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Professional Response to Literature Format

Updated on February 26, 2012

Writing a response to literature can be tedious work. Not only do you have to read the story and know what happens, but you must show that you are thinking way beyond the text of the story. Here is a professional five paragraph response to literature format.

Paragraph 1. The Introduction

This will explain the steps for the first paragraph. This needs to be high quality as it is what the reader first gets a glance at before deciding to keep reading or not.

Grabber: This sentence comes first and is your one chance to get the reader hooked. Using evidence from the story in this sentence will maximize it's effect.

Summary: Next comes 2-3 sentences of summary so that the reader understands the basic plot of the story. But don't write more than three sentences because remember, this is a response and not a summary.

Thesis Statement: Here is where you state your opinion or overall judgement of the story. You will later be using evidence from the story to prove this true. Use words wisely as this is another big part of the response.

State your Elements/Reasons: In one sentence, this is where you state your three elements of literature or reasons that support your thesis.

Paragraph 2, 3, and 4. The Body

Your body is the heart of the response. Make sure it is well thought out. The following format applies to all three of your body paragraphs.

Topic Sentence:Introduce the reader to the main idea you wish to support. You will also state what element/reason you are using to prove your thesis in this sentence. Such as "The heart stopping climax made this one of the most captivating stories I have ever read ." I stated my element of literature the "captivating climax" in the sentence to introduce what I will be talking about.

Explain: Here you will give information that supports your topic sentence in your own words. Describe or define the scene you are focusing on.

Support/Evidence: Increase the depth of what you are saying by giving an example from the story. This is also a good place to use a quote from the book. Remember, the whole goal of this is to prove your topic sentence which is proving your thesis statement.

Helpful Tips for Support/Evidence: You can use one of these helpful tips to increase the depth of your writing.

Contrast: Compare the evidence to something its opposite. For example: "Unlike books other stories by this author, this one kept me reading all night."

Comparison: Basically the opposite of contrast. In comparison you compare you evidence to something like it for example "This is similar to...."

Paragraph 5. The Conclusion

This will contain around 3-4 sentences:

Restate Thesis: Do just what it says, this is your last time to pack the punch of what you were trying to say.

Recommend: Give a recommendation of who or what kind of people should read this book.

End Memorably: This is your very last opportunity to convince the reader that what you are saying is true.

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Hopefully this professional format was helpful and please let me know if it was by taking the poll to your right. The least I hope is that it sparked some ideas for you. Happy writing. :)


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    • xrocker30 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the support blossom!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great hub xrocker30!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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