How to Write a Reflective Essay
Although many think so, writing a reflective essay is not just a routine academic assignment. It is a serious misconception that can lead to unsatisfactory results. The reflective writing style is frequently used in various areas, e.g., journalism, where it can be encountered in pieces written by renowned members of the press corps for major online and offline publications. When a university or college student gets this task, they frequently face lots of challenges, the most common one being that they don't know what guideline to follow because there are so many instructions. Indeed, the Internet is teeming with all kinds of manuals promising quick and easy ways of mastering this writing style, but unfortunately, not all of them can help you get things done right.
The principal goal of this article is to help you meet this challenge by using our guideline on how to complete this task properly. So, what is a reflective essay? Are there any peculiarities of doing this assignment? How long should a reflective essay be? You'll find all the answers in our in-depth exploration devoted to this creative task.
What is a Reflective Essay in Its Core?
The reflective essay is a paper in which the writer needs to describe a real-life situation, analyzing it and drawing a particular conclusion. Have you ever kept a diary? The majority of students are in the habit of keeping a notebook where they write down everything happening to them. Using the reflective essay writing style is pretty much the same as writing a diary, but there's a slight difference - the targeted audience will read your narration while your diary entries remain secret.
There are different reflective essay definitions, but the general idea remains the same - you need to describe a negative or positive real-life situation (an event from your childhood, first work experience, adventure, etc.), which happened to you and somehow influenced your behavior.
The reflective essay's average length varies from 600 to 1200 words, depending on the requirements and guidelines of your teachers. Therefore, before immersing yourself in creative writing, you should know what your limitations are and make sure not to exceed them. Please, keep in mind that these essays are typically long because apart from describing events, you should also draw a lesson. However, it can be quite a challenge sometimes as not everyone is capable of doing it having a limit of 300 or 400 words.
Precise Reflective Essay Structure
Students frequently make the same mistake - they start working on their essays without spending time on the preliminary stage. Alternatively stated, they don't feel they should make a plan or create a draft if they describe a real-life situation. In very deed, they are mistaken because they should always follow a reflective essay structure.
This assignment has a purpose which consists of teaching students to analyze their experience in writing. Therefore, this paper should not just be a chaotic thought stream, but a properly structured and clearly conveyed presentation of your ideas.
It doesn't matter whether you're an experienced writer or a total newbie - you should always come up with a plan and stick to it to the letter while writing. Please, don't neglect this recommendation because it will help you avoid making silly mistakes and significantly increase your writing proficiency.
If you want to keep things organized and really look forward to boosting your chances of getting good grades you can't start covering the topic without a balanced plan. Don't want to get lost in a stream of your ideas? Why not come up with a reflective essay outline? Think of it as a map, guiding you through the main points of your essay and saving your precious time. It also serves as a last reminder which will give you a timely heads-up whenever you forget to do something important.
A typical reflective issue structure should look something like this:
- Strong introduction;
- Extensive body paragraphs;
- A short concluding part.
Please, see below for more detailed information about each of the above points.
How to Start a Reflective Essay and Engage the Audience?
We won't reinvent the wheel here because as with any other essay type, you will need to create a strong introductory part first. In other words, you should create a thesis statement which presents the general idea of your paper manner. Your ultimate goal here is to make sure that whoever reads your introduction gets 'hooked' on it.
The reflective essay introduction should be short but gripping. Make sure to make up a clear central idea you want to develop in your writing. The teacher will assess your introduction writing skills through your ability to formulate the reflective essay thesis statement using several short but intriguing sentences.
What about the Reflective Essay Body Paragraphs?
Some students consider creating the central paragraphs the most complicated task. However, if you created an outline in advance, you won't face any problems doing that because it will help you not to get lost along the way.
This task differs from the descriptive essay in this that you need to describe all the events in chronological sequence.
You should also make sure that your body paragraphs are appropriately focused, your primary objective is not to just describe your personal experience but provide an in-depth analysis of it. Specify whether this situation influenced your life or changed your belief system in any way. There should also be a definite conclusion drawn by this situation which will leave the reader with a sense of completion.
The key purpose of this task is not only to teach you how to express your ideas in writing but also to highlight your personality. It will let your tutor and core audience see how you behave in different situations and how you deal with the challenges life presents you.
Writing a Winning Reflective Essay Conclusion
Writing the concluding part is the easiest task (especially when you create a reflective essay). You shouldn't mention the details of the events you referred to in the body paragraphs but instead let the reader know whether this situation changed your attitude toward life, influenced your behavior in any way or improved your problem-solving skills.
Depending on what situation you describe (positive or negative), you should summarize all ideas once again. Keep in mind that your teacher will also be reading the concluding part because they will want to check your ability to conclude and set forth ideas briefly and succinctly.
On average, the end section should have no more than a few sentences. Refrain from making it too long, because its primary mission is to draw a conclusion and it shouldn't take a few paragraphs.
So, what should you do if your teacher wants you to write a reflective essay? Even if you haven't done this before, don't just start lamenting your fate at once. In fact, all you need to do is describe a real-life situation which happened to you - it's as simple as that. However, if you are swamped with other tasks or your part-time job gets in the way, you can always retain services of a custom writing service.
Our academic writing companies operates online, so to have us do this task for you, you just need to place your order on our official website. After that you can relax and take it easy, knowing that your paper or essay will be delivered on time and appropriately formatted.