What is a reflective essay?
A reflective essay is a paper in which you are supposed to describe an event or experience, analyze the meaning of that event and what you learned from it. It is a paper in which the writer examines his or her experiences in life. The writer then writes about those experiences, exploring how he or she has changed, developed or grown from those experiences. Here are some useful questions that you can consider:
- What have you learned about yourself as a result of the experience?
- Have you developed because of it? How?
- Did it have any positive or negative bearing on your life?
- Looking back, what would you have done differently?
- Why do you think you made the particular choices that you did? Do you think these were the right choices?
- What are your thoughts on the experience in general? Was it a useful learning experience? What specific skills or perspectives did you acquire as a result?
What can you write about
- A real life experience be like a place you have been to eg the beach, the house you grew up in etc.
- Something you imagined.
- A place or a special object
- Something you read, watched, you have seen, touched, smelled, tasted or heard.
- Impactful experiences like a vacation or concert.
- Important people like your mentor, your best friend, someone who hurt you etc.
How to write a reflective essay
Writing a reflective paper is as easy as following the step-by-step instructions below.
- Choose a topic idea.
- Study your subject. Spend a few minutes vividly thinking or re-experiencing your subject.
- Brainstorm; write down everything you can think about your subject.
- Pick reflection questions like; how did i feel about this? How has this changed me?What did I notice? How is this typical in my life? Etc.
- Answer the questions you selected as your reflection questions.
- Identify the meaning of your experience.
7 Guidelines on writing a reflective essay.
- Always use the first person to express your ideas.
- Use transitional phrases to introduce ideas.
- Keep your story bright but short.
- Explain your topic in a five to ten sentence introduction paragraph. Use the introduction part to express your own opinion by writing a short synopsis, identify the subject and give the reader a general overview of the impression it made on you.
- Write your thesis statement that will serve as the focal point of your paper at the introduction in one sentence. The rest of your paper should be written in support of your thesis statement while giving evidence.
- Write about a 3 paragraphs body with every paragraph discussing a single part of your subject matter.
- Write a recap of your essay in your conclusion highlighting major points as you avoid repeating yourself. Let the reader understand your experience clearly and the impact it may have in future. Express how useful the knowledge is and experience gained will be useful in future.
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