|LEO: Literacy Education Online|
Writing a Reaction or Response Essay
Reaction or response papers are usually requested by teachers so that you'll consider carefully what you think or feel about something you've read. The following guidelines are intended to be used for reacting to a reading although they could easily be used for reactions to films too. Read whatever you've been asked to respond to, and while reading, think about the following questions.
- How do you feel about what you are reading?
- What do you agree or disagree with?
- Can you identify with the situation?
- What would be the best way to evaluate the story?
Keeping your responses to these questions in mind, follow the following prewriting steps.
Prewriting for Your Reaction PaperThe following statements could be used in a reaction/response paper. Complete as many statements as possible, from the list below, about what you just read.
I think that
I see that
I feel that
It seems that
In my opinion,
A good quote is
What you've done in completing these statements is written a very rough reaction/response paper. Now it needs to be organized. Move ahead to the next section.
Organizing Your Reaction PaperA reaction/response paper has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
- The introduction should contain all the basic information in one or two paragraphs.
Sentence 1: This sentence should give the title, author, and publication you read.
Sentence 2, 3, and sometimes 4:
These sentences give a brief summary of what you read (nutshell) Sentence 5: This sentence is your thesis statement. You agree, disagree, identify, or evaluate.
- Your introduction should include a concise, one sentence, focused thesis. This is the focused statement of your reaction/response. More information on thesis statements is available.
- The body should contain paragraphs that provide support for your thesis. Each paragraph should contain one idea. Topic sentences should support the thesis, and the final sentence of each paragraph should lead into the next paragraph.
Topic Sentence detail -- example --quotation --detail -- example -- quotation -- detail -- example -- quotation -- detail -- example --quotation Summary Sentence
You can structure your paragraphs in two ways:
OR Author in contrast to You
- The conclusion can be a restatement of what you said in your paper. It also be a comment which focuses your overall reaction. Finally, it can be a prediction of the effects of what you're reacting to. Note: your conclusion should include no new information.
More information on strategies for writing conclusions is available.
SummaryIn summary, this handout has covered prewriting and organizing strategies for reaction/response papers.
- Read the article and jot down ideas.
- How do you feel about what was said?
- Do you agree or disagree with the author?
- Have you had any applicable experience?
- Have you read or heard anything that applies to this what the writer said in the article or book?
- Does the evidence in the article support the statements the writer made?
- Write the thesis statement first.
- Decide on the key points that will focus your ideas. These will be your topic sentences.
- Develop your ideas by adding examples, quotations, and details to your paragraphs.
- Make sure the last sentence of each paragraph leads into the next paragraph.
- Check your thesis and make sure the topic sentence of each paragraph supports it.
Return to the Write Place Catalogue
For questions and suggestions, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
This handout was written by Kathleen Cahill and revised for LEO by Judith Kilborn, the Write Place, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, and may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.
Updated: 6 April 1999
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To what extent you agree or disagree essay
This lesson will guide you how to write essays in IELTS Writing that ask you to what extent you agree/disagree. Such questions are very common for IELTS Writing task 2. In such essays your task is to say whether you:
- completely agree with a given statement
- completely disagree with a given statement
- partly agree / disagree
and justify your opinion.
In this lesson you will see IELTS writing task 2 sample question + model answer. Also, you will learn the following points:
- how to decide on your opinion
- how to generate ideas to justify your opinion
- how to give a band 9 answer for agree/disagree question
To what extent you agree/disagree question sample
Let’s look at an example of IELTS writing task 2:
This is a classic example of an IELTS Writing question that asks you to what extent you agree or disagree.
Choose your opinion & generate ideas
Unlike classic agree/disagree questions, to what extent you agree or disagree questions do NOT ask you to clearly determine whether you agree or disagree with the given statement.
In fact, you have 3 major options for your opinion:
AA: You completely agree (provide 2 ideas that strengthen the statement)
DD: You completely disagree (provide 2 ideas that weaken the statement)
AD: You agree or disagree partly (provide 1 idea that strengthens the statement and 1 idea that weakens it)
After you’ve decided your opinion, generate 2-3 supporting points for it.
