Have you ever started any task with a lot of zeal and confidence that you can easily complete it, and then got extremely overwhelmed by the complexity of the work? Writing reflective essays will make you feel in the same way. Apparently, it seems very easy to compose a reflective essay, but, once you get started, you realise that it’s not that easy. However, let’s not get disappointed or lose all hope because you can achieve this task if you to learn how to write reflective essays.
Let us first see what a reflective essay is.
In this type of essays, the essay writer reflects on any past experience or event, hence the name. The basic purpose behind writing a reflective essay is to describe and examine a specific experience or occurrence, in order to, discover the lessons that can be learnt from it.
Reflective essays require the writer to portray his/her own opinions, as well as, emotions in it. In brief, reflective essays include a critical analysis of the writer’s personal experience. It must be properly structured and written in a way to ensure that the readers feel like they have also had the same experience.
Things you should not include in reflective writing
- Even though a reflective essay will include descriptive components in it, just having a plain description of something in a paper will not make it a reflective writing.
- Just giving out some general information about something will not make the writing a reflective one
- An essay which simply provides a solution of a problem cannot be called a reflective essay
- Just putting down a judgment on something will also not make it a reflective essay
Thus, you need to be very particular about what you write in a reflective essay and how you present it.
You must always follow some rules while writing a reflective essay:
- The first person– Always use first person in a reflective essay. It is because, in this type of paper, you will have to articulate your own ideas or experiences and not just put down some facts. You can use phrases like “according to me” or “in my opinion” to express yourself.
- No in-detail research- As the reflective essays will not include any information or facts or figures on the topic, but, your own experience, you do not need to do any detailed research on it. You must use your own imagination and thoughts to write this paper. However, you can enhance your knowledge if you are writing about an important place or personality before beginning with the paper.
- Be clear and precise- You must always make sure that your essay is easily comprehensible for your readers.
How to structure a reflective essay?
As mentioned above, it is crucial to structure the reflective essay in the right way. The format might change based on who the reader is. However, the basic structure is the same, which includes the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion.
- The introduction– This section will not be too long. You need to describe your topic within ten sentences. Here, you will state the focus of the reflective essay. It should be cleared to the readers what aspect of the writer’s life will they get to know in the essay. The introduction will also contain a thesis statement which will state the main point of the essay. Make the opening paragraph of your essay as engaging as possible. However, do not disclose too much in this section as this might bore the readers.
- The body paragraphs– This section can include three paragraphs or more as per your requirement. In this part, you will describe the incident or experience, analyse it and state how it has affected your life. You can state each reason for which this experience had an impact on your life in each of the paragraphs. After this, you can include your explanation of how it changed your life. You can go on with this following a chronological order. Thus, you can explain the matter in the same order as it happened to you.
- The Conclusion– This is the closing paragraph of your essay. With this part, you should attempt to bring everything together. You can provide a brief summary of your whole essay highlighting the main points. You could also include the impact that the specific experience had on you. How it changed your perception or personality etc. To do this, you could portray how you were in the past and how you are now, at the present moment.
You should remember that your professor will be expecting some high-quality proof of reflection from your essay, so you must carefully write your paper.
What should you write in this type of essays?
- About a book that you have read or a movie that you have watched or any other work.
- A real experience that you had
- A memorable place or day of your life
- An imaginary experience
Some interesting topics for writing your reflective essay
If you are still confused about which experience you should write about, here are a few topics which can get you started with your reflective essay:
- Rock climbing
- Your first time at the beach
- A day spent at a historic place
- Walking alone in the woods
- The birth of your little sister/brother
- Losing an old member of the family whom you loved a lot
- An embarrassing encounter with someone
- An angry conversation with your parents
- The first time you went out with your friends without adult supervision
- Experience a natural calamity
- First time visiting your favourite amusement park
- A duet performance with your father/mother
- Your first day at work (it can be serving as a waitress at a restaurant or anything else)
- A safari ride and encountering a lion for the first time
- Moving out of your parents’ house
Even though the reflective essay help will be based on your own opinion, you must do the analysis accurately. You can gather knowledge on the subject area which you are exploring. This will showcase that you have done your homework before writing the essay. Lastly, with some practice, you can also master writing this type of essays. Hence, don’t get intimidated the next time you get a reflective essay. Just use this guide and start your journey down the memory lane.
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