argument to the audience, which allows readers to follow the ideas easily. In particular, the author starts with a call for readers to set aside any presumptions concerning capitalism and its origin. Then, Desmond provides the audience with an alternative narrative with support from seminal texts in slavery and economics. On the whole, Desmond manages to convince the audience that the American capitalistic society is merely a replica rather than an aberration of slavery.

Citing Sources in a Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay contains specific thoughts of the article’s author and direct words of the text’s author. In this case, students must conduct proper documentation to ensure that readers of critical response essays can distinguish between these two types of ‘voices.’ Moreover, documentation prevents incidents of plagiarism. Usually, instructors mention a referencing technique that students should use in writing a critical response essay. However, if assignment instructions do not identify a specific documentation style, writers should use a referencing technique that is acceptable for scholarly writing in their disciplines.

In-text citation:

  • Parenthetical: (Desmond, 2019).
  • Narrative: Desmond (2019).
  • Desmond, M. (2019, August 12). In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation . New York Times.
  • Parenthetical: (Desmond par. 1).
  • Narrative: Desmond argues . . . (par. 1).

Works Cited:

  • Desmond, Matthew. “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation.” New York Times , 14 Aug. 2019,

3. Harvard Referencing

  • Parenthetical: (Desmond 2019).

Reference List:

  • Desmond, M 2019, In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation . Available from: <>. [27 August 2020].

4. Chicago/Turabian

In-text citation (footnote):

  • 1. Matthew Desmond, “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation,” New York Times, August 14, 2019,


  • Desmond, Matthew. “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation.” New York Times. August 14, 2019.

Final Provisions on a Critical Response Essay

  • Critical reading is a precursor for writing an effective critical response essay.
  • Students must conduct adequate research on a topic to develop a proper understanding of a theme, even if only one article appears on the reference list.
  • Notetaking or annotation is a good practice that aids students in extracting meaning from an article.
  • Writers should plan for all activities in the writing process to ascertain that they have adequate time to move through all the stages.
  • An outline is an organizational tool, which learners must use to establish the sequence of ideas in a critical response essay.
  • The purpose of a critical response essay has a significant impact on the selection of evidence and the arrangement of body paragraphs.
  • Students should prioritize revision and editing, which represent opportunities to refine the content of an essay and remove mechanical issues.
  • Collaborative and individual revision are equally important because they play different roles in the writing of a critical response essay.
  • Evidence selection is dependent on the purpose and thesis statement of a critical response essay.

To Learn More, Read Relevant Articles

723 informative essay topics & ideas, how to write a character analysis essay with examples and tips.

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How to Write a Response Paper

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 Fact Checked

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 81,037 times. Learn more...

For a response paper, you must read a text, understand the point of the text, and determine what your own response to that point is. The response paper is more analytical than argumentative. Moreover, even though you need to write about your personal response, that response must be credible and not emotional. Keep reading to learn more about how to go about writing a response paper.

Understanding the Text

Step 1 Take thorough notes.

  • Highlighting draws your attention to words and passages you found significant in the text you read, but it does not allow you to record your initial thoughts regarding those passages.
  • Take notes on a separate piece of paper. Include paraphrases and quotes taken from the passage as well as your own thoughts about the information you write down.

Step 2 Develop your understanding of the reading by asking questions.

  • What is the main issue that the author or creator is attempting to address?
  • What stance does the author take on this issue? What is the author's main claim or point?
  • Are there any assumptions the author makes in forming his or her claim? Are these assumptions valid or biased?
  • What sort of evidence does the author offer in support of his or her point?
  • What points of the argument are strong?
  • What points of the argument are weak?
  • What are some possible counterarguments to the claims or arguments made by the author?
  • What, if anything, makes the main issue or author's main claim important?

Step 3 Consider the work within a larger body of works, when appropriate.

  • How does this work relate to others within a collection of works on the same topic, or with regards to another work on a similar topic written by a different author?
  • Do the authors of comparable works agree or disagree?
  • Do the authors of comparable works address the same part of the same issue or different aspects of it? Do they view the matter being discussed in a similar or different way?
  • Does the author who wrote the piece you're responding to have past works that address the same topic? How has that author's views become stronger or weaker in comparison to past works?
  • Does the information from one text strengthen or weaken the text you're responding to, and if so, how?

Step 1 Do not drag your feet.

  • Even if you think your ideas would benefit from simmering for a little while before performing a thorough analysis, you should still take the time to write down your initial reaction while it is fresh. In many ways, your initial reaction is the most honest. You can talk yourself into another reaction as time passes, and that other reaction may seem more “intellectual,” but your initial response was your true reaction to the text and should be kept in mind.

Step 2 Ask yourself about your own reaction.

  • How does the text relate to you personally, whether in the past, present, or future? How does the text relate to the human experience as a whole?
  • Does the text agree or disagree with your worldview and sense of ethics?
  • Did the text help you to learn about the topic or understand an opposing view? Were your opinions or previous assumptions challenged or confirmed?
  • Does the text directly address topics that you care about or consider important?
  • Was the text enjoyable or admirable for its genre? In other words, if the text was fictional, was it enjoyable as entertainment or art? If it was historical, was it admirable from the perspective of a historian? If it was philosophical, was it adequately logical?
  • What is your overall reaction? Would you recommend the work to another person?
  • As you progress through these questions, write your answers down. In addition to writing down your answers and reactions, also provide evidence from the text to support these answers. Evidence can be in the form of direct quotations and paraphrasing.

Step 3 Determine which reactions are the strongest.

  • Re-examining your notes
  • Recording new ideas as they come
  • Using pro/con analysis
  • Raising questions about your reactions and using your notes from the text to answer them
  • Comparing your reactions directly to your notes and determining which topics have the most overlap

Step 4 Choose an area of focus or organizing argument.

  • Depending on the requirements of the assignment, you may need to come up with one organizing argument or multiple arguments to discuss. Even when you have multiple points to bring up, however, they should still be somewhat connected to each other.
  • A key difference between a traditional thesis and an organizing argument is that a thesis usually exists to prove a point, fact, or thought. An organizing argument demands that the writer analyze the reading in an ongoing manner. [6] X Research source

Block Response Format

Step 1 Write your introduction.

  • For a four to five page paper, your introduction can extend to one or two paragraphs. For a shorter paper, though, restrict it to a short paragraph made up of three to five sentences.
  • Introduce the work by describing how the work to which you are responding fits in within the broader topic it addresses.
  • You could also introduce the work by explaining your own beliefs or assumptions about the topic the work agrees with before explaining how the work challenges or supports your beliefs.

Step 2 Summarize the work.

  • For a four to five page paper, this section should only take up about two to three paragraphs.
  • Describe the content of the work and present the author's main arguments, especially as they affect your response.
  • The summary should be somewhat analytical in nature instead of a strict retelling. As you present the details of the author's work and argument, you should use an analytical tone and discuss how well the author managed to get those points across.

Step 3 Present and discuss your organizing argument.

  • Note that this response format is best to use when you are focusing on a single major theme or argument in a work. It does not work as well if you are discussing multiple ideas presented by a work.
  • Back up your analysis with quotes and paraphrases. Make sure that each example is properly cited.
  • If you took the time to find textual evidence to support your responses during the prewriting stage, this portion of your paper should be fairly easy. All you really need to do is arrange your argument in a coherent manner and write in the details of the support you have already gathered.

Step 4 Write your conclusion.

  • Even for a four to five page paper, you only need one standard paragraph to accomplish this. For a shorter paper, make this paragraph only three to five sentences long.
  • State how this work has a broader effect on you and to the genre or community in which it is a part.

Mixed Response Format

Step 1 Write an introduction.

  • Your introduction can span one to two paragraphs for a four to five page paper, but for a short one to two page paper, keep the introduction down to a single short paragraph.
  • You can either introduce the work by describing how it fits into the topic it addresses as a whole or by explaining how it impacts your own beliefs on the topic.
  • By the end of the introduction, you should have mentioned your "thesis" or organizing argument.

Step 2 Summarize and agree or disagree with one point.

  • Note that this mixed response format is a better option when you have many loosely connected themes or ideas you want to react to instead of a single overarching one.
  • This method allows you to weave your summary and analysis together more naturally and more cohesively. As you bring up a point or example from the text, address your own interpretation of that point directly following your mention of it.

Step 3 Summarize and agree or disagree with a second point, and so on.

  • Continue on as you did with your first point. As you summarize a point or argument from the original text, immediately follow it with your own intellectual response to the argument.

Step 4 Wrap things up with a conclusion.

