A Point of Contention
Many folks will disagree with me here, but in a response paper, I don’t worry too much about transitions. The basics will do just fine (more on that when we talk about the polished draft). The reader needs to know where you are going based on what you say in your introduction – the rest is artifice.
The second reading is to find new insights on the book: what has changed about your opinion, what have you learned, what did you learn from class discussions or peer groups, what key points in the book were really strong to you?
You keep notes on these four throughout the first reading, the classroom discussion, and the second reading. These notes are then made into an outline, and the outline leads to you writing a response paper.
This outline is young, it needs help, tenderness, and love to turn into a first draft. Don’t worry yet about things like transitions, introductions and conclusions. Focus on four or five key points and expanding on those points for a nice, well-written paper.
In this series I hope you've been helped along the way from reading the book you need to respond to, narrowing and refining your ideas, and putting together a helpful outline.
If you would like to learn more about putting a response paper together, feel free to follow along with this series: Writing A Response Paper where you will learn about writing a rough draft, paper editing, and polishing a final draft.