27
Apr

What Is a Reflective Essay Paper?

A reflective essay is a piece of writing that basically involves your views and feelings about a particular subject. The goal of a reflective essay is to not only discuss what you learned, but to convey the personal experiences and findings that resulted.

Significance

Writing a reflective essay is your chance to reveal and talk about your personal insight about a topic. Reflective essays are used as a self-assessment measure of sorts; they allow you to address your experiences and what you’ve gained. You may be asked to write a reflective essay after taking a course, completing a project or partaking in some type of experience. The reflective essay consists of your individual views on the matter and an explanation of your stance. The goal of this essay is to successfully relay your own beliefs, attitudes and observations. In some reflective essays, you’ll be required to support your conclusions by citing materials such as books, journals, articles and other resources. A reflective essay should reflect your own thoughts on the subject matter, not those of others.

Function

A reflective essay concentrates on your ideas and reflections about a topic; however you want to show your readers why the points you are making are valid. To do so, the information that led to your conclusions should be included in the paper. Having references adds to your credibility and will illustrate to your audience that your findings result from both facts and personal experience. A good reflective essay includes an insightful interpretation of the matter at hand. The feelings and experiences that you write about in the essay should be based on your own perception and showcase to the readers why your revelation is significant on a larger scale. The essay should communicate both the importance of the topic as well your consideration of it.

Types

Reflective essays are assigned on a variety of topics and are frequently seen in college applications. You may be asked to write about a life changing experience or a person in your life who has had a big impact on you. With these essays it’s important to include an introduction that explains why you’ve chosen the topic and why it is important to you. Although the essay may be of a personal nature, it should appeal to anyone who reads it. Before writing a reflective essay, it’s a good idea to gather and make a list of all the relevant materials and sources that you plan to include in it. An outline will help to organize your thoughts and act as a blueprint for your paper.

Features

Although reflective essays may not have a definite structural design, there are certain formats and guidelines that you should stick to. Your opening paragraph, sometimes referred to as the thesis, should inform the reader about your topic and also engage him. After he finishes reading the introduction of your essay, he should be eager to read the rest. The body of your reflective essay should reveal your ideas and experiences with the subject that you are writing about. If you are writing about an event, describe its progression. Include different aspects of the experience and how it shaped your findings. In the conclusion of your reflective essay, reflect upon your topic for and discuss its impact on you as well as the probable impact that it may have for others.

Considerations

When writing a reflective essay, as with other types of essays, be sure that it’s properly formatted to meet the guidelines. Your assignment may be required to follow APA, AMA, MLA or Chicago/Turabian design. This is decided by the subject, topic or class that administers the project. If you need to adhere to one of the styles above, it’s important that you remain consistent throughout the essay; using the specific layout, spacing and citation rules.

Source: What Is a Reflective Essay Paper? | eHow.com

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 6:29 am and is filed under Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

2
  1. November 8th, 2011 | Jason says:

    I just wanted to let you know I really like your site. It seems like a great resource for students and you have a cool header!

    Pretty cool!

    Keep it up.

  2. December 6th, 2013 | Betty Menefee says:

    This posthelps me because i have à better insight on my paper which I will have to type on monday.

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