Now let’s generate supporting points for each of the opinions:
AA: Investment in arts, music and theatre is a waste of money
- Art, music and theatre don’t help to solve urgent problems of the society
- Art and music can develop as hobbies, and saved money can be directed towards urgent needs of the society
- If artists and musicians were employed at more traditional jobs, there would be a great benefit for science and industry
DD: Investment in arts, music and theatre is NOT a waste of money
- The arts and music preserve unique culture and heritage, passing nation’s cultural character and traditions to future generations
- Arts, music and theatre are an integral part of the society’s cultural and intellectual development and amusement
- A strong arts, music and theatre sector is an economic asset that creates new jobs and attracts tourism revenue
AD: Investment in arts is important, but public services should be financed in the first place
For this opinion, just combine ideas from the previous points.
For our essay, we’ll choose the last opinion - partially agree / disagree (AD).
Band 9 answer structure
There are a lot of ways to structure your essay, but we’ll use a structure that has been approved by many IELTS examiners to be high-scoring and coherent.
Band-9 essay structure:
- Body paragraph 1 - the 1st supporting point
- Body paragraph 2 - the 2nd supporting point
As you already know, you can write the supporting points of your body paragraphs in the following ways: agree + agree, disagree + disagree, agree + disagree. We’ll use the last option as our opinion is partially agree / disagree.
Let’s take a look at each of these sections in detail.
Write your introduction in two sentences:
- Sentence 1 - paraphrase the statement (you can use ‘it is argued/considered/thought that’ to start):
- Sentence 2 - give your opinion:
Body paragraph 1 - the 1st supporting point
- Sentence 1 - state the first reason you agree/disagree.
This sentence should contain the main idea of the whole 1st paragraph. In our case we’ll use the reason A: why it is important to finance public services. As we’ll be considering opposite opinions, it is a good idea to use a collocation on the one hand to introduce the first reason:
- Sentences 2-3 - explain the reason.
To explain the reason effectively, you can imagine that your examiner didn’t understand what you were talking about and you have to explain every detail:
It’s always good to give examples in your body paragraphs, even if you’re not asked to do it (like in our case):
- Sentence 5 - a short summary of your ideas in this paragraph:
Body paragraph 2 - the 2nd reason you agree/disagree
- Sentence 1 - state the second reason you agree/disagree.
This statement should contain the main idea of the whole 2nd paragraph. This time we’ll use the reason D: why it is important to finance public services. As we are considering opposite opinions, it is a good idea to use a phrase on the other hand to introduce the second reason:
- Sentences 2-3 - explain the reason (assume that your examiner doesn’t understand the topic at all):
- Sentence 4 - support your idea with an example:
The question doesn’t ask us to give examples, plus we’ve already written a lot in this paragraph, so we’ll skip this point.
- Sentence 5 - a short summary of your thoughts in the 2nd paragraph.
You can write the conclusion in one sentence that summarizes your opinion + 2 reasons for it:
DO NOT write new ideas in the conclusion!
This is a full band-9 answer for to what extent you agree or disagree IELTS Writing question above:
It is often argued that the government should finance public services instead of spending its budget on arts, music and theatre. Although I agree that government’s investments in public services play a very important role, I think that proper funding of arts sector is also crucial for the society.
On the one hand, the government should definitely allocate a large part of its budget on public services. This economic sector determines the overall quality of life, ensuring that some basic services, like schools, hospitals and roads, are available to all citizens irrespective of their income or social status. Public services satisfy the primary needs of the society and thus need a proper funding, while artists and musicians are not curing diseases or building houses, so their role is secondary. For example, any country can live without music concerts, but absence of medicine will create significant problems. That’s why the government should adequately finance public services in the first place.
On the other hand, arts, music and theatre are not a waste of money, since they are an integral part of the society’s cultural and intellectual development and amusement. Firstly, art and music draw people’s attention to diverse phenomena and represent the inward significance of things. Quite often a single drawing, piece or song can exhort myriads of people to reconsider their attitude towards some situation. This way, art serves as a major source of nation’s personal and intellectual development. Moreover, visiting museums, watching movies and listening to music are common ways of relaxation and entertainment. Thus, art sector is also important for the society and should not be neglected.
To conclude, though I agree that the government should allocate a large part of its budget on such urgent needs of the society like public services, I think that arts, music and theatre should also be financed since they play an important role in people’s development and entertainment.