Guide for writing a reflective essay

1 Jun

A reflective essay is an essay in which you contemplate a specific topic and share your thoughts with the reader. It usually has a personal tone and is written in the first person.

In a reflective essay, you share your own experience with some event or your thoughts regarding an article, lesson, lecture, etc. What makes that essay reflective is that you, as a writer, analyze a past event from the present.
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We usually come across this type of writing in books or movie review. Self reflective essay do not require much research like other type of research. It aims at communicating opinion and providing reflection and experience up to conclusion.

The reflective essay is probably an essay you can’t borrow a topic for, because it should be about your own thoughts and experiences. However, here are some ideas subjects you can write about to help you begin:

An experience you will never forget.
The moment you overcame a fear.
The most difficult choice you had to make.
A time your beliefs were challenged.
A time something changed your life.
The happiest moment, or most frightening moment, of your life so far.
Ways you think you, or people, can make the world a better place.
A time you felt lost.

Though a reflective essay is a personal account, it still has to have some structure to it. It’s not a journal entry or a free-writing exercise and should follow a well-organized and logical order. Writing an outline can help you organize your thoughts so you know what topics you want to cover when you sit down to write your first draft.

Self reflective essay do not necessary need writers to make references to support the validity of their opinion in their essay.
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When writing self reflective essay always use first person to express your ideas. Statements like ” I prefer ” ” my own point of view is ” this will help the reader understand that you are just expressing your own opinion and not facts.

The format of a reflective essay greatly differs from the argumentative or research paper. A reflective essay is more of a well-structured story or a diary entry that’s rife with insight and reflection. You might be required to arrange your essay using the APA style or the MLA format.

Introduction
Your introduction should have a great hook that makes the reader want to read more. Let’s say you’re writing about a trip to Mexico. Your introduction can begin with: An anecdote, A quote, A shocking statistic. Your introduction should also include your thesis statement, which will tell the reader what your essay is about. The rest of your paper should support your thesis statement while giving evidence.

Body
After the introduction is the body of your essay which should be about three paragraphs. Each part of your subject matter should discuss in one paragraph. Ensure that whatever content is in the body ties with your thesis statement.
The body paragraphs of your reflective essay should follow a logical order and always connect to your thesis statement.

Conclusion
Write a recap of your essay in your conclusion highlighting major points as you avoid repeating yourself. At the conclusion express an experience that you had and you have learnt after going through. Let the reader understand your experience clearly and the impact it may have in future. Express how useful is the knowledge and experience gained will be useful in future.

A reflective paper is a very personal type of writing because it includes your feelings and opinions about something. Before adding something into your paper, ask yourself whether or not this information is appropriate to include.

Peer edit
Have a friend read your essay and tell you what they think. They might have some helpful suggestions on how to make your essay even better.
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In order to write a strong reflective essay, you should not only explain the change you underwent but also support it with details and examples. For example, if you discuss becoming more optimistic in life, you would discuss how you took a positive approach and how it resulted in a good outcome.

Writing a reflective essay doesn’t have to be a scary experience. You can write an awesome essay by following the above examples, steps and tips. Good luck and happy writing!