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Student’s Guide on How to Write a Reflective Essay

What Is a Reflective Essay?

❶In many cases, you might be given topics to write upon.

A focal point of a reflective essay is…

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6 hints on how to write a reflective essay properly
Guide on How to Write a Reflective Essay Properly

Thesis statements are narrowly defined and are often limited to one or two sentences. Developing a thesis statement for a reflective paper will set all subsequent writing ablaze with boldness and specificity, compelling any observer to commit to reading.

Focus your thesis statement with clarity and concision. Write with specificity to enhance the authority of your statement. The thesis statement sets the tone for the rest of the paper--it introduces the body of all of the following written work. Avoid passive statements, such as, "My experience working on the project had both negative and positive aspects. A strong alternative may be, "Because time constraints enhanced my levels of both stress and excitement, I felt disorganized at first, before finally finding a sense of confidence.

Write a statement that will justify further discussion. Avoid generalizations; create a statement for your paper that will engage the reader's mind and peak his curiosity. Provide a statement that goes against conventional wisdom, for example, or invokes controversy: Make your statement innovative and reflective of your own experience.

Avoid stating objective facts, such as, "I learned that two plus two equals four"; this a standard fact that lacks subjectivity. Alternatively, writing, "My final attempt in the process led me to believe that creative thinking is the leading requirement for a successful project," presents a fresh consideration, filled with a reflection that encompasses the whole of your experience. 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.

To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: What Is a Reflective Essay?

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? Would I want to repeat this experience? Would this experience be the same if I did it again? How did this affect me and why? Why did I have the reaction I did to this? Answer the Questions You Selected Read your questions, then answer them.

Example What did I notice? Couples walked hand in hand. Parents played in the sand with their children. I saw the holes in the sand where I knew sand crabs were scrambling to hide. I noticed the cool wind on my face and the homes right up against the sand.

I'm usually too busy helping her or spending time with relatives. This trip, however, a friend of mine named Rhonda, who is also a caregiver to her mother, told me to go to visit the beach for her.

As a native Texan, Rhonda has only gotten to visit the beaches in California a few times. So today, I w ent to the beach for Rhonda. I smelled the beach air and walked along all by myself and took an hour to not think about responsibilities to others.

Then I wrote "For Rhonda" in the sand and took a picture of it. When I went through the struggles of growing up, I remember feeling soothed by the waves. They always seemed to keep on going. That reminded me to not give up. To know that there is always something to look forward to ahead.

To remember that laughter and tears are both a part of everyone's life. To me, the waves reminded me to have faith in a God who is in control of everything and has a bigger purpose for me than I can imagine. Identify the Meaning of Your Experience Before you can begin writing your essay, you need to decide what is the most important thing you learned from this experience.

Sample Essay 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. What Is the Purpose of a Reflective Essay? Literary 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.

Professional Teachers, doctors, and social workers often use this type of writing in their training. Medical students write about patients they see. They can use this essay type to carefully describe the patient and the thoughts they have as they determine the correct treatment. They can reflect on how well they interacted with the patient, and draw conclusions on what worked and what didn't so that they can better interact with patients. Doctors can use reflective essays to fine-tune their ability to provide effective health care in a caring manner that makes patients not only believe them, but also follow their advice.

They can reflect on how well their body language, words, and tone of voice convinced the patient to make good lifestyle choices, or how well they helped a patient deal with difficult medical information. Nurses and medical assistants write about their care of patients. By thinking back on different cases and their own responses to patient requests, nurses can better understand how they can help patients deal with pain, stress, and illness. This sort of writing can also help nurses deal with the stress of the emotions they must handle from both doctors and patients, and help them understand their role in helping both.

Teachers benefit from writing about experiences in teaching, and doing case studies of difficult students. By reviewing their emotions about their teaching and examining patterns of what worked and did not work, teachers can better plan their lessons and solve problems with student learning and behavior. Social workers can use this kind of paper to help them analyze the environment and problems of their clients.

They can also encourage their clients to write out their experiences in order to help them see the causes and effects of their behavior and circumstances, as well as to see ways they can change. Business people use this type of written assignment to analyze their interactions in a business setting, and to help them envision how they can better present their service or product to customers. Educational Sometimes instructors will ask students to respond to a lecture or other school assignment so that they can show what they understand.

Personal Growth This kind of writing can help you learn how to understand and analyze your own life experiences. Reflective Essay Question What experience is most meaningful for you? Going to the beach, mountain, or other place in nature. Spending time talking with a friend. Having someone notice something you've done. You should always have a What did I learn? How did this change me?

What would I do differently? What do I regret? How has this made me the person I am today? You can use these sentence starters: If you are writing your reflections about a lecture, you can write about the following: What did you learn that was new to you? What did you think about the information? What was the most important thing you took away from what the speaker said? How do you reference a healthcare reflective essay?

I tell my students to use this simple format: Can you do reflective writing about the Airforce? Here are some questions to direct your reflections about military service: What relationships with other members of your unit were most meaningful? How did you change your attitude toward authority? In what ways did your experiences make you more mature? How does serving change the way you relate to people in your personal life?

What were the hardest parts of serving in the Airforce and how did you overcome them? What advice would you give to someone else thinking about serving in the military? What led you to want to serve in the Airforce and do you still feel that way? What moment of your service are you most proud of? What would you do differently if you could? Its really helpful,thanx a lot for sharing this information.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement ?

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The thesis statement: In a reflective essay, the thesis statement will usually include a brief statement of what your essay is about as well as how the specific person, place, or experience has influenced you.

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If you still have doubts how you should write a reflective essay or thesis statement, you can certainly surf the net and take a look at essay examples that can be easily found online. Thesis Statement Types in a Reflective Essay. An argumentative type of thesis statement outlines the main arguments that will be discussed in the paper.

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For instance a good reflective essay thesis statement on a literature piece shows the ability of the author to see a deeper meaning between the lines of this piece. A thesis statement of a reflective essay is the projection of the knowledge on the issue and the author’s personal life experience. Sample Reflective Essays Below we offer two examples of thoughtful reflective essays that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at .

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The Reflective Essay Thesis Statement Write a killer thesis statement that provides a peek into the purpose of your article. Do the following to write an excellent thesis statement. A strong thesis statement is the cornerstone of any successful academic paper. A reflective paper, for example, asks the writer to work from a first-person point of view to .