Reaction Or Response Essay

A Report on Man's Search for Meaning

Dr. Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning (New York: Washington Square Press, 1966) is both an autobiographical account of his years as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps and a presentation of his ideas about the meaning of life. The three years of deprivation and suffering he spent at Auschwitz and other Nazi camps led to the development of his theory of Logotherapy, which, very briefly, states that the primary force in human beings is "a striving to find a meaning in one's life" (154). Without a meaning in life, Frankl feels, we experience emptiness and loneliness that lead to apathy and despair. This need for meaning was demonstrated to Frankl time and again with both himself and other prisoners who were faced with the horrors of camp existence. Frankl was able to sustain himself partly through the love he felt for his wife. In a moment of spiritual insight, he realized that his love was stronger and more meaningful than death, and would be a real and sustaining force within him even if he knew his wife was dead. Frankl's comrades also had reasons to live that gave them strength. One had a child waiting for him; another was a scientist who was working on a series of books that needed to be finished. Finally, Frankl and his friends found meaning through their decision to accept and bear their fate with courage. He says that the words of Dostoevsky came frequently to mind: "There is one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my suffering."  When Frankl's prison experience was over and he returned to his profession of psychiatry, he found that his theory of meaning held true not only for the prisoners but for all people. He has since had great success in working with patients by helping them locate in their own lives meanings of love, work, and suffering.

The response/reaction essay is usually assigned by teachers and professors when they want not only to see what you think about some piece of writing but also when they want to check your ability to express your attitude and thoughts coherently and fluently. Cause/effect essays may be quite similar to the response ones because they both present reasoning to the stated opinion. Your flow of ideas should be organized and understandable. You always go from stating a statement/general idea to the line of reasoning and close with a powerful summary. There are some cases when you are supposed to respond not only to one text but to several ones united with the same topic/idea/intention of the author. You should discover the final objectives of each text and the mutual features if you have a set of them. Each should be placed in the wider historical context because it is either a reaction on the epoch when it was created or the acknowledgment of the existing morals and social norms.

The response/reaction essays should trigger thought-provoking problems and questions. You need to include your own perspective on the whole idea projected in the text. Your work on the response/reaction essays is usually a lengthy one because it is not all about just reading but it is also about deep analysis and synthesis of the intellectual abilities and your general knowledge. All the arguments should be sound and backed with the small examples from the text. Skim through some ready-made analysis response essay example to be more well-versed. Before writing the essay of your own make a request “how to write a summary and response essay example: to get an example of the response essay to help you come up with phrases and ideas in terms of the organization.

Reaction paper format essay – how to create a good reaction/response essay?

  1. Be ready to understand your first impressions while reading the text. Outline the topic and main idea of the text. What problems and questions that it triggers strike your eye.
  2. Then define what the subtext is and give the reason for including some details and symbols, tell what they mean and how they contribute to the whole picture. Tell what each of the heroes means and what is their main roles in creating the needed atmosphere. Say why the problems that are brought up essential in the context of our culture and the culture of the author.
  3. Identify the strong points and weaknesses of the text and tell your attitude to them. Tell whether you agree or disagree with the author's opinion and what counterarguments you may bring up. Reflect your experience of reading this text.
  4. Make a summary response essay outline. Summarize the important points and restate the thesis statement that was used in the very beginning of your essay. Summary and response essay example will hint you in terms of how to write a powerful end.

Common mistakes while completing a response/reaction essay

Procrastinating is the most common virtue of all the students. Because such type of the activity requires a lot of time of attentive reading and analyzing, you have to obtain as much time as you can have to have a quality paper. Including your personal experience may be a big mistake in such type of the assignment because it is not an autobiographical essay where it is necessary to tell your experience dealing with this or that situation. Never reiterate the same idea again (except for the summary where you just restate them) and never retell the whole texts, here you are supposed to analyze the information that you have received. Critical response essay sample will help you not to commit this error.


Be both concise and informative to get an unsurpassed result!

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