Art of Reflective Essay Writing: Expert Tips + Inspiring Examples

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May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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At some point, every student in the US has to write a reflective essay. We all get this type of assignment, whether we are in high school, college, or university. It might look easy at first. It shouldn’t be hard to write about yourself, but a lot of students do not take it seriously because they think they can easily compose their reflective paper when it’s almost due. That’s where things get tricky. This is a lot harder than it looks at first glance.

It’s important to learn the basics of reflective essays because they set you apart from other students. They want to see a person, not just one of hundreds of faceless kids. This is true for both school teachers and Yale professors. You can connect with your audience more deeply or even learn more about yourself if you share personal details and talk about what made you who you are now. If you have trouble writing about your own experiences, try Do Write My Essay and see why it meets all of its customers’ “write my essay” needs.

What is a Reflective Essay?

Let’s have a look at the simple reflective essay definition.

A reflective essay is best described as an essay that revolves around you, your identity, your experiences, or your growth as a person is known as a reflective essay. 

However, it is not just a story of your life. There are strict rules about how to write in school. Moreover, it is not enough to just quickly think about who you are in a rhetorical reflection essay.  It’s an in-depth look at the changes you’ve gone through and the things that caused them. Also, feel free to discuss the people who have had an impact on your character and the reasons you caved when pushed too far or, alternatively, how you maintained your integrity when faced with hardship. 

You need more than just writing skills to be able to write a reflective essay. Using psychological methods can be helpful because they can help you write your essays. In this way, you can look at a situation more deeply or consider all of its details. You also need to be able to tell stories well if you want to attract an audience or discuss a self-development story in the most interesting way. So, how to write a reflective essay? Let’s explore our guide for writing a reflective essay.

How to Start Off a Reflective Essay?

The most important thing for people writing reflective essays is to be descriptive and helpful. If you want to do well at this job, the first thing you need to do is choose a theme. Most of the time, teachers give you a specific topic to write about. However, because any reflective paper requires some level of intimacy, you can change anything to fit your interests.

Figure out what you want to talk about before you start writing. Write down some of the best ideas you come up with. Do some research if it could help you improve your essay or make it more interesting and believable. Some psychological ideas, for instance, might help you understand the changes you’ve gone through. Now that the first part of getting ready is over, you can proceed.  

Reflective Essay Outline

If you want to write a good reflective essay, you should make a reflective essay format before you start typing. Being clear about one point will help you write an essay that makes sense. A plan shows you all the important parts and sections of the paper you’ll be writing. This is where you plan the reflective essay structure and choose which pieces of information to put where. With a proper structure of a reflective essay, there are no more dead ends to worry about. It helps you stay on track with your plans and remember what you want to do. 

So, let’s say we want to write a short personal reflective essay. First, make a plan for a reflective essay on that subject. Keep in mind that for longer papers, the thesis statement is complex, and there are multiple body paragraphs to explain your point. 

Introduction

  • You need to add something catchy to grab the attention of readers.
  • Mention issues that non-straight people in the US face in a few words.
  • One or two sentences about my background.
  • What happened (subtopic 1) and how it made me feel (subtopic 2) is shown in the thesis.

First Body Paragraph

  • Write the first sentence that is relevant to subtopic 1.
  • What happened in my life that made me think about being sexually active in a non-straight way?
  • The last line of this paragraph wraps up everything that was talked about. 

2nd Body Paragraph 

  • The first sentence needs to be linked to subtopic 2.
  • Talk about the changes in my life that new information has brought about.
  • The last line of this paragraph wraps up everything that was talked about.

Conclusion

  •  Restate the main idea.
  • Then, add a summary of what was learned. 

You can build things faster than before.

The reflective essay structure is different from that of literary essays and other types of writing, but it has the same important parts as any other paper. The introduction, body paragraphs, and end must all be very clear. The thesis is also required. Remember that it’s important to show how you’ve changed from the past to the present in a reflection essay. That means your thesis needs to show what you’ve learned and how you’ve changed because of it. 

Compose Reflective Essay Introduction 

Wondering how to write a reflective essay? There should be a hook at the beginning of every introduction, and reflective tasks are no different. It sounds like an interesting idea and is a catchy phrase that will get people’s attention right away. To get people interested, 

Compose Reflective Essay Introduction

Compose Reflective Essay Introduction

  • start with a strange fact that not many people know, 
  • add a joke about something related to your reflective essay topic, or 
  • provide amazing details from the narrative you will be telling without discussing your problem-solving process. It could be extreme, for example, making people feel sad.

The first and maybe most important part of a self reflective essay is the opening. It indicates if someone would want to read your piece and then follow your journey to the conclusion. The last sentence of the introduction is the thesis, and it is presented here. 

