So, thinking about Rhonda, I had decided I needed to take my own trip to the beach. Teachers often assign these sorts of essays to get students to think about what they are learning, and to delve deeper into an experience.
Aside from school assignments, reflective essays are used in the professional sphere to help workers learn. Here is how professionals and students use these sorts of essays. This type of essay asks you to summarize and then respond to a piece of literature in order to understand it better and relate it to your own life and experiences.
Teachers, doctors, and social workers often use this type of writing in their training. It helps employers and employees learn how to better do their jobs. Sometimes instructors will ask students to respond to a lecture or other school assignment so that they can show what they understand. Writing about what you are learning can also help you share and interact with other students, as well as the instructor. This kind of writing can help you learn how to understand and analyze your own life experiences.
It can also help you grow emotionally as you learn to understand yourself better. Are there things that one should not write in a reflective essay? Should I put a title on my essay? Explaining the meaning of the event or memory is the best way to end your reflection essay.
An excellent way to convey your thoughts is to tell what you are thinking or feeling directly. You can use these sentence starters:. Is there something this lecture made you think of? Perhaps a personal experience, something in the news or something in the media? Is there anything you would do or think differently because of the information you learned? Most of the time, a reflective essay doesn't have references because it is based on your own observations and experiences.
However, if you are going to refer to some research or an article, you should include that by using the name of the person and the title of the article, or by using whatever reference style your instructor has required MLA, APA or Chicago. I tell my students to use this simple format:. You can do this kind of personal writing about any experience that you can have. Here are some questions to direct your reflections about military service:. When doing a reflective essay, it can be a good idea to choose a topic to emphasize the meaning of your thinking about memory.
Especially if the memory is something that lots of your readers may have also experienced, it can be helpful to focus on an experience like "stress" and an audience "our generation" to explain what you are talking about.
To write an excellent essay, it is important to make sure that you vividly describe the situation you experienced with lots of details and sense images about stress. While you can point out that your own experience mirrors the experience of others, be careful also to make your reflections personal.
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This reflection is so helpful to to me. I have learnt a lot from your example to write my papers. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. At least I will be a bit confident to start on my reflection paper paper now. This was so helpful. This is a great tool for writers to begin with. This reflective essay was very useful for me and by the way I am from India and I am studying in class 6.
Thank you for this! I was assigned to write a reflective essay about a conference I attended. I had never written a reflective essay before, and your prompts really helped me set a direction for my paper.
Hi Rao, all of my work is copyrighted and you cannot post this on another website or print it off. However, you are welcome to give your students a link to my page, which they can read and access for free. I provide all of my work for free to users. Advertisements on my page pay me for my time to write new materials so that I can let people look at them for free rather than having them purchase them in a book. I am introducing this "reflective writing in our pharmacy school.
I would like to your guidelines. Do you have copyright stuff? Please let me know. Hi Virginia am glad your samples have been a pivotal to my essay writing. Thank you so much. I am a writer and this is the first day I read your sharing and I am so glad for that, thank you dear Puthy Ken, I used to teach students from Cambodia and I know that you work very hard. I'm glad you are continuing your studies and I wish you the best! Thanks for your sharing. It helps me much to do my assignment of MA course in Cambodia.
I am one of graduated students here are really need more documents in this our developing country. I'm so glad that my essay helped you. Keep up with your writing. The most important thing is to practice doing some writing every day! Virginia, my name is Amanda and I am 15 years old. Thank you so much for these advantageous information, and your sample essay?!
It was really amazing!!! Hi Ginny--I'm so glad to hear of your teaching to seniors, and especially the fact that you are teaching them reflective writing. I've also called it personal or memory writing when I've taught it in the past. I think for seniors this sort of writing is so valuable because it allows them to gather memories and reflect on the meaning of events in their lives.
What a legacy for them to leave for the younger members of their family. My mom just passed away this week and she was not a writer, but my cousin and I got together with her a couple of months ago and they talked together while I wrote down what they said. That sort of memory writing is a wonderful legacy for grandchildren.
Please remind your seniors that even though children and grandchildren may not be interested in hearing about memories, there will be a time in their lives when they need that strength and the lessons from the family past. I have taught writing in elementary school for at least 18 years and now that I am retired I have been asked to teach a group of seniors about writing.
The reflective writing is one I have done but never called it that. Thanks for all the clear cut ideas to help me be successful teaching it to this new group. I feel sure they will have so much to say! Thanks for taking the time to let me know that my work is helping homeschoolers. I have many friends who homeschool and they are often concerned about teaching writing correctly.
That is one of the reasons I've posted my personal instructions for my own college students. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am a home school mum and this will really help my son with writing a reflective essay. Thank you so very much! Deliberately well explanation of the term "Reflective Essay" with many good points to be induced in the writing, like feelings, observations etc. I will try to write a reflective essay and for sure, try my best to adopt your instructions.
