A response essay serves the purpose of responding to an argument in a reactionary manner airing your views on the topic or the argument presented by another writer. A response essay may endeavor to prove that your assertion is the truth or is the strongest among other alternative assertions. When writing a response essay, one is obliged to organize his thoughts in a logic manner that facilitates the understanding of the assertion made. It entails the use of philosophical thoughts to authenticate the assertion made.
Also, response essay calls for a deep understanding of the topic of discussion and an excellent use of reasoning. Just like most essays, response essay must have an introductory paragraph that facilitates the introduction of the topic of argument to the intended reader. Also, the introductory paragraph must contain a thesis statement as the last sentence of introduction.
The number of the subsequent paragraphs after the introduction depends on the number of assertions the writer is intending to put across in his or her argument. An argument topic that has a lot of weight and that is intended to persuade a huge number of readers to subscribe to the writer’s thoughts are always lengthy.
The second paragraph of the response essay puts across the most convincing reason that explains why the writer is for the assertion made in the thesis statement. In this paragraph, the writer is obliged to argue his or her thoughts on the topic in a very precise and convincing way to lure the reader to continue reading. As such, the points put across must not be faulty and irrefutable at the first instance and thus the writer must be very careful.
The third paragraph of a response essay discusses the second strongest argument that explains why the writer is convinced that his or her assertion in the thesis statement is true and reliable. This point should also envision to convince the reader why the assertion is true or is reliable than any other option. Just like the second paragraph, the third paragraph should also be precise, clear, concise, and free from ambiguity and outright refutation.
The subsequent paragraphs should also follow the same rules and should be arranged according to their contribution weight to the argument. However, the third last paragraph should discuss some of the possible arguments that may arise to refute the credibility of the argument made in the preceding paragraphs. This possible refutation claims should also be arranged in the order of their weight and should be precise and clear.
The Second last paragraph should argue on how the possible refutations outlined in the third last paragraph lack to hold the ground. This means that the arguer should refute the claims in the third last paragraph with logic and reason. The last paragraph is the conclusion of the response essay that reinstates the assertions made in the preceding paragraphs apart from the arguments in the third and second last paragraphs. The writer must not introduce new assertions in the conclusion that were not argued in the essay.
Sample response essay topics
- The best presidential candidate is Donald Trump
- Europe contributes to its own attacks by the terrorists
A Response essay on how Clinton Handled the Sex Scandal
As Powell & Cowart, (2003) asserts, the political image of a politician can be dramatically influenced by outside events whether good or bad (This is the first statement of the response essay. It must caught the attention of the reader and arouse their interest to read it). For example, the political image of President Bush was badly affected by the 2005 Hurricane Katrina that destroyed New Orleans while that of President Obama was severely affected by the BP Oil spill. Once the political image is damaged, it takes a lot of time for the involved politician to right the wrong by crafting political messages that will market his or her reputation and persuade the public of his or her new image. For President William Jefferson Clinton, his sex scandal with Lewinsky is the most memorable since it destroyed his public image at a crucial time when he was nearing the end of his second term. Clinton would have made a lasting legacy of a successful president who led for two terms and left the office in piece if it were not for the sex scandal (This is the thesis statement of the response essay. It presents the purpose of the essay that will be justified in the body paragraphs. It is a claim that the writer makes that he or she will defend by use of facts in the succeeding paragraphs).
The president has command over other people, and he may use media to his advantage as a tool for propagating his authority as well as marketing his political agendas. However, the same media will always scrutinize every single movement by the president including his private and public life. He may have authority over all the citizens in the country, but he indeed has the least privacy than all the other citizens because of the close scrutiny he commands on the people he works with. One wrong move and his public reputation will be ruined significantly. Also, with power comes responsibility and the president has the responsibility for good conduct at all times and the more the power, the more responsible a person should be. President Clinton ought to have known this before his involvement in a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. If only he used his reason as opposed to feelings, no one would have been a bother to him all through his two terms in office (This is the second paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the first reactionary response point of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement presented in the introduction paragraph. This is the first paragraph that defends the thesis statement and thus must be the strongest).
The other mistake that President Clinton did is making appearances on media to deny his involvement in the sex scandal with Lewinsky. It could have been for the better if he kept quiet on the matter so as to strategize the way forward to divert the attention of the public from the sex scandal. Although he was not running for a third time, he would have at least saved his legacy that would have saved him the embarrassment of impeachment. The impeachment made a lasting legacy that since he was the president in the history of the United States to be impeached. This impeachment legacy will always haunt him down since it made a lasting entry in history and political books that can never be forgotten as it was one of a kind that involved obstruction of justice by the president (This is the third paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the second reactionary response of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement. It is the second strongest response point that defends the thesis statement).
