Have you ever been asked to write about your past experiences, how you faced the particular challenge, and how you overcame it? Well, that’s exactly what known as the reflective essay. Basically, you are supposed to paint a picture of your past with all the information, necessary emotions, expressions, and other vital components.
The essay should look so genuine and realistic that the reader must feel as if the particular incident is actually happening to them. The essay is completely written in a personal manner, where the writer shares their experience with thoughts, personal feelings, and reactions. The reflective essay doesn’t have to be about the personal experience that you have been through. It can be about the imaginary experience, an object or place, and anything you have tasted or smelled or touched. The teachers assign reflective essays to get an insight into the personal experiences of the students. These essays help build students writing as well as creative skills. Let’s have a look at the steps to composing a reflective essay.
1. Choose a Topic
By now, you might have already figured the topic you could choose for a reflective essay. If you still find it difficult to come up with a perfect topic, here are some ideas:
- Write about special places that you have been to, the place you grew up in, a special room, a desert or countryside.
- Write about a life-changing incident such as memory, failing or winning something, a new experience, a journey of fighting off the fear, an important conversation, and etc.
- Write about the embarrassing moment, a strong emotion, a dream, and a person.
- Write about important people such as your best friend, a special coach, your grandparents, a person who hurt you.
While some teachers may give you a topic, others might ask you to choose the topic on your own. If you are selecting your own topic, make sure that it is engaging and real.
2. Brainstorm and Outline
The subject is the main part of your essay. You have to define the subject and your real experience with it. Brainstorming is the process where you imagine the particular situation that you are writing about. Your essay should look real. The better you explain the subject, the higher the engagement you receive from the audience.
While brainstorming, take a rough paper and note down all the points you could think of. You don't have to write them in sequence or paragraph. The outline of an essay should only include the main points that you will mention in the final paper.
3. Pick the reflective Questions
While writing the reflective essay, you are supposed to answer at least 3-4 reflective questions. Let’s see what kind of reflective questions you can choose.
- How my experience with a particular subject was different from others? What made it unique?
- Is there something I could have done in a different way?
- How important does that event be in my life?
- Was the experience I have had good or bad for me?
- Was my experience similar to others or different?
- How can my experience help me advance my career?
- If I got a chance to repeat that event, would I do that?
- How did the event affect me as a person?
- Is there something I would like to change about the event?
- Would I get the same experience if I chose to repeat the event?
- Has the event changed my mentality?
- Was the experience emotionally important? If yes, how so?
- In what ways can this experience be applied to my education?
These were some of the reflective essay questions you can choose from. Make sure that you choose at least 3-4 questions.
4. Find Out the Meaning of Your Experience
How the experience changed your life and what does it mean in your life? How you overcame certain problems? In simple terms, you have to write about the things you learned from a particular event. The most important thing in your event is going to be your thesis statement.
5. Introductory Paragraph
The reflective essay starts with an introductory paragraph where you are supposed to give a brief introduction about your subject. Apart from mentioning the subject, you are writing on, you have to give a brief description of the impression the particular thing had on you. You must also introduce the thesis statement of your essay in the introductory paragraph to help readers know the central theme of the content.
6. Body of the Essay
Just like any other academic or personal essay writing assignment, you have to divide the reflective essay into three paragraphs. As it is a reflective essay, you don’t have to go 100% formal. The regular vocabulary with a conversational tone should work. Make sure that the first body paragraph of the essay must start with the reason you have chosen the particular subject. Also, write the impact it had on you.
Similarly, you have to write a few paragraphs and explain to the audience how the particular subject impacted you.
7. Give a Brief Conclusion
Re-read the thesis statement and all the reasons you have mentioned in the essay. Basically, the conclusion should state the summary of the entire essay. You must mention the main points or events in the conclusion.
8. Proofread Before Submitting
Check the reflective essay on online proofreading and editing tools to ensure that it is free of grammar errors. No matter how good your reflective essay is, it will not catch the professor's attention until it is 100% grammatically correct. The goal of your teacher isn't limited to getting an insight into your personal experience, event or the places you have been to. They also check your writing and creative skills.
Nov 01, 2019