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15 Tips to Help You Write a Stellar Essay
Essay-writing can be easier than you might think if you have a grasp of the basics and a willingness to engage with the subject matter. Here are 15 top tips for writing a stellar essay.
Do Your Research
This is one of the most important tips you’ll ever receive. Research thoroughly, even if it means you have too many notes. It’s better to have to leave stuff out than not have enough to write about.
Make an Outline
Without a properly structured outline (with an intro, a four- to five-point body and a conclusion), your essay may be hard to write and to follow.
While you might just be writing your essay for a teacher or professor that is paid to read it, it still pays to grab their attention. A “hook” like a quote or surprising statistic in your intro can make your reader want to read on.
Lay Out Your Thesis
The intro isn’t all about flair and grabbing attention. It’s also about laying out your thesis. Make your main argument clear in the first few sentences, setting up a question to answer or statement to prove.
Avoid Passive Voice
If you want your writing to be persuasive, passive voice should be avoided. (That sentence was full of it, by the way. For example, “You should avoid passive voice” is a more convincing way to say “passive voice should be avoided.”)
Avoid First-Person Voice
If you’re writing an academic essay, you should almost certainly avoid first-person voice. In other words, avoid saying “I” or “my.” Also restrict your use of the second-person voice (e.g., don’t use “you” unless it’s necessary).
Start With Your Strongest Point
In general, it’s a good idea to start with your strongest argument in your first body paragraph. This sets the scene nicely. However, this might not be appropriate if you are structuring your essay points chronologically.
Relate All Points Back to Your Thesis
Make it clear to your reader how each point you make relates back to your thesis (i.e., the question or statement in your introduction, and probably your title too). This helps them to follow your argument.
Contextualize Without Losing Focus
Add contextualizing information for a richer presentation of your topic. For example, it’s fine (or even desirable) to discuss the historical background for certain events. Just don’t get bogged down by irrelevant details.
Use Transition Phrases
Transition phrases, such as “furthermore,” “by contrast” and “on the other hand,” can also help your reader to follow your argument. But don’t overuse them at the cost of clarity. Read your essay aloud to gauge how it flows.
Conclude With a Return to Your Thesis
A conclusion can do many things, but it’s useful to think of it as an answer to the question or statement in your intro. It’s sensible to summarize your key points, but always relate back to your thesis.
Make Your Conclusion Seem Obvious
Restating your thesis in your conclusion (after having made all of your points and arguments in the body) can be persuasive. Aim to make your conclusion feel irrefutable (at least if it’s a persuasive essay).
If your spelling is sloppy, it’s natural for your reader to assume your approach to writing the essay was too. This could harm the strength of an otherwise persuasive essay.
Grammar is also important, for the same reason. It’s usually easy to pick up on dodgy grammar if you read your essay aloud. If you’re not a native English speaker, however, you might want to ask someone who is to check your essay.
To avoid harming your persuasiveness and authority, it’s fundamentally important to use the right words. Overly obscure language can detract from the clarity of your argument, but if you feel you have to use it, then you better know what it means.
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Reflective essays are academic essays; what makes an essay "good" will work for a reflective essay. What is different about a reflective essay is that the essay is about you and your thinking. However, you will need evidence from your course to back up your reflections.
You should structure a reflective essay as an essay, that is write to persuade your reader of your key reflections (or argument). The diagram above, details how to stucture your reflections through the essay. To find out more see the section on essay writing .
The following example comes from business. Thanks to Dr Colleen Hayes for the three samples.
Students were asked to write a reflective essay on their learning in the course by responding to the following question:
What key thing have you learned about corporate social responsibility in the course?
Example 1: Retelling
This writing is (1) descriptive/listing of content, not reflective and (2) not properly referenced (the definition of stakeholders is directly copied from Freeman in the lecture slides.
Example 2: Relating
This writing involves relating to personal experience and has some integration of course concepts (stakeholders).
Example 3: Reflecting
More reflective (forward-looking), better citation and integration of multiple course concepts, and reflection that links with personal experience.
An anthropology marking rubric
For this assessment, students were required to write a 1500-1800 word essay building on the themes of the course to address the question "We are all pirates". Attached under reference documents is the rubric used to mark the essay (thanks to Dr Caroline Schuster). Notice that it requires both the reflection (reflect, relate and retell) as well as the poor traditional requirements of an essay (Writing and organisation, Supporting claims with scholarly sources).
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How to Write a Reflective Essay
Reflective essays describe life experiences. At first, this seems like a straightforward task, but when you begin writing, it becomes clear that this academic assignment requires a conscientious approach and attention to every detail to ensure coherence and expose relevant information. The author of a reflection essay analyzes their own life experience and transformations, becoming influenced by particular circumstances and conditions. The purpose of reflective essay writing is to reveal more details about an author's personality. It helps to analyze what they have read, seen or heard—how this experience impacted their life and changed world perception. Let's get into more details about how to write a reflective essay, popular topics, format of reflective essay and more!