  • For a four to five page paper, your conclusion should be a standard size paragraph. For a shorter paper, keep this paragraph down to about three sentences.
  • When appropriate, explain how the work has a widespread effect on the genre or community it fits into.
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About This Article

If you need to write a response paper, read through the original texts, and take thorough notes, including paraphrases and quotes as well as your own thoughts. As soon as you finish reading the text, start drafting your ideas, since the thoughts will still be fresh in your mind. Open the paper with an introduction stating the major theme in the work you’re responding to, along with an overview of your reaction to it. Include a section briefly summarizing the original text, then go into detail about whether you agree or disagree with the work. Conclude by restating and defending the significance of your stance. For tips on writing a response to a work with multiple themes, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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How to Write a Critical Response Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

Graduating without sharpening your critical thinking skills can be detrimental to your future career goals. To spare you the trouble, college teachers assign critical response tasks to prepare learners for making rational decisions.

Critical response papers also help professors assess the knowledge of each student on a relevant topic. They expect learners to conduct an in-depth analysis of each source and present their opinions based on the information they managed to retrieve.

This article aims to help students who have no idea how to write critical response essays. It offers insight into academic structuring, formatting, and editing rules. Here is our step-by-step recipe for writing a critical response essay.

What Is a Critical Response Essay?

The critical response essay displays the writer’s reaction to a written work. By elaborating on the content of a book, article, or play, you should discuss the author’s style and strategy for achieving the intended purpose. Ideally, the paper requires you to conduct a rhetorical analysis, interpret the text, and synthesize findings.

Instead of sharing somebody else’s solution on the subject matter, here you present your argumentation. Unlike a descriptive essay, this paper should demonstrate your strong expository skills. Often, a custom writing service can prove helpful if you find your evaluation essay time-consuming. Offering a value judgment about a specific topic takes time to acquire.

Another thing you should consider is not just focusing on the flaws. Though this is not a comparison and contrast essay, you must also reveal the strengths and present them without exaggeration. What matters is to develop your perspective on the work and how it affects the readership through implicit and explicit writing means.

Besides assessing your ability to develop coherent argumentation, professors will also grade your paper composition skills. They want to ensure you can critically reflect on various literature pieces. Hence, it’s essential to learn to analyze your topic thoroughly. This way, you gain a deep understanding and can organize a meaningful text.

Critical Response Essay & Other Essay Types

Standard essays contain three main segments: introduction, main body, and conclusion. But any other aspect beyond this vague outline differs depending on the assigned type. And while your critical response resembles an opinion essay since it expresses your viewpoint, you must distinguish it from other kinds.

For example, let’s consider a classification essay or a process essay. The first only lists the features of a particular object or several concepts to group them into categories. The second explains how something happens in chronological order and lists the phases of a concrete process. Hence, these variants are purely objective and lack personal reflection.

A narrative essay is more descriptive, with a focal point to tell a story. Furthermore, there’s the definition essay, an expository writing that provides information about a specific term. The writer, while showcasing their personal interpretation, must avoid criticism of the matter. Professional personal statement writers can provide assistance in creating the best essay that reflects the writer’s individual opinion.

Finally, though you can find some resemblances with an argumentative paper, critical responses comprise two parts. First, you quickly make an analytical summary of the original work and then offer a critique of the author’s writing. When drafting, it’s advisable to refrain from an informal essay format.

What Is the Structure of a Critical Response Essay?

The critical essay will have a typical structure consisting of five paragraphs. It is the most effective and easiest to follow. Here’s a brief demonstration of what you should include in each segment.


The introductory paragraph reveals your main argument related to the analysis. You should also briefly summarize the piece to acquaint the reader with the text. The purpose of the introduction is to give context and show how you interpreted the literary work.

These paragraphs discuss the main themes in the book or article. In them, ensure you provide comments on the context, style, and layout. Moreover, include as many quotations from the first-hand text or other sources to support your interpretation.

However, finding memorable quotes and evidence in the original book can be challenging. If you have difficulties drafting a body paragraph, write your essay online with the help of a custom writing platform. These experts will help you show how you reached your conclusions.

This paragraph restates all your earlier points and how they make sense. Hence, try to bind all your comments together in an easily digestible way for your readers. The ultimate purpose is to help the audience understand your logic and unify the essay’s central idea with your interpretations.

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

If you wonder how to write a critical response, remember that it takes time and proper planning. You will have to address multiple data, draft ideas, and rewrite your essay fast and efficiently. Follow the methods below to organize better and get a high grade without putting too much pressure on your shoulders.

1. Pick a Topic

Professors usually choose the topic and help you grasp the focus of the research. Yet, in some cases, you might be able to select a theme you like. When deciding, ensure the book can provide several arguments, concepts, or phenomena to review. You should also consider if there’s enough available data for analysis.

2. Research and Gather Information

This assignment means you cannot base your argumentation on personal beliefs and preferences. Instead, you must be flexible and accept different opinions from acknowledged scholarly sources. Moreover, ensure you have a reliable basis for your comments.

In short, avoid questionable resources and be accurate when referencing. Finding a single article claiming the concept or idea is correct and undisputable isn’t enough. You must read and consult various sources and conduct a meticulous examination.

3. Prepare the Outline

Define your claim or thesis statement and think of a “catch” sentence that will attract the reader’s attention. You must also consider titling an essay and giving background data and facts. At this stage, it’s also recommendable to establish the number of body segments. This step will help you get a more precise writing plan you will later reinforce with examples and evidence.

4. Start Rough Drafting

When writing your first draft, consider dedicating each section to a distinct argument or supporting evidence that proves your point. Cite and give credit as appropriate and ensure your text flows seamlessly and logically. Also, anticipate objections from opponents by including statements grounding your criticism.

5. Revise and Edit

Typically, your rough draft will require polishing. The best approach is to sleep on it to reevaluate its quality in detail. Check the relevance of your thesis statement and argumentation and ensure your work is free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Also, your sentences should be concise and straight to the point, without irrelevant facts or fillers.

The Dos and Don’ts in Critical Response Essay Writing

Check your work against the following dos and don’ts for a perfect written piece.

  • Pick an intriguing title.
  • Cite each source, including quotations and theoretical information.
  • Connect sentences by using transition words for an essay like “First,” “Second,” “Moreover,” or “Last” for a good flow.
  • Start writing in advance because last-minute works suffer from poor argumentation and grammar.
  • Each paragraph must contain an analysis of a different aspect.
  • Use active verbs and dynamic nouns.
  • Ask a friend or classmate to proofread your work and give constructive comments.
  • Check the plagiarism level to ensure it’s free of copied content.
  • Don’t exceed the specified word limit.
  • Follow professional formatting guidelines.
  • Your summary must be short and not introduce new information.
  • Avoid clichés and overusing idioms.
  • Add the cited bibliography at the end.

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  • Open access
  • Published: 12 December 2023

Examining the role of community resilience and social capital on mental health in public health emergency and disaster response: a scoping review

  • C. E. Hall 1 , 2 ,
  • H. Wehling 1 ,
  • J. Stansfield 3 ,
  • J. South 3 ,
  • S. K. Brooks 2 ,
  • N. Greenberg 2 , 4 ,
  • R. Amlôt 1 &
  • D. Weston 1  

BMC Public Health volume  23 , Article number:  2482 ( 2023 ) Cite this article

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The ability of the public to remain psychologically resilient in the face of public health emergencies and disasters (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) is a key factor in the effectiveness of a national response to such events. Community resilience and social capital are often perceived as beneficial and ensuring that a community is socially and psychologically resilient may aid emergency response and recovery. This review presents a synthesis of literature which answers the following research questions: How are community resilience and social capital quantified in research?; What is the impact of community resilience on mental wellbeing?; What is the impact of infectious disease outbreaks, disasters and emergencies on community resilience and social capital?; and, What types of interventions enhance community resilience and social capital?

A scoping review procedure was followed. Searches were run across Medline, PsycInfo, and EMBASE, with search terms covering both community resilience and social capital, public health emergencies, and mental health. 26 papers met the inclusion criteria.

The majority of retained papers originated in the USA, used a survey methodology to collect data, and involved a natural disaster. There was no common method for measuring community resilience or social capital. The association between community resilience and social capital with mental health was regarded as positive in most cases. However, we found that community resilience, and social capital, were initially negatively impacted by public health emergencies and enhanced by social group activities.

Several key recommendations are proposed based on the outcomes from the review, which include: the need for a standardised and validated approach to measuring both community resilience and social capital; that there should be enhanced effort to improve preparedness to public health emergencies in communities by gauging current levels of community resilience and social capital; that community resilience and social capital should be bolstered if areas are at risk of disasters or public health emergencies; the need to ensure that suitable short-term support is provided to communities with high resilience in the immediate aftermath of a public health emergency or disaster; the importance of conducting robust evaluation of community resilience initiatives deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peer Review reports

For the general population, public health emergencies and disasters (e.g., natural disasters; infectious disease outbreaks; Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear incidents) can give rise to a plethora of negative outcomes relating to both health (e.g. increased mental health problems [ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ]) and the economy (e.g., increased unemployment and decreased levels of tourism [ 4 , 5 , 6 ]). COVID-19 is a current, and ongoing, example of a public health emergency which has affected over 421 million individuals worldwide [ 7 ]. The long term implications of COVID-19 are not yet known, but there are likely to be repercussions for physical health, mental health, and other non-health related outcomes for a substantial time to come [ 8 , 9 ]. As a result, it is critical to establish methods which may inform approaches to alleviate the longer-term negative consequences that are likely to emerge in the aftermath of both COVID-19 and any future public health emergency.

