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What is a Reflective Essay?

July 29, 2022

In the simplest terms, it is a piece of writing in which you describe a situation in your life using existing evidence and knowledge to tell a story. These essays are different from narrative essays, which describe and explain events. For example, Homer Simpson might write about the crayon in his brain. In this type of writing, the story would be a reflection of what he learned from that experience.

A reflective essay can be about a person, an object, an event, or a concept. It should analyze the meaning of that experience as well as how it affected the writer. For example, if a student writes a reflection essay about a theory, he or she should include how he or she came to develop their understanding of that theory. This type of essay is very useful in assessing a student’s learning.

Although reflective essays can be about any experience, many writers choose to focus on personal experience. This type of essay requires exceptional writing skills to capture the readers’ attention. Despite the fact that it is more personal. Whether you are writing about a past event or an experience that you had in the future, your reflection should explain how it changed your goals and behavior. If you have no idea where to begin, consider using a story as your guide.

Reflective essays aim to explore the writer’s personal growth and learning experiences. The writing should complement the content of a course and its instructor. It should uncover the knowledge that can be applied to other contexts. The writer must be able to demonstrate that the learning is meaningful and will be put to use in the future. The process of reflection should be engaging, not distracting, and not wasteful. If it is, then it is a necessary step in learning.

What is the Purpose of Writing a Reflective Essay?

When asked “what the purpose of writing a reflective piece is”, you’re most likely answering the question “to reflect on my performance.” However, there are several other reasons for a reflective essay. The purpose of a reflective piece is to acknowledge failure and reflect on the experience. As such, your essay should have a deep level of reflection. To achieve that, you should move beyond descriptive writing and include value judgments. You can also incorporate ideas from outside your experience.

Reflective papers can be personal or professional. While it is important to remain respectful, you should avoid using slang and abbreviations when writing a reflective paper. While reflecting on one’s own experience, a reflective essay should focus on the experiences of the writer. Avoid describing other people or situations. Instead, focus on how you feel about your life’s experiences. Remember to keep the length of the paper short and to make it meaningful.

The body of a reflective essay should describe how the writer has grown in a certain area. It should discuss the different aspects of that growth and what has helped the student to reach that goal. It should also focus on the goals that the student has for their own development, whether academic or professional. In addition to highlighting how these experiences have affected their lives, the conclusion should also include the steps they should take to continue to grow.

Common Mistakes When Writing a Reflective Essay

There are many mistakes that people make when writing a reflective essay, but one common mistake is not ending their essays on a high note. This is not only a mistake, but it also makes the reader feel as if they’ve wasted their time. Instead, writers should end their essays on a high note and link theory and practice. The following are some examples of common mistakes to avoid when writing reflective essays.

  • One of the most common mistakes students make when writing a reflective essay is coming up with a generic angle on the topic. Brainstorm before you begin writing. Once you’ve got a general idea of what you’re writing about, make sure to stay away from the most overused narrative techniques.
  • Be aware of the structure of the essay. While a reflective essay does not have a specific structure like a literary essay, the important parts of any paper still remain the same. In particular, the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion must be well-organized and follow a specific pattern. As a rule, a reflective essay should have a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement should indicate the difference between the writer’s past and present selves. The thesis should clearly identify the lessons learned.

We hope this information has been helpful! Consider these mistakes when writing a reflective essay.

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What Should the Conclusion Do in a Reflective Essay?

A good reflective essay is a two-part process. The body should focus on the experience and reflect on what was learned. The conclusion should close the paper by reminding the reader of the main points in the body. In the case of a reflection essay, it is often easier to choose the style and format of the piece than to write one based on the topic given. Listed below are some tips for writing a good conclusion.

  • The conclusion should summarize all of the points made throughout the piece and summarize the learnings.
  • The conclusion should be a summary of the changes that the essay elicited, as well as the ways in which the author was able to improve his or her character.
  • The conclusion should also include the lessons learned, approaches to specific situations, and steps to consolidate the learning.

This is one of the most important parts of a reflective essay, so be sure to include it!

When writing a reflective essay, it is important to make sure the conclusion is solid and believable. Many writers write a conclusion before finishing the essay. This is a mistake that will discourage the reader from finishing the article. Make sure the conclusion ends your essay with a strong bang by completing it. This will take a bit more time, but it will be more effective. Remember to also keep the structure of your essay simple and direct.

About the Author

Arlene McCoy has extensive writing, teaching, and mentoring experience. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a master's degree in applied psychology. Thanks to her experience, teaching expertise, and genuine passion for writing, she consistently develops high-quality course materials that inspire and engage students.

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