Response Essays: What Does a Book Mean to You?

response essayWhat does a book mean to you? Actually, it is the main question you should answer while writing a response essay. At a glance, writing response essays may look like writing a typical essay on Literature, where you have to analyze a work, define its main message, discuss the main characters, etc. Yet, it is not exactly so.
 
Writing an essay in response to a literary work allows you to focus on your own feelings, interpretations of the text and not to repeat what somebody has already said about the work. Anyway, let us present you more details about response essays.
 
The gist of writing response essays
 
So, the main feature of a response essay is that you are not supposed to make a classic literature analysis of a work. You do not have to follow some standard plan like plot-setting-character-symbolism analysis.
 
On the contrary, while reading a literary work and then writing your response essay, you should focus on your personality, experiences, memories, values, and beliefs, look at the book from this perspective, and bring your feelings into your response essay.
 
For instance, in the response essay, you do not have to explain some “hidden” meanings of the book in the way that all literary critics see them. Instead, be sure to introduce your own vision of the author’s main message, explain “hidden” meaning in your own way.
 
A plan for writing response essays
 
Although you can express whatever you think about literary works, response essays still require a certain organization. This is one of the plans you can use to prepare your response essay.

  1. Start with “circumstances”. Explain your general reaction to the book, why you read it, how it makes you feel.
  2. Then, add several background details like the author’s name, genre, and so on.
  3. Finally, introduce your analysis. Basically, what you should do is explain and support your thesis using quotes and examples from the text.

You can also find several sample response essays and use them as a model for writing. If you have no idea what work to choose and discuss, try our tips for writing “The Necklace” essays.

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