The definition of resilience often differs within the literature, but ultimately resilience is considered a dynamic process of adaptation. It is related to processes and capabilities at the individual, community and system level that result in good health and social outcomes, in spite of negative events, serious threats and hazards [ 10 ]. Furthermore, Ziglio [ 10 ] refers to four key types of resilience capacity: adaptive, the ability to withstand and adjust to unfavourable conditions and shocks; absorptive, the ability to withstand but also to recover and manage using available assets and skills; anticipatory, the ability to predict and minimize vulnerability; and transformative, transformative change so that systems better cope with new conditions.

There is no one settled definition of community resilience (CR). However, it generally relates to the ability of a community to withstand, adapt and permit growth in adverse circumstances due to social structures, networks and interdependencies within the community [ 11 ]. Social capital (SC) is considered a major determinant of CR [ 12 , 13 ], and reflects strength of a social network, community reciprocity, and trust in people and institutions [ 14 ]. These aspects of community are usually conceptualised primarily as protective factors that enable communities to cope and adapt collectively to threats. SC is often broken down into further categories [ 15 ], for example: cognitive SC (i.e. perceptions of community relations, such as trust, mutual help and attachment) and structural SC (i.e. what actually happens within the community, such as participation, socialising) [ 16 ]; or, bonding SC (i.e. connections among individuals who are emotionally close, and result in bonds to a particular group [ 17 ]) and bridging SC (i.e. acquaintances or individuals loosely connected that span different social groups [ 18 ]). Generally, CR is perceived to be primarily beneficial for multiple reasons (e.g. increased social support [ 18 , 19 ], protection of mental health [ 20 , 21 ]), and strengthening community resilience is a stated health goal of the World Health Organisation [ 22 ] when aiming to alleviate health inequalities and protect wellbeing. This is also reflected by organisations such as Public Health England (now split into the UK Health Security Agency and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities) [ 23 ] and more recently, CR has been targeted through the endorsement of Community Champions (who are volunteers trained to support and to help improve health and wellbeing. Community Champions also reflect their local communities in terms of population demographics for example age, ethnicity and gender) as part of the COVID-19 response in the UK (e.g. [ 24 , 25 ]).

Despite the vested interest in bolstering communities, the research base establishing: how to understand and measure CR and SC; the effect of CR and SC, both during and following a public health emergency (such as the COVID-19 pandemic); and which types of CR or SC are the most effective to engage, is relatively small. Given the importance of ensuring resilience against, and swift recovery from, public health emergencies, it is critically important to establish and understand the evidence base for these approaches. As a result, the current review sought to answer the following research questions: (1) How are CR and SC quantified in research?; (2) What is the impact of community resilience on mental wellbeing?; (3) What is the impact of infectious disease outbreaks, disasters and emergencies on community resilience and social capital?; and, (4) What types of interventions enhance community resilience and social capital?

By collating research in order to answer these research questions, the authors have been able to propose several key recommendations that could be used to both enhance and evaluate CR and SC effectively to facilitate the long-term recovery from COVID-19, and also to inform the use of CR and SC in any future public health disasters and emergencies.

A scoping review methodology was followed due to the ease of summarising literature on a given topic for policy makers and practitioners [ 26 ], and is detailed in the following sections.

Identification of relevant studies

An initial search strategy was developed by authors CH and DW and included terms which related to: CR and SC, given the absence of a consistent definition of CR, and the link between CR and SC, the review focuses on both CR and SC to identify as much relevant literature as possible (adapted for purpose from Annex 1: [ 27 ], as well as through consultation with review commissioners); public health emergencies and disasters [ 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 ], and psychological wellbeing and recovery (derived a priori from literature). To ensure a focus on both public health and psychological research, the final search was carried across Medline, PsycInfo, and EMBASE using OVID. The final search took place on the 18th of May 2020, the search strategy used for all three databases can be found in Supplementary file 1 .

Selection criteria

The inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed alongside the search strategy. Initially the criteria were relatively inclusive and were subject to iterative development to reflect the authors’ familiarisation with the literature. For example, the decision was taken to exclude research which focused exclusively on social support and did not mention communities as an initial title/abstract search suggested that the majority of this literature did not meet the requirements of our research question.

The full and final inclusion and exclusion criteria used can be found in Supplementary file 2 . In summary, authors decided to focus on the general population (i.e., non-specialist, e.g. non-healthcare worker or government official) to allow the review to remain community focused. The research must also have assessed the impact of CR and/or SC on mental health and wellbeing, resilience, and recovery during and following public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks which affect communities (to ensure the research is relevant to the review aims), have conducted primary research, and have a full text available or provided by the first author when contacted.

Charting the data

All papers were first title and abstract screened by CH or DW. Papers then were full text reviewed by CH to ensure each paper met the required eligibility criteria, if unsure about a paper it was also full text reviewed by DW. All papers that were retained post full-text review were subjected to a standardised data extraction procedure. A table was made for the purpose of extracting the following data: title, authors, origin, year of publication, study design, aim, disaster type, sample size and characteristics, variables examined, results, restrictions/limitations, and recommendations. Supplementary file 3 details the charting the data process.

Analytical method

Data was synthesised using a Framework approach [ 32 ], a common method for analysing qualitative research. This method was chosen as it was originally used for large-scale social policy research [ 33 ] as it seeks to identify: what works, for whom, in what conditions, and why [ 34 ]. This approach is also useful for identifying commonalities and differences in qualitative data and potential relationships between different parts of the data [ 33 ]. An a priori framework was established by CH and DW. Extracted data was synthesised in relation to each research question, and the process was iterative to ensure maximum saturation using the available data.

Study selection

The final search strategy yielded 3584 records. Following the removal of duplicates, 2191 records remained and were included in title and abstract screening. A PRISMA flow diagram is presented in Fig.  1 .

figure 1

PRISMA flow diagram

At the title and abstract screening stage, the process became more iterative as the inclusion criteria were developed and refined. For the first iteration of screening, CH or DW sorted all records into ‘include,’ ‘exclude,’ and ‘unsure’. All ‘unsure’ papers were re-assessed by CH, and a random selection of ~ 20% of these were also assessed by DW. Where there was disagreement between authors the records were retained, and full text screened. The remaining papers were reviewed by CH, and all records were categorised into ‘include’ and ‘exclude’. Following full-text screening, 26 papers were retained for use in the review.

Study characteristics

This section of the review addresses study characteristics of those which met the inclusion criteria, which comprises: date of publication, country of origin, study design, study location, disaster, and variables examined.

Date of publication

Publication dates across the 26 papers spanned from 2008 to 2020 (see Fig.  2 ). The number of papers published was relatively low and consistent across this timescale (i.e. 1–2 per year, except 2010 and 2013 when none were published) up until 2017 where the number of papers peaked at 5. From 2017 to 2020 there were 15 papers published in total. The amount of papers published in recent years suggests a shift in research and interest towards CR and SC in a disaster/ public health emergency context.

figure 2

Graph to show retained papers date of publication

Country of origin

The locations of the first authors’ institutes at the time of publication were extracted to provide a geographical spread of the retained papers. The majority originated from the USA [ 35 , 36 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 ], followed by China [ 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 ], Japan [ 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 ], Australia [ 51 , 52 , 53 ], The Netherlands [ 54 , 55 ], New Zealand [ 56 ], Peru [ 57 ], Iran [ 58 ], Austria [ 59 ], and Croatia [ 60 ].

There were multiple methodological approaches carried out across retained papers. The most common formats included surveys or questionnaires [ 36 , 37 , 38 , 42 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 , 53 , 54 , 55 , 57 , 59 ], followed by interviews [ 39 , 40 , 43 , 51 , 52 , 60 ]. Four papers used both surveys and interviews [ 35 , 41 , 45 , 58 ], and two papers conducted data analysis (one using open access data from a Social Survey [ 44 ] and one using a Primary Health Organisations Register [ 56 ]).

Study location

The majority of the studies were carried out in Japan [ 36 , 42 , 44 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 ], followed by the USA [ 35 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 ], China [ 43 , 45 , 46 , 53 ], Australia [ 51 , 52 ], and the UK [ 54 , 55 ]. The remaining studies were carried out in Croatia [ 60 ], Peru [ 57 ], Austria [ 59 ], New Zealand [ 56 ] and Iran [ 58 ].

Multiple different types of disaster were researched across the retained papers. Earthquakes were the most common type of disaster examined [ 45 , 47 , 49 , 50 , 53 , 56 , 57 , 58 ], followed by research which assessed the impact of two disastrous events which had happened in the same area (e.g. Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Mississippi, and the Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami; [ 36 , 37 , 38 , 42 , 44 , 48 ]). Other disaster types included: flooding [ 51 , 54 , 55 , 59 , 60 ], hurricanes [ 35 , 39 , 41 ], infectious disease outbreaks [ 43 , 46 ], oil spillage [ 40 ], and drought [ 52 ].

