Many students perceive reflection essay as the easiest because it involves sharing personal feelings and emotions. In their daily experiences, human beings communicate to pass messages and to share life experiences and thus writing reflective essays has been compared to the sharing of experiences. However, writing a reflective paper that will capture the emotions your audience might not be that easy. In this type of essay, you are required to share your individual experience and creating a critical reflection essay that will hold the attention of your listeners might be a hassle.
What is a reflective essay?
It is a unique type of academic paper that requires the writer to focus on his/her feelings about an idea, event or experience. The object of study is usually another person, process or idea and the author is expected to integrate some aspect of personal life experience and draw conclusions. The primary objective is to present yourself and your inner world. Once you achieve this, all other objectives will be secondary. Nonetheless, a reflective essay assumes a typical structure.
When writing a reflection paper, consider the following;
- Logically present your ideas; do not jump from one emotion to another otherwise, you will confuse your audience
- Concentrate on your feelings since they are the keywords here. Avoid statistical data and any other form of research data.
- Link up your ideas and thoughts but put them in separate paragraphs each.
How to introduce a reflective paper
Go straight to the introduction of the book or the movie that as aroused your emotions. Describe why it has made you emotional. Use language creatively to ensure that the reader gets hooked and can identify with your feelings. Think of any exciting story or experience but make sure it is something realistic. Explain your feelings about a book, event, idea or a movie in detail and elaborate on why you have such feelings. Also, mention your expected results from your investigation.
How to write the body
In this section, you are expected to be thorough about your feelings and emotions about a particular issue, event, a book or a movie. Also, you should give the rationale behind your feelings and state why you think you are right. If for instance, you are analyzing a book, do you agree with the author or you don’t? If you don’t agree with him or her, what is the reason behind this? What do you think about the message the author is trying to communicate? This section gives you the opportunity to explain yourself in detail, therefore, discuss the subject of your review, substantiate your impressions and include every aspect you find worth including.
If you are describing an event, explain what happened, state your feelings before and after the event. You are free to include as many details as possible but ensure that you stick to your topic. It is important to note that all details included in your reflective essay are not traumatizing to you or your readers.
Writing the conclusion
This section gives you the opportunity to summarize your article but in more general terms. If you were analyzing a book state whether the book is good or bad and explain why. If it is a movie, clarify whether it influences your life, your ideas, perceptions and opinions, and state in what ways. Remind your reader why you decided to choose this side and explain the essential lessons that you have learned from your analysis.
The peculiarity of a reflection paper
Sometimes you will be required to write using a specific writing format. If you are asked to use APA, add a title page, an abstract and a bibliography. The following tips are essential when writing a reflection paper;
- Start the introduction with a hook. You can achieve this by inserting a question or a quote in the first sentence of the introductory paragraph. Make your introduction stunning such that the reader’s attention will be caught and maintained throughout your paper. This can be achieved by giving a brief preview of the topic that you will be discussing in your paper. Develop a thesis statement that will include details about a person, place, idea or event that have a particular impact on you.
- Have at least three paragraphs each with a specific idea that you intend to communicate. However, ensure your thoughts follow a chronological order so that your readers can find it easy to follow. Provide details of your story to make your audience understand the reason behind your strong emotions.
- Prepare a good finishing for your paper that will leave your reader wanting to hear more from you. Prepare a summary of all your ideas and experiences and leave a room for the readers to make their own judgments about your paper.