Brief Tutorial on Writing a Romeo and Juliet Reaction Essay

The reaction essay is a common type of writing assignment required by instructors to evaluate your level of understanding of a particular work you’ve read. It’s often used in literature classes as early as middle school, where one of the core readings is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. If this is the first time you are working on this type of assignment you should find this brief tutorial on how to successfully write a reaction essay quite useful:

Prewriting Your Reaction Paper

There are a lot of topics that may come up after reading Romeo and Juliet and the best approach to this assignment is to simply jot down some of your reactions to whatever first popped into your head about the play. For instance, use trigger phrases like “I think that…” or “A good quote is…” to get your ideas down.

Organizing Your Response Material

Next, you should organize your responses into related ideas. You won’t be able to discuss everything that came to your mind after reading Romeo and Juliet, so you should focus on something that really interested you and something you feel you can write a great deal on. The key is to be original, so don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box.

Creating an Outline and Thesis Statement

Now take your topic idea and organize your notes into an outline. Each discussion point should be followed by some supporting evidence or examples from the text. Your outline should be arranged in an order that effectively and efficiently proves your main argument as presented in your thesis statement.

Writing the First Draft of the Assignment

The next step is to start writing the first draft of your paper. When doing this try to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. Don’t stop to make corrections to your paper as this will break your momentum and may prevent you from putting down some of your thoughts or ideas. Remember that you will have plenty of opportunities to make corrections later in the process, so use your time wisely.

Revising, Editing a Proofreading

Finally, this last step is actually a series of exercises you should do separately. When revising look for anyway to improve on your work by removing content, rearranging content, or adding content. When editing look for ways to improve your writing by using clear and direct language. And finally when proofreading look for all instances of mistakes in grammar, punctuation and spelling.