Variables of interest examined

Across the 26 retained papers: eight referred to examining the impact of SC [ 35 , 37 , 39 , 41 , 46 , 49 , 55 , 60 ]; eight examined the impact of cognitive and structural SC as separate entities [ 40 , 42 , 45 , 48 , 50 , 54 , 57 , 59 ]; one examined bridging and bonding SC as separate entities [ 58 ]; two examined the impact of CR [ 38 , 56 ]; and two employed a qualitative methodology but drew findings in relation to bonding and bridging SC, and SC generally [ 51 , 52 ]. Additionally, five papers examined the impact of the following variables: ‘community social cohesion’ [ 36 ], ‘neighbourhood connectedness’ [ 44 ], ‘social support at the community level’ [ 47 ], ‘community connectedness’ [ 43 ] and ‘sense of community’ [ 53 ]. Table  1 provides additional details on this.

How is CR and SC measured or quantified in research?

The measures used to examine CR and SC are presented Table  1 . It is apparent that there is no uniformity in how SC or CR is measured across the research. Multiple measures are used throughout the retained studies, and nearly all are unique. Additionally, SC was examined at multiple different levels (e.g. cognitive and structural, bonding and bridging), and in multiple different forms (e.g. community connectedness, community cohesion).

What is the association between CR and SC on mental wellbeing?

To best compare research, the following section reports on CR, and facets of SC separately. Please see Supplementary file 4  for additional information on retained papers methods of measuring mental wellbeing.

  • Community resilience

CR relates to the ability of a community to withstand, adapt and permit growth in adverse circumstances due to social structures, networks and interdependencies within the community [ 11 ].

The impact of CR on mental wellbeing was consistently positive. For example, research indicated that there was a positive association between CR and number of common mental health (i.e. anxiety and mood) treatments post-disaster [ 56 ]. Similarly, other research suggests that CR is positively related to psychological resilience, which is inversely related to depressive symptoms) [ 37 ]. The same research also concluded that CR is protective of psychological resilience and is therefore protective of depressive symptoms [ 37 ].

  • Social capital

SC reflects the strength of a social network, community reciprocity, and trust in people and institutions [ 14 ]. These aspects of community are usually conceptualised primarily as protective factors that enable communities to cope and adapt collectively to threats.

There were inconsistencies across research which examined the impact of abstract SC (i.e. not refined into bonding/bridging or structural/cognitive) on mental wellbeing. However, for the majority of cases, research deems SC to be beneficial. For example, research has concluded that, SC is protective against post-traumatic stress disorder [ 55 ], anxiety [ 46 ], psychological distress [ 50 ], and stress [ 46 ]. Additionally, SC has been found to facilitate post-traumatic growth [ 38 ], and also to be useful to be drawn upon in times of stress [ 52 ], both of which could be protective of mental health. Similarly, research has also found that emotional recovery following a disaster is more difficult for those who report to have low levels of SC [ 51 ].

Conversely, however, research has also concluded that when other situational factors (e.g. personal resources) were controlled for, a positive relationship between community resources and life satisfaction was no longer significant [ 60 ]. Furthermore, some research has concluded that a high level of SC can result in a community facing greater stress immediately post disaster. Indeed, one retained paper found that high levels of SC correlate with higher levels of post-traumatic stress immediately following a disaster [ 39 ]. However, in the later stages following a disaster, this relationship can reverse, with SC subsequently providing an aid to recovery [ 41 ]. By way of explanation, some researchers have suggested that communities with stronger SC carry the greatest load in terms of helping others (i.e. family, friends and neighbours) as well as themselves immediately following the disaster, but then as time passes the communities recover at a faster rate as they are able to rely on their social networks for support [ 41 ].

Cognitive and structural social capital

Cognitive SC refers to perceptions of community relations, such as trust, mutual help and attachment, and structural SC refers to what actually happens within the community, such as participation, socialising [ 16 ].

Cognitive SC has been found to be protective [ 49 ] against PTSD [ 54 , 57 ], depression [ 40 , 54 ]) mild mood disorder; [ 48 ]), anxiety [ 48 , 54 ] and increase self-efficacy [ 59 ].

For structural SC, research is again inconsistent. On the one hand, structural SC has been found to: increase perceived self-efficacy, be protective of depression [ 40 ], buffer the impact of housing damage on cognitive decline [ 42 ] and provide support during disasters and over the recovery period [ 59 ]. However, on the other hand, it has been found to have no association with PTSD [ 54 , 57 ] or depression, and is also associated with a higher prevalence of anxiety [ 54 ]. Similarly, it is also suggested by additional research that structural SC can harm women’s mental health, either due to the pressure of expectations to help and support others or feelings of isolation [ 49 ].

Bonding and bridging social capital

Bonding SC refers to connections among individuals who are emotionally close, and result in bonds to a particular group [ 17 ], and bridging SC refers to acquaintances or individuals loosely connected that span different social groups [ 18 ].

One research study concluded that both bonding and bridging SC were protective against post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms [ 58 ]. Bridging capital was deemed to be around twice as effective in buffering against post-traumatic stress disorder than bonding SC [ 58 ].

Other community variables

Community social cohesion was significantly associated with a lower risk of post-traumatic stress disorder symptom development [ 35 ], and this was apparent even whilst controlling for depressive symptoms at baseline and disaster impact variables (e.g. loss of family member or housing damage) [ 36 ]. Similarly, sense of community, community connectedness, social support at the community level and neighbourhood connectedness all provided protective benefits for a range of mental health, wellbeing and recovery variables, including: depression [ 53 ], subjective wellbeing (in older adults only) [ 43 ], psychological distress [ 47 ], happiness [ 44 ] and life satisfaction [ 53 ].

Research has also concluded that community level social support is protective against mild mood and anxiety disorder, but only for individuals who have had no previous disaster experience [ 48 ]. Additionally, a study which separated SC into social cohesion and social participation concluded that at a community level, social cohesion is protective against depression [ 49 ] whereas social participation at community level is associated with an increased risk of depression amongst women [ 49 ].

What is the impact of Infectious disease outbreaks / disasters and emergencies on community resilience?

From a cross-sectional perspective, research has indicated that disasters and emergencies can have a negative effect on certain types of SC. Specifically, cognitive SC has been found to be impacted by disaster impact, whereas structural SC has gone unaffected [ 45 ]. Disaster impact has also been shown to have a negative effect on community relationships more generally [ 52 ].

Additionally, of the eight studies which collected data at multiple time points [ 35 , 36 , 41 , 42 , 47 , 49 , 56 , 60 ], three reported the effect of a disaster on the level of SC within a community [ 40 , 42 , 49 ]. All three of these studies concluded that disasters may have a negative impact on the levels of SC within a community. The first study found that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a negative effect on SC and social support, and this in turn explained an overall increase in the levels of depression within the community [ 40 ]. A possible explanation for the negative effect lays in ‘corrosive communities’, known for increased social conflict and reduced social support, that are sometimes created following oil spills [ 40 ]. It is proposed that corrosive communities often emerge due to a loss of natural resources that bring social groups together (e.g., for recreational activities), as well as social disparity (e.g., due to unequal distribution of economic impact) becoming apparent in the community following disaster [ 40 ]. The second study found that SC (in the form of social cohesion, informal socialising and social participation) decreased after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan; it was suggested that this change correlated with incidence of cognitive decline [ 42 ]. However, the third study reported more mixed effects based on physical circumstances of the communities’ natural environment: Following an earthquake, those who lived in mountainous areas with an initial high level of pre-community SC saw a decrease in SC post disaster [ 49 ]. However, communities in flat areas (which were home to younger residents and had a higher population density) saw an increase in SC [ 49 ]. It was proposed that this difference could be due to the need for those who lived in mountainous areas to seek prolonged refuge due to subsequent landslides [ 49 ].

What types of intervention enhance CR and SC and protect survivors?

There were mixed effects across the 26 retained papers when examining the effect of CR and SC on mental wellbeing. However, there is evidence that an increase in SC [ 56 , 57 ], with a focus on cognitive SC [ 57 ], namely by: building social networks [ 45 , 51 , 53 ], enhancing feelings of social cohesion [ 35 , 36 ] and promoting a sense of community [ 53 ], can result in an increase in CR and potentially protect survivors’ wellbeing and mental health following a disaster. An increase in SC may also aid in decreasing the need for individual psychological interventions in the aftermath of a disaster [ 55 ]. As a result, recommendations and suggested methods to bolster CR and SC from the retained papers have been extracted and separated into general methods, preparedness and policy level implementation.

