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Reflective Essay: How to write, Tips, Example

Are you a student of the university, a graduate of high school, or an educator of college? This means you will have to write different types of papers. One of the documents you will create sooner or later is a reflective paper.

This type of essay grants writers the possibility to conduct analysis on reading texts or personal experiences. Creating an excellent and high-quality reflective paper requires time and effort. Some authors can face difficulties during writing a top-notch reflective essay. However, it is still possible to present a great paper to your professor if you are aware of the necessary and proper reflective essay format and structure.

But what to do if you know nothing about writing a reflective paper? What if you are assigned to write this essay for the first time? There is no need to panic and take ready papers on the internet. This article contains all the important information you should know about reflective essays from their definition to writing pieces of advice.

What is a reflective essay?

To begin familiarizing yourself with reflective papers, there is a necessity to answer the “what is a reflective essay” question. A reflective essay is an academic work that enables writers to express their thoughts and surveillances on a concrete subject. Through this type of paper, you will be able to transfer your ideas and emotions related to a certain text or your personal experience.

As a rule, reflective essays are more formal than journal articles but at the same time less formal than a business report. A personal reflective essay provides readers with a description of how a concrete theme has influenced your opinion.

We can attribute reflective essays to some events or experiences. Writing a reflective essay, you will have an opportunity to carry out an analysis of the background, its value, and lessons that can be taken from it. The format of this type of paper expects writers to tell about their thoughts and emotions to disclose their thinking, personalities, identities, traits of character, and past.

A perfect reflective paper should involve a description of the author’s experience or literary work along with an explanation of the writer’s reactions and feelings. To demonstrate to your professor that you know how to write a reflective essay, you should make your paper pretty subjective and well-organized.

What is the purpose of a reflective essay?

After we sorted out the definition of a reflective essay, there is a necessity to determine the purpose of this type of paper. A reflective essay means an academic writing task that discloses more detailed information about your personality. Mastering reflective writing will enable you to:

  • Conduct analysis and make conclusions of what you have recently read, browsed, or heard;
  • Set links between the text and yourself, or different texts and the whole world;
  • Consider what you got to know and how you are able to utilize just obtained information;
  • Write in a very personal way, from your viewpoint, and assist you to define your interests.

Reflective papers set a goal to teach writers to express their thoughts and emotions about definite events or phenomena. Reflective essay writing ensures reliable training to sharpen writers’ critical thinking skills along with their capabilities to develop and provide opinions on a certain theme. And it does not matter whether a theme is selected by an author or is chosen by a professor.

Educators quite usually ask students to write a reflective essay. By this, teachers make learners ponder about what they are studying and dive deeper into the experience. This type of paper is utilized not only in education but likewise in the professional sphere to assist employees to learn.

As you can see, there are many purposes for reflection essays. This means this type of paper is of high importance and it is not advised to put off its writing until the last minute.

Reflection paper format

Reflective essays assist authors in describing their comprehension of themes and in which ways this may influence their beliefs. As a rule, one can highlight several types of reflective essays: experiential and textual.

Textual reflective essays imply an analysis of a written text. It can be either an article or a book. This type of essay should comprise the writer’s analysis, interpretation, and opinion on the recent reading material. It is not obligatory to add personal anecdotes within this essay. The reason is that a textual reflection essay concentrates exclusively on the content of the text. This essay serves as a reaction and assessment of the material.

Experiential reflective essays imply an analysis of the writer’s personal experience or surveillance. Within this type of essay, authors can explore the experience and estimate the accuracy of a specific theory that belongs to it. As a rule, the task of the writer is to watch the experience objectively, generalize it, and allocate fundamental principles and theories that maintain the author’s analysis of the experience. Experiential reflective essays are widespread in professional programs, for example, medicine, business, and education. These papers assist writers to connect principles and theories to practical experiences.

Speaking about the format of a reflective essay is different from argumentative or research paper formats. Reflective papers are rather well-structured stories abounding ideas and reflections. You may be asked to design your paper utilizing the APA style or the MLA format.
The standard length of reflection essays may vary between 300 and 700 words. However, if you were assigned to write this type of paper, it is recommended to ask either your professor or hirer how long your essay should be.

Tips for writing a reflective essay

To cope with a reflective essay assignment successfully, learners should apply all their writing skills and knowledge. In case you do not have representation on how to begin to create your paper, we can offer several useful writing tips. With their assistance, you will achieve success in composing a top-quality reflective essay.