Similarly, it would have saved him the public embarrassment if he did not make a public appearance to the media to deny the involvement. Since such allegations cannot find their way to media without some concrete evidence to prove that the inappropriate relationship indeed existed, President Clinton called for a war from the media by denying the allegations. As such, the media could not rest until the final piece of evidence of the inappropriate sexual relationship was unearthed. If the President did not come out to deny the allegations in an impulse as he did, he would have consulted enough on the way forward, and this would have saved his public image (This is the fourth paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the third reactionary response of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement. It is the third strongest response point that defends the thesis statement).
However, the President would have better still accepted his inappropriate involvement with Lewinsky the instance the media brought out the issue to the limelight. With the use of a well-crafted message that endeavors to take responsibility for his misconduct, President Clinton would have won over the public confidence to his advantage. His acceptance would have circulated in media for a few days, and the citizens would forget his misconduct after a short time. This strategy has been proven to work perfectly well by the political scientists (Maarek, 2011). An apology by the President would have won the sympathy of his voters since the President is an iconic figure who is very powerful and commands a lot of authority. As such, his timely apology for his misconduct would have communicated a lot to the citizens since they would be convinced of his humanity, goodwill, and would have upheld the principle that no one is above the law, even the most powerful (Berman, 2014). Additionally, doing so would have resonated with the citizens since he too is a human being with desires just like any other person and is prone to human error (Maarek, 2011). This move would have been better understood by the citizens as opposed to fighting back against the waves that would eventually drown him (This is the fifth paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the fourth reactionary response of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement. It is the fourth strongest response point that defends the thesis statement. Note that the writer makes use of citations from reliable sources that help in supporting the presented facts and guaranteeing that the essay is not plagiarism and authenticating the originality of the response essay).
The president committed a legacy suicide by accepting his inappropriate sexual involvement with Lewinsky on a live TV after he had denied it some months ago (Berman, 2014). His four minutes public acceptance was allegedly watched by approximately 67 million viewers (Washingtonpost.com, 1998). In political campaign communication, media is the best platform for passing political messages that either destroy or build on the image of a political figure and the public either accepts or rejects the message (Washingtonpost.com, 1998). An assessment of the acceptance shows that the public was very dissatisfied by President Clinton’s misconduct since he had denied it earlier on a live TV. Although President Clinton thought that he had nothing to lose since his term was expiring and would not run for the presidency again, he destroyed the legacy that he worked so hard to build for the past six years of his presidency (This is the continuation of reactionary response to the topic under discussion. It is the sixth paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the fifth reactionary response of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement. It is the fifth strongest response point that defends the thesis statement)
It would have been for good if President Clinton maintained his initial stand on the issue since the public would not have been fully convinced that he had an inappropriate sexually affair with Lewinsky. The public was indeed counting on his stand and if only President Clinton would have blamed the issue on the political duel by his rivals, his followers would have been convinced. President Clinton said that he did not ask anyone to lie on the issue or destroy the evidence. However, the public would not have believed him since he had earlier denied the allegation. His acceptance of the inappropriate sexual involvement amounted to contradiction on the part of his voters not knowing what and what not to believe. He even dragged his wife into it since the way he presented the 4 minutes public address pointed to his wife as an accomplice to his initial lies (This is the seventh paragraph of the response essay. The writer presents the sixth reactionary response of the topic under discussion that justifies the thesis statement. It is the sixth strongest response point that defends the thesis statement. The writer continues to expound on the justifications supporting the thesis statement)
In conclusion, political campaigns begin and end with political communication (Powell & Cowart, 2003). As such, any political figure should be extra careful in his utterances and conduct since these will always command attention by the media that pours it out for public consumption. This can either destroy or build on the political image of a political figure. In the case of President Clinton, he would have either accepted the alleged sex misconduct when it first reached the media or would have maintained his previous stand on the issue. This move would have saved him the political embarrassment that befallen him during his last term in office that destroyed what he had worked for in the past six years of his presidency (This is the concluding paragraph of the response essay. In this paragraph, the writer has presented the thesis statement and has summarized the facts presented in other paragraphs using different words. It is vital to note that the writer acknowledges his or her sources of information by citing them whenever they borrow information. This way, the authenticity of the facts presented and originality is guaranteed).