Academic Writing Complete Guide

Reflective essays

Reflective essays refer to a written piece of literature that focuses on presenting and narrating a person’s experience and how it becomes an instrument towards a change of perception in life. It is a way for the writer to have an important event in his life and how it affects him. This essay is meant to give the readers something or a lesson from which they can learn. Majorly, this type of writings foots their origin on life-changing experiences. In this, type of essay it's very specific, special, and very personal. One needs to consider many things, reflect, and explain. You are to demonstrate various feelings you had from previous experiences.

For instance, you may have to show how you have changed since your childhood or how you used to play with your first friends. In addition, you should identify your writing style to make the content clearer, readable, and positive. Never the less, be honest and remember to mention anything negative that you may have encountered and inferred a good lesson.

Generally, in most of the time, we reflect quite often and naturally in our day-to-day lives, thinking about things that have happened, why they happened, whether we handled them well. Reflective papers are increasingly recognized as potentially important contributors to clinical education and practice majorly having a long and valued tradition on medical practice, where it appears in many forms from stories to complex philosophical analyses of medical practice.

There are different types of reflective essays


Literature

This type of essay asks you to summarize and then respond to a piece of literature in order to understand it better and relate to your own life and experiences.

Professional essays

Teachers, doctors, and social works often use this type of writing in their professional training in order to analyze the theory of own behavior in response to other people so that they can understand clearly how to better their jobs.

Educational

Majorly written by students from their teachers, tutors or even their professors where they are asked to respond to a lecturer or other school assignments so that they can show the level of understanding of a specific subject. Writing about your lessons can also help you share and interact with other students as well as the instructors.

Personal growth

This kind of writing is quite important as one learns how to understand and analyze their own life experiences. It can also help one grow emotionally as you get to understand yourself better. In order for any individual to write a given reflective essay, one is required to have the right disposition as well as the momentum. Share a given lesson that is or may be important to someone else in life. When starting your essay starts, focus on the personal thinking. Cover a range of topics and refrain from being indirect. Underline the basic purpose of sharing life experience.

Structure of a reflective essay

  • Introduction
    In the introduction the writer, either directly or indirectly shares what the overall focus on reflection will be. The writer is supposed to start with a vivid description of the place, your experience, or a summary of what you are reflecting about. You end with your thesis idea. In this section, you may want also to put a question first and then answer the same within this paragraph. One way to make your introduction attractive is by coming up with an intriguing hook sentence that hinges on statistics, facts, quotes, metaphor, rhetorical questions, or a relevant joke. It depends on the disposition of the reflective essay.
  • Body Paragraphs
    The body paragraph interprets the way the author evolved or what one absorbed from a particular life lesson. These paragraphs also explain what things caused the writer to change. For instance, a student can be asked to reflect on how they improved as a writer over the semester or quarter. The writer often shares how different assignments and lessons made them stronger writers. The body explains how the writer has changed or what the writer has learned and here each of the questions you have answered can be a paragraph in the body of your essay. Ensure that every paragraph revolves around a topic sentence, supported by evidence and at least one example. All these should tie to the central argument of your reflective essay.
  • Conclusion
    This is the summary of your paper. You are required to restate all your major ideas in the conclusion. Your thesis statement is also supposed to be re-emphasized in this paragraph. In other words, your conclusion should be quite effective as if you draw proper conclusions you will show the high level of understanding what you have depicted in your own story.

    Not that the there is no need to research. The author is responsible for defending every stated claim with the help of vivid examples that describe the topic the best. Who knows, other students to succeed may use some of these ideas!

The main reasons to have the essay outline are as follows:

  • An outline assists in laying out the details the student wants to leave after narrowing down the draft before working on the final paper. It prevents one from concluding the essay by realizing something is missing.
  • An outline provides a clear, concise roadmap, which prevents the writer from taking curvy paths and facing dead ends. It shows the way like a compass in the woods.
  • It also helps to save one’s plenty of time when it comes to the writing process of the reflective essay.
  • An essay outline aids the potential readers, including teachers and classmates, to avoid falling off the main point when reading the essay partially.

Things to note when writing a reflective essay


Think of an important event

You are supposed to write something that is rooted in your own individual life experiences or encounters. As such, one is required to think deeply and concentrate.

Brainstorm

Write down everything you can think about your subject. You want to describe this subject as vividly as you can, so think sensory details that appeal to smells, tastes, noises and along with what you can see. Always try to write down vivid adjectives, which describe these sensory experiences.

Introduce your topic

In your introduction, write the concentrate event or experience that you want to share. Pattern it in a story form. The introduction should have a lead that grabs the attention of the reader in such a way that he will want to continue reading your essay.

Be original

Even the most seemingly boring essay topics can sound interesting if creatively approached. If writing about a gymnastic competition you trained for, do not start your essay:” I worked long hours for many weeks to train for this competition.” Consider an opening like, “Every morning I woke at 5 AM to sweat, tears, and blood as I tried on the uneven bars with high hopes of bringing the state gymnastics trophy to my hometown.

Advance your argument

Write the body of your essay with at least three to five paragraphs to supporting your main topic. Write a draft and do not jump hastily onto formal writing. The draft will help you to create a bulleted list of the things that you want to share.

Do not “thesaurusize” your composition

For some reasons, writers continue to think big words amount to good essays. Vocabularies are fine, but only if they are appear in the appropriate contexts with complex styles.

Always use imagery and cleat, vivid prose

If you are not adept with imagery, you can write an excellent essay without it, but it is not easy. The applicant lends itself to imagery since the entire essay requires your experiences as supporting details. Appeal to the senses of the audience.

Language

How effectively do you articulate your thoughts? Paraphrasing your ideas with the right words is often glossed-over when compared to actually developing a logical argument and finding appropriate references. Yet, an impressive argument backed up with stellar references can be easily overlooked if you are not good with your words. Moreover, it may be hard for you to notice subtle errors in your papers so finding someone reliable to review everything is a good idea.

Create a summary

Use a summary writing to briefly state your insights and to give final thoughts on the topic. Writing a reflective essay is not persuasive writing where you have to convince your readers to accept your opinion. You simply have to share an experience.


Importance of a reflective essay

In this era, personal reflection somehow considered as outdated because of the subtle changes and development of the things. It becomes hard to pause and reflect on the things that happen to our lives. Thus, the importance of this type of essay majorly is to present the things that we encounter day-to-day activities and note them down for future references. To create a good reflective essay, you have to get a solid experience from which you can get a good reflective lesson.


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