least 2 ½ pages – properly formatted • formatting W r i t i n g

least 2 ½ pages – properly formatted • formatting W r i t i n g

Response Essay: Engaging with a text

Length: 2 ½ pages
Worth: 100 pts of Essay/Exam Grade

• To respond to a text in a thorough, thoughtful manner
• To write an academic essay that is properly formatted and that incorporates sources
• To write paragraphs that are focused and use topic sentences


Moving from a response paragraph to a full-length response essay means you have to find even more ways to interact with a text—even more ways to make the text meaningful to you. You’ll pay attention to WHAT the text is about as well as HOW the text was written.

A response essay is typical of academic writing in a few key ways.

  • First, it requires that you are familiar with all the ideas of a reading—familiar enough that you are able to discuss them at length.
  • Second, in composing a response, you are required to think critically about both the ideas of the reading and how the text was composed.

This critical thinking is essential to being able to understand and utilize the challenging texts you’ll read in college.

Audience: Academic College Audience who may or may not be familiar with the text
Purpose: to explain your reaction to a challenging text and make meaning out of that text
Text: Any article read during the Bias Unit.

1, link to Forbes Article — Unconscious Bias, How it Affects Us

2, https:// system

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I. Introduction

You have four objectives in your introduction
1. Capture the reader’s interest
2. Introduce the source text and author
3. Introduce your topic (a brief overview of the author’s ideas and your reaction to these ideas)
4. State your thesis

Tips for engaging your reader:
• Use a quotation or an idea from the reading that sticks out or might interest a reader
• Use a personal anecdote related to the topic of the readings

II. Body

The body of your essay should include a paragraph that summarizes the article to prepare your readers for the response. The summary should include enough information so that someone who hasn’t read it could understand your essay. After your summary, you must elaborate on and explain your reaction/ response. Imagine four distinct paragraphs: a summary + three distinct ways you reacted to the text.

So after your summary:

  • Explain what you agree/disagree with (and clearly articulate why).
  • Did any ideas resonate with you? Did any seem incomplete or invalid? Explain.
  • Were you defensive? Were you engaged?
  • Elaborate on ideas presented in the text.
  • At least one body paragraph must discuss how the text was written: how did the author engage readers, explain ideas, describe or detail the topic, integrate sources? How did this work to make the text successful?

    Remember: transitions should be used within and between paragraphs.

III. Conclusion

The conclusion of the essay should wrap up everything you’ve discussed within the introduction and body of your work. Wrap up—not restate! Don’t summarize your essay or restate your thesis. Find a new way to discuss your ideas—you could revisit your hook from the introduction or demonstrate how this reading has changed the way you think of bias.

Essay Requirements
All passing essays must:
• be at least 2 ½ pages – properly formatted
• formatting = 1-inch margins, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font, no extra spacing between paragraphs
• have an appropriate, original title
• have an introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement that states focus of essay
• include a brief paragraph that summarizes the article
• have 3 or more response body paragraphs that each begin with a topic sentence
• contain specific examples, explanation, and evidence to support each topic sentence
• have a concluding paragraph that brings the essay to a close
• have been spell-checked and proofread