How To Write Literary Response Essay


In this article, you are going to learn how to write literary response essay, there is a pdf sample of a response essay attached to give more insight how a literary response essay should look like and summarizes what has been discussed within the article.

Before we move on, lets us know what the article covers:

Table Of Content:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Difference Between Literary Response Essay and Review Essay
  3. Types of Response Literary Essays
  4. Guide On How To Write Literary Response Essay
  5. Tips on To Be Employed While Writing a Literary Response Essay
  6. Format of Literary Response Essay
  7. Conclusion

Guide: How To  Write Literary Response Essay 

Reading literature is one thing, and writing a literary response essay is another thing. Analyzing literature involves analytical and response skills. Literary response skills are the skills you use to respond to a piece of literature you have read. You can summarize, evaluate or retell a piece of literature. Another way to respond to literature is to analyze it. Here comes the importance of literary analysis.

Literary analysis is the process of observing how parts of a text affect the whole. For example, how the plot, setting, and character create meaning in a literary work. The skills used for literary analysis are the tactics you consider evaluating the parts that make sense of literature. These skills let you comprehend the meaning of a text and create your observations of it.

Difference Between Literary Response Essay and Review Essay

Some people find it difficult to distinguish between a response to a literary response essay and a review essay. In a literary essay, you have to provide a summary of the literature. For literary analysis, you will summarize the plot in your own words. On the other hand, in a literary response essay, you have to type an answer. You are providing your critical reviews.

However, the response essay is not completely devoid of the paper summary. You should provide a summary, especially when providing general information about the idea or point that is the central point of your response. Although some believe that it is important, it does not need to be part of the essay. It can be knitted into your examination to make it appear essential in the context of a particular point you are making as you grow your critique.

Types of Response Literary Essays

Before you learn how to write literary response essay, you need to know types of literary essays since response essays are not just about literature. It can also be devoted to responding to plays and movies. The basic literary response is of two types. These are informal and formal.


Most of the people consider literary essays and responses as formal assessments, but it is not. Informal reflections are a great way to work on the literature while brainstorming the ideas.


For an open-ended and formal response, the cultural, textual, and thematic links are tested. This type of literary response should not exceed two or three paragraphs.

Actual Guide On How To Write Literary Response Essay

Writing a literary response essay is a great way to accelerate your presentation skills, writing skills, and analytical skills. Based on an article or essay, a good response essay is usually written. Many students understand the content required in literary writing genres, such as answer essays. However, when it comes to formatting the document, they make mistakes that cost them a lot of points. If you have been assigned a literary response essay as an assignment and you are wondering how to organize your work in a way that gives you a good score.

Some tutors will give you written prompts when it comes to writing response articles. Usually, you will have a variety of themes to choose from. When that happens, you’re in luck because most of the work is done for you.

Here is a Step-By-Step Guide on How TO Write a Literary Response Essay.

  1. Prepare a thesis

It is the declaration that you will make and will try to defend your data and proof of your work. Write a good thesis that prompts even a teacher to reflect and question what he thinks he knows about the literary work he has entrusted to him. Put together the material that will be part of your literary argument. Take your time, read books, or organize any related fieldwork. Thorough research will help you craft a detailed document.

  1. Read the entire text carefully

The chosen text must be read carefully, as the wording of your answer will be written. Taking notes is a good way to highlight some important points while reading the article. Therefore, one can see the deterministic points of writing briefly.

  1. Find the angle to illustrate

Getting a thought-provoking angle is vital before you start developing an answer brief. Depending on your angle, the arguments can be explained, and the points can then be arranged with relevant examples. However, arguments are the main factors in writing the answer. Focus on the formulated thesis and develop logical arguments from texts. Find evidence to back up your claims.

  1. Develop arguments

Remember that your arguments’ quantity and quality will go a long way in determining how well your assumptions and arguments are received by the person categorizing your work. The process of forming arguments is the main function and critical task of writing an answer essay. Build appropriate examples to strengthen arguments: include examples that accurately illustrate each argument.

  1. Make an outline

Make an outline of all the points you want to focus on. Introduction, main body, and conclusion are three major parts of the response sheet, and these three parts should be logically listed. Every specific part should have relevant information and supportive statements.

  1. Proofread

Proofreading is the final task, but the most important, as it allows students to identify the areas where they need change. Read the article carefully and after proofreading, you are ready to submit your literary response essay.

The final step will be to take the arguments and logically organize them. Start with an introduction that contains the thesis statement, move on to the main body of the research paper, and after making all of your arguments, be sure to make an appropriate contribution. When writing the essay, be sure to avoid misunderstandings. Get a specific opinion and back it up with sufficient evidence from the text. This will give you good marks on your homework.