What Is a Reflective Essay
So, let's first address - 'what is a reflective essay?'. The reflective essay talks about the writer's personal experiences and opinions concerning certain subjects. It's essential to choose an appropriate title before you start writing an essay. You must set the direction of your thoughts. A formulated reflective essay topic will help narrow the field of information search.
Don't be afraid to experiment. The reflective thinking process will lead you to the right way out. But first, you need to identify particular and crucial facts and circumstances that influenced your life experience during a specific time. For example, you can discuss school and student years, internships, or interchange programs.
The most important thing is identifying strong points that helped you to cover your knowledge gaps and form opinions on specific subjects and topics. Focus on strengths and weaknesses, successes and difficulties that accompany you to achieve the goal.
The emotional component is essential. Describing your feelings from a particular action or phenomenon that influenced your worldview always generates interest. It doesn't matter if you are writing a reflection paper on a free topic or an assigned one by your educator.
You should pay attention to the ability to consistently develop a topic and keep your thoughts and ideas well-structured. Or, you can use a paper topic generator to easily create a reflective essay format.
Think about the event that changed your world perception, made you learn lessons, and associate it with your life experience. First, create a mind map, allowing you to avoid many mistakes. You will have a structured plan, and step by step, you will continue filling the gaps in the argument. Note ideas that may be related to the essay topic and try to get them together, establishing connections and sequencing. Remember, write down your thoughts at any time, even if they may seem strange. It's a draft, and you always have the option to edit. Preparing to write a quality essay requires time and effort and is no less important than writing itself. For several days, keep a record of your ideas and thoughts. After, please sit down and carefully reread them, establish semantic links, cause-effect relationships, etc.
Use the vocabulary carefully to transmit feelings and emotions during your reflective writing. The descriptive component is vital in reflective essays; in other words, it must contain many specific adjectives with insight connotations.
Reflective Essay Structure
While writing a reflective paper, you may focus on your personal growth, self-development, and emotional stability. You describe circumstances, obstacles, and conditions that helped you to become who you are.
Overthinking is not favorable. Put your fingers on a keyboard, start typing the first sentence, the whole paragraph, and remember that you always have the option to rework and edit it. Learning how to write an essay takes time and practice. Remember, almost nobody has an innate talent to write a perfect assignment from the first attempt. Don't be shy to try using a strategy that suits you best. The only thing you need to follow is your plan.
We recommend you create a chart or table to follow your ideas. For example, divide it into three parts:
- your experience
- your feelings in emotions of this experience
- how you overcame this situation/experience
To help your reflection process, our paper writing service authors prepared a list of specific questions that can help you:
- How has this life situation or experience influenced your worldview?
- Do you consider these changes to be significant?
- What did you learn about yourself, and what features did you discover after this experience?
- Have you become a better person and developed professionally?
- What impact has this experience had on your life? Here you can give an example of both positive and negative effects.
- Look back, and if there is an opportunity to change something in the past, would you do it?
- Would you like to relive this experience?
- As time passes, do you think your attitude towards this experience has changed?
- Did you do the right things and make the right decisions?
The most popular topics of a reflective essay
- My first job interview experience?
- The most important features of a good friendship.
- The fears of the first dates.
- A break-up that I will never forget.
- The moment I overcame the fear of…
- One of the most difficult choices of my life.
- The happiest or worthiest moment of my life.
- Fears about my future career.
- Uncertainty of the future.
- Qualities that annoy me in people.
- How to survive the betrayal of a loved one.
- A journey that changed my life.
- The book that turned my life upside down.
- My emotions when I saw the ocean for the first time.
- Looking at a sunset.
- I am moving to another city, fear of the unknown.
- The feeling of the first victory
How to Start a Reflective Essay
It's fundamental to get acquainted with the structure of a reflective essay before you start writing it. This essay's structure doesn't differ much from others, but it's obligatory to follow all the requirements. The main parts are the introduction, body, and conclusion. If you want a high-class reflective essay, you can get help from our order essay service. Or, meanwhile learn here how to start a reflective essay.
To introduce the paper, you should briefly expose the main idea, explain some key features that will be discussed in an essay body, and make an eye-catchy statement on how this experience has influenced you. The introductory paragraph allows an author to, directly or indirectly, express the main idea of the article and use an essay hook to focus on the aspects that will be covered.
The introduction part empowers you to attract the attention of the reader from the beginning. Try to find curious characters and mention them in the first paragraph to keep the reader engaged. The reflective essay thesis statement must be perfectly formulated. It is a summary of the specific facts that influenced you significantly. Avoid giving too much information from the very beginning; leave some mystery to keep your reader interested. Consider using different engaging techniques and start the introduction with a quote, a short personal story, or flashbacks. You can use one or more quotations to make your introduction sound more authoritative.
