One faces many questions when you start writing a reflective essay. What is a reflective essay? What does it mean to do a personal reflection, and what is a reflective summary? How do you write a personal essay? These people want to get guidance and information for reflection essays. The current article aims at providing answers to all such queries. This article aims to provide a complete guideline on definition, purpose and outlines of reflective essay.
What is meant by a Reflective Essay?
In a reflective essay, the writer explores an aspect of the world. Later on, the writer describes how it has affected him personally. The purpose of reflective writing is more than engaging your reader. You have to tell the reader how an incident has affected you and what changes it brought you. It is about telling a story as a part of essay while the essay is in the form of a discussion. You can also say that it describes your thoughts or feelings. For example, how does the death of your dear one impacts you? What difficulties did you face during your school life due to racism? How do you feel about new immigration orders signed by the president? In brief, we can say that:
- In a reflective essay, you write about something that brought change to your life. It can be an accident, a death of someone, an illness, or any issue related to your personal life.
- In your personal reflection, you may write about something very annoying in your life. It can be racism, social inequalities, discrimination or minority, etc.
- You do a personal reflection about an event that occurred in your life. You can describe how you feel about it before and after the occurrence.
- Remember that there is a difference between writing a story and a reflection essay.
Which Points you should Consider Before You Start Writing the Best Reflective Essay?
Before writing a reflective essay, you need to analyze, research and outline the essay.
- You need to assess the essay question given to you.
- Please read the marking criteria carefully. It helps you stick to the important points and you will follow the right direction while writing your reflective essay.
- Make sure to maintain the confidentiality and anonymity of the person involved. A reflective essay is based on a real-life incident. So, it will involve many people besides you.
- In the description, describe the whole scene by answering what, when, how, who and why like a question.
- Note down the main issues or points you have identified related to your experience.
- Find relevant literature that may support your opinion. It will also help you to make your essay authentic.
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Which Outlines Can Work Well for a Reflective Essay?
Following are the three main and standard outlines for reflective essay:
Introduction of Essay
In the introduction part, clearly, state what your essay is about. What is the essay question? What is the main focus of the essay? Why is it important to write about this topic or question? How is the essay going to answer, i.e., reflective mode? Also, you have to provide a background of the topic selected for the essay. The background information works well to make things easy to understand for reader. Once you are done with all these aspects of the introduction parts, you have to make a concluding statement. The last line or concluding line of introduction is named as a thesis statement, which makes reader curious for rest of the discussion.
Explaining Body of Essay
In the main body, you need to describe the event or experience of your life. Write an evaluation of the event, like what was good or bad and how you feel about it. Analyze the event using cause and effect or compare and contrast method. In this way, you can better guide the reader for a particular happening. Also, this approach helps you motivate your reader to read, and it becomes easy to engage reader in an effective way.
In the main body of essay, another important aspect is of reflection. Reflection is the most important and difficult part of a reflective essay. While writing this part of the essay, you first need to think deeply about yourself. Outline the impacts and changes any particular aspect had on you. Remember that you are writing about your memories of a personal experience. You need to express your feelings and reflect on these feelings using your thoughts. You can make your expressions powerful through hindsight.
Furthermore, you will tell the reader what you have learned through the particular experience. Make sure this experience is personal. Apart from this, you can tell how it helped you grow or how you have developed. In the reflection part of the writing, you will be using phrases like; “looking back, I can remember that…” and “now I know ….”
Conclusion of Essay
Start the essay’s conclusion by summarizing the event you have explored. You can restate the purpose of essay. After that, you are supposed to describe briefly how you have fulfilled the mentioned purpose of essay. In the end, you can offer your suggestion related to the needs you have identified in the essay. The suggestions should be logical and have some ground basis. Another best way to conclude an essay is to call the reader for some action in the very last line.
A reflective essay is an internalization of one’s experience. They are designed to make you aware of the deep knowledge you gained from the incident. You get to express your experience and the lesson learned from it. With the guidelines provided in the article, you can write the best reflective essay. Before writing an essay, you should be clear about the purpose and outlines of essay. If you still need guidance to consult, you can feel free to contact me.