I love teaching Reflective Essays because it helps my students to understand that writing can be personally meaningful. Many of my students are at turning points in their lives and thinking about lots of important decisions. I teach them that writing down their thoughts and feelings often helps them to clarify what they are thinking.
Virginia, congrats on HOTD! I never heard of reflective essays before. This is so interesting and useful for those to explore your own emotions in expressive writing on your ideas, hopes and dreams. Awesome hub dealing with the many salient features, uses and importance of reflective essays in day-to-day life of so many fields of people.
It is very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing this valuable information and congrats on the HOTD award. This is very useful and valuable to teachers and students. I only wish I had this guide when I was in high school. Some great advice here for writing a reflective essay. This will really help my daughter with her essay writing skills. Voted up and useful.
Grand Old Lady-you are so write that teaching can be very tough in the trenches. A lot of it depends on the students you are teaching and the attitude of the administration. I am very fortunate to teach at a wonderful Christian University with many inspiring students.
You gave some very helpful tips and prompts on reflective writing. I also loved the video. It reminded me of my own teaching days and helped me to re-connect with the idea that teaching is a noble profession. It's oh, so true but when you get into the daily battle of it, it can be so easily be forgotten. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
The most common subjects covered in a reflective essay include the following. A real experience Something you imagined A place or a special object Something you've read, watched, seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard. Topic Ideas for a Reflective Essay The above subjects might have already sparked an idea of what you would like to write about. Places You've Been The beach, mountains, countryside, or desert A special hideaway or special room The house you grew up in A relative's home Life-Altering Events A special date Failing or succeeding at something A time you learned something new A new experience A time you overcame one of your fears An important memory A significant conversation Recurring or Significant Thoughts A dream or daydream A conversation you wish you had or something you wish you had done A story you've told about yourself An embarrassing moment The person you'd like to be A strong emotion Impactful Experiences A book, movie, T.
Introductory Paragraph Your first paragraph should be an introduction in which you identify the subject and give the reader a general overview of the impression it made on you. Your introductory paragraph should also included a thesis statement that will serve as the focal point of your paper. I realized it was because the beach had always been a place of rest to me. Then, write about why. This is a reflective essay, which means you can speculate.
There are no right or wrong answers in this type of essay. In the second body paragraph, write about the second reason your subject made the impression on you that it did. In the third body paragraph, write about the third reason your subject made the impression on you that it did. Conclusion Recap your thesis statement and the reasons you provided in the body of your essay. Sum up your article with some final thoughts on your subject, and some closing reflective thoughts.
Now, I want to find a way to help Rhonda have a day off of her own, and I'm hoping someday we can take a trip to the beach together. Choose a Topic Idea If you haven't been assigned a topic and don't have a topic in mind, check the list of topics above for inspiration. Study Your Subject Depending on your topic, you may need to close your eyes and remember, read, watch, listen, or imagine. Brainstorm Write down everything you can think about your subject. Pick Reflection Questions Read through the list of reflection questions below and select at least three you want to answer.
How did I feel about this? Why did it make me feel this way? How was my experience of this unique to me? How did others who were there experience it differently? How has this changed me? What might I have done differently? What is the meaning of this event in my life? How is this similar to something else that I've experienced? How can I use this to help someone else?
How does this event relate to the rest of my life? How is this typical in my life? Was this a good or a bad thing for me? How did this experience foretell things that would happen later?
Was my experience the same as someone else's or different? What skills did I learn? How can I apply what I learned to my life? How can I apply this experience to my studies? How can this help me in my career? What about this experience challenged me socially?
In what way did this expand my understanding of my own culture? How was this emotionally important? How did this experience relate to my understanding of theology, God or religion? What questions did this experience make me have? How has this changed the way I think? How has this made me realize someone else was right? How was this unexpected? Or how did this fulfill my expectations?
Think of the outline as a map — you plan in advance the points you wish to navigate through and discuss in your writing. Your work will more likely have a clear through line of thought, making it easier for the reader to understand. It can be considerably different from other typical essay outlines, mostly because of the varying subjects.
But what remains the same, is that you need to start your outline by drafting the introduction, body and conclusion. More on this below. Introduction As is the case with all essays, your reflective essay must begin within an introduction that contains both a hook and a thesis statement. Refer back to the opening quote of this article — did it grab your attention and encourage you to read more? The thesis statement is a brief summary of the focus of the essay, which in this case is a particular experience that influenced you significantly.
Body Next up is planning the body of your essay. They key here is to put plenty of time and effort into planning the body, and you can draw on the following tips to help you do this well:. Try adopting a chronological approach. This means working through everything you want to touch upon as it happened in time. This kind of approach will ensure that your work is systematic and coherent. Lay out the important elements of your experience in a timeline — this will then help you clearly see how to piece your narrative together.
