A reflective essay is a type of essay that is widely used in the academic environment. Since reflection essays may be complex and intellectually challenging, they are widely used by teaching institutions to boost students’ thinking and writing skills. Nevertheless, students who first come to work on such assignments often end up in a dead end, not knowing where to start or how to write a reflective essay at all. This article attempts to explain some basic notions of reflective essay writing.
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What is a Reflective Essay?
A reflective essay is a type of essay that requires you to analyze your own ideas, experiences, and insights and then put them together in writing. Essentially, writing reflective essays is all based on reflection and self-reflection: human’s capacity to exercise introspection and willingness to explore one’s inner thoughts and/or experiences.
Why is Reflective Essay Writing Important?
Reflective essay writing can be a very challenging task. The impact of such essay writing is multifaceted: starting from the obvious essay skills enhancement to the more complicated transference of self-reflection skills into real life. If taken outside the academic setting, the ability to self-reflect and find the root-cause of a given event is of great help to just about any individual.
For example, you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the path. When you try to sit down and reflect on it, the reasons and root causes of such event become obvious to you. This, in turn, will allow you to avoid making similar mistakes in future. This is the power of analysis and self-reflection outside just the classroom setting.
Reflective Essay Outline Format
From the point of view of essay structure, any reflective essay is still a typical essay, requiring anyone working on it to maintain the basic essay format: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The introduction should be the part of the essay that grabs a reader’s attention to make them interested in the rest of the story. It should include your thesis statement and some general background information about the topic. It’s here that you present your basic essay idea which is then elaborated in the body paragraphs. The introductory part of your essay (any essay, not just reflective one) serves the eye-catching purpose: if the reader finds your essay boring after the first couple of sentences, your paper won’t be read any further. Academic essays, however, are different: your professors will definitely read them till the end, however, if they find them irrelevant or not to the point, your final grade will go down.
The body is the next part of the essay and provides the story itself. Body paragraphs should enumerate your main ideas and provide from three to five supporting sentences. The body is arranged to make the story flow while containing the essay’s important points. The description provided in the body should be brief enough to portray the picture and long enough to make the story interesting.
Ultimately, the conclusion should summarize the main ideas expressed in your paper and finalize it. It contains the lesson learned from the writer’s reflection. The conclusion of the reflection essay should address:
• Whether you achieve your aims
• What would you like to change if you were to repeat the process
• What were the key learning outcomes
• Will and how would you apply the gained knowledge in future work
• How will you propose to make improvements
Reflective Essay Graphic Organizer
A graphic organizer is an essential visual aid that helps a writer accurately plan his/her essay. Most reflective essays comprise of an incident, the response and the reflection. The three parts when graphically displayed portray a clearer picture where the writer can easily see how everything fits into the big picture which is the essay.
A graphic organizer is a great tool that assists a writer to get a better understanding of how to move from one part to another of her recollection. An organizer saves time since once does not have to go back to correct mistakes which will have been eradicated by the planning process.
Reflective Essay Writing Tips
TIP 1. An author should not seek to include all of his experiences in a single essay. A reflective essay should contain a single event that holds the most valuable lesson or has had the biggest impact on your life.
TIP 2. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to writing reflective essays. The essay should not be exaggerated to the point where a reader can tell it is unreal.
TIP 3. A reflective essay writer should ensure there are no contradicting elements in his story. Moreover, the article should be the author’s experience and no other’s.
TIP 4. A student may decide to order a reflective essay from an essay writing service. The reasoning behind the above decision may be that professional writers would be a lot better at telling stories than the student which would make the essay more attractive.
As such a reflection essay is usually undertaken at the graduate level, you are expected to carry out your reflections professionally, and objectively and write your reflective essay using appropriate vocabulary, and in suitable writing style.
If you want to entrust the writing process to professionals, we are ready to help you write your essay effectively.
Writing A Conclusion For A Reflective Essay: Professional Advice
The reflective essay is a type of assignment that requires a student to tell a story about a person, an event or some other important element about his or her past but in a way that actually reflects a purpose for telling that particular story. The reflective essay is often descriptive in nature and moves the reader through several relevant details on the way to arriving at the writer’s main purpose. This article will provide professional advice that focuses on what you need to know about writing a conclusion for a reflective essay:
The Conclusion Is a Reflection
Just like your entire assignment is a reflection of a person, an even or some other important element about your past, your conclusion should be a shorter and more precise version of what you have recounted in your paper. Review your thesis statement and think about what the main purpose of your story was. Use this to guide your conclusion.
Bring the Reader Back to the Beginning
A great technique for writing a conclusion in other kinds of assignment is to bring the reader back to the beginning of your work by relating the content in the final paragraph with that of the beginning. This works especially well in a reflective essay where you can return to the beginning and write something about what you learned that you didn’t know when the story first started.
Leave the Reader Satisfied but Wanting More
This piece of professional advice might be seem a little contradictory at first glance, but the two things can work together to produce a great ending to your paper. Leave no open questions. Don’t leave your reader wondering what happened to a particular character or some other event. Be sure you leave no loose ends. If you leave your reader satisfied he or she will likely want to read more of your work, not particularly this piece or story, but wanting to read more of your work in general.
Propose a Call to Action, Get Your Reader Active
A great piece of professional advice towards writing a memorable conclusion is to get your reader active by proposing a call to action. If your story develops in a way that encourages the reader to change his or her behavior or do something they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for your story your writing will be more likely to be remembered.