 Tips on To Be Employed While Writing a Literary Response Essay

The literary response essay is not an exercise for beginners. It is intended for the ones who have been exposed to the writings of different authors in different genres and more than one work for each of these authors. To help you in writing a literary response essay, here are some tips for you to write a literary response essay.

  • Be prepared

Be prepared is the key to write a good literary response essay. It is good to takes notes while reading the literature. Use the web, graphs, charts, tables, and maps for your notes. This will make it easier to manage your task.

  • Define your focal point

Several areas might catch your attention in a literary response essay. This can be the author’s style, the author’s purpose in writing a particular work, fundamental questions that motivated the writing: social, historical, economic, and political questions and characterization. Therefore, you have to define your focal point to avoid distracting from the main point.

  • Make a comparison

Make a comparison between this literary essay and another literary essay by the same author.

A comparison between the literary essay and other literary essays by other authors of the same genre. It is advisable to choose only one aspect of these and focus only on making a thesis statement and fully supporting it throughout the essay.

  • Analyze the first impressions

Before writing a literary response, the writer must analyze the text and choose the points to be identified comprehensively. Read the title and the first few lines; what impression did it make? How that impression changed upon reading the essay? What might the title say about the essay? However, the goal of writing a literary response is to demonstrate a deep understanding of the elements of any literary work.

  • Focus on the tone of the essay

While writing a literary response essay, focus on the tone of the essay. Think of how would you describe the tone of the essay? What words and phrases or images or fragments are indicative of this tone?

  • Ask questions

In the specific area, once you have selected a specific focal point, ask yourself different questions

  • Are there strengths or weaknesses in the author’s handling of these issues?
  • Is there clarity or deficiency?
  • Could the author have dealt with the matter effectively?
  • Are there other writers of the same kind who might have dealt with this point better?

By asking different types of questions and doing the research necessary to obtain the answers, you can write a critical response to the literature. Besides it is a good practice while learning how to write literary response essay. You can only do this if you have read the essay with attention to its detail and got its letter. Your answer is not intended to be a simple explanation of how you think about an essay. You can, of course, include this element, but it is only a minor part of the overall answer. 

  • Consider the figurative language

Considering the figurative language is also very important to write a good literary response. Notice why do you think the photos appear? What types of models

Does the language recognize the importance of these literary patterns or styles?

  • Take notes as you read

Use markers and sticky notes or sections of the page to mark pages and details that are important. You can find it again when writing your article. Don’t be afraid to write notes.

If you need to resell the book to the bookstore or don’t want to mark the book for other reasons, you can use sticky notes to write your answers. Note-taking is actually like a conversation with the text.

  • Keep a document or journal open

Keep a document or journal open to record your thoughts as you read. For example, see the image at the top of this page. This way, you can start. Respond to the text you read and use your time efficiently. Then simply expand on your reading notes in the article.

  • Cite the paragraphs to support your analysis 

Be prepared to quote or paraphrase the essay to support your response and analysis. Be prepared to provide line or page numbers to indicate the source.

Format of Literary Response Essay

The Literary Response essay builds an argument around the text by means of evidence to explain how the author uses characters, symbols, or other literary strategies to convey a message.

The typical length is 2-3 pages but could be longer. It is suggested to include at least 2-3 citations per paragraph, providing context and explanation to demonstrate how the evidence supports their arguments.

Introductory paragraph 

Begin with making a plot about the topic. It should be four to five sentences long. Add your topic and author’s name in your introductory paragraph. 

Statement of the thesis

After the introductory paragraph, it’s time to write the statement of the thesis. It should include the subject of the topic, and it should include two literary devices used by the author to communicate the actual theme of that essay.

The text of paragraph  

This should relate to your thesis statement and will include one of the predefined literal terms.

The details

Be sure to put quotes at the start and end of your contact information. Also, cite the name of the author after the specified details.


Give your comments on the literary essay. This is your opinion/analysis/thoughts on concrete details. It will show how your details are an example related to the author’s goal.

Follow the same steps for every paragraph by so doing you will learn how to write literary response essay in a perfect way.


The last sentence that sums up the whole paragraph. The last paragraph repeats your thesis statement. Be sure to include the title of the book, the subject, and the two literary devices the author used to communicate the subject to the reader. Summarize your main ideas. It should be four to five sentences long.

In a Nutshell 

A literary response is writing something in response to any action. You can also say that literary response is a critique or summary of the entire work. It is not merely a review of any article, artwork, or novel, as it includes the book’s point of view with a comprehensive explanation. The writing of the response essay will be evaluated by the accurate interpretation and clear articulation of ideas.