Ensure the body of your reflective essay is well focused, and contains appropriate critique and reflection. The body should not only summarise your experience, it should explore the impact that the experience has had on your life, as well as the lessons that you have learned as a result.
The emphasis should generally be on reflection as opposed to summation. Conclusion In the conclusion of your reflective essay, you should focus on bringing your piece together by providing a summary of both the points made throughout, and what you have learned as a result. Try to include a few points on why and how your attitudes and behaviours have been changed. Consider also how your character and skills have been affected, for example: What can be concluded about your approach to specific situations?
What might you do differently in similar situations in the future? What steps have you taken to consolidate everything that you have learned from your experience? Keep in mind that your tutor will be looking out for evidence of reflection at a very high standard. Congratulations — you now have the tools to create a thorough and accurate plan which should put you in good stead for the ultimate phase indeed of any essay, the writing process. As with all written assignments, sitting down to put pen to paper or more likely fingers to keyboard can be daunting.
But if you have put in the time and effort fleshing out a thorough plan, you should be well prepared, which will make the writing process as smooth as possible. The following points should also help ease the writing process:. But make sure you stick to your plan. As you work through your essay, present your thoughts systematically, remembering to focus on your key learning outcomes.
Remember that reflective writing has a descriptive component and so must have a wide range of adjectives to draw from. Be more specific — this will make your writing more engaging. Remember that this is a reflective task, and is the one place you can freely admit — without any repercussions — that you failed at a particular task.
When assessing your essay, your tutor will expect a deep level of reflection, not a simple review of your experiences and emotion. Showing deep reflection requires you to move beyond the descriptive. Be extremely critical about your experience and your response to it.
In your evaluation and analysis, ensure that you make value judgements, incorporating ideas from outside the experience you had to guide your analysis. Remember that you can be honest about your feelings without writing in a direct way. Use words that work for you and are aligned with your personality. Looking back, how successful has the process been? Think about your opinions immediately after the experience and how they differ now, so that you can evaluate the difference between your immediate and current perceptions.
Asking yourself such questions will help you achieve reflective writing effectively and efficiently. It helps keeps your writing dynamic! Think about possible sources, like newspapers, surveys, books and even journal articles. Generally, the additional sources you decide to include in your work are highly dependent on your field of study. Analysing a wide range of sources, will show that you have read widely on your subject area, that you have nuanced insight into the available literature on the subject of your essay, and that you have considered the broader implications of the literature for your essay.
The incorporation of other sources into your essay also helps to show that you are aware of the multi-dimensional nature of both the learning and problem-solving process. If you want some inspiration for writing, take a look at our example of a short reflective essay , which can serve as a useful starting point for you when you set out to write your own. To recap, the key to writing a reflective essay is demonstrating what lessons you have taken away from your experiences, and why and how you have been shaped by these lessons.
The reflective thinking process begins with you — you must consciously make an effort to identify and examine your own thoughts in relation to a particular experience. Remember that central to reflective essay writing is the examination of your attitudes, assumptions and values, so be upfront about how you feel. Reflective writing can be quite therapeutic, helping you identify and clarify your strengths and weaknesses, particularly in terms of any knowledge gaps that you may have.
If you are still having difficulties with starting the writing process, why not try mind-mapping which will help you to structure your thinking and ideas, enabling you to produce a coherent piece. Creating a mind map will ensure that your argument is written in a very systematic way that will be easy for your tutor to follow.
Note down any ideas that are related to the topic and if you want to, try drawing a diagram to link together any topics, theories, and ideas. Recent Posts How often should you reference? A great example of a reflective essay How to write a captivating conclusion to your essay How to write a dissertation literature review: How to structure an essay Top 10 essay referencing tips.
A complete guide to writing a reflective essay. Where would I begin? Where would I end? Thoughts frantically spasmed their way through my mind as I envisaged the treacherous journey on which I was about to embark.
Here are some typical examples of reflective essay formats that you may have to write:
Using a reflective essay outline can help your writing in a few ways. An outline can help lay out exactly what details you want to use before you start writing. This is tremendously helpful because you won’t end up on your last paragraph and suddenly realize that you forgot to include a crucial element or two.
Reflective essay writing is a study based on personal experience that required enough time for its writer to and put all important details together for future research. This is not a simple assignment to fulfill. Read our guide and find many useful ideas on how to choose a topic and write successful reflection essays!
May 19, · If you'd like to see the final essay I've written using the pre-writing exercises I've done for this essay, take a look at my Reflective Essay Sample on a Visit to the Beach. The following is an excerpt of my sample reflective drossel.tks: An essay on "My Summer Vacation" could be a reflective essay. However, a reflective essay is not to be confused with an informative essay. While an informative essay relates facts like where you went, what you did, and how much things cost, a reflective essay is an evaluation.