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A response paper (also known as a reflection or reaction paper) tends to be the most personal type of academic writing. Its purpose is to explain to a reader how you think or feel about a particular text. You may agree or disagree with an author, and in either case you’ll want to explain to your reader why. You may feel that an author is correct in some ways, but not in others. For example, perhaps you feel the author has overstated some things or left out something important. Whichever way you respond, the important thing about a response paper is that you need to be specific, and provide your reader with enough examples and explanation to be able to understand your response. Make direct references to your text, but also feel free to bring in examples from another text, a relevant film or news story, or your own experience.

The structure of a response paper is standard for academic writing: there should be an introduction in which you present your source text and your response, body paragraphs in which you support and explain your response, and a conclusion that wraps up your paper and leaves your reader with something to think about.

Please see below for some examples of Response essays written by Chabot students.

Example Response Essay: English102

Example Short Response #1: Early Childhood Development: ECD 51

Example Short Response #2: Early Childhood Development: ECD 51

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