Response Essay Writing: What are Your Thoughts?

A response essay focuses on your response to a given topic. This is usually begun by focusing on how the author thinks about the given material. Your response could be based in research as well as based in the personal thoughts and opinions of you. Some possible, and common, topics for a response essay include literary works and works of art. Your job is to breakdown various elements in order to examine important aspects of the given topic. The thesis of a response essay might reflect how the work compares to your own thoughts or further synthesize the topic and its elements. The body will often reflect your attempt to further breakdown the topic and examine it from many points of view.

How to Write a Response Essay

The first thing that you must do when writing a response essay is to ensure that you know as much about the given topic as possible. In the case of a literary topic, this might include learning about the life of the author or breaking down the meanings of words that are presented. This type of intense examination will help you to explain how the tiny details lead to a greater understanding of the larger picture. It is also important to address thematic issues that are prevalent throughout the entire topic.

Once the research is done and the writing begins, you needs to decide what information is relevant to the response essay and what is unnecessary. Often there will be too much information to fit and you will need to cut things out without taking away anything useful. If the response of the author is contrary to other things and discoveries about the same topic, then it is also important to address how the author’s reaction is different and why.

Outline Template


  • Give background information
  • Present topic or whatever the response essay is about
  • Thesis: Address the point of view of the author


  • Give evidence for response
  • Deal with various elements of the topic


  • Recap the thesis and main points
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