How to Write a Reflective Essay Body
Specify the reasons that motivated you to select this topic, and what you expect to achieve with this essay. For example, there are two ways of scientific research: deductive and inductive. The first means research by testing a theory or hypothesis on a real case. In contrast, the inductive method generates theories and explanations to understand why something happens in real life.
This part of a reflective essay allows you to analyze the experience and how it affected your life. For statements and reflective essay examples, use only verified and reliable sources. Ideas and conclusions should be logically connected. The first sentence of the paragraph should set out the primary purpose. The body text should be a natural combination of your thoughts with references to other sources.
Acknowledge the essential elements of a lifetime coherently and systematically. It is crucial to follow chronological succession. Provide appropriate critique and reflections about the main idea. The reflection essay allows you to be honest and tell a true story, and don't be shy about describing what went wrong or would be improved. Reflections about learned material, underlining important nuances, and conclusions about the gained experience are always welcome.
How to Finish a Reflection Essay
First of all, we want to emphasize that the conclusions should be as transparent as possible, formulated, and based on the information and facts mentioned in the essay. In conclusion, you summarize the work done, briefly and objectively indicate the positive and negative sides of the situation or experience. It is also worth listing the undergone transformations, and whether you find it useful to overcome difficulties on the way to success.
Keep in mind that your reflection reveals your personality and shows you as you are. A perfect conclusion should retell the story using other words, underlining the main ideas, and the research's logical conclusion. You need to be competent, sound reasonable, and сonfident.
Guidelines for Writing a Reflective Essay
Our essay writers from ' write my essay for me ' service, prepared the guidelines of writing reflective essay. Reflective papers have specific requirements and formats. To receive a good mark, you need to follow them:
- margins – 1 inch on all sides;
- full space between lines;
- use Times New Roman 12-pt.
Practical Tips That Will Help You with Writing a Perfect Essay
Our custom essay service team prepared a list of useful words and phrases to help you write your academic assignment:
Interpretation words and phrases:
Meaningful, relevant, coherent, useful, significant
Clarifying the nature of learning points:
Element, issue, idea, matter, experience, aspect
At that time, at first, initially, previously, later, then, subsequently, as a consequence
Expressing your viewpoint:
think, consider, feel, question, realize, expect
Emphasize and highlight specific situation:
Indeed, as a case in point, in fact, equally, unlikely, similarly, alternatively, etc
To clarify your statement, use the following words and phrases:
For example, as an example, to be specific, to clarify, by way of illustration, to explain, in more detail, namely, in other words, etc
To distinguish concepts:
In the same way, in a typical situation, typically, as usual, usually, to be used to, etc
To conclude, suggest implications, and make inferences:
To suggest, based on, as given, previously explained, as seen in, can be seen, etc
Reflective Essay Sample
To understand the reflective essay format even better, read the essay sample written by one of our write my essay for me service professionals.
The voyage that changed my life
I am going on a train that carries me to meet my dream and get acquainted with Venice. For me, as for many people in this world, travel is the best way to know myself through the prism of the world around me. I can't say that I have visited a few places, I travel a lot, but the list of my must-see cities has not yet collected all the checkmarks. However, there is one trip that I will remember for a long time. I'm not afraid to claim that it changed my world perception.
La Serenissima ("the most serene") is the capital of the Veneto region of Italy and the pearl of Adriatic. I always dreamed of visiting this city during the carnival. Feel the emotions and plunge into the atmosphere of balls, dances, intrigues, and secrets. When I was planning my holiday getaway, I did not suspect how it would turn out. After spending two hours on the train on the road from Milan to Venice, and marking on the map new places to visit, I finally relaxed and anticipated meeting the miracle. Anyone who has ever been to Italy and saw Lake Garda's landscapes will claim that they inspire. I almost forgot one crucial detail; I don't know a word in Italian.
My friends warned me about the raging Venetian pickpockets. That can take everything you have in an eye blink. Slack-jawed, I continued watching landscapes and left my belongings unattended. Naturally, when I noticed its absence, it was too late. I was cut off with nothing, with documents and cell-phone—a perfect beginning of the weekend of a dream. A sense of hopelessness, misunderstanding of further actions, and despair took hold of me. I felt like an ant in the vast sea of giants. Perhaps, now, looking back at this situation, I believe that I slightly exaggerated the seriousness of the problem. However, for me, it seemed that the end of the world had come.
As you know, nothing in this world happens by chance. Certain events take place to realize something and meet certain people who help us change our life perception. I got off the train, sat on the steps at the exit of the station, and started to cry—further events developed in the best traditions of Hollywood melodramas. I will not go into details. I will only say that the meeting that fate had prepared for me in the city of my dreams overshadowed all the negative aspects. I decided to share this story and show that no matter how terrible the situation may seem, everything happens for something. Three years ago, at this station, I met the man of my life. Now we live together, and recently we have become parents of a wonderful girl.
