Understanding Reflective Essays

If you are a student or someone in the academic field, then you must have heard about reflective essays or you have even been told to write one. However, if you do not know what reflective essays are, or how to write one then you are at the right place. First of all, let’s take a look at what reflective essays are.

What Are Reflective Essays?

Reflective essays or reflective writing is a type of writing where an author is required to describe either a real or an imaginary event, scene or thought. What makes this type of writing reflective is that the authors add a personal reflection to the piece. The author of a reflective essay can decide to write about how these events have affected, changed or developed them.

When writing a reflective essay, think of it as a reflection of yourself. You should have a reflective essay topic which focuses on you. In a reflective essay, your readers are anticipating an event that happened to you in a particular period of your life, and how these events have changed you. As a student, it is possible for your teachers to ask you to reflect on a particular memory such as the day you will never forget. In this situation, you will have to think back in time to something that happened to you and changed your life.

Writing A Reflective Essay

Once you have understood what a reflective essay is, you should begin writing your essay.

The first step in writing your essay is to choose a reflective essay topic. If you are writing for academic purposes, then you probably have been given a topic to write about. Once you have gotten your reflective essay topic, you need to create an outline. This is an important step to take before you begin writing your reflective essay. An outline is a foundation for your reflective essay. Once you have a good outline, writing your reflective essay would become easier. Creating an outline is one step you should never omit when writing a reflective essay.

As soon as you come up with a good outline showing what you want to write and what you want to be in each paragraph including the flow of your work, you should now begin thinking of the event you want to write about. Bring this event back to memory and jot down everything you can remember. Take note of the main points of your narration and the effects this event had on you. Write down everything you can remember and use this information to create a simple draft.

Once you get to this stage, you have made remarkable progress. All that is left is for you to build on your draft. Begin writing your essay using your outline and your draft as a guide. Follow the events just as you can remember them in your head, and write the main points and necessary narration.

Following this simple guide, you will have a good reflective essay on your desk.

Structure Of A Reflective Essay

Every reflective essay is meant to follow a simple format. These are the parts your reflective essay must have, and these include:

  1. The Introduction
  2. The Main Body
  3. The Conclusion

The Introduction

In constructing a great reflective essay, you should work on your introduction as this is what will determine a reader’s attitude to your work. Aim for an interesting, engaging and conversational introduction. Grab your readers’ attention with your introduction so they will read your essay to the end. Make your introduction catchy, informative and concise. Explain what you would be talking about briefly.

The Main Body

The main body is the major part of your essay. This is where you discuss your topic in details, narrate the event or memory you are writing about as well as tell how it has affected you and what makes the event memorable. Just as your introduction needs to be engaging, your body needs to be engaging as well. When writing the main body of your reflective essay, ensure that you tell your story in such a way that your readers will feel as though they were a part of it.

The Conclusion

The conclusion is the part of your work where you need to wrap things up. Let your conclusion be a quick and brief summary of your whole paper. Retell the story in simple ‘straight to the point’ sentences. Make your points clear in your conclusion, and briefly reflect your opinion and any other thing you have to say concerning what you have written so far. A good conclusion shows that you really understand what you wrote in the main body, and this can please your professor if you are writing for academic purposes.

Using the information in this guide, you will definitely come up with an amazing write up on any reflective essay topic.