How to write a Reflective Essay
Reflective essays are the kind of essays that fall into the “too easy” category, and yet are difficult to write, all at the same time! In simpler words, reflective essays involve a critical assessment of life’s experience, emotions or thoughts regarding a certain event and without following the right guidelines, they can be difficult to write!
It’s like you’re writing a diary, but the only difference is that others are going to read it, so it has to be well-structured and coherent. With that being said, reflective essays follow the same pattern and format like any other essays out there. However, they have to be written in the first person and usually have a personal tone. Therefore, it is similar to writing a diary, but more organised.
The purpose of this essay is to include emotions, thoughts, opinion and personal experiences about a certain event or a piece of literature. As its name suggests, this essay is a reflection of yourself, and so you’re going to be the narrator of your own story. Your professors or teachers may ask you to reflect on a certain event, emotion, memory or feeling regarding a specific topic.
For example, Nurses are asked to write a reflective piece during their residency or rotation in which they have to explain the obstacles that they had to face and their emotions while carrying out the duties. The reflective piece is supposed to be natural and interesting to excite the readers. Well, your potential readers wouldn’t want to read anything boring.
- Format of Reflective Essays
The formats of Reflective Essays may vary according to the target audience. It can be academic or may be featured in a newspaper or magazine. For example, you may be asked to reflect on a piece of literature or to describe your experience at a place. However, the aim of this essay remains the same. Professors emphasise students to critically assess their experiences and think deeply about their emotions and thoughts about a specific learning experience or set of events. A reflective essay may include the following subjects:
• A real-life experience focusing on personal growth
This type of reflective essay focuses on analysing and examining life experiences, which aims to encourage personal growth and development. Writing this type of reflective piece helps students to have a comprehensive understanding of their selves and their emotions.
• Reflecting on our own emotions, focusing on a piece of literature
In this type of essay, students are required to summarise a piece of literature and then analyse according to their personal life experiences, thoughts and emotions.
• Focusing on imagination
Sometimes professors ask students to dive into their imagination and write their thoughts after assuming a scenario. In this type of essay, students are asked to explain their thoughts and opinions in an imaginative case study.
- How do you organise a Reflective paper?
An outline is the most important aspect of writing a reflective piece! As you are going to recount your life experiences in an erratic and sometimes unsystematic manner, the chances of your readers getting lost and disorganised during the reading process are much higher. The proper pattern will help you structure your thoughts and opinions in an organised manner that will enhance the readability experience and coherency of your content.
The outline of a reflective essay is similar to other kinds of essays. It begins with a kick-ass introduction, followed by the body and ends with a conclusion. Here’s how you should write it:
Similar to the typical essays, the introduction of a reflective piece should include a captivating thesis statement that can hook your target audience from the very beginning. You must state the most exciting experiences and thought-provoking incidents that drove you to write this reflective piece.
In this way, you will have a greater chance to grab your reader’s attention. After writing your introduction, go through it once and make sure if it is enough to grab your attention and it persuades you to read more? Refrain from writing any made-up situations or controversial thoughts in the introduction. Your introduction is not a click bait but a reflective summary of what you are going to discuss/explain in the rest of the essay!
Followed by the introduction, the body is the central part of your essay where you recount your life experiences in detail and descriptive manner. Have you ever told your story to a friend or your mom, and later they asked you to “make it short” or “you have already told this”? Well, a similar thing could happen while writing the body of your reflective essay! It’s too easy to ramble around and add the same experiences repetitively in the paragraphs. This can make it redundant and boring.
The trick here is to plan and adopt a systematic approach. List down the things in a chronological manner and layout the significant elements of your experiences in a timeline. In this way, your content will be systematic and more coherent to the readers. Make sure the body of your reflective piece holds a critical assessment of your experiences and thoughts. It should contain the impact that a specific experience has had on your life and the learning outcomes you achieved through that experience.
The conclusion of a reflective essay is the summarised version of all your thoughts stated above and the lessons you have learned as a result. You can add the overall experience you had in one emotion and how it has changed your behaviour and attitude towards life. Outline the significant impact that the particular experience has had on your learning skills, capabilities and knowledge. State how those experiences can be consolidated in your professional or academic life. Be certain that your conclusion has to be strong enough to convince your professor that the reflective piece is valid and has had a major influence on your development.
So, now that you have all the knowledge and tools to write a reflective essay on your own, do you think it was rocket science? No, right? Well, if you still face any difficulty or confusion while writing one, then don’t hesitate to take British assignment help. There is no harm in taking professional help for academics, especially when your grades are at stake. Good luck and happy writing!