Due to this fabulous experience, I found that it is unnecessary to tear hair out and sob if something goes wrong. This situation taught me to look positively at things. To believe that everything that awaits me on the way is beneficial, even if at first it does not seem so.
Reflective essays help you analyze the author's life, personality, notable events, and encounters that influenced, changed, and transformed the writer's character. This type of essay aims to express personal emotions and attitudes regarding significant life incidents. Remember to reread your reflective essay template several times to be confident you comply with all the requirements or ask to help our writers from EssayService .
If writing a reflective essay still seems too complicated, you don't have enough time to complete the task and understand that the deadline is very close, always remember that you can buy an essay on our platform. Our highly experienced authors will take your academic writing to the next level by providing a quality reflective essay sample for you.
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How to Write a Reflective Essay with Ease
This article is about how to properly prepare and write a reflective essay using all tactical and literary writing techniques. A reflective essay always has the goal to introduce the reader to some interesting moments from the writer’s life and fix attention on feelings about a certain issue.
Reflective essays are frequently written in college during nursing courses, business, sociology, and law classes. Also this type of paper will be helpful in technical fields like engineering, as well as for technical and pharmacology specialists.
How to Write a Reflective Essay?
Modern society requires different skills from a person, including describing personal thoughts and reflecting on certain ideas or events. Do not be shy to share your thoughts. Do not think that they will look stupid. Imagine that you are talking to a friend and proving your point of view.
Reflection is a person’s thinking aimed at analyzing oneself (self-analysis) – personal states, actions, and past events. At the same depth of reflection, self-analysis depends on the degree of human education, the development of moral feeling, and the level of self-control. Reflection, in a simplified definition, is “a conversation with oneself.” The word reflection comes from the Latin reflectio – to bend back. Both Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries define reflection as serious thinking and consideration about something.
A reflective essay is a paper written from a personal point of view, but still keeping the formal tone and academic essay structure. In this article you will find well-thought guidelines to creating a great reflective essay. But before proceeding to the step-by-step guide, let’s find out what a reflective essay is about.
What Is a Reflective Essay?
A reflective essay is a written work about something that happened to you, or an experience in which you were part of the event that occurred (pursuing an exhaustive or defining description of the topic). You might have already written several essays about how you spent your summer during your school years. In college, topics for reflective writing may sound more complex and require a deeper reflection, but still the basis will be around your first essays about summer. Simply, you will need to share the story in sufficient detail about what you did and how you felt about it. Your opinion and conclusions should be directly related to what you told at the beginning of your essay.
A reflective essay is a kind of creative work and involves more personal thoughts and expressions than research of known facts. You can be assigned this type of paper to reflect on your experience in practical fields and share your observations of professional activity at a certain place.
Note: Unlike academic writing, reflective essays are more informal, as they ask to show your viewpoint, which is something that is usually not shared in other academic papers. Self-awareness is the key to writing a good reflective essay.
Maybe you think that you have understood what reflective writing is about, but don’t jump the gun just yet! Good writing appears only after good planning. Let’s read the step-by-step guide.
Steps to Writing a Reflective Essay
Before writing a reflective essay:
Step 1. Analyze the assignment. This means that you need not only read the assignment, but also analyze it to get a better understanding of what the tutor asks you to do. Note function words and keywords like “use critical thinking,” “discuss,” and “analyze.”
Step 2. Identify the experience or event. Reflective essay topics can be connected to speeches, music, films, books, and graphic portrayal. Reflection is not about what happens in your head, but about depicting the process within the chosen angle. If a topic was assigned by your tutor, just skip this step. Take a piece of paper and a pen, set the alarm for an extra ten minutes, and brainstorm around the subject or topic.
Step 3. Take notes. No matter if you are reading a book that you need to reflect on, or sitting in the lecture: take a notebook and write down important points to consider, your feeling and thoughts, and questions that need answers. This information will be a good basis for your future essay and help to summarize your experience. Don’t forget to write down some evidence that you can use further to support your thoughts: quotations (for lectures, articles, books, etc.) and specific parts of experience (for practice).
Step 4. Determine who your reader is. Answer a simple question: “Who will be reading your work?” Of course, the first thought will be about the tutor that has assigned you this paper. This person usually states his or her requirements and expectations about the work. But still keep in mind that your audience may be broader – like your classmates or parents. That means that you should use plain and easy to understand gender-sensitive language and be sure that your text may interest the broader audience.
Step 5. Plan your time. Proper planning has already saved thousands of students’ lives. If you need to write a reflective essay about your practical field, this step will be doubly essential. List all activities that you should do to write your reflective essay. Create a timetable where you can insert the time for preparation, research, writing, and proofreading. Make sure that it looks realistic and you will be able to complete it on time.