How to Write a Thesis for a Reflective Essay

Let’s not use hard-to-understand academic language to explain what a thesis is. Instead, let’s use everyday English words that you understand. The thesis is the last line of the opening that tells the reader what the whole essay is about. Additionally, it explains why and with whom something occurred, as well as what it all means. Of course, a thesis statement will be different depending on the subject and length of the assignment, but its goal will always be the same. 

For reflective essay writing, you need to explain the issue or concern you picked and the ways you choose to solve it. Here are the important points of the story you’re going to talk about. Remember that the thesis should tell people what the essay is about just by reading it.

Read: How to write a thesis for an argumentative essay.

Reflective Essay Body Paragraphs 

The most important part of any academic writing assignment is the main paragraph, which has the most important information and ideas. In the body of a reflective essay, you need to talk about each subtopic that was described in the thesis. Each paragraph should be devoted to a different point. When building the body, there is a design that should be used. 

First, some simple facts. If you want to write a good reflective essay, you need to be clear and exact and avoid repeating the same information over and over. If you want to be more creative, you might choose not to follow a linear timeline. But no matter what, your framework shouldn’t confuse readers. Make sure to talk about all of your experiences to show how they helped you grow. Only include important and relevant information that will help you come to a conclusion that makes you think. 

Technically, each body paragraph needs to begin with a correct sentence and end with a correct sentence. In the first one, talk about the first subtopic you brought up in the thesis. In the second one, either move on to the next line or wrap up what you’ve been talking about.

How to Conclude a Reflective Essay?

The conclusion is a short recap of what you’ve written. This part should tie everything together into a logical last line that makes people think and leads to a more useful conversation. This is what a reflection essay is all about what you’ve learned. Write down how that person, event, or place has had a big effect on you. Don’t add any new information here; instead, make a list of all the important parts of this event.

How to Correctly Format a Reflective Essay?

Each structure for a reflective essay is different in its own way. It depends on what the professor wants, so make sure you know what they are ahead of time. You have to use either MLA or APA most of the time because they are the most popular academic styles. You can look at the example your teacher gave you or find one online. You won’t have any issues if you copy all the technical information.

You can read how to format an essay in APA format

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Reflective Essay

A lot of students want to write reflection essays because they look like fun and easy things to do. It is sad that it doesn’t always happen. When you write a reflective paper, you need to focus on what you’ve learned from making changes. Many people find it hard to stick to one outcome of their experience.  When writing an academic reflection essay, a lot of students make these mistakes.

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Reflective Essay

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Reflective Essay

  • A bad and basic idea, which led to bad execution. There should be a clear, complicated goal that the writer of a reflective paper is determined to reach. Everything in your text needs to help it grow. You won’t get a good grade if the event you choose isn’t meaningful.
  • Too many names, details, and complexities that aren’t needed and will only confuse the reader;
  • There is a clear lack of personality in getting across a key point. Too many generalizations that don’t really apply to what you saw or heard;
  • Misspelt words, poor language, and structure. Don’t forget that reflection papers are still academic papers, even though they are personal. Read it again and again to find these kinds of mistakes, then get rid of them to get a better grade.

Good Reflective Essay Topics

The topics you learn will be different depending on your field. You can write a reflective essay about anything that is important to you, like conversation, love, friendship, universal ideas, your internship, etc. If you’re still having trouble coming up with a topic for your reflection essay, here is a list of ideas.

  1. What has changed the way you think about religion?
  2. Does it depend on you alone to make your dreams come true?
  3. What does the word “hero” mean to you?
  4. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
  5. What does it mean to you to be a good citizen?
  6. Who guides your way of life?
  7. What is the ideal model of a school setting for you?
  8. Is there a place for religion in politics today?
  9. What does the phrase “being sincere” mean to you?
  10. Talk about the most painful thing someone said to you. 

Learn from the Pros: Reflective Essay Example

No matter what the theory says, it is very hard to fully understand the writing process without seeing actual reflective essay examples. We have a plan, so let’s use it to write an example of a reflective essay.  

Reflection Essay By a Medical Student

Aitkin is a town where 2,000 people live. It is located two hours north of the Twin Cities. Situated in a scenic area of Minnesota, abundant with trees and lakes, it is a real gem. This town is small, but the people who live there care deeply about it and take part in many neighborhood events. Along with the many people who live full-time in Aitkin, many others also visit, especially in the summer. Moreover, one interesting thing about Aitkin is that its people are getting older, which means that many Medicare patients need doctors to take care of them.

A lot of people in the area use the Riverwood Healthcare Center’s wide range of services. The hospital in Aitkin consists of an emergency department, 25 rooms for patients, as well as a critical care unit. There is also a clinic right next to the hospital. The doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses who work at the Aitkin Center take care of patients every day.

