Reflective essay is one of the most popular types of academic assignments. Writing such a paper does not provide for any difficulties. However, due to a lack of experience, students may face some obstacles. If you do not know how to write a reflective essay, an example composed by an experienced author can be an effective tool that will move you from a dead point.
Features of a reflective essay
As for the outline, structure of paragraphs and sentences, the same rules are used here as in other types of essays. The main difference is that, as a rule, a writer's thought is focused on personal emotions and feelings. When choosing a topic, pay attention to the issues that directly affect your life. Allow the reader to look at your experience from the outside, to understand how you assess everything that happened.
The choice of memories to discuss should not be arbitrary. Write about those of them that left an imprint on your worldview, forced to rethink some ideals and even start a new life. Each good reflective essay example contains a certain moral message, the wisdom of which is shared with the audience.
Readers will not be interested to know how you walked with your dog in the park if nothing happened. But if you will write that you saw a homeless puppy at the street, took it home and understood how it is important to help weak creatures, this text will cause emotions. Such stories are really touching and instructive.
Be prepared for the fact that readers expect a high degree of sincerity from you. Authors of quality reflective essay examples for college write honestly, from the heart, without embellishing events and distorting reality. That's why the audience believes and empathizes with them.
Despite the fact that the students describe their own experience, not always they have a ready answer for such an assignment. If it is necessary to deepen into the childhood memories, you will have to spend some time to recall everything that happened many years ago. If the task is to comment on the events that have occurred in the political life of the country during the last 5 years, you also have to collect enough facts and express your own attitude towards them only after a thorough analysis.
Having sufficient amount of information, think how to bring it into an optimal format, to structure the text in order to make it easily readable. A good story will not be highly appreciated if you do not reflect it on paper using good phrases.
Considering the personal reflective essay examples, you may notice that each author has own writing style which makes his work unique. You will also have to develop a non-standard writing manner, so as not to leave any reader indifferent.
It is worth focusing on positive emotions and events. But at the same time, you do not compose a fairy tale for five-year-old children. If there are negative nuances without which the story will lose its integrity, of course, they should be indicated. For example, you may write that you began to appreciate loved ones after the death of close relative. Sometimes, difficult situations force us to draw the right conclusions.
How to write a reflective essay?
It's time to move from theory to practice. It is very important to understand how to connect all paragraphs in a single composition and use the available information as efficiently as possible. First of all, you should know what the typical essay plan consists of. Having a clear structure, you can consider all important issues without complications, not missing anything and not overloading the reader's attention with superfluous facts.
When organizing the work on the academic paper, follow these steps:
- Select a topic.
- Gather information.
- Choose only the essential facts and get rid of meaningless data.
- Write a draft with the main statements and arguments.
- Make the text more saturated and lively. Add examples, artistic details allowing the reader to immerse in the right atmosphere, to experience the described event with you.
- Add references to the used information sources.
All reflective essay examples for high school or university consist of three basic blocks:
- Main part.
The text begins with a catchy phrase that is aimed to attract the attention of the reader (hook). The first paragraph should be brief and informative. You may notice that each good reflective essay introduction example consists of approximately 3-4 sentences containing a thesis and an explanation of how the author is going to prove it. Explain why your work is important and what idea it conveys.
The thesis should include information about your experience and its impact on later life. For example, you can write that some book radically changed your ideas about a certain sphere of life.
In the main part, you need to describe facts and examples that prove the stated point of view. Tell about the events related to the topic. If you went on a tourist trip to China and claim that this state has a deep, unique culture, describe the sights that impressed you most, accentuate attention on their value for the history of mankind.
Each quality example of a reflective essay has a minimum of three arguments. Remember that you tell about sights not only to satisfy the aesthetic needs of the reader and expand his erudition. For this purpose, he could read Wikipedia. Your task is to lead the audience to a specific idea. For example, that the culture of China is much older and more interesting than in other countries.
The conclusion of the essay should leave no doubt that you are right. Choose the words properly to make the last paragraph really convincing. As in the case with an introduction, several sentences are quite enough. It is worth repeating the thesis once again and emphasizing that your arguments prove its truthfulness.
This is really an interesting genre that allows to develop both skills of creative writing and mastery of argumentation. Study the examples of a reflective essay, write your own papers. Perhaps, the first works will be far from perfect. But after gaining experience, you will start creating true masterpieces deserving the highest praise. Feel free to share your impressions. If you state own thoughts correctly, the audience will hear you. Good luck!