If you need to reflect on a certain movie or book, make sure that you have time for reading or watching it. A good choice is to take notes about your emotions and thoughts while reading, as it will be a great help while writing your paper .
Step 6. Create an outline. Creating a reflective essay outline will allow you to structure all your thoughts in a certain order. With the help of an outline you won’t find yourself struggling to add important parts to a previously completed paper. An outline is like a map of your future essay. If you want to come to a certain destination and at a particular time, you need to plan your trip. The same thing is true with an essay outline: to be able to finish writing before the deadline, you need a plan of action. Collect all information that arises in your mind and determine the points that stand out.
The structure of a reflective essay will depend on the topic, the purpose of the essay, and the model you choose to use. A properly structured essay will help you clearly present the necessary moments and address certain points.
- Describe the significance of the experience that you have received during practice in the introduction.
- Pinpoint personal moments that have arisen after the experience.
- Identify personal intentions and link this experience with previous experiences.
- Recognize your own beliefs and values.
- Think about future options and ways to improve your everyday life or professional skills.
You can begin with creating a table with important points such as past experience, the description, and reflection. In the first row you can list the most important points that can be described in detail in the next rows. The second row will be about the experience and the third row will describe your personal response to the event. As soon as your table will be ready, you can create the following outline:
1. Introduction 1.1. Attention grabber 1.2. Quick overview of the topic 1.3. Thesis statement 2. Body paragraph I 2.1. A detailed description of event, person, or place 3. Body paragraph II 3.1. Description of feelings and thoughts when it happened 4. Body paragraph III 4.1. Evaluation and analysis of your experience. 5. Conclusion 5.1. Overview of the event 5.2. Summary about lessons learned
Your outline may be different, as it depends whether you need to reflect on a book or something else. The only thing you should keep in mind is chronological structure.
While writing a reflective essay:
Step 1. Introduction. Every introduction to reflective essay writing should start with an attention grabber that will boost interest in your topic. The introduction is a small overview to the topic. It can be formulated as a question or contain a quote. The proposed thesis statement will be the starting point for subsequent reasoning. The reflective essay thesis statement will be about places, events, thoughts, experiences, or people that will be described further in the body paragraph. Check these examples of reflective essays or environmental design examples to get inspired and generate more ideas to start your essay.
The tutor is not required to read a boring text, especially if students are writing a paper on a similar topic. Be unique and start you essay in an extraordinary way.
Step 2. Body paragraph. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that deals with the final points made in the thesis statement. For your reflective writing it should focus on the event, your reflection about this event, and the description of lessons learned. If you were taking notes during the event, it’s time to use them!
The first body paragraph will be a description of the scene and the event. Make sure that you have answered questions like “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” and “Why?” Include in your essay images, sounds, and other descriptions of your experience. If you are describing an event, follow the chronological sequence and try not to jump from one time to another.
Note: The final sentence of each paragraph summarizes and restates the idea introduced at the start of the paragraph.
In the second part you need to point out the main issues you have identified in relation to the experience. If these points can be related to literature (theory), insert quotations and cite sources.
The third part will be about your personal reflections about the event. This is the aim of your essay – to show the lessons that you have learned, as well as insights and ideas that have evolved after experiencing the event. Here you need to answer what this event means to you. For example, if you need to reflect on a certain project or class, answer these questions to ease the process of writing:
- How would you describe the project to someone else?
- What were your first reactions? How have other people reacted to it?
- Was the project easy? What aspects were easy and why? What aspect was the hardest and why?
- What are the key issues? What points were the most interesting to you?
- What would you like to explore after the event?
- How can skills that you have acquired during the project be compared to others
- How has this project changed your view on life/technology/etc.?
- What did you know about the topic related to the project before the start?
- Have you used additional sources of information to go deeper with understanding the topic?
- How will this project be useful in your college activities?
Step 3. Conclusion. The conclusion for reflective essay should complete your writing. It should be convincing, because it is the result of your reasoning. It almost duplicates the thesis, but it takes it to a new (deeper) level due to deductions and, possibly, forecasts. The conclusion reaffirms the points made in each paragraph. Together, these points support the thesis statement (the overall argument).
The conclusion will be a reference to the question and your thesis statement, a summary of key points, and a final comment on the topic. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t disclose new information in your conclusion. Try to add specific points about how your personal attitude has changed due to the particular event or experience. Also state how your new skills can be applied in your everyday life. Look for some examples of conclusions over the internet.
After writing a reflective essay:
Step 1. Revise your first draft. Make sure that the reader will easily understand the text and make any changes to improve text readability. Depending on your taste, print the text and take a pen to make remarks, or write comments in a text file on a computer. Make sure that you have followed academic style while keeping a personal voice.
Step 2. Check the text sentence by sentence. Look for wordiness, credibility, grammar, spelling, and accuracy. Tidy up the text paying attention to every detail. Proofread the text several times before submitting.
