- GET PUBLISHED
How to write a response to literature
By the Young Writers Project Keep in mind that a response to literature paper is YOUR personal response to a novel or story. Basically, you are arguing your own point -- your thesis statement -- and then defending this point with evidence from the book. Your essay should follow this basic structure: Introduction Be sure to include the title and author of the literature you are discussing. You also want a strong opening statement that grabs your reader's attention. The most important part of this section is your thesis statement. This statement should be: arguable, supportable, and original. You might also want to use an organizational sentence here that sets up the rest of the paper. Body These are the supporting paragraphs where you will use direct evidence (quotations from the book) to support your thesis. Be sure to explain how your quotation supports your thesis, and don't forget page numbers. For more tips on this subject, see our article on "How to use Quotations Effectively." Use transitional words or sentences between examples to ensure that your paper flows smoothly. You want to make sure that each paragraph has a focus, so use topic sentence and try to relate each example back to that topic. Conclusion A good conclusion will briefly summarize your main points. Avoid repeating from your body paragraphs. You could also take your thesis statement a step further by raising a question or sharing a relevant personal observation. Other things to keep mind:
- Use the present tense when talking about the events in the book.
- Don't assume that your reader has read the book; write a quick, concise summary in the opening paragraph.
- Do not use "I" statements. We know this is what you think because it's your paper. Your argument will sound stronger without "I think" or "I feel" in front of your beliefs.
- Remember to include a title that indicates specifically what your paper is about. Do not simply use the title of the book and the author; instead, use a main idea from your thesis.
- Always reread your writing before submitting it. This helps you discover awkward sentences that do not have flow. Make sure that all of your evidence supports your argument. If it doesn't (even if it sounds good), take it out.