  • Keep Track of What You’re Composing. Being a pretty personal type of writing, reflective essays should involve the writer’s feelings and viewpoints about something. If you are going to include some information within your paper, you should check whether it is appropriate. If it is uncomfortable for you to add personal information to your essay, do not do this. You can write about the problem in more general terms.
  • Be Professional. It is true that reflective essays are very personal. However, your task is still to make your paper professional. It is recommended not to include slang within your essay. Also, proper spelling and grammar should be likewise utilized. Avoid utilizing abbreviations.
  • Focus on Yourself. Your reflection essay is your story. It should be concentrated on your reflections and experiences. You should not go into detail about others in your paper. Even if an individual played a great role in your past experience, your task is to stay professional and provide a description of the actions you took.
  • Verify and Revise. Before presenting your professor with a ready paper, you should check it carefully. Review your essay sentence by sentence to look for mistakes and remove them if necessary. Read your paper aloud to your friends or relatives to make sure your content is easy to understand and attention-grabbing.

Reflective essays seem simpler to write in comparison with other types of academic papers. Nevertheless, the writing process likewise requires your focus, time, and skills. To create your essay faster and easier, you can take advantage of the above-discussed writing pieces of advice.

How to write a reflective essay outline?

One of the keys to a great and excellent reflective paper is creating an outline of the future essay. Outlines should be written before the first draft of your reflective paper. With a properly composed reflective essay outline, you will be able to organize your ideas correctly and make sure you forget nothing.

Writing a reflective essay outline expects time from you. That’s why you should proceed to create an outline as soon as you are assigned to write a reflective paper. Let’s consider what a proper reflective paper outline should look like.

  • Introduction. Your task is to grab the reader’s attention with a hook in this paragraph. You can provide readers with a brief preview of what you are going to write about.
  • Thesis statement. This sentence serves as the focus of your essay. Your thesis statement should involve information about your past experience or a short statement of what your reflective paper is going to be about.
  • Body paragraphs. You can include three body paragraphs within your reflective essay. Events should be discussed in chronological order in the body paragraphs. You can provide the first reason why your theme made an impression on you in the first paragraph. In the second and third paragraphs, you should write about the second and third reasons why your theme made the impression on you respectively.
  • Conclusion. In this paragraph, you can complete your ideas and show how you’ve developed as a result of your past experience. You can provide readers with a description of your feelings, discoveries, and potential plans for the future.

Creating a reflective paper is not simple as it may seem. This is where essay outlines come to the rescue. A correctly written outline will be handy for you because you will have a clear plan of what to write about in your future reflective essay.

How to write a reflective paper

Did you recall your academic assignment at the last minute and as a result now require reflective essay writing help? There is no necessity to worry since you can make use of detailed steps on how to write your reflection paper from scratch.

  1. Select a Theme Idea. Your professor may assign you a theme for your reflection essay. However, you will be lucky if you can choose a topic by yourself. Since you can come across a large number of topics for a reflective essay, you should pick your theme wisely. Topic selection is the first step in creating an excellent reflection paper.
  2. Study Your Topic. After your theme is determined, you should allocate time to remember, read, watch, listen, or imagine everything you can on the chosen topic. You can even try to re-experience your subject.
  3. Take Brief Notes. Next, it is a time brainstorming process. You should write down everything you represent about your theme. Your task is to provide as bright a description of your topic as possible. You can likewise include bright adjectives that describe your experiences. Your ideas can be written down either in sentences or in phrases. After that, you can write a whole paragraph.
  4. Select and Give Responses to Reflection Questions. After looking through a list of reflection questions, you can focus your attention on three and provide answers to them. For example, “how has my past experience changed me?”, “how can I utilize my past experience to assist other people?”, and “was this experience beneficial or harmful for me?”.
  5. Include Important Sections. Begin your essay with an introduction. Do not forget to include a thesis statement within your introductory paragraph. Then, you should proceed to write the body of your reflection paper. Finally, you can finish your essay with a good conclusion.

To make sure your reflection essay is ideal, you should allocate time to proofreading and editing. You do not want your readers to get a paper with mistakes and factual errors, do you? That’s why you should proofread your essay several times before you provide it to your professor or classmates.

Video Guide: How to Write a Reflective Essay?

Reflective essay topics

As a rule, a reflection paper is a type of essay for which writers can not borrow topics. The main reason implies authors should write about their thoughts and experiences. Still, there are some reflective essay ideas about which you can write.

