Reflective Essay. Definition and Main Objectives

Students love writing a reflective essay more than other types of academic papers as such assignment is based on their own feelings and emotions regarding a particular topic. Still, it does not mean that there is no need to conduct a research and analyze some sources. When it is time to talk about your summer vacation, you may skip this stage. However, often, teachers ask students to prepare reflective papers on the movie, book, article, or piece of art. That is when it turns into a more regular essay writing process.

When choosing ideas for reflective essay writing, try to recall the event from your past which has changed your life or the way of thinking. Share the personal experience with your reader. If you manage to do so, you’ll be able to develop winning personal statements, cover letters, and resumes in the future. In general, any paper where you have to write about yourself has a great impact on your future career. You should be able to “sell” yourself to your recruiter, partner, possible investor, etc.

The best reflective essay definition would be: an academic paper aimed to describe personal experience of the writer or particular event from his or her life which led to the significant changes in his life or outlook.

To find out something special about your life, step through the looking glass. Sometimes, you may confuse a really important event with just another fact of your life. You have to pick the topic worth of one-two page writing. The good news is that this type of paper can be more fluid in structure and format.

Reflective Paper Outline to Get Started

An effective outline is the best way to organize your thoughts. You will have to put all your ideas on a separate paper and leave only the most important points. Mind that any essay is limited by the length, and a reflective assignment is not an exception.

So, why is a reflective paper outline so critical? Any good deal deserves a perfect plan. Thus, an outline:

  1. Helps lay out the details you wish to apply before beginning the writing process. It allows preventing situations when a writer is about to enclose the last paragraph, and all of a sudden understands that he or she has missed an essential component or even two.
  2. Makes it possible to get rid of the unnecessary sources.
  3. Provides a student with a definite roadmap. It allows avoiding so-called dead ends.

The next step is preparing your draft. Based on the generally accepted structure of the academic paper, start writing each part of your reflection.

Original and Exciting Ideas for Reflective Essay Writing

  • A real life experience that forced me to change my mind about racial minorities
  • The day I realized I should become a doctor
  • How I imagine a day my band will become a superstar
  • The way “The Great Gatsby” has changed my outlook
  • The role of Hilary Clinton in forming my own career
  • The best movie I’ve ever seen in my life

Writing a reflective essay can be a really exciting experience. All you have to do is to decide on the topic which makes you crazy. It is OK to express the wildest ideas when writing such type of paper.

A personal essay structure would look like this:

Introduction.

Grab the attention of your target audience with a catchy hook. You may begin with the most exciting part of your reflection. A single-sentence thesis has to explain how a certain location, individual, or event has influenced your life. The entire text must refer to this sentence all the time.

Here’s an example of such statement: “There is one thing I know for sure: that free Bon Jovi gig in the Middle of Times Square has changed the way I treat music once and forever.”

Body.

To avoid muddled body section, turn to your outline for tips. In case you describe a specific period, stick to the events in chronological order. Ley out the most important points before the supporting details.

Each new paragraph of your body must start with a powerful argument to make your personal reflection essay interesting to read. There is no way to write about neutral events that had no influence on your life or vision. Otherwise, it would be simply an informative but yet boring essay.

Even if we deal with a short reflective essay, it may consist of the 7 paragraphs. Just try to make them short by combining two related points into one. In this case, you may include numbers 2,3, and 4 in one section. These are all significant episodes that have changed the life of young wizard Harry Potter.

Conclusion.

Bring all parts of your paper together in a logical and well-organized way. The overall take away from your reflection also should be present.

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