General methods

Suggested methods to build SC included organising recreational activity-based groups [ 44 ] to broaden [ 51 , 53 ] and preserve current social networks [ 42 ], introducing initiatives to increase social cohesion and trust [ 51 ], and volunteering to increase the number of social ties between residents [ 59 ]. Research also notes that it is important to take a ‘no one left behind approach’ when organising recreational and social community events, as failure to do so could induce feelings of isolation for some members of the community [ 49 ]. Furthermore, gender differences should also be considered as research indicates that males and females may react differently to community level SC (as evidence suggests males are instead more impacted by individual level SC; in comparison to women who have larger and more diverse social networks [ 49 ]). Therefore, interventions which aim to raise community level social participation, with the aim of expanding social connections and gaining support, may be beneficial [ 42 , 47 ].


In order to prepare for disasters, it may be beneficial to introduce community-targeted methods or interventions to increase levels of SC and CR as these may aid in ameliorating the consequences of a public health emergency or disaster [ 57 ]. To indicate which communities have low levels of SC, one study suggests implementing a 3-item scale of social cohesion to map areas and target interventions [ 42 ].

It is important to consider that communities with a high level of SC may have a lower level of risk perception, due to the established connections and supportive network they have with those around them [ 61 ]. However, for the purpose of preparedness, this is not ideal as perception of risk is a key factor when seeking to encourage behavioural adherence. This could be overcome by introducing communication strategies which emphasise the necessity of social support, but also highlights the need for additional measures to reduce residual risk [ 59 ]. Furthermore, support in the form of financial assistance to foster current community initiatives may prove beneficial to rural areas, for example through the use of an asset-based community development framework [ 52 ].

Policy level

At a policy level, the included papers suggest a range of ways that CR and SC could be bolstered and used. These include: providing financial support for community initiatives and collective coping strategies, (e.g. using asset-based community development [ 52 ]); ensuring policies for long-term recovery focus on community sustainable development (e.g. community festival and community centre activities) [ 44 ]; and development of a network amongst cooperative corporations formed for reconstruction and to organise self-help recovery sessions among residents of adjacent areas [ 58 ].

This scoping review sought to synthesise literature concerning the role of SC and CR during public health emergencies and disasters. Specifically, in this review we have examined: the methods used to measure CR and SC; the impact of CR and SC on mental wellbeing during disasters and emergencies; the impact of disasters and emergencies on CR and SC; and the types of interventions which can be used to enhance CR. To do this, data was extracted from 26 peer-reviewed journal articles. From this synthesis, several key themes have been identified, which can be used to develop guidelines and recommendations for deploying CR and SC in a public health emergency or disaster context. These key themes and resulting recommendations are summarised below.

Firstly, this review established that there is no consistent or standardised approach to measuring CR or SC within the general population. This finding is consistent with a review conducted by the World Health Organization which concludes that despite there being a number of frameworks that contain indicators across different determinants of health, there is a lack of consensus on priority areas for measurement and no widely accepted indicator [ 27 ]. As a result, there are many measures of CR and SC apparent within the literature (e.g., [ 62 , 63 ]), an example of a developed and validated measure is provided by Sherrieb, Norris and Galea [ 64 ]. Similarly, the definitions of CR and SC differ widely between researchers, which created a barrier to comparing and summarising information. Therefore, future research could seek to compare various interpretations of CR and to identify any overlapping concepts. However, a previous systemic review conducted by Patel et al. (2017) concludes that there are nine core elements of CR (local knowledge, community networks and relationships, communication, health, governance and leadership, resources, economic investment, preparedness, and mental outlook), with 19 further sub-elements therein [ 30 ]. Therefore, as CR is a multi-dimensional construct, the implications from the findings are that multiple aspects of social infrastructure may need to be considered.

Secondly, our synthesis of research concerning the role of CR and SC for ensuring mental health and wellbeing during, or following, a public health emergency or disaster revealed mixed effects. Much of the research indicates either a generally protective effect on mental health and wellbeing, or no effect; however, the literature demonstrates some potential for a high level of CR/SC to backfire and result in a negative effect for populations during, or following, a public health emergency or disaster. Considered together, our synthesis indicates that cognitive SC is the only facet of SC which was perceived as universally protective across all retained papers. This is consistent with a systematic review which also concludes that: (a) community level cognitive SC is associated with a lower risk of common mental disorders, while; (b) community level structural SC had inconsistent effects [ 65 ].

Further examination of additional data extracted from studies which found that CR/SC had a negative effect on mental health and wellbeing revealed no commonalities that might explain these effects (Please see Supplementary file 5 for additional information)

One potential explanation may come from a retained paper which found that high levels of SC result in an increase in stress level immediately post disaster [ 41 ]. This was suggested to be due to individuals having greater burdens due to wishing to help and support their wide networks as well as themselves. However, as time passes the levels of SC allow the community to come together and recover at a faster rate [ 41 ]. As this was the only retained paper which produced this finding, it would be beneficial for future research to examine boundary conditions for the positive effects of CR/SC; that is, to explore circumstances under which CR/SC may be more likely to put communities at greater risk. This further research should also include additional longitudinal research to validate the conclusions drawn by [ 41 ] as resilience is a dynamic process of adaption.

Thirdly, disasters and emergencies were generally found to have a negative effect on levels of SC. One retained paper found a mixed effect of SC in relation to an earthquake, however this paper separated participants by area in which they lived (i.e., mountainous vs. flat), which explains this inconsistent effect [ 49 ]. Dangerous areas (i.e. mountainous) saw a decrease in community SC in comparison to safer areas following the earthquake (an effect the authors attributed to the need to seek prolonged refuge), whereas participants from the safer areas (which are home to younger residents with a higher population density) saw an increase in SC [ 49 ]. This is consistent with the idea that being able to participate socially is a key element of SC [ 12 ]. Overall, however, this was the only retained paper which produced a variable finding in relation to the effect of disaster on levels of CR/SC.

Finally, research identified through our synthesis promotes the idea of bolstering SC (particularly cognitive SC) and cohesion in communities likely to be affected by disaster to improve levels of CR. This finding provides further understanding of the relationship between CR and SC; an association that has been reported in various articles seeking to provide conceptual frameworks (e.g., [ 66 , 67 ]) as well as indicator/measurement frameworks [ 27 ]. Therefore, this could be done by creating and promoting initiatives which foster SC and create bonds within the community. Papers included in the current review suggest that recreational-based activity groups and volunteering are potential methods for fostering SC and creating community bonds [ 44 , 51 , 59 ]. Similarly, further research demonstrates that feelings of social cohesion are enhanced by general social activities (e.g. fairs and parades [ 18 ]). Also, actively encouraging activities, programs and interventions which enhance connectedness and SC have been reported to be desirable to increase CR [ 68 ]. This suggestion is supported by a recent scoping review of literature [ 67 ] examined community champion approaches for the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery and established that creating and promoting SC focused initiatives within the community during pandemic response is highly beneficial [ 67 ]. In terms of preparedness, research states that it may be beneficial for levels of SC and CR in communities at risk to be assessed, to allow targeted interventions where the population may be at most risk following an incident [ 42 , 44 ]. Additionally, from a more critical perspective, we acknowledge that ‘resilience’ can often be perceived as a focus on individual capacity to adapt to adversity rather than changing or mitigating the causes of adverse conditions [ 69 , 70 ]. Therefore, CR requires an integrated system approach across individual, community and structural levels [ 17 ]. Also, it is important that community members are engaged in defining and agreeing how community resilience is measured [ 27 ] rather than it being imposed by system leads or decision-makers.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, is it expected that there will be long-term repercussions both from an economic [ 8 ] and a mental health perspective [ 71 ]. Furthermore, the findings from this review suggest that although those in areas with high levels of SC may be negatively affected in the acute stage, as time passes, they have potential to rebound at a faster rate than those with lower levels of SC. Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of current initiatives as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses into a recovery phase will be invaluable for supplementing the evidence base identified through this review.

  • Recommendations

As a result of this review, a number of recommendations are suggested for policy and practice during public health emergencies and recovery.

Future research should seek to establish a standardised and validated approach to measuring and defining CR and SC within communities. There are ongoing efforts in this area, for example [ 72 ]. Additionally, community members should be involved in the process of defining how CR is measured.

There should be an enhanced effort to improve preparedness for public health emergencies and disasters in local communities by gauging current levels of SC and CR within communities using a standardised measure. This approach could support specific targeting of populations with low levels of CR/SC in case of a disaster or public health emergency, whilst also allowing for consideration of support for those with high levels of CR (as these populations can be heavily impacted initially following a disaster). By distinguishing levels of SC and CR, tailored community-centred approaches could be implemented, such as those listed in a guide released by PHE in 2015 [ 73 ].

CR and SC (specifically cognitive SC) should be bolstered if communities are at risk of experiencing a disaster or public health emergency. This can be achieved by using interventions which aim to increase a sense of community and create new social ties (e.g., recreational group activities, volunteering). Additionally, when aiming to achieve this, it is important to be mindful of the risk of increased levels of CR/SC to backfire, as well as seeking to advocate an integrated system approach across individual, community and structural levels.