Reflective Essay Sample
Generally, the best practice for achieving good reflective writing skills is to see a sample that includes all qualities. Often students repeat the same mistakes from paper to paper. Identifying crucial moments can dramatically improve your writing. Here you can check out an excerpt of a reflective writing sample that was analyzed by our specialist. You can take these suggestions into consideration for developing your own work.
Click the images to see their full size.
Tips on Reflective Essay Writing
- To improve your reflective writing skills you can keep keep a reflective diary or journal. Using such a tool will not only increase your abilities of reflective thinking, but also help to develop self-awareness.
- Avoid being repetitive in your conclusion. It should summarize the key aspects that you have described in your body paragraph.
- Your essay text may dither among the past, present, and future tenses, which may sound disturbing for the reader. Remember that your reflective writing is about a past event, so all of your text should always relate to the past tense. Only when you will be writing a conclusion and describing the implications of the gained knowledge in your everyday or professional life, use the future tense.
- Write in plain English. This means that you need not use complex words to sound academic. Plain English is about simple writing and avoiding complex structures. If you can’t understand whether your writing is readable, just read it aloud and mark sentences that should be rewritten or simplified. Make sure that every sentence makes sense and don’t write text only for reaching a certain word count.
- This kind of essay is about your own point of view. Don’t be shy to state your own opinion even if it goes against the general beliefs. But don’t forget to support your thoughts with evidence to make your writing more believable.
How to Write a Reflective Journal?
Unlike the essay, a journal is kept for a long period of time and allows the student to carry out a more personal and thoughtful reflection, monitoring both the immediate process and comparing actions in time (“postponed” reflection). The aim of a reflective journal is the following:
- Become a better writer.
- Gain better reflective thinking.
- Improve problem-solving abilities.
- Develop professional orientation and understanding of the educational program.
In some cases, a reflective journal is a real task that may be assigned by your tutor on your course. If you attend work placement for several weeks or pass a certain course you will need to write daily entries to your reflective journal. Such a journal will serve as a basis to your reflective essay about practice. Reflective writing is also a great practice for social and health workers. This tool helps identify problems in the working process and with finding solutions. Also, reflective writing helps to see the picture from the outside and recognize personal strengths and weaknesses.
So, how to write a reflective journal? You will need to create daily entries with descriptions of your tasks or procedures and your personal reflections on such.
You should be highly attentive during your classes and avoid skipping a day of writing. Consider these stages which may take more time than you think:
- Make research on literature to discover key information and theories that you are going to discover during lectures and practice.
- Put theory into practice.
- Compare your experience and theory and reflect back on it.
Reflective Essay Writing Tips
- Use an outline for your daily entries.
- Make sure that you have become familiarized with the assignment and consider correct academic style.
- Your writing shouldn’t be too formal; write as you are telling your friends a story.
- Include evidence and interesting facts that you have discovered during classes or practice.
- Make sure that you have supported every moment that seemed unclear to you before.
- Your arguments and conclusions should be believable. Support them with arguments and examples.
How to Write a Good Reflective Statement
A reflection statement is a kind of reflective writing. Usually reflective statements are assigned after interactive orals, lectures, or presentations, and are aimed to describe what was learned. This type of writing is intended to ensure that students can construct their own analysis of received information and are able to clarify confusions that they may encounter at the workplace. Students are expected to be able to determine the usefulness of information and how it will improve their practical skills.
It is not a reflective statement if you:
- Describe only the information that you have learned.
- Don’t link the content to your professional skills.
- Don’t explain the depth of new knowledge to your current skills.
- Don’t mention how new skills will help you in your future workplace.
It is a reflective statement if you:
- Describe how studying relates to your future profession.
- Outline the method for your studying activity.
- State how the learning activity increased and improved your skills, knowledge, and attributes.
- Describe further learning that you need to cover along with new skills.
- Identify how your practice will change (or has already changed) due to the new skills and knowledge.
The length of a reflective statement is usually dependent on the tutor’s requirements and the type of learning activity that took place. Start with describing what you expected to learn, what you have learned, and your next steps and conclusions. If you have already applied some new skills in practice, it is advisable to cover them in the reflective statement too. Check one of the examples:
I attended the Wilton Smith Presentation on May 11, 2017 in San Francisco, CA, and it was a great experience. The presentation had four wonderful speakers that day. Dr. Bob Marley’s presentation was on the influence of medications on human health, while Dr. Barbara Green presented on how to provide emergency assistance. The final speaker impressed me the most—Dr. Anna Goldberg, who is the author of our current anatomy textbook. She had some great tips for consulting patients that I have started using in my practice. The tips really helped with the development of correct actions and the use of certain instruments for various situations. Dr. Bob Marley’s presentation was the most helpful when it comes to the basics of a doctor’s practice. A great number of doctors who sincerely respect their patients and care for them do not know how to convey the attitude to their patients. The tips that he gave helped to learn the correct tone and establish proper contact with patients. Now most of my conversations with patients are easy, which makes the diagnosis more accurate. Doctors need to know how to talk, listen, show interest, and make decisions together with the patient. By creating a peaceful atmosphere from the beginning the patients and doctor are going to save a lot of time for treatment rather than talking. I also use this technique with complex patients that need additional attention and a specific approach.
