Students often need help with writing a reflective essay since even though this task seems to be easy, it can become quite challenging. At first sight, one may think, what can be easier than providing a sample reflective essay with a critical evaluation of personal experience or feelings in regard to a specific subject? Still, it can be hard to put the ideas together in a logical and coherent manner. Writing a reflective essay is similar to writing a daily journal, but the only difference is that you should write in an academic style.
This article provides guidelines that will help you write your own essay in the best way possible. You will get to know how to properly structure a reflective essay, format it according to the required style, and put your thoughts in a well-organized manner.
What Is a Personal Reflection Essay
A personal reflection essay is a type of an academic paper. It requires a student to reflect on his or her life experiences regarding a particular issue or topic to write about those experiences and eventually find out how they have changed or developed after those experiences.
A self reflective essay may slightly vary depending on the intended audience. For instance, writing a college reflective essay for an academic audience will be somewhat different from completing a reflection essay for some magazine because the latter usually targets a broader audience. Thus, the organization of these two essays may differ. However, such major elements as introduction, body, and conclusion are kept in all reflection essays.
Format of a Reflective Essay
Writing this type of essay can entail various formats depending on professor’s requirements. However, the general format of paper organization resembles a journal entry, in which you convey your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and how they have changed over a specific period. The process of writing a great critical reflection essay predetermines that you consider your target audience. Actually, it helps you to determine the style of writing and vocabulary choice, which is the ultimate step of writing your essay. In particular, the paper may be written strictly in academic style or be more oriented to the magazine audience.
Regardless of the option you choose, you need to make sure you properly structure all essay sections, especially the body of your essay. If you are going to read the essay in front of the class, make sure you choose a topic that interests your classmates. For example, a topic may be encouraging or motivating for them. When considering reflective essay topics, focus on such issues as personal growth, opportunities for self-development, and so on.
Ideas for Reflective Essay Writing
When coming up with a topic or idea for your paper, keep in mind that it should attract attention of your audience. On the one hand, it should be personal, but on the other hand, it does not mean you have to share some deep personal feelings and emotions you have experienced. When selecting a topic for your paper, make sure you are comfortable with writing about it and speaking about the event/person/experience in front of the audience.
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When writing the paper, make sure that you not simply narrate what happened to you, but also indicate your reaction to the event, namely how it has changed your perception regarding some issue, how it has changed your life experience or way of conduct, etc. Concerning a particular experience, it does not have to be the one that changed your life to the better. You may as well opt for negative experiences or even neutral ones if they are significance in your life.
If you wish, you can even talk about an imaginary situation as long as it sounds plausible and if you can develop a proper paper layout in terms of ideas. Sometimes, professors give assignments to write a paper on your experience in a specific discipline or subject. When writing such essay, you need to focus on the role of a subject in your studying and professional growth and your feelings about how you benefit from it (or do not).
How to Write the Best Reflective Essays
If you want to learn to write the best reflective essays, you need to pay close attention to the following aspects:
The first thing to consider when creating a well-written English reflective essay is an outline. It is a simple layout of one’s basic thoughts regarding a particular issue. Many students tend to omit this part, but crafting an outline before writing the whole paper is vital because it will make you organize your thoughts. If you ignore this part, your essay may deviate from your initial ideas or become too emotional.
While the format of a reflective paper is changeable, structure is what remains constant in any type of essay. In particular, you need to closely observe whether you have a well-developed introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Writing an Introduction
A good reflective essay has an attention-grabbing introduction that finishes with a strong and clear thesis statement. The introduction should start with some interesting or controversial fact that will make your readers like your essay from the very beginning. A key part of your reflective essay is a thesis statement as it briefly introduces the whole focus of the paper in a one well-developed statement. It should precisely state what kind of experience you had and how it has influenced you. Before formulating the thesis, remember to provide sufficient background information on the topic to make readers aware of what you will write about and why the topic deserves attention.
Writing the Main Body Paragraphs
Designing body paragraphs may be the hardest part of writing as you need to develop them in a logical and coherent way. The key here is to have sufficient time and know exactly how to write a personal reflective essay.
First of all, if you are referring to specific events, you need to make sure they are provided in chronological order. Try not to jump from one event to the other: narrate consistently and provide your reflection to the events in the order they appear, devoting a separate body paragraph to a specific event. When writing a reflection, it is crucial to be aware of how to write a self analysis essay as you need to analytically explain the role of your experience.
Thus, your paper should be a mixture of a reflective and a narrative essay that both summarizes what happened to you and explores its significant role in your personal experience and life on the whole. additionally, make sure each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence, where you convey a clear message regarding a separate aspect of the experience you write about in this particular paragraph.
Writing a Conclusion
After you have written the body of your essay and have double-checked that the reflective essay thesis statement is properly elaborated throughout body paragraphs, now it is time to switch to a conclusive paragraph. A great guideline here is to focus on reiterating your thesis statement and summing up the most important features of a reflective essay. Pinpoint the aspects of your critical reflective essay that deserve special attention.
Even if you have some unique reflective essay format, you need to follow the general rules of conclusion writing: summarize only the previously analyzed ideas of reflective essay and do not introduce any new ones. Try to focus on the lesson you have derived from the situation and the importance of the event in your life.
Congratulations – now you have all the required knowledge on how to write a perfect self reflective essay. As you see, when following the guidelines, you get to know how to start a reflective essay without suffering from writer’s block.
How APA Reflective Essay Assignment Differs from Other Types of Essay Writing
If you wonder how to write a reflective essay assignment for your university and how APA reflective essay differs from other types of essay writing, read the information below. When you get task to write a reflection paper, you may wonder what is so peculiar about reflective essay structure. For example, if you have to produce a reflective essay in APA format, you need to format and organize reflective essay body paragraphs accordingly. In reflective essay college writing, you do not need to rely on facts, figures, and statistics as the topics for such writing mainly relate to your personal experience.
Still, you should make sure that the paper is more personal in nature and refers to individual experience even if you need to submit a reflective essay about, for example, cultural identity. Even if you have been assigned a task to hand in a reflective essay about life, a book, business management, or leadership, all of these compositions should relate to your personal experience. When you get more personal topics, such as a reflective essay about the death of your grandfather, you need to focus on how the event struck you or how it shaped your lifestyle afterwards. Such student essays help your professor identify how well you can analyze and evaluate your character traits and reflect on your emotions.
If you have to write a reflection on a story or a book that you have recently read, then you need to know exactly how to write a reflective essay on a book. This information can also be found on the net and in specific guides for academic writing. You may as well be able to find information about how to write a reflection paragraph, which is a relatively shorted piece of reflective writing.
Getting Reflective Essay Help from Experts
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