Reaction Essay: Justify Your Opinion

A reaction essay is an essay that is written in response to something else. The initial topic that the writer is responding to could be anything from a speech that was heard to another essay to the latest breaking news event. A reaction essay is designed to state the writer’s position in respect to someone else’s opinion or happening in the world. This will often include a summary, but it is important to use that summary as a backdrop and not the bulk of the essay. A reaction essay might also require a small amount of research, especially if there is going to be an argument over facts. The thesis of a reaction essay is generally going to say whether or not the author agrees with the material. The rest of the reaction essay will justify the stance of the author.

How to Write a Reaction Essay

Knowing what the writer is responding to is the first step in a reaction essay. If the author is allowed to chose, attempt to pick a topic that is interesting and relevant. Current events and politics make for excellent topics of reaction essays. After the topic is chosen, the author must be familiar enough with it in order to form a reaction about it. This might require some research on the part of the writer.

The thesis of a reaction essay gives direction and structure to the essay. The reader will know early on in the essay what the reaction of the writer is to the topic and will expect the remainder of the essay to justify that position. The body paragraphs need to contain points that show why the author agrees or disagrees with the topic. These arguments for or against the topic need to logical and must be supported by a logical thought process or research. When writing a reaction essay, especially if the writer’s reaction is negative, try to stay away from sounding sarcastic or demeaning as that will only destroy the credibility of the author.



  • Give background to the topic
  • Present thesis that is the reaction of the writer


  • Provide logical evidence that supports thesis
  • Make sure all body paragraphs link to the thesis


  • Reiterate thesis and main point
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