Exercises to Develop Reflective Writing
The goal: Reflect on everyday events from your life. Content: For example, you can summarize the lesson, and discuss what you have learned and how you worked. You need to assess your contribution to the achievement of goals set at the beginning of the lesson, activity during the class, fascination, and usefulness of the selected forms of work. You can begin the sentence with such phrases:
- Today I learned…
- It was interesting…
- It was difficult…
- I was performing tasks…
- I realized that…
- I felt that…
- I purchased…
- I managed …
- I was able to…
- I was surprised…
- The lesson gave me for life…
This is a method of creative reflection which allows the evaluation of the studied concept, process, or phenomenon in creative form. Cinquain is connected with the Japanese short poems called haiku and tanka. It is a poem of five lines, which is built according to these rules:
- 1st line – theme or subject (one noun)
- 2nd line – description of the subject (two adjectives)
- 3rd line – description of the action (three verbs)
- 4th line – the phrase expressing the attitude to the subject
- 5th line – a synonym, generalizing or expanding the meaning of the topic or thing (single word)
Compiling the cinquain, a brief summary based on a large amount of information, is useful for developing the ability to analyze.
“Plus – minus – interesting”
A reflection can be conducted orally, where students selectively express their opinion. The column “+” records all the facts that caused positive emotions. The column “-” records everything that remains incomprehensible. In the column “interesting” students write out everything that they would like to know in more detail, and what they are interested in.
Reception of reflection “choice”
- Receiving an unfinished proposal, thesis, or selection of aphorism.
- Reflection on the achievement of the goal using the goal tree, assessing the “increment” of knowledge and achieving the goals (“I did not know before the…” “Now I know…”).
- The reception of the cinquain, which helps to clarify the attitude to the problem under study, to connect the old knowledge and understanding of the new.
The desire to learn is formed in the process of successful work on the material, therefore it is important to organize individual assistance in such a way that the student constantly feels progress is moving ahead. Experience has shown that often even a slight advancement inspires students, stimulates them to work more intensively, and increases interest in studies, and this ensures their successful mastering of the material. Individual work with students is first of all constant attention to each of them in the course of the lesson: during the interview of students, in the process of exposition and fixing of the material, as well as in explaining the homework.
Rene Descartes said: “It’s not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”
You can also check a business reflective essay sample on payforwriting.
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Reflective Essay Examples and Samples
Reflecting on a chosen topic requires deep insight, making reflective essays difficult to write. Read our samples of reflective essays to gain a greater understanding of how to write one on your own.
Introduction to Reflective Essay: An Exploration of Self
A reflective essay is a type of personal writing that allows you to explore and document your thoughts, feelings, and insights about a particular subject or experience. Unlike other forms of academic writing, a reflective essay is more subjective and focuses more on your personal perspectives and interpretations. Writing a reflective essay can be a powerful way to articulate your growth and discoveries, making it an essential tool for creative and personal writing.
The Importance of Personal Experiences in Reflective Writing
Reflective writing revolves around personal experiences. It’s through such experiences that we learn, grow, and evolve. As such, personal experience plays a crucial role in reflective essays. A well-written reflective essay should vividly describe the experience, delve into the feelings it evoked, and critically analyze the impact it had on you. Reflective essays are not just a recounting of events, but a deep exploration of how those events influenced your outlook on life, reshaped your beliefs, or contributed to your personal growth.
Creative Expression: The Heart of a Reflective Essay
Creative writing goes hand in hand with reflective essays. The very nature of reflective essays – introspective, personal, and subjective – calls for creative expression. The creative door is wide open when writing a reflective essay, allowing you to experiment with different writing styles, narrative structures, and descriptive techniques. The goal here is to create an engaging and compelling narrative that captures your personal insights and emotional journey in the most authentic way possible.
Examining Growth Through Reflective Essays: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Reflective essays often serve as a mirror, reflecting your journey of growth. Whether it’s overcoming a personal challenge, learning a new skill, or undergoing a transformative life experience, these growth narratives form the backbone of reflective essays. When writing a reflective essay, it’s essential to not only describe the event or experience but also to delve into how it contributed to your growth as a person. How did it change you? What did you learn about yourself? How have you evolved as a result? Answering these questions can lead to profound insights and self-discovery.
Using Books and Literature as a Catalyst for Reflection
Books and literature often serve as a catalyst for reflection. A classic novel, a thought-provoking non-fiction book, or a compelling piece of poetry can provoke deep reflection and become the subject of a reflective essay. Whether it’s a book that changed your perspective, a character you deeply resonated with, or a theme that made you rethink your beliefs, reflective essays about literature can be a powerful way to explore your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the written word.