  • An experience that forever will remain in your memory.
  • The day you won over your greatest fear.
  • The most complicated decision you have ever made.
  • An event that called into question your beliefs.
  • The moment that changed your life.
  • The happiest event of your life.
  • How you can change this world in a better way.
  • The moment you felt depressed and lost.
  • A day you would like to relive.
  • The most frightening event of your life.

Creating reflection papers supposes authors will write about their personal experiences. This means there is the possibility to select any desired event of your life and describe it within your essay. Writing reflection papers reminds us of writing in a diary in some sense. Authors write down their thoughts about important occasions in their lives. You can describe a day when you read an interesting book, faced a complicated situation, encountered an exciting individual, etc. The main rule is to express your opinion.

For instance, you can write about a special place for you (a beach, a house you grew up in, a friend’s home, city), a happening that changed your life (significant memory, special date, important conversation, time you learned something new), important thoughts (your strong emotion, an individual you’d like to be, awkward moment), etc.

If you can not come up with a topic for your reflection essay, do not hasten to worry. You can have a look at the above-discussed reflective paper ideas and take one of them as a basis for your own essay theme.

Reflective essay examples

Let’s consider a reflective paper example so you have a better insight into how your essay should be. This example will be about reading an interesting book.

When it was time to read books, I didn’t comprehend the attraction. I’d read a lot of books without comprehending what the entire bustle was about. Nevertheless, the day I read Romeo and Juliet, my literary eyes opened for the first time. It provoked love within me for masterpieces of playwrights I didn’t have an idea could be.

When I was first assigned to read Romeo and Juliet, I chuckled like the majority of my classmates. I internally estimated how much time I should spend on reading this tragedy and composing a report. I was disappointed at the loss of time with my relatives for a boring book.

Opening the cover, I was sure to dislike this book before even reading the beginning. After reading several pages, I almost decided to quit this activity. Still, there was something about the main characters that imperceptibly grabbed my interest.

My eyes started to devour the pages so I did not notice how I reached the end. I was excited and sad simultaneously. Their ending had been so tragic and I discovered I would miss them. Also, I realized I would likewise miss being part of their world.

It was the first time book characters had influenced me like this. Nevertheless, after a few days, that melancholy brought me to the tragedies section of the library of my educational institution. The moment I opened the next story by the playwright, my soul immediately felt more at ease.

I had never had an idea that a book can change me, still, in this case, it’s true. The love I discovered in Romeo and Juliet introduced me to a great world of playwright’s tragedies I can’t live without. Despite not reading Romeo and Juliet for the second time, it will still remain my favorite book.

Did You Get Stuck with Reflection Paper Writing? Assign This Task to Real Experts

Creating reflection essays requires time and effort as any other academic assignment. As practice shows, it is better to proceed with writing as early as possible. Otherwise, you can appear in a complicated situation where your deadline is near but you have no representation of how to begin to write your paper.

Fortunately, there is a good way to avoid unnecessary stress and obtain a high grade for your reflection essay. You can order its writing online on the Bidforwriting platform. This company guarantees high-quality every page of your paper and timely sending. Moreover, neither your teacher nor your parents will find out that you asked skilled and qualified authors to assist you with your academic project.

After you hire one of the smart and competent authors of Bidforwriting, you will be guaranteed to get an individual approach to your request, persuasive content, and quick results. Your essay can be written within just three hours by professionals.

Thus, if writing tips will not be enough so you are still not sure how to create a reflective essay properly, do not hasten to present an essay of poor quality to your professor. Rely on the Bidforwriting service and you will only win from cooperation with this reliable and experienced team.

FAQ

1) How can I create a reflective paper?

Reflective essays are hard but possible to write. For this, you can make use of our tips that will make the writing process much simpler. Also, you can buy high-quality reflective papers from professional authors.

2) What does a reflective essay mean?

Reflective papers can be related to writers’ events or experiences. Reflective essays mean expressing the author’s thoughts and emotions about specific events or moments.

3) How should reflective papers be started?

It is recommended to start your reflective essay with an introductory paragraph that likewise includes your thesis statement.

4) What’s the length of the reflective paper?

Keeping your reflective essay between 300 and 700 words is a good idea. However, sometimes your professor may ask you to write a longer paper.

5) How should I begin my reflective paper?

You should begin your reflective essay with a hook that will grab the attention of readers with certainty.

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