English Language Arts - 1 - George McDougall High School
Personal Response to Texts Essay Format
English Language Arts
In a personal response to text essay the writer may choose to keep the format of the essay critical, in which the pieces
of literature presented are analyzed. The writer will also relate their own experience as it relates to the material
provided using emotional and sensory detail.
The important thing to remember is that this format of an essay, unlike the critical/analytical response, allows you to
use personal pronouns (except the word ‘you’)
a. GENERAL STATEMENT to introduce the topic in the question.
b. FOCUS into answering the question; you should also mention the literature and/or other materials and
situations you will be referring to here. You may use a phrase such as: “In life, as in literature, people
. . .” Follow this statement with the introduction of the materials you will be discussing in your essay.
Do not talk about yourself or your experience yet because you want to build a bridge of common
knowledge with your readers first.
c. CONTROLLING IDEA/THESIS STATEMENT: This is where you answer the question being asked.
You answer what is conveyed about people and set up what you will explain/support/prove in your
body paragraphs. (You can have one point supported by all paragraphs, or one for each paragraph –
the choice is yours: look at your examples and what they will support before writing your thesis.)
II. BODY PARAGRAPHS (please note that c and d are reversible; order does not matter, as long as both are prese...