It is necessary to be aware that although communities with high existing levels of resilience / SC may experience short-term negative consequences following a disaster, over time these communities might be able to recover at a faster rate. It is therefore important to ensure that suitable short-term support is provided to these communities in the immediate aftermath of a public health emergency or disaster.

Robust evaluation of the community resilience initiatives deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic response is essential to inform the evidence base concerning the effectiveness of CR/ SC. These evaluations should continue through the response phase and into the recovery phase to help develop our understanding of the long-term consequences of such interventions.


Despite this review being the first in this specific topic area, there are limitations that must be considered. Firstly, it is necessary to note that communities are generally highly diverse and the term ‘community’ in academic literature is a subject of much debate (see: [ 74 ]), therefore this must be considered when comparing and collating research involving communities. Additionally, the measures of CR and SC differ substantially across research, including across the 26 retained papers used in the current review. This makes the act of comparing and collating research findings very difficult. This issue is highlighted as a key outcome from this review, and suggestions for how to overcome this in future research are provided. Additionally, we acknowledge that there will be a relationship between CR & SC even where studies measure only at individual or community level. A review [ 75 ] on articulating a hypothesis of the link to health inequalities suggests that wider structural determinants of health need to be accounted for. Secondly, despite the final search strategy encompassing terms for both CR and SC, only one retained paper directly measured CR; thus, making the research findings more relevant to SC. Future research could seek to focus on CR to allow for a comparison of findings. Thirdly, the review was conducted early in the COVID-19 pandemic and so does not include more recent publications focusing on resilience specifically in the context of COVID-19. Regardless of this fact, the synthesis of, and recommendations drawn from, the reviewed studies are agnostic to time and specific incident and contain critical elements necessary to address as the pandemic moves from response to recovery. Further research should review the effectiveness of specific interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic for collation in a subsequent update to this current paper. Fourthly, the current review synthesises findings from countries with individualistic and collectivistic cultures, which may account for some variation in the findings. Lastly, despite choosing a scoping review method for ease of synthesising a wide literature base for use by public health emergency researchers in a relatively tight timeframe, there are disadvantages of a scoping review approach to consider: (1) quality appraisal of retained studies was not carried out; (2) due to the broad nature of a scoping review, more refined and targeted reviews of literature (e.g., systematic reviews) may be able to provide more detailed research outcomes. Therefore, future research should seek to use alternative methods (e.g., empirical research, systematic reviews of literature) to add to the evidence base on CR and SC impact and use in public health practice.

This review sought to establish: (1) How CR and SC are quantified in research?; (2) The impact of community resilience on mental wellbeing?; (3) The impact of infectious disease outbreaks, disasters and emergencies on community resilience and social capital?; and, (4) What types of interventions enhance community resilience and social capital?. The chosen search strategy yielded 26 relevant papers from which we were able extract information relating to the aims of this review.

Results from the review revealed that CR and SC are not measured consistently across research. The impact of CR / SC on mental health and wellbeing during emergencies and disasters is mixed (with some potential for backlash), however the literature does identify cognitive SC as particularly protective. Although only a small number of papers compared CR or SC before and after a disaster, the findings were relatively consistent: SC or CR is negatively impacted by a disaster. Methods suggested to bolster SC in communities were centred around social activities, such as recreational group activities and volunteering. Recommendations for both research and practice (with a particular focus on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) are also presented.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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This study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, a partnership between Public Health England, King’s College London and the University of East Anglia. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, Public Health England, the UK Health Security Agency or the Department of Health and Social Care [Grant number: NIHR20008900]. Part of this work has been funded by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care, as part of a Collaborative Agreement with Leeds Beckett University.

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Strong Taiwan Quake Kills 9, Injures Hundreds

The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island in 25 years. Dozens of people remained trapped, and many buildings were damaged, with the worst centered in the city of Hualien.

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  • Hualien, Taiwan A landslide after the quake. Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan Books flew off shelves as a home shook. @Abalamindo via Storyful
  • Taipei, Taiwan Passengers waiting at a train station as some services were suspended. Chiang Ying-Ying/Associated Press
  • Hualien, Taiwan People are rescued from a building that had partially collapsed. TVBS via Associated Press
  • Hualien, Taiwan Firefighters rescuing trapped residents from a building. CTI News via Reuters
  • Taipei, Taiwan Students evacuated to a school courtyard after the earthquake. Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
  • Guishan Island, Taiwan Rocks tumbling down one side of an island popular for hiking. Lavine Lin via Reuters
  • Hualien, Taiwan A building leaned to one side after the quake. Randy Yang via Associated Press
  • Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan Watching news on a rooftop of a hotel after a tsunami warning. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
  • Hualien, Taiwan Motorbikes damaged in the quake. TVBS via Associated Press
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan Damage in an apartment Fabian Hamacher/Reuters
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan Water cascading down a building during the quake. Wang via Reuters

Meaghan Tobin

Meaghan Tobin and Victoria Kim

Here’s what you need to know about the earthquake.

Taiwan was rocked Wednesday morning by the island’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century, a magnitude 7.4 tremor that killed at least nine people, injured more than 800 others and trapped dozens of people.

The heaviest damage was in Hualien County on the island’s east coast, a sleepy, scenic area prone to earthquakes. Footage from the aftermath showed a 10-story building there partially collapsed and leaning heavily to one side, from which residents emerged through windows and climbed down ladders, assisted by rescuers. Three hikers were killed after being hit by falling rocks on a hiking trail in Taroko National Park, according to the county government.

By late afternoon, officials said rescue efforts were underway to try to rescue 127 people who were trapped, many of them on hiking trails in Hualien.

One building in Changhua County, on the island’s west coast, collapsed entirely. The quake was felt throughout Taiwan and set off at least nine landslides, sending rocks tumbling onto Suhua Highway in Hualien, according to local media reports. Rail services were halted at one point across the island.

The earthquake, with an epicenter off Taiwan’s east coast, struck during the morning commute, shortly before 8 a.m. Taiwanese authorities said by 3 p.m., more than 100 aftershocks, many of them stronger than magnitude 5, had rumbled through the area.

In the capital, Taipei, buildings shook for over a minute from the initial quake. Taiwan is at the intersection of the Philippine Sea tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate, making it vulnerable to seismic activity. Hualien sits on multiple active faults, and 17 people died in a quake there in 2018.

Here is the latest:

The earthquake hit Taiwan as many people there were preparing to travel for Tomb Sweeping Day, a holiday across the Chinese-speaking world when people mourn the dead and make offerings at their graves. Officials warned the public to stay away from visiting tombs in mountain areas as a precaution, especially because rain was forecast in the coming days.

TSMC, the world’s biggest maker of advanced semiconductors, briefly evacuated workers from its factories but said a few hours later that they were returning to work. Chip production is highly precise, and even short shutdowns can cost millions of dollars.

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley

Lai Ching-te, Taiwan’s vice president, who is also its president-elect, visited the city of Hualien this afternoon to assess the destruction and the rescue efforts, a government announcement said. Mr. Lai, who will become president in May, said the most urgent tasks were rescuing trapped residents and providing medical care. Next, Mr. Lai said, public services must be restored, including transportation, water and power. He said Taiwan Railway’s eastern line could be reopened by Thursday night.

Meaghan Tobin

Taiwan’s fire department has updated its figures, reporting that nine people have died and 934 others have been injured in the quake. Fifty-six people in Hualien County remain trapped.

Shake intensity

Taiwan’s fire department reports that nine people have died and 882 others have been injured in Taiwan. In Hualien County, 131 people remain trapped.

Agnes Chang

Agnes Chang

Footage shows rocks tumbling down one side of Guishan Island, a popular spot for hiking known as Turtle Island, off the northeast coast of Taiwan. Officials said no fishermen or tourists were injured after the landslide.

Video player loading

The death toll has risen to nine, according to Taiwan government statistics.

Meaghan Tobin, Siyi Zhao

Meaghan Tobin, Siyi Zhao

Officials in Taiwan warned residents to not visit their relatives' tombs, especially in the mountains, this weekend during the holiday, known as Ching Ming, meant to honor them. There had already been 100 aftershocks and the forecast called for rain, which could make travel conditions on damaged roads more treacherous.

Crews are working to reach people trapped on blocked roads. As of 1 p.m. local time, roads were impassable due to damage and fallen rock in 19 places, according to the Ministry of Transportation. At least 77 people remain trapped. A bridge before Daqingshui Tunnel appeared to have completely collapsed.

Taiwan’s worst rail disaster in decades — a train derailment in 2021 that killed 49 people — took place on the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday period that year, in the same region as the earthquake.

The earthquake hit Taiwan as many people here were preparing to travel for Tomb Sweeping Day, or Ching Ming, a day across the Chinese-speaking world when people mourn their dead, especially by making offerings at their graves. Now those plans will be disrupted for many Taiwanese.

