Reflective essays are those sorts of essays that seem oh so easy, and yet oh so hard to write, all at the same time. To put it simply, reflective essays constitute a critical examination of a life experience and with the right guidance, they aren’t very difficult to put together.
Reflective essays describe an event or experience, then analyze the meaning of that experience and what can be learned from it. What makes an essay reflective is that the writer is analyzing a past event from the present.
The reflective essay is used in a range of different academic courses.
In this guide, we explore in detail how to write a great reflective essay, including what makes a good structure and some advice on the writing process.
Reflective essays require the writer to open up about their thoughts and emotions in order to paint a true picture of their history, personality, and individual traits. They should included a vivid summary and description of the experience so that the reader feels they have also experienced it. We recommend choosing a reflective essay title before writing it itself.
Reflective writing can be presented in various formats, but you’ll most often see it in a learning log format or diary entry. Diary entries in particular are used to convey how the author’s thoughts have developed and evolved over the course of a particular period.
The most common subjects a reflective essay include the following:
A real experience
Something you imagined
A place or a special object
Something you’ve read, watched, seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.
One of the most important things you should consider it to define what a reflective essay actually is: this is a reflection of yourself; you will have a definite topic, which concentrates on you. Your reader is expecting the evaluation of your life during some period of time.
The format of a reflective essay may change depending on the target audience.
Reflective essays can be academic, or may feature more broadly as a part of a general piece of writing for a magazine, for instance.
Topic Ideas for a Reflective Essay:
Life-Altering Events.Failing or succeeding at something.A time you learned something new.A new experience.A time you overcame one of your fears.
Impactful Experiences. A book, movie, T.V. show, song, play, or other form of media.Social media post.Magazine or article.
Once you’ve chosen the topic of your essay, it’s really important you study it thoroughly and spend a lot of time trying to think about it vividly. Write down everything you can remember about it, describing it as clearly and fully as you can. Keep your five senses in mind as you do this, and be sure to use adjectives to describe your experience.
This is a very special and really personal essay type: you will need a lot of things to consider, reflect and explain. You must demonstrate various feelings you felt previously. For example, you may have to show how you have changed yourself from the childhood or how you used to play with your best friends.
A type of reflective essay often used by tutors as a strategy for helping students to learn how to analyse their personal life experiences to promote emotional growth and development. The essay gives the student a better understanding of both themselves and their behaviours.
The organization of a reflective essay is very similar to other types of essays. An outline of a great reflective essay is laid out for your use below.
You will have to go back to your previous life experiences and give a clear account of a certain event, happening or feeling. It is necessary to choose the proper words and phrases during reflecting your thoughts and showing what you feel. Plus, you should identify your own writing style to make the content clearer, readable and positive; reveal an original manner, try to share with your audience important and happy feelings. You need to be able to reflect (more on this later) on your experience by showing how it influenced your subsequent behaviours and how your life has been particularly changed as a result.
Now, when you already know what is a reflective essay you should figure out how to write a reflective analysis essay.
Your first paragraph should be an introduction in which you identify the subject and give the reader a general overview of the impression it made on you.
In the first body paragraph, write about one reason your subject made the impression on you that it did.
In the second body paragraph, write about the second reason your subject made the impression on you that it did. Then, write about why.
In the third body paragraph, write about the third reason your subject made the impression on you that it did. Then, write about why.
Recap your thesis statement and the reasons you provided in the body of your essay. Sum up your article with some final thoughts on your subject, and some closing reflective thoughts.