Writing a reflective essay might be harder than you think. Consider that reflective essay topics cover your own experiences and practical situations in which you found yourself instead of writing about research. This gives quite a bit of students a lot of trouble. Writing about you should be easier than writing about some scientific topic that requires lots of research, right? Yes and no.
The trick of reflective essay topics is that they require objectivity and criticism from the student. As with many life situations, being critical about ourselves it just about the hardest thing to do and takes a lot of practice to perfect.
While that may be the case, we can still look at some reflective essay examples and how to write such a paper in the most effective way.
Focus on your topic
Reflective essay topics are all about getting to know you better and writing a paper in the process. Your assignment clearly states what you are supposed to pursue. Make sure that you always follow your reflective essay format according to your assignment. Surely you must have a general topic, a word count, and a format to follow.
Don’t be shy and ask for any reflective essay examples and help from your professors. It’s better to double-check your assigned topic than to do extensive rewrites later. Your professor won’t have to do them, you will. Before getting any proper writing done, ask any questions that you may have concerning the reflective essay topics you will work on. It will give you a different perspective on the assignment and inform you of what you should focus on.
Many students fall into a trap of writing down everything and anything that falls onto their mind when they see their reflective essay topics. This is not called writing, but rather brainstorming, or free writing. Start writing your paper by scribbling down everything that comes to mind when you think about the specific topic you were given. It doesn’t have to make much sense right now, but it will later.
Free writing is the best way of brainstorming a writing idea before actually going through with it. It doesn’t constrain you to any type of format or style; it’s just you and your pen/keyboard.
Create an outline
Reflective essay format can be more chaotic than any other. The simple reason for this is that you are writing about your feelings and experiences, something very personal to you. It’s different than writing a research paper where you are only remotely connected to your topic. This essay is about you, and as such, reflects the way your mind works.
The best way to show how your mind works is to organize your thoughts. Create a blank space for the intro, the body of your paper and a conclusion to wrap things up. Start connecting the dots between your free writing notes and your outline. Some of the best reflective essay examples out there will tell you to be focused on your topic and organized in your thoughts. The rest will come naturally.
The perfect reflective essay format is a chronologically written essay. It’s hard to write about a certain topic and how it affected you personally if your thought process is chaotic. Now imagine how the reader must feel when he sees that you are jumping back and forth between events and feelings. Create a timeline of the events that you will write about. Make the entire essay play out in a single chronological order, without any jumping back and forth. You can do this in the introduction or conclusion but never in the body of your essay because it will not only confuse the reader but also make you seem unprofessional. Reflective essay format with less a less chronological flow is possible to write, but very hard to pull off in a right way for someone just starting out.
Make your essay cohesive
Reflective essays are hard enough to write without thinking about how the whole thing comes together in the end. Unfortunately, it’s an essential part of a reflective essay format and one that you should pay attention to. Every one of your three main sections has to come together nicely in the end.
Your intro should give the reader a glimpse into your topic, while the body should contain every bit of writing in proper paragraphs, coupled with headings and subheadings to make it easier to read. In the end, your conclusion should include a finishing touch that connects the whole essay together and gives you a chance to make a point on how this experience has affected you.
When all is said and done, make sure that you ask for feedback from a friend or even your professor before handing in the essay. Check for any proofreading and reflective essay format errors in order to avoid revisions. Don’t be afraid of yourself. While reflective essays may require less research, they are a much more intimate way of writing a paper and as such, they require patience and objectivity to write correctly.
This is a type of writing assignment that requires a person to describe and analyze a past event or an experience he or she was involved in. It is a common task in schools and universities, which helps students learn from difficulties they have faced in their lives or studies, and think of the ways to avoid or cope with them in the future. The essay consists of at least five paragraphs, where each one has a different purpose. The way the academic reflective essay is written is unusual and has its specifics, but the outline is rather typical:
- Introduction - sets the scene and tells a reader what is going to be reviewed and why.
- Body paragraphs - describe an experience and analyze it.
- Conclusion - summarizes the problem, reiterates the purpose and suggests the further actions.
As evident from the example, the paper does not have a thesis statement, unlike other works of this type. However, it still gives a focus to the reader in an introductory paragraph. The body of the paper has to cover three main questions: what has happened, what are the results, and what can or will be done in the nearest time. Answering the question clearly will help in writing a good reflective essay. Note that it is important to separate the answers and create nice transitions to make the work coherent. This part needs to flow into the conclusion, where the reader has to see the whole picture and understand the way a writer has developed through the process.
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The history shows that even the most obvious mistakes tend to be repeated. This statement applies not only to the famous leaders but also to every person who has ever lived. However, if we were not capable of remembering and analyzing our own experience, we would have been extinct as species a long time ago. Hence, it is vital to think through the complicated and unusual situations and make proper conclusions since juvenescence. And that is exactly the reason why writing a reflective essay is important. It helps students of different ages to evolve, learn from their mistakes, and apply the obtained knowledge later in life. Reflective essays are written at least once a year and cover diverse parts of students' lives. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to write a reflective essay qualitatively and present personal growth in it properly.
Work on every paper starts with a choice of the topic. Teachers usually provide students with prompts, some of which remain the same each year. The most common task for the scholars is writing a good reflective essay on writing process. This assignment requires you to think about all of the papers that have been completed through the semester or a whole year and write about the issues you have faced. It is important not only to describe past events vividly but also to show how you have overcome the problems and what this experience has given you.
You can mention advice your teachers and classmates have given on peer reviews and the way you have used them. Also, you can speak of any style, formatting or grammar difficulties you overcame to present the improvement of your skills. In the end, the best reflective essays on writing process leave an impression that any complications the student faced have been approached seriously, and he or she realized how to benefit from the experience, either good or bad.
In high school and university, such papers are usually written to review situations, which are more intricate and harder to examine. Students get to decide what kind of event to reflect and, therefore, have to put more creativity into writing. If you have chosen the topic, you need to show why it is significant and what is the purpose of returning to a certain situation.
It is important to tell about the event in details mentioning what, where and why have the things happened and the way you could have changed the situation. Your analysis has to present the outcomes and tell how they have influenced your life. It is crucial to show that you have learned your lesson and will be able to make the right decisions if the similar situation occurs in future.
If you want to know how to make a reflective essay perfect, here is a rule to follow: devote 10% to the description of a certain experience, 65% to a thorough analysis, and other 25% to a projection of the things you have learned on your future. Your work has to do more than just tell how you have matured since the event; it has to show this in examples to make any reader believe it.
It may be hard to see your own progress sometimes, so if you feel stuck, try asking your peers for help with writing reflective essay. Close friends, family members, and the classmates you interact with the most are likely to be the most helpful in the case. You will be pleasantly surprised to hear some of the things they have to say, and you will surely have a lot more info to include into your paper when you receive the feedbacks.
Reflective essay on research paper is another type of task you may be asked to work on at the university. And either it is your own paper or the one of your fellow student, you need to make sure you remain objective and unbiased while making an assessment. Keeping a balance between the praise and the critique is the key, so while pointing out the mistakes, do not forget to mention the parts where the researcher did a good job.
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