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How To Write Literary Response Essay

How To Write Literary Response Essay


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This is a complete guide How to Write Literary Response Essay.

So if you want to LEARN how to write literary response essay, you’ll love the strategies and tips in this guide.

In this article, FROM our Homework writing service, 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. 

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

  • What Is a Literary Response Essay?
  • How To Write Literary Response Essay
  • How To Write Literary Response Essay Body
  • How to Write  literary Response Essay Conclusion
  • Post-Writing Tips
  • Conclusion

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What Is a Literary Response Essay?

A literary response is an analysis of a piece of work, a poem, a book, a novel, or a short play to analyze the elements used in the story such as the language and structure of the text. As a writer, you have the task of explaining how these elements have been used to create effects and convey the ideas of the author throughout the story.

As a writer, when tasked with writing a literary response, you will have to thoroughly read the content and analyze the text keenly to come up with a good thesis statement that will give focus to your writing. While writing, you shall follow the normal structure of any other academic essay; you shall start with an introduction that briefs the reader on the focus and direction of your essay. The next section of the essay shall be the main body which consists of your argument based on the information from the texts.

The last part of the essay is the conclusion which will state the main argument that you have described in your analysis.

How To Write Literary Response Essay

 First:  Read The Content and Take Notes

The first thing you shall do when writing a literary response is to keenly read the content of the text you have and take notes. During the reading process, you shall pay attention to the exciting, intriguing, and fascinating parts of the texts. Also, note down the confusing parts of the writing as you shall analyze everything in your response. The main goal is not to analyze the events in the poem or novel you are responding to but to discuss how the text works on a deeper level. What are the textual elements that a writer is using to create effects and convey meaning?

If you are comparing many texts within the book or poem, you can check for the connection between the different texts in the piece of work you are analyzing. You can also note down the contradictions or any irony in the story you are responding to.

In the initial stages of your writing, you are still exploring the texts. You are still not sure exactly what you are going to say about the texts, you are still brainstorming with several questions that will help formulate the topic you shall discuss in the essay. Good questions lead to critical debates and discussions. Look for things you can prove using the evidence from the texts you are analyzing. Consider the scope of your question, is it a topic you can cover well within the required length of the essay?

An example of a good question would be along the lines of;

In Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, you can consider if the parents are responsible for the demise of their children?

With such a question, you shall have a lot to explore during the writing process to reach the required essay length.

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Secondly: Collecting the Evidence

Once you have a clear formulation of the questions you are seeking to answer, you shall collect evidence from the text to help you respond to the question. In literary response, there might be no specific right question, you are just picking up ideas and trying to draw patterns. Look for symbols, imagery, and scenes within the text that can add weight to your argument and help you address the questions you are answering Like;

  • What are the elements of the story?
  • What happens at what point and to whom do they happen?

Consider the plot of the story, and the characters in the story;

  • Who are the protagonists and the antagonists?
  • What is the conflict in the story ?
  • What is the tension between the characters?
  • The setting,
  •  Time.
  • The place.
  • And even the period of the story.

The weather and the economic conditions of the story. A love story that is told during a season of war in a certain country might unfold differently from a love story that is told during a Christmas season.

You can also consider the narrator of the story,

  • what is the tone of the story, is it nostalgic or sombre?
  • Is the narrator straightforward in how they are telling the story or they are telling it from their own opinion and tone of voice?
  • Does the narrator have their personal opinions of the characters that might be subjective?

You can pay attention to these parts of the story that might affect how you respond to it.

While collecting the evidence;

  • You shall consider the themes of the story
  • What are the abstract ideas about the people?
  • Society that is portrayed in the story.
  • And how these themes oppose each other.

A work of poem or play might have many themes that are in tension with each other.

Consider the elements of style;

  • How do the characters speak
  • What is their diction like?
  • How is the language used in the story?
  • Is there figurative language used?
  • How are sentences constructed?
  • What is the tone of the texts?
  • Which kind of feeling do you get when you read the texts?

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Third: Develop a Thesis for a Literary Response

After considering all the evidence in the texts and knowing how you will tackle the question. This is your claim about the work you are responding to that needs to be supported by the evidence you have collected from the text. A good thesis shall be arguable, surprising, and very specific.

Fourth: Organizing Arguments for a Literary Response

With a crafted thesis, you shall collect reasons and even examples from the texts you studied to support the thesis. You shall consider the evidence you have from the text while constructing your thesis and organizing the arguments. The type of arguments you have shall also be influenced by the type of literary essay you have been tasked with writing.

The essay can either be a compare and contrast essay, a trace type of essay, or a debate.

The next step is now the writing part of the literary Response.

Write The Title and Introduction of The Literary Response.

The title part of the essay clearly states what your response shall focus on. The name of the author of the book or poet you are analyzing and the text you are analyzing should also be stated. Keep it to the point and engaging. After stating the title, you will then write an introduction that offers an overview of your argument. The introduction will have a strong thesis and give a summary of the structure of the essay.

A common way to introduce your essay is to start with general statements about a piece of work or a commonly held belief before stating your thesis and arguing how the thesis will contradict that belief. You can then end your introduction with signposting, which is signaling what is to come in the next section of the literary response.

You can also opt to write the introduction after writing the rest of the essay, which is still okay because you will have an even clearer idea of what your arguments look like. It is like writing an abstract after writing all the parts of a research.

How To Write Literary Response Essay Body

After writing a captivating introduction, you can now develop your paragraphs using the arguments you organized. This section will be influenced by the argumentative strategy you have chosen. However, you shall build your paragraphs using topic sentences that are connected to your thesis. A good topic sentence tells the reader where they are and where the paragraphing is leading them to. A topic sentence doesn’t only tell the reader what the paragraph shall discuss but also touches on how it shall handle the topic.

While creating your paragraph, don’t skip around, fully develop your thoughts so that they are coherent and support the topic sentence. Use transition words such as however, therefore, thus, etc to move in between points.

How to Write  literary Response Essay Conclusion

When writing the conclusion section, steer clear of any intention to introduce new arguments or quotations. At this point, you have all the arguments presented in the body section, and all you have to do as a writer is to summarize the key points and emphasize their importance to the audience.

One of the key ways to approach the conclusion is to make a summary of the main arguments and stress to the reader what conclusion they have led you while at the same time touching on the new angles your thesis offers on the text you were responding to.

It would be advisable to avoid coming to overblown conclusions that cannot be proven. Remember to stay relevant, don’t move away from the thesis you set out to prove even as you state new directions of thought you have come across during the arguments. You can touch on the “so what?” question, what does the audience know now that they didn’t before.

Post-Writing Tips

After the whole process, proofread and edit your work to remove grammar errors and style issues. If there was a formatting style assigned by the instructor, make sure your work is properly formatted.

In conclusion

In order to write a strong literary response essay, it is important that you first fully understand the text that you are responding to. Make sure that you read and re-read the text several times, taking notes as you go. Once you have a solid understanding of the text, start outlining your essay. The body of your essay should be divided into three sections: an introduction, analysis of the text, and a conclusion. Be sure to support your points with evidence from the text itself. If you need help getting started, or want feedback on your work, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Reaction paper writing service. We would be happy to help!

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