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How To Construct A Winning Response Essay About Death Of Salesman

Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is a landmark American play published in 1949, dealing with issues of reality and illusion within the context of the American Dream. It won multiple awards and is widely considered to be one of the greatest American plays written in the 20th century. A response essay on this subject requires to parts: the summary and the response. Here’s what you need to know about constructing a winning paper on “Death of a Salesman”:

The Summary Section:

This is essentially a concise paraphrase of the main ideas within the play. You should cite the information (act and scene) and provide an unbiased summary of what is happening. You should generally cite material in the order in which they happened to avoid any confusion and allow for the reader to easily navigate to each section within the original play. If you are only focusing on specific themes or ideas within the play then organize those chronologically.

The Response Section:

This section is a critical analysis or evaluation of the author’s play. It should correlate to those sections you have summarized above. This section should include your opinions and original ideas. You shouldn’t have to paraphrase content if you already have done so in the summary. To paraphrase the same content is often regarded as providing “filler material” and a sign that you haven’t been able to come up with new ideas as per the assignment’s requirements. Remember to be persuasive in your writing; you want your responses to be compelling in either supporting or refuting what the author presented in the text.

How to Organize the Paper:

You have a significant amount of freedom when it comes to organizing a paper; however, you should consider these common two forms if you want to craft a paper that earns top marks.

Method 1

Present each summary section in a block of paragraphs, followed immediately by the response section in a block of paragraphs. Decide whether you will include the agreement and disagreement in each response section. This is a stylistic choice that you should consider as you revise your paper.

  • Introduction/Thesis

  • Summary Section (2 or 3 paragraphs)

  • Response Section (2 or 3 paragraphs)

  • Conclusion

Method 2

This second method includes both a summary section and the response section within each body paragraph. This is perhaps the easiest method and works really well in both short and long essays.

  • Introduction/Thesis

  • Summary/Response (Point 1)

  • Summary/Response (Point 2)

  • Summary/Response (Point 3)

  • Conclusion

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