People who need it can get immediate care at the clinic five days a week. Not only does Riverwood’s main campus in Aitkin have a clinic for family practice, but the town also has a specialty clinic where people can see an orthopaedic doctor, a cardiologist, an OB/GYN, an ear, nose and throat specialist, an allergist, a pulmonologist, a dermatologist, a psychologist and more.

The clinic workers often send patients to these doctors if they think they can help the patient. Moreover, specialists at other centers or area facilities, like Brainerd or St. Cloud, can also be referred by doctors if the service the patient needs isn’t available in the Riverwood system or if the patient wants to utilize other facilities.

One more distinct thing about the Riverwood Healthcare system is that patients can use small offices that are connected to the main clinic in McGregor and Garrison. This makes it easier for patients to get appointments and cuts down on their commutes for many of them. From what I’ve seen, the Riverwood Healthcare system really concerned about its patients, and even though the facility is in the middle of nowhere, it takes care of its patients in a suitable and effective way.

This center has a “small town” feel to it, as the doctors never forget their patients and are friendly with their families. I thought that a lot of people were thankful that they could get medical care, and I felt lucky to work for a rural center like Riverwood.

Being a medical student in Aitkin was a beneficial experience for me in many ways. Just stepping onto the Riverwood site made me feel right at home. Each person I met was warm and friendly, and they all made sure I had answers to my questions. Moreover, I was pleased with the facilities itself. Although it was not a big town, it had a lot of resources and a lot of choices for specialty care. Some of the places I got to work included a day with Dr. Austin Krohn, a few days in the emergency room with Dr. Taylor, and time in the operating room with Drs. Chough and Michael and Rachel Cady from orthopaedics and OB/GYN, respectively. 

I really liked the time I spent with Dr. Hughes in the office. It was very busy at the center during these times, and there weren’t many breaks during the day, which I liked a lot. Moreover, the tough routine kept the days interesting as well as full of chances to learn. I learned a lot about how important it is to be patient, understanding, and organized when dealing with a patient’s health and personal problems, even though Dr. Hughes usually sees aged and more complicated patients. I liked how friendly and helpful Dr. Hughes was, and I felt like I was the healthcare team’s part. 

One of the best parts of my experience was working with Dr. David Taylor. I worked with him in the emergency room. Even though I was not always well-versed in the solutions to his inquiries, I liked how he taught me new things all the time we were together. I really felt like he cared about medical students, and his willingness to teach made my time there great. 

My short trip to Aitkin was much better than I thought it would be. I learned a lot about what it would be like to live and work in a small place. There is a clear difference between working in a big city and working in a small town when it comes to health care. I had the chance to meet multiple doctors, nurses, office workers, and people from the neighbourhood. Being able to hear how each person got to Aitkin and the reason they admired the town was very fulfilling. There was a story behind every patient, and being able to hear them was a blessing.

Having the chance to work with Dr. Hughes taught me how important it is to speak to patients and give them the time they desire in the office. It was nice to work with a doctor who truly cared about their patient’s health, even if it meant they were behind on their daily tasks. Working in Aitkin this summer was one of the best parts of my medical education so far, and I will visit Aitkin again soon. 

Conclusion

Even the smartest college students get lost when they have to write a reflection essay. They have to read something and write about what they think about it. Making a good thesis statement and analyzing the source text of a book or article are both parts of it. It’s not enough to say you liked it or didn’t want to read it on your own, so getting extra help online can become necessary. 

We at Do Write My Essay are ready to save you time and stress by writing a great reflective essay based on your instructions and some ideas you have. You can stay safe even if you haven’t read the original piece or won’t be able to because we can give you great reflective writing. We understand how to fix it! It doesn’t take long to place an order with us, and you don’t have to worry about anything because we’ll do exactly what will get you the best score.

So, don’t be afraid to get in touch with us if you need help. There’s no doubt that your reflective essay will be one of the best in the class.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What point of view is used in writing a reflective essay?

Ans. The first-person point of view is used in reflective essay writing because it includes the writer’s personal experience and thoughts. 

Q2: What purpose does context, or background information, serve in a reflective essay?

Ans. When you write a reflection essay, you should give background information to assist the reader in comprehending the story. In a reflective essay, the writer talks about a personal event and thinks about what it all meant.

Q3: What idea would most likely make the best reflective essay?

Ans. Here are a few prompts on which you can write the best reflective essay:

  • Consider a time when your view on life changed significantly.
  • Tell me about a problem you had in high school and how it changed your experience.
  • Talk about a time in high school when you had to get out of your comfort zone.

Q4: What are the parts of a typical reflective essay?

Ans. Reflective essays must have a clear start, middle, and end so that the writer can talk about what happened in the past and how it changed them. 

Q5: What is the goal of the introduction in a reflective essay?

Ans. Your reflection paper’s opening will explain what the paper is about and why you are writing it. As you begin, you will state the main idea of your paper and explain why you chose this particular topic.

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