The holiday weekend would typically see a spike in travel as people visit family across Taiwan. Currently, both rail transport and highways are blocked in parts of Hualien, said Transport Minister Wang Guo-cai. Work is underway to restore rail transportation in Hualien, and two-way traffic is expected to be restored at noon on Thursday, he said.

Mike Ives

Taiwan’s preparedness has evolved in response to past quakes.

Taiwan’s earthquake preparedness has evolved over the past few decades in response to some of the island’s largest and most destructive quakes .

In the years after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan killed nearly 2,500 people in 1999, the authorities established an urban search-and-rescue team and opened several emergency medical operation centers, among other measures .

And in 2018, after a quake in the eastern coastal city of Hualien killed 17 people and caused several buildings to partially collapse, the government ordered a wave of building inspections .

Taiwan has also been improving its early warning system for earthquakes since the 1980s. And two years ago, it rolled out new building codes that, among other things, require owners of vulnerable buildings to install ad-hoc structural reinforcements.

So how well prepared was Taiwan when a 7.4 magnitude quake struck near Hualien on Wednesday morning, killing at least seven people and injuring hundreds more?

Across the island, one building collapsed entirely, 15 others were in a state of partial collapse and another 67 were damaged, the island’s fire department said on Wednesday afternoon . Structural engineers could not immediately be reached for comment to assess that damage, or the extent to which building codes and other regulations might have either contributed to it or prevented worse destruction.

As for search-and-rescue preparedness, Taiwan is generally in very good shape, said Steve Glassey, an expert in disaster response who lives in New Zealand.

“ The skill sets, the capabilities, the equipment, the training is second to none,” said Dr. Glassey, who worked with Taipei’s urban search-and-rescue team during the response to a devastating 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. “They’re a very sharp operation.”

But even the best urban search-and-rescue team will be stretched thin if an earthquake causes multiple buildings to collapse, Dr. Glassey said.

Taiwan has options for requesting international help with search-and-rescue efforts. It could directly ask another country, or countries, to send personnel. And if multiple teams were to get involved, it could ask the United Nations to help coordinate them, as it did after the 1999 earthquake.

Pierre Peron, a spokesman for the United Nations, said on Wednesday afternoon that no such request had yet been made as a result of the latest earthquake.

Meaghan Tobin contributed reporting.

At least seven people have died and 736 have been injured as a result of the earthquake, according to Taiwan’s fire department. Another 77 people remained trapped in Hualien County, many of them on hiking trails. Search and rescue operations are underway, said the fire department.

Siyi Zhao

Aftershocks of magnitudes between 6.5 and 7 were likely to occur over the next three or four days, said Wu Chien-fu, director of the Taiwanese Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Center, at a news conference.

As of 2 p.m., 711 people had been injured across Taiwan, the fire department said, and 77 people in Hualien County remained trapped. The four who were known to have died were in Hualien.

Victoria Kim

Hualien County is a quiet and scenic tourist destination.

Hualien County on Taiwan’s east coast is a scenic, sleepy tourist area tucked away from the island’s urban centers, with a famous gorge and aquamarine waters. It also happens to sit on several active faults , making it prone to earthquakes.

The county has a population of about 300,000, according to the 2020 census, about a third of whom live in the coastal city of Hualien, the county seat. It is one of the most sparsely populated parts of Taiwan. About three hours by train from the capital, Taipei, the city describes itself as the first place on the island that’s touched by the sun.

Hualien County is home to Taroko National Park, one of Taiwan’s most popular scenic areas. Visitors come to explore the Taroko Gorge, a striated marble canyon carved by the Liwu River, which cuts through mountains that rise steeply from the coast. The city of Hualien is a popular destination as a gateway to the national park.

According to the state-owned Central News Agency, three hikers were trapped on a trail near the entrance to the gorge on Wednesday, after the quake sent rocks falling. Two of them were found dead, the news agency said. Administrators said many roads within the park had been cut off by the earthquake, potentially trapping hikers, according to the report.

Earthquakes have rattled Hualien with some regularity. In 2018, 17 people were killed and hundreds of others injured when a magnitude 6.5 quake struck just before midnight, its epicenter a short distance northeast of the city of Hualien.

Many of the victims in that quake were in a 12-story building that was severely tilted, the first four floors of which were largely crushed, according to news reports from the time. The next year, the area was shaken by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that injured 17 people.

The area has some of the highest concentrations of Taiwan’s aboriginal population, with several of the island’s Indigenous tribes calling the county home .

The county government in Hualien released a list of people that had been hospitalized with injuries, which stood at 118 people as of midday Wednesday.

Across Taiwan, one building fell down entirely, in Changhua County on the west coast, and 15 buildings partially collapsed, Taiwan’s fire department said. Another 67 buildings were damaged. One of the partially collapsed structures was a warehouse in New Taipei City where four people were rescued, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency. Another 12 were rescued at a separate New Taipei City building where the foundation sank into the ground.

Peggy Jiang, who manages The Good Kid, a children’s bookstore down the street from the partially collapsed Uranus Building in Hualien, said it was a good thing they had yet to open when the quake struck. The area is now blocked off by police and rescue vehicles. “Most people in Hualien are used to earthquakes,” she said. “But this one was particularly scary, many people ran in the street immediately afterward.”

Lin Jung, 36, who manages a shop selling sneakers in Hualien, said he had been at home getting ready to take his 16-month-old baby to a medical appointment when the earthquake struck. He said it felt at first like a series of small shocks, then “suddenly it turned to an intense earthquake shaking up and down.” The glass cover of a ceiling lamp fell and shattered. “All I could do was protect my baby.”

essay response

Chris Buckley ,  Paul Mozur ,  Meaghan Tobin and John Yoon

The earthquake damaged buildings and a highway in Hualien.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday damaged many buildings and a major highway in Hualien, a city on the eastern coast, and it knocked out power as it rocked the island.

Across Taiwan, the quake and its aftershocks caused one building to completely collapse and 15 others to partially collapse, according to Taiwan’s fire department. Sixty-seven other buildings sustained damage.

Two tall buildings in Hualien that sustained particularly extensive damage were at the center of the rescue efforts there. Most damage across the city was not life-threatening, said Huang Hsuan-wan, a reporter for a local news site.

Where buildings were reported damaged in Hualien City

“A lot of roads were blocked off. There are a lot of walls toppled over onto cars,” Derik du Plessis, 44, a South African resident of Hualien, said shortly after the earthquake. He described people rushing around the city to check on their houses and pick up their children. One of his friends lost her house, he said.

One of the damaged buildings in Hualien, a 10-story structure called the Uranus Building that housed a mix of homes and shops, was tilted over and appeared to be on the verge of collapse. Many of its residents managed to flee, but some were missing, said Sunny Wang, a journalist based in the city. Rescuers were trying to reach the basement, concerned that people might be trapped there.

Photographs of the initial damage in Hualien showed another building, a five-story structure, leaning to one side, with crushed motorcycles visible at the ground-floor level. Bricks had fallen off another high-rise, leaving cracks and holes in the walls.

The quake also set off at least nine landslides on Suhua Highway in Hualien, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, which said part of the road had collapsed.

Taiwan’s fire department said four people had been killed in the earthquake.

John Yoon

Across Taiwan, 40 flights have been canceled or delayed because of the earthquake, according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center.

President Tsai Ing-wen visited Taiwan’s national emergency response center this morning, where she was briefed about the response efforts underway by members of the ministries of defense, transportation, economic affairs and agriculture, as well as the fire department.

A look at Taiwan’s strongest earthquakes.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake that hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning was the strongest in 25 years, the island’s Central Weather Administration said.

At least four people died after the quake struck off Taiwan’s east coast, officials said.

Here’s a look back at some of the major earthquakes in modern Taiwanese history:

Taichung, 1935

Taiwan’s deadliest quake registered a magnitude of 7.1 and struck near the island’s west coast in April 1935, killing more than 3,200 people, according to the Central Weather Administration. More than 12,000 others were injured and more than 50,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.

Tainan, 1941

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake in December 1941, which struck southwestern Taiwan, caused several hundred deaths, the United States Geological Survey said.

Chi-Chi, 1999

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan killed nearly 2,500 people in September 1999. The quake, which struck about 90 miles south-southwest of Taipei, was the second-deadliest in the island’s history, according to the U.S.G.S. and the Central Weather Administration. More than 10,000 people were injured and more than 100,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.

Yujing, 2016

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake in February 2016 caused a 17-story apartment complex in southwestern Taiwan to collapse, killing at least 114 people . The U.S.G.S. later said that 90 earthquakes of that scale or greater had occurred within 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, of that quake’s location over the previous 100 years.


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IMF Working Papers

Can energy subsidies help slay inflation.


