Psychology Reaction Paper

Reaction paper guidelines

Throughout this course, you will be writing reaction papers about assigned articles. The articles will supplement the textbook and lecture material and provide you with experience reading published papers.

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Reaction papers do not review or summarize the article. Rather, you will give a reaction to the reading. Reaction papers can be fun to write (I know, but stick with me here). There are different approaches to reaction papers, and you can vary yours for each paper. What will remain consistent is that you will think critically about the information and respond with a thoughtful response.

Here are some possible approaches to reaction papers, but there are others. Feel free to google “good reaction papers” for more ideas or tips.

A discussion of why you feel the topic is important and worthy of study (or not). If it helps, you can also frame this as “Why the instructor thought this paper was something we should all read.”
An application of the information to your own experiences.
An application of how the information might relate to your future career.
Relating the information/findings from the article to other information from the course. This can be very interesting when it is not an obvious connection.
Alternative interpretations of the findings or ideas.
Discuss whether the information illuminated something in your thinking or changed your perspective.
Relate the information to current issues in life or society.
Discuss how development in this are might look different at other developmental stages.
Regardless of the approach you take, you will want to demonstrate that you have read the information and critically thought about it. You may discuss multiple topics within a paper to achieve the length requirement if necessary.

Tips for writing.

Actively read and take notes on the reading.
Develop a thesis statement and create an outline before writing the paper itself.
Try to not be only critical (as in 2 full pages of nothing but criticism).

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Each reaction paper is worth a max of 40 points.

Each paper will be evaluated on length (20 points) and quality (20 points).

To achieve the full 40 points, the body of the paper must be 300 words (about 1-2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman Font, 1-inch margins) in length and demonstrate a thoughtful reaction to the paper. Points will be deducted if either of these requirements are not met. Papers that are not submitted to Canvas by the deadline or are submitted improperly will not be graded. For more information on Reaction Paper check out :

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