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What is a reflective essay?

1 May 2018

Modern tutors love such assignments, as a reflective essay, as it gives them a chance not only to check your knowledge and writing skills but also to have insight into your thoughts and personal attitude to different subjects.

Such essays give the audience a chance to read about your character, beliefs and identity, which surely stirs interest and can be a great platform for your creativity. However, it doesn’t mean that you will only need to give brief information on a subject: such essay should show how a certain event influenced your personality, who had an impact on it and what changes made you the way you are at the moment.

Being able to analyze yourself and knowing various psychological instruments will be of a great help, so writing such an essay requires multiple skills and knowledge. However, you shouldn’t worry! We guarantee that after reading this article, your essay will always shine and help you earn high grades.

reflective essay

Write a reflective essay with ease

When writing a reflective essay, you need to remember the two pillars of any written assignment: be brief and informative. It is very tempting to put your thoughts on paper without any limits in words but it may easily bore the reader. He may lose the main idea of your essay and even stop reading in the middle of the text.

Start with creating an outline. It is a sort of a map of your paper, which contains all the elements of your future work. In such a way, you will always remain organized and will be able to discuss only key features, avoiding wordiness.

You will probably have to make several drafts before completing the final version of your essay, so try not to postpone the writing process. Every draft should lay on your desk for a couple of days before being changed. Almost every professional writer is using this tactics.

Mistakes to avoid

Personal reflective essays can’t be considered the easiest assignments and there is a variety of mistakes you need to avoid:

  • Don’t be general. Your essay should reflect your personality, so covering the topic with general words is a huge mistake. Try to remember your experience on the subject and share it with the world;
  • Mistakes in the text. Most of the students neglect proofreading, which results in grammar, lexical and stylistic mistakes. Take your time to reread your essay multiple times to eliminate all of them;
  • Try to avoid too many details, dates and names. They will puzzle and distract the audience;
  • Weak idea. Even if your writing skills are perfect, you need to understand what goals you want to achieve by the end of the essay.

Reflective essay structure

After getting an answer to the question ‘What is a reflective essay?and learning the main mistakes to avoid, students usually wonder how the structure of such an essay should look like.

First, you need to remember that it follows the same pattern, as any other essay and consists of an introduction, main paragraphs and conclusion.

Your introduction should always start with a so-called hook, which will attract the reader and make him want to know more. You can use a joke or a juicy story from your personal experience. Your introduction should also contain a thesis statement, which reflects the general idea of the whole paper. There should also be a sentence about the problems you want to solve in your text.

Main paragraphs are the key elements of your essay, as they contain all the information on the story. Every argument or detail should occupy a separate paragraph and be structured in a chronological order. In such a way, you won’t puzzle the reader and will make it easy for him to understand the story.

Conclusions should be a summary of your work, explaining how the matter influenced your personality and what were the lessons you have learned.

Possible topics

When working on a reflective essay outline you should always start with choosing a right topic. It may differ depending on your subject, year of studies, college and personal outlooks. A reflective essay can discuss such topics as relationships, general concepts, communication and much more.

Here are some topics you can concentrate on:

  • Why people decide to rely on religion in their darkest days?
  • Is there a person you are taking as an example?
  • Who can be called a modern hero?
  • Can you accomplish all of your goals not depending on the circumstances?
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