Emotional Intelligence: Exploring Your Emotions in a Reflective Essay
Exploring your emotions forms an essential part of the reflective writing process. In fact, reflecting on our feelings and emotions is an exercise in emotional intelligence. A reflective essay offers a safe space to navigate complex emotions, understand emotional responses, and articulate emotional growth. Whether reflecting on a life-changing event or exploring your reactions to a particular book, it’s crucial to delve into your emotional journey. By understanding your feelings, you can gain deeper insights into your emotional patterns, personal triggers, and coping mechanisms.
- Understanding Emotional Responses: When writing a reflective essay, it’s crucial to delve deep into the emotions experienced during a particular event or circumstance. This could range from joy and excitement to confusion, disappointment, or even grief.
- Navigating Complex Emotions: Sometimes, experiences can elicit complex emotions that are hard to navigate. Reflective writing offers a safe space to untangle these emotions and gain a clearer understanding of your emotional state.
- Articulating Emotional Growth: A reflective essay allows you to document your emotional growth. Overcoming a difficult situation, managing negative emotions, or discovering a new perspective all signify emotional growth that can be articulated through reflective writing.
- Identifying Emotional Patterns: By consistently writing reflective essays, you can identify patterns in your emotional responses. This can help you better understand your reactions to similar situations in the future.
- Recognizing Personal Triggers: Reflective writing can help you identify personal triggers that prompt specific emotional responses. This awareness can equip you to manage these triggers more effectively.
- Developing Coping Mechanisms: Understanding your emotions through reflective writing can lead to the development of effective coping mechanisms. Whether it’s mindfulness, meditation, or simply taking a walk, recognizing what helps you manage your emotions is a significant step towards emotional intelligence.
Reflecting on College Class Experiences
College classes offer rich experiences that can provide plenty of material for a reflective essay. Perhaps it’s a creative writing class that opened up a new world of expression for you, or a challenging science class that pushed you to your limits. Reflecting on these experiences can help you understand your academic journey, recognize your learning style, and appreciate the knowledge you’ve gained. Discuss the skills you’ve acquired, the challenges you’ve faced, the friendships you’ve made, and how these experiences have contributed to your growth and development.
Time Management Reflections: Overcoming Procrastination
Reflecting on time management can lead to valuable insights about your work habits and productivity. Have you struggled with procrastination? Have you discovered effective time management skills? A reflective essay on this topic can discuss your past struggles, the strategies you’ve employed to overcome them, and the progress you’ve made. By examining your relationship with time, you can uncover patterns, identify areas for improvement, and devise strategies to enhance your productivity.
Reflective Essay Examples: Lessons and Insights
One of the best ways to understand reflective essays is by reading and analyzing examples. These examples can serve as a guide, offering insights into the structure, tone, and style of reflective writing. Whether it’s an essay reflecting on personal growth, a transformative travel experience, or a powerful book that left an impression, reflective essay examples can provide inspiration for your own writing.
In conclusion, reflective essays are a powerful form of personal and creative writing. They allow you to explore your experiences, emotions, and growth in a deeply personal way. Through reflective writing, you can gain valuable insights about yourself and your journey, making it a rewarding and transformative process.
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Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses.
Essay-writing can be easier than you might think if you have a grasp of the basics and a willingness to engage with the subject matter. Here are 15 top tips for writing a stellar essay.
Example Essays lists “Culture as Portrayed by the Media,” “Mass Media-Communications,” “Mass Media,” “Media Influence” and “American Culture and the Influence of Technology” as existing mass media essay titles.
They should include a vivid summary and description of the experience so that the reader feels they have also experienced it. They should also
Remember that reflective writing has a descriptive component and so must have a wide range of adjectives to draw from. Avoid vague adjectives
Written by one of our qualified academics, this reflective essay example should help you get a clearer idea on how to correctly structure
A fight with a family member - Why did it impact you? · The moment you feel in love - Explore the feelings and emotions that come with love and
Why did you behave in such a way at the time of this experience? Did you make the right choices? What are your general thoughts and feelings about this
A reflective essay is a written piece of literature that focuses on presenting and narrating a person's experience and how it becomes an instrument toward a
The following example comes from business. Thanks to Dr Colleen Hayes for the three samples. Students were asked to write a reflective essay on their learning
The most popular topics of a reflective essay · My first job interview experience? · The most important features of a good friendship. · The fears
The reflective essay thesis statement will be about places, events, thoughts, experiences, or people that will be described further in the body paragraph. Check
Write an outline. You can create a draft of your supporting arguments and references before writing the reflection paper. · Use a formal tone.
Reflecting on a chosen topic requires deep insight, making reflective essays difficult to write. Read our samples of reflective essays to gain a greater