Writing a Reaction Paper, Review, and Critique

COMPETENCY: U ses appropriate critical approaches in writing a critique such as formalism, feminism, etc.

What are Reaction Papers, Reviews, and Critiques?

These are specialized forms of writing in which a reviewer or reader evaluates any of the following: a scholarly work, a work of art, designs, and graphic designs.

Reaction papers, Reviews, and Critiques

usually range in length from 250 to 750 words

critical assessments, analyses or evaluation of different works

reviewers use both proofs and logical reasoning

presents an analytical repose to a book or article

these are not simply summaries

critique= cynicism and pessimism

do not rely only on mere opinions

Critical Approaches in Writing a Critique

Scholars suggest that the use of critical approaches in reading and analyzing texts is helpful to unravel the message of a piece of literature.

For instance, these approaches help readers to give us answers to these questions, in addition to aid us in interpreting literature.

1. What do we read?

2. Why do we read?

3. How do we read?

Below are various approaches which can be used in reading and analyzing literary texts. These approaches give readers wide perspectives on how to unveil the meaning of the texts.

Formalism mainly to do with structural purposes of a particular text. It is the study of a text without taking into account any outside influence.

The name of the author is not important.

The time in which the author lived is not important.

The political belief of the author is not important.

The actual reader is not important

Common aspects looked into in formalism:

Author’s techniques in resolving contradictions within the work.

Central passage that sums up the work

Relationship of the form and the content

Unity in the work

Formalism emphasizes the form of a literary work to determine its meaning, focusing on literary elements and how they work to create meaning.

Two Major Principles of Formalism

1. A literary text exists independent of any particular reader and, in a sense, has a fixed meaning.

2. The greatest literary texts are” timeless” and “universal.”

Feminist literary criticism recognizes that since literature both reflects culture and shapes it, literary studies can either perpetuate the oppression of women or help to eliminate it. It presents women as subjects of socio-political, psychological and economic oppression.

Common aspects looked into in feminism:

How culture determines gender

How gender equality is presented in the text

How gender issues are presented in literary works.

How women are socially, politically, psychologically, and economically oppressed by patriarchy

Feminist criticism is concerned with the role, position, and influence of women in a literary text. Asserts that most “literature” throughout time has been written by men, for men. Examines the way that the female consciousness is depicted by both male and female writers.

4 Basic Principles of Feminist Criticism

1. Western civilization is patriarchal.

2. The concepts of gender are mainly cultural ideas created by patriarchal societies.

3. Patriarchal ideals pervade “literature.”

4. Most “literature” through time has been gender-biased.


Reader response criticism is concerned with the reviewer’s reaction as an audience of a work. A text does not have meaning until the reader reads it.

Common aspects looked into in reader response:

Interaction between the reader and the text in creating meaning

The impact of reader’s delivery of sounds and visuals on enhancing and changing meaning

Two Important Ideas in Reader- Response

1. An individual reader’s interpretation usually changes over time.

2. Readers from different generations and different time periods interpret texts differently.

Marxist criticism is the belief that literature reflects this class struggle and materialism. It investigates how literature can work as a force for social change. Also, the differences between economic classes, implications of a capital system and the continuing conflicts between the working class and the elite.

Common aspects looked into in Marxism:

Social class as represented in the work

Social class of the characters

Conflicts and interactions between economic classes

Marxist emphasizes economic and social conditions. It is based on the political theory of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles. It is concerned with understanding the role of power, politics, and money in literary texts.

Marxist criticism examines literature to see how it reflects:

1. The way in which dominant groups (typically, the majority) exploit the subordinate groups (typically, the minority).

2. The way in which people become alienated from one another through power, money, and politics.

writing a critique paper eapp

Critical Approaches to Literature by MsDavid1


  1. EAPP

    At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to:- determine the purpose of a reaction paper, review, and critique;- analyze the features of a reaction...

  2. EAPP_SEM1

    Reaction papers, Reviews, and Critiques. usually range in length from 250 to 750 words. critical assessments, analyses or evaluation of different works. reviewers use both proofs and logical reasoning. presents an analytical repose to a book or article. these are not simply summaries. critique= cynicism and pessimism.