How to Write an Excellent Response Essay: College Tips

In the response essay you need to read the text, understand its content and determine what is your response to this content. Even every research paper helper will tell you about the differences between the types of essays and say that a response essay is analytical rather than argumentative in nature. In addition, you should write about your personal response or you can use help from websites such as This response should not be too emotional. You can just read to learn more about how to write an essay,

Understanding the text

Take detailed notes. Underlining the text as you read it is not enough. You need to take notes on the material, and they should be written in your own words.

You should find importance in the text you have read, but it does not allow you to record your initial thoughts about these passages.

Be sure to planning the work


It’s easy to think you have plenty of time if the submission is not due for several months. But you’ll thank yourself if you start right away and plan your time carefully. As with your other studies, you should first make an overall timetable for the whole period. Put all deadlines in your calendar, then break the work down into smaller parts and give yourself your own deadlines. The things you put in your calendar could be:

  • Search for scientific articles.
  • Read and summarize articles.
  • Write a preliminary problem and purpose.
  • Choose material to research.
  • Write about the material.
  • Write a preliminary introduction.
  • Choose method.
  • Rewrite the method.

Create a document and start writing immediately

Create the document that will become your paper on the very first day. Then you can write things as and where you want in the document. If your institution has an essay template, add the headings from it. Otherwise, you can use the headings we have below, under the essay sections. Then start writing right away. So far, everything is a draft and does not have to be “good” or “finished”, but by writing you are developing your ideas, and it is easier to change text that already exists than to write new text.


Also, write wherever you want in the document. An essay is not written chronologically. So you don’t have to start with the introduction and end with the discussion; you can write a line here and a paragraph there, as you come up with ideas or do your research.

Choose the Right Sources

When analyzing previous research, it is important to choose the right texts to rely on. You just have to be sure that it is good research. So find out.

  • Who the author is: is he or she has a recognized researcher? Does he or she belong to a research institution? What has he or she published previously?
  • Who is behind it: If it’s an article – is it published in a reputable scientific journal? If it’s a book-which publisher is behind it? Is the content endorsed by an organization or government body? If it’s an Internet source – who is the sender? How trustworthy are they? Can they have any purpose other than publishing objective research?
  • Is the quality of the text controlled: academic articles must be peer-reviewed
  • If it is an academic text: does it contain an abstract, background, methodology section, results, discussion, and list of references?
  • If it is relevant: is the material relevant? Is there follow-up material that refutes the conclusions? Is the content relevant to your topic?

Note your sources


Keeping track of your sources is very important when writing an essay. Always keep careful notes on what you read. If you want, you can also use reference management software to keep track of your sources. You can find out more about this on the library website.

Read up on your subject

It is important that you are well versed in the topic you are writing about. Therefore, spend time at the beginning, reading widely in the field. It is a good idea to start with a more general textbook and then read up on the best known research in the field.

Read essays on the subject

By reading other good essays, you will get a grip on language, layout, formality and much more. A perfect model can serve as a template for your own work. So read and think about how the text is structured and how it works.

Mixed response format

Be sure to write an introduction. Create a short paragraph that introduces the main topics and ideas you plan to address. Also state or briefly indicate your reaction to these themes.

Your introduction can cover one to two paragraphs for a four- to five-page paper, but for a short one- to two-page paper, reduce the introduction to one short paragraph.

You can introduce the piece by describing how it fits into the topic it addresses as a whole, or by explaining how it influences your own beliefs on the topic.


By the end of the introduction, you should mention your “thesis” or organizing argument.

Summarize and express agreement or disagreement with one point. In a mixed-response format, you should raise one question and answer each question as it arises. The summary of the topic and how the text presents it should not take up more than a third of the paragraph, and your response to it should fill the rest.

Note that this mixed-response format is a better option when you have many loosely related topics or ideas that you want to respond to, rather than one overarching one.

This method allows you to weave your summary and analysis more naturally and more cohesively. When recalling a point or example from the text, note your own interpretation of that point immediately after mentioning it.

As you go through these questions, record your answers. In addition to recording your answers and reactions, provide evidence from the text to support these answers. Be sure to evidence can be in the form of direct quotes and paraphrasing.