Reflective essays are essays in which writers share their thoughts and opinions on a particular subject. The purpose of a reflective essay is to encourage the writers to think about their own experiences, learn from them, and share them with others.
In this article, we share our guide on how to write a reflective essay: what it means, the format of writing, and reflective essay examples that would help you write an outstanding essay.
When writing a reflective essay, you need to analyze an experience, its meaning, and the lessons you learned. While sharing this experience, opening up about your reasoning to reveal your mindset, personality, and background is necessary. Reflective essay writing requires you to be personal.
How do you put together a reflective essay?
You should also adopt a proper structure when putting together your essay. We will discuss a reflective essay's meaning in the next paragraph. Structuring your reflective essay helps build a flow and keeps your readers hooked on your paper.
A reflective essay takes a more personal approach to delivery. You can share your personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings on a particular subject instead of just providing bare facts.
Reflective essay writing can take various approaches. Depending on the purpose and focus, it could be personal, professional, or educational. Each approach requires a slightly different tone.
For example, a personal reflective essay would require a more emotive tone, whereas a professional or academic reflective essay would need to be more formal and objective.
Reflective essay writing is usually subjective and deeply personal. However, it must maintain a formal tone while being correctly organized. You can discuss any subject that interests you, from your visit to a new city, how you felt about a new movie, to a specific theory of evolution.
An excellent way to reflect correctly would be to pick out some questions that allow you to think more broadly about an encounter, for example:
To write a reflective essay, remember that asking yourself many questions is key to deep reflection and critical thinking about the particular experience you are writing about. Knowing how to use questions to enhance your reflection is a skill to unlock outstanding reflective essays.
Brainstorming and scribbling ideas or thoughts spontaneously would help in knowing how to start a reflective essay. This will help you keep those thoughts. Next, analyze how your experience is connected with who you were before it happened and how the experience affects your current beliefs.
A clear reflective essay outline helps organize your thoughts and writing. Therefore, it is essential to follow an outline for your reflective essay. This would help you establish the details you wish to incorporate into your essay., and serve as a guide to keep you on track and save time.
Reflective essay outlines may differ based on the subject but usually contains an introduction, body/paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Here is a breakdown of a reflection essay structure.
You can start with a quote that relates to the encounter you are about to analyze. The tone of expression should fit the writing approach - personal, professional, or academic. It should be catchy, brief, and informative.
Start by introducing the experience and how it influenced you. In the next paragraph, compare the experience with other experiences, and share what you learned from it in the third paragraph. Generally, the emphasis should be on the reflection of the experience.
The format of a reflective essay slightly differs from other forms of writing. Reflective essay writing allows the writers to recount a particular event vividly and share how that experience has shaped them in present times.
Note that the format changes based on your target audience. If you are writing for a more academic audience, your tone will differ from writing a more general audience.
The word length or count should typically be between 300 - 750 words, but this depends on the reflective essay writing instructions given. Even though this writing is highly centered on your experience, avoid using too much informal language.
If you have written at least one academic paper, you might be familiar with the reflective essay template.
Some formats for reflective essays you should know:
Keep this format in your mind when preparing your reflective essay.
Sitting to put pen to paper to write a reflective essay can be daunting, but if you have committed to seeing your reflective essay writing through, here are some helpful tips to help ease the process.
These are some reflective essay examples and a brief.
Here are a couple of reflective essay topic examples. You can choose one that is most familiar to you:
Here is a reflective essay sample to guide you:
“Reflective Essay: My time as an English major in (college name).
As I sit down to reflect on my time as an English major at xxx college, I am in the middle of preparing for my last weeks and preparing for the reality of the world outside of these college wars.
On a relevant note, I am so grateful for the experiences and learning. Now, I am considering pursuing a career in teaching because I thoroughly enjoyed how each syllabus was delivered.
Before my time at xxx college, I was a certified introvert, but the need for constant interactions with fellow students and lecturers improved my social interaction level. So now I am ready to take all I have learned and apply it in my next career phase.”