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How to Do a Reaction Paper of a Documentary Movie

A reaction paper is a common academic assignment that focuses on critical analysis and response to a piece. It can be written about a book, article or a movie. But the general idea is the same.

It requires precision, logical flow, and supporting arguments. Whether you can choose one of the movies for students or you are assigned with a particular one, follow this guide on how to do a reaction paper on a movie.

The structure features an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The main body consists of three paragraphs at least. Each of them addresses one point and provides supporting arguments to it. So if you are asking yourself “how can I write my reaction paper” begin with understanding the outline and the purpose.

Whether you are writing an essay on a documentary on the environment, digital marketing strategies or film on how to become a graphic designer without a degree, here’s what you need to focus on in each part.

  • This part gives the necessary information on the work. The title, director and producer as well the release date of the film. Also, it should give a summary of the main ideas and themes covered by the documentary. A reader should get a clear understanding of what the movie is about and the surrounding context. This part should be factual and objective. You can use direct quotations from the original work to illustrate your point. Also, make a strong thesis statement at the end of introduction.
  • Main body. This is a part where you can unleash your creative genius and take a personal approach to the subject of analysis. Here you put your personal subjective reaction to the documentary. How to do a reaction paper on a movie? By asking the right questions. For example, how the topic of the documentary is connected to the course theme. How is it connected to the modern world? Is it relevant for people now? What is your personal view on the subject? Has it changed because of the documentary? If so, show how and why.

Evaluate how important the work is, whether it is objective and correct, what value it provides. You can agree or disagree with the author.

  • It is a summary of the assignment. Restate the points you’ve made and conclude the discussion. You may also recommend this documentary to others or not.

How to Do Reaction Paper on a Movie Step by Step

  1. Watch a documentary for the first time. After this, write down the general impression, main subject, and ideas. Research the authors and production information. Think about how it corresponds with your experience and previous knowledge on the subject.
  2. Think of an angle you are going to take in your work. Draft a thesis statement. Maybe you agree with a movie and the important ideas covered. One can also disagree with a film and show how it is incorrect or irrelevant. Choose an approach to the analysis and figure out the main idea of your reaction paper.
  3. Watch it again. Now, with a thesis in mind, take notes. Write down exact scenes or interviews to include in your paper. Choose quotations for making a point. Does the evidence offered in the film match the author’s statement? Think about the narration of the documentary and where the author puts an emphasis. The second watching allows a better understanding of the context, characters and main flow of the film.
  4. Create an outline. Write down the thesis statement and three arguments of the main body. Find supporting evidence in the film or outside sources on the subject.
  5. Write a reaction paper. Do not be afraid to show personal thoughts and opinions, but support them logically and with evidence.
  6. Edit mercilessly. The first draft is never perfect. Take your time to proofread and check everything, starting from facts, grammar and up to logical flow of the paper.

In Summary

This guide on how to do reaction paper on a movie should help you out with your assignment. Always keep in mind the purpose of this paper – to give a critical evaluation to a documentary and show your analytical skills. Your writing should be clear and comprehensive. It is also extremely important to stick to the point.

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