Christopher J. Erceg ; Marcin Kolasa ; Jesper Lindé ; Andrea Pescatori

Publication Date:

April 5, 2024

Electronic Access:

Free Download . Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Many countries have used energy subsidies to cushion the effects of high energy prices on households and firms. After documenting the transmission of oil supply shocks empirically in the United States and the Euro Area, we use a New Keynesian modeling framework to study the conditions under which these policies can curb inflation. We first consider a closed economy model to show that a consumer subsidy may be counterproductive, especially as an inflation-fighting tool, when applied globally or in a segmented market, at least under empirically plausible conditions about wage-setting. We find more scope for energy subsidies to reduce core inflation and stimulate demand if introduced by a small group of countries which collectively do not have much influence on global energy prices. However, the conditions under which consumer energy subsidies reduce inflation are still quite restrictive, and this type of policy may well be counterproductive if the resulting increase in external debt is high enough to trigger sizeable exchange rate depreciation. Such effects are more likely in emerging markets with shallow foreign exchange markets. If the primary goal of using fiscal measures in response to spikes in energy prices is to shield vulnerable households, then targeted transfers are much more efficient as they achieve their goals at lower fiscal cost and transmit less to core inflation.

Working Paper No. 2024/081



Please address any questions about this title to [email protected]

Trump special counsel fires back at Cannon order that could disrupt case

Prosecutor says judge’s legal premise on presidential records act ‘is wrong,’ urges her to rule in classified documents case so he can appeal.

Special counsel Jack Smith warned the judge overseeing Donald Trump ’s classified documents case that she is pursuing a legal premise that “is wrong” and said he would probably appeal to a higher court if she rules that a federal records law can protect the former president from prosecution.

In a late-night legal filing Tuesday, Smith’s office pushed back hard against an unusual instruction from U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon — one that veteran national security lawyers and former judges have said badly misinterprets the Presidential Records Act and laws related to classified documents.

Smith’s filing represents the most stark and high-stakes confrontation yet between the judge and the prosecutor, illustrating the extent to which a ruling by Cannon that legitimizes the PRA as a defense could eviscerate the historic case, one of four Trump is facing as he again runs for president. The special counsel repeatedly said that he probably would appeal such a ruling, potentially delaying the classified documents trial well beyond November’s presidential election.

Last month, Cannon ordered defense lawyers and prosecutors in the case to submit hypothetical jury instructions based on two different, and very much contested, readings of the PRA.

In response, Smith said Cannon was pursuing a “fundamentally flawed legal premise” that the law somehow overrides Section 793 of the Espionage Act, which Trump is accused of violating by stashing hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home and private club, after his presidency ended.

“That legal premise is wrong, and a jury instruction for Section 793 that reflects that premise would distort the trial,” Smith wrote. The Presidential Records Act, he said, “should not play any role at trial at all.”

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Smith’s filing was unusual in that prosecutors rarely seek direct confrontations with judges overseeing their case; it makes clear he sees significant potential danger for his prosecution from Cannon’s approach to the PRA issue. How Cannon, a Trump nominee who has been on the bench since late 2020, responds will be critical.

If she rules against Smith, he could appeal. If she retreats from the disputed legal premise, the issue could fade into the background as she decides a pretrial hearing schedule and sets a trial date.

Cannon has been slow to make a number of decisions, even as prosecutors have urged her to move quickly, and it’s possible that on this issue too, she simply takes her time. In the meantime, Trump is scheduled to stand trial starting April 15 in a New York state case accusing him of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment during the 2016 election. Two other criminal cases , related to Trump’s alleged efforts to block Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, are mired in pretrial proceedings and appeals.

Tuesday night’s filing urged Cannon to rule quickly on whether the Presidential Records Act is relevant to the case, so that prosecutors can appeal any such determination to a higher court before the Florida trial, which is delayed from its original late May start date but has not yet been rescheduled.

Smith has said the records act has nothing to do with the national security crimes Trump is accused of committing — a view backed by many legal experts, who have said a ruling in Trump’s favor would open the door for future presidents to claim personal ownership of national defense secrets. Waiting until the trial is underway to rule on the issue, Smith warned, could doom the prosecution’s case before it ever gets to a jury.

“If the Court were to defer a decision on that fundamental legal question it would inject substantial delay into the trial and, worse, prevent the government from seeking review before jeopardy attaches,” he wrote.

Even as he questioned the premise of Cannon’s order, Smith complied, offering proposed jury instructions for the two legal scenarios she outlined. Smith’s proffered language, however, was couched in a kind of lawyerly attack on Cannon’s legal analysis.

“[E]ven if an individual holds a security clearance and has a need to know classified information, the individual’s possession of the classified information is unauthorized if the individual removes the classified information from a secure facility or possesses the information outside of a secure facility,” Smith wrote in the proposed jury instruction.

“I instruct you, however, that, as to a former President, even if he lacks a security clearance, lacks a need to know classified information, and stores information outside of a secure facility, he is authorized to do so if the classified information is contained within a ‘personal record,’ within the meaning of the Presidential Records Act (PRA).”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 32 charges of violating the Espionage Act, with each count corresponding to a specific classified document that he is alleged to have retained after leaving office, as well as eight additional charges of obstructing government efforts to retrieve the materials. His lawyers argue that the former president had the authority under the PRA to declare even highly classified documents to be his personal records and property.

Prosecutors and legal experts have said such claims badly misstate the law, which says that presidential records belong to the public and are to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of a presidency. Legal experts say Cannon’s focus on jury instructions seems odd at this stage of the process because a trial is not imminent and the judge still has a number of decisions to make in the pretrial proceedings before the instructions are relevant. They also say the premise of Cannon’s orders indulged some mangled interpretations of laws that have been pushed by Trump’s lawyers and supporters.

Trump’s team said in its own late-night filing that Cannon’s assignment is consistent with Trump’s position that the “prosecution is based on official acts” he took as president — not illegal retention of materials.

The judge told lawyers to write jury instructions for two legal interpretations. Legal experts said she could use those instructions to help inform her eventual ruling on a request that Trump made to dismiss the case because the PRA allowed him to designate any presidential record as personal.

In one scenario, Cannon asked them to craft jury instructions that assume the PRA allows presidents to designate any documents as personal at the end of a presidency — which is what Trump’s legal team has argued he had the authority to do. She then said they should also write separate jury instructions predicated on the idea that jurors would be able to determine which of the documents Trump is accused of illegally retaining are personal and which are presidential.

The government has said it is the Espionage Act — not the PRA — that guards classified materials. Trump is not charged with violating the PRA, and prosecutors said throughout their filing that the PRA should not be in those instructions.

“The PRA’s distinction between personal and presidential records has no bearing on whether a former President’s possession of documents containing national defense information is authorized under the Espionage Act, and the PRA should play no role in the jury instructions,” Smith wrote. “Indeed, based on the current record, the PRA should not play any role at trial at all.”

In their proposed jury instructions, Trump’s attorneys leaned into their argument that the former president had the ultimate authority to determine the designation of the documents that he is accused of illegally retaining.

“You heard evidence during the trial that President Trump exercised that authority, at times verbally and at times without using formal procedures, while he was President,” Trump’s legal team wrote in the hypothetical jury instructions . “I instruct you that those declassification decisions are examples of valid and legally appropriate uses of President Trump’s declassification authority while he was President of the United States.”

Cannon held a hearing over a month ago to determine a new date for the classified documents trial. Prosecutors sought a date in early July, while Trump’s lawyers asked to wait until after the election or to start in August at the earliest. The judge has not yet ruled.

She issued her jury instruction order a few days after a different hearing, held March 14, at which she heard arguments on two of Trump’s motions to toss out the case.

One motion said the case should be dismissed because the PRA meant that Trump could simply declare highly classified documents to be his personal property and keep them at Mar-a-Lago. Cannon has not yet ruled on that motion.

Hours after the hearing, she rejected Trump’s other motion to dismiss. It argued that the Espionage Act , which has been used for decades to convict others of improperly possessing classified documents, was too vaguely worded to be used in his indictment.

More on the Trump classified documents indictment

The latest: Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to push back Donald Trump’s classified documents trial in Florida to July 8, probably after the Supreme Court rules on his claim of presidential immunity, while Trump’s lawyers are trying again to delay the trial until after the presidential election.

The case: The criminal investigation looks into whether Trump took government secrets with him after he left the White House and obstructed a subsequent investigation. Trump has pleaded not guilty . Here’s what to know about the classified documents case .

The charges: Trump faces 40 separate charges in the documents case. Read the full text of the superseding indictment against Trump and our top takeaways from the indictmen t .

Can Trump still run for president? While it has never been attempted by a candidate from a major party before, Trump is allowed to run for president while under indictment in four cases — or even if he is convicted of a crime. Here’s how Trump’s indictment could affect the election .

  • Trump defends Judge Cannon in fight over classified documents trial April 4, 2024 Trump defends Judge Cannon in fight over classified documents trial April 4, 2024
  • Judge Cannon shoots down Trump’s presidential records act claim April 4, 2024 Judge Cannon shoots down Trump’s presidential records act claim April 4, 2024
  • Jack Smith puts Judge Aileen Cannon on notice April 3, 2024 Jack Smith puts Judge Aileen Cannon on notice April 3, 2024

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