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Succeed in Writing a Reflective Essay - Learn from Our Experts!

Aug 04, 2018

Your professor assigned you to write a reflective essay, but you have no idea how to go about it? You don't even understand what is asked of you? Well, it won't be difficult if you do a little research before you start working on it. So, if you wonder how to write a reflective essay, let's start with the very beginning and focus on the meaning of the word "reflective." Have you ever seen a magazine or newspaper title reading "How to stop reflecting on your past mistakes" or something to that extent? Actually, this hint can help you understand what this essay is all about. Don't worry - we are not asking you to start analyzing and regretting your past decisions! You have enough of your plate already. And it's not your fault that nobody had taught you the basics of essay writing. Now, it's time to stop lamenting the lack of educational experience which caused this unfortunate situation! Stop tormenting yourself and have a read!

Useful reflective essay guide for everyone

Should you have any problems writing a reflective essay, do not panic! Use all the recommendations you can get your hands on. After you learn all the specific features of this type of assignment, you'll have no problems creating it. So, what is a reflective essay? A reflective essay is a piece of writing which combines two elements - description of a fact, event, or experience, and your reflection on it. In other words, you have to analytically describe something that impacted your life and explain why it is so important and how it helped shape your personality. Obviously, there are a lot of important things to pay attention to, so check out our reflective essay guide.

Making a proper reflective essay structure

The good news is that reflective essays are uniformly structured. Generally speaking, a typical reflective essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? All of these parts need to be coherent and interconnected. Keep in mind that you should not only describe but also write in a way which allows you to reflect on the situation. This means that you should activate your analytical and logical skills.

Start with reflective essay introduction

It is vital for you to be aware of how to start a reflective essay introduction in a proper way. It helps you get the reader hooked on the text and understand the general "mood" of your essay. It is a good idea to start with a vivid description of the event, place, or situation you're going to talk about. It also wouldn't be out of place to pose a question which you will answer later on in the course of your essay. This question is called a thesis statement, so be sure to include it in your introductory part.

Reflective essay thesis in more details

A thesis is something your essay cannot possibly do without. One can spend a lot of time developing a good statement, and believe us when we say that it often is the toughest part to get through while writing an academic paper. Paradoxically, a thesis statement is usually only one sentence, but it's a herculean task to phrase it in such a way that contains all the vital info. However, there are several DON'T'S:

  • Don't overload this critical sentence with too much information - make it clear and understandable.
  • Don't write general facts or info known to the reader; write original and unique sentences.
  • Don't be afraid to include a personal statement which contradicts the existing ones.
  • Don't present boring or obvious information.

Here are some reflective essay thesis statement examples to help you get the idea.

  • I've never enjoyed being the center of attention; however, my future profession always demands it, and it makes me panic.
  • I don't really like the idea of adoption, but one summer holiday changed my perception of this idea dramatically.
  • Working with people can make you hate them.
  • Too much stress and improper treatment can cause a person to drop out of college.

Creative reflective essay topics

Choosing a good and interesting topic is 50% of the essay! Check out these reflective essay topics to get inspired.

  1. A day you will always remember.
  2. Something that stopped you from making the biggest mistake of your life.
  3. The importance of maintaining family traditions.
  4. The most challenging time or situation in your life.
  5. First impression - is it ever right?

Reflective essay conclusion ideas

As per usual, you must write a conclusion for a reflective essay. A good idea here would be to link it to the thesis statement. If the body, the text focuses on examples, whereas the final part should reveal more about your personal reflection on everything you described earlier. It will explain and broaden your thesis, informing readers on how the situation had influenced you, what experience you had gained, and how it had taught you to understand something you weren't aware of before. A second way to make a great conclusion is to mention how your current reflection caused your further actions.

Common tips on reflective essay outline

Although we started talking about the essay outline in the final section of our article, it doesn't mean you have to start working on it at the final stages of your writing process. First of all, make sure you have a cool and exciting idea to write about. Avoid dull subjects like the plague - this type of essay demands you to be creative, open, and honest.

Tips for introduction:

  • Start with a hook (something which definitely grabs the attention).
  • Give a short preview of the whole situation.
  • Write a thesis statement, containing a brief idea of the essay.

Tips for Body text may vary depending on the topic. However, be sure to describe something that made you analyze and reflect on it, adding why and how exactly it affected you.

  1. Description of the situation.
  2. Your personal impressions.
  3. Expectations and reality.
  4. New discoveries.
  5. A recently gained experience or point of view, etc.

Tips for Conclusion:

  • Demonstrate some recently gained experience, attitude or viewpoint
  • Mention some plans for the future that were inspired by the situation you've described in your essay.

Here it is. Your ultimate guide on reflective essay writing! Feel free to use our tips and ideas, and remember - we're always here to help. If not with our helpful articles, then with our excellent writing expertise. Just order your essay from us, and have some rest!

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