A description is given of a method for predicting the linear transient response to dynamic loading of rectangular homogeneous and heterogeneous laminated plates. The method utilizes the semi-analytical finite strip method in conjunction with a modal superposition procedure. Plate properties are developed in the context of first-order shear deformation plate theory, and the ends of a plate may be simply supported or clamped. The applied loading, acting normal to the plate, may be of a general nature with respect to both space and time. Applications are described which relate to both thin isotropic plates and thick composite laminated plates. Good comparison is demonstrated of the results generated by the developed method and results available from the use of other procedures.