Writing a reflective paper, you must describe a specific experience or event. Then you may analyze the lessons learned from such an experience and the meaning of it. The most important thing about a reflective essay is that you should analyze the past experience from the present perspective. Authors must reveal their thoughts openly and depict the real picture of their personal qualities, personality, and history remaining emotional enough. The writer must include the experience’s description and a clear summary. The reader should feel like he or she has experienced the same. So, the writer has to explain reactions, feelings, and thoughts. For instance, you might write about something you read, watched, smelled, tasted, touched, seen. You may write about a specific object or place, something you imagined, and real experience.
Planning the Reflective Essay
Begin composing your reflective paper only when you have created a well-rounded and comprehensive plan. To get a good mark for your essay, you should make sure it features conveyed clarity and structure and is coherent. Sometimes the ideas might be organized unsystematically, so you will have to create a thorough outline. Check out the main pros of composing an outline:
- with an outline, all the details will be organized appropriately. So, you might remove any superfluous data if you think it is not essential and succinct;
- it is easy to navigate through the reflective essay if there is a plan. You might treat the plan as a map. So, if your outline is well-done, your reader will not have additional questions about your paper since everything will seem to be precise. You will not miss out on any critical data about the main points of your reflective essay;
- you will save a lot of time since there will be a skeleton of your paper with all the details incorporated. So, you will have extra time to edit your essay and make sure it is of a high standard.
What Are the Main Parts of the Reflective Essay Structure?
- Introduction. Like any other paper, a reflective essay must contain an intro. You should include a catchy hook and interesting thesis statement to your introduction to draw the reader’s attention. To hold the reader’s interest, you will have to depict the most exciting story’s aspects in the intro. You might also use a quote to begin your reflective essay. Writing a thesis statement, you should concentrate on the main things that influenced you radically. A thesis statement will be a guide for you and the reader throughout the entire paper. However, you should not provide the reader with too many details about your experience to keep being interested.
- Body. Planning the reflective essay’s body might be one of the most challenging parts, composing your essay. Try to make the long story short, creating your main body paragraphs. Organize the events in chronological order. Tell about certain things as they took place in time. It will help you make sure your essay is coherent and systematic. Note that a reflective essay is not supposed to be linear. However, laying out the necessary experience events in a timeline will help you organize all the parts of your reflective essay. Make sure your main body contains proper reflection and critique. It must also be well-concentrated and tell about the way specific experiences influenced your life. In other words, it should summarize all the lessons learned. So, it should emphasize your ability to cope with particular problems and your personality.
- Conclusion. All the things and lessons learned must be portrayed in the concluding part. You will need to summarize the main key points here. Add the way your behaviors and attitudes changed. Tell about the way your skills and character are modified. For example, you might write how you would probably react to a similar problem in the future.
Tips for Writing the Reflective Essay
- to be aware of the reflective essay’s tone and format, you would better read such a writing piece in the newspaper or magazine;
- do not focus too much on creating the perfect initial sentence. Just keep on writing. You will be able to proofread and edit your essay later on. The first draft of your writing might not be the ideal one. However, the earlier you begin to compose your essay, the more time you will have to edit it later. Try to record your thoughts and feelings as they come up to your mind. Nevertheless, you should follow your outline;
- try to tell precisely the way you felt about a particular event. Do not be vague and describe directly how a specific event impacted you;
- make sure the essay’s tone is very reflective of your real character and personal. Use the first-person narrative;
- concentrate on crucial learning outcomes, present your ideas in systematical order;
- begin your intro with a short quote or anecdote to make your reader interested. You might also use flashbacks or other techniques;
- Carefully select your vocabulary to convey your emotions and feelings appropriately. Add as many adjectives as you can to your reflective essay. To make the writing more engaging, try to be more specific;
- be sincere with your opinions and feelings. Writing a reflective essay, you might be free to rite where you failed. Reflect entirely on it, reviewing your emotions and experiences. Try to be critical about your response to a specific occasion. Make sure you make valuable judgments about a particular experience. Be honest about your emotions and feelings and describe them directly. Utilize the words that are natural for you;
- describe the things you value from a specific experience and explain why you do. Tell about the way your opinions differ now from the ones you had earlier about a particular case. If you do these things, your writing will be efficient;
- keep the writing dynamic by utilizing a lot of punctuation;
- use imagery to generate your experience’s vivid picture;
- emphasize your turning point;
- reiterate the specific lessons you learned from a particular experience.
Main Ideas for a Reflective Essay:
- Describe the conversation you had when you were outraged.
- Reflect on the time where you were affected and disappointed about something.
- Describe the time when you are in the ocean’s water with your feet in the sand.
- Describe the sunset.
- Reflect on the city or a small town where you grew up.
- Reflect on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas.
- Create a reflective paper on visiting a zoo or a museum.
- Describe the most turning point in your life.
- Reflect on the voyage to the exotic place.
- Reflect on the situation that involves human rights infringement.
- Reflect on the book you have read recently or a movie you have watched.
- Reflect on difficult issues tackling.
What Are the Main Recommendations When Composing a Reflective Paper?
- do not include too much of your personal data in your paper. Your main target is to analyze a specific problem and state your opinion. Just reflect on your past experiences. Do not write the autobiography;
- do not ignore the essay’s structure. It might result in incoherent and disorganized text. It will be hard for the reader to comprehend it;
- do not be too informal. Focus on a formal tone instead.
The Final Thoughts
To sum up, writing a reflective essay might require you to apply much effort. Therefore, you should devote some time to composing such a paper. Keep in mind that the more details and adjectives you use to describe and reflect on a specific experience, the better it is for you to get the highest grade. Note that you should also spend some time on editing and proofreading your reflective essay. We recommend asking your friend to proofread the paper to find the mistakes you might not have noticed. So writing a reflective essay is such a responsible task because you should consider many things and recommendations before writing it.
Is There Any Other Way to Cope With This Academic Task?
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