How to Make a Reflective Essay Perfect

A reflective essay is a presentation of the writer’s emotions, attitude and thoughts regarding certain people, events, concepts or phenomena. It is not possible to produce a good essay without prior preparation and training. It requires well-developed skills in writing and critical thinking, as the essay should contain the writer’s individual ideas on a chosen topic. The selection of topic can be done either by a student or by an instructor.

Main Aspects to Take into Consideration

  1. Learn as much as possible about how to write a reflective essay. Remember that the introduction should be related to the concluding paragraph. For instance, the conclusion may be like that, “When I first heard of him, I thought of him as of an arrogant person with no respect to other people. He seems to be absorbed in his own thoughts and indifferent to anything that was happening around. However, later I realized that what he disguised was his sensitive soul and broken heart. My first impression was absolutely wrong, and we became close friends.”
  2. You can use personal pronouns in the essays of that type, as they should contain descriptions of personal experience and your own attitude.
  3. Use of quotations can make the reflective essays look more convincing and authoritative.
  4. You can not only tell what was right, but also refer to the failures and bad experience to demonstrate how that was improved later.

Do and Don’t

Do:

  • Do state all the ideas clearly. It will make the essay easy for compression of your readers.
  • Do choose the descriptive manner for presentation of your ideas.
  • Do keep the paper formal and academic. It is an essay of reflective type, but it cannot be too informal.
  • Do make the structure clear: introductory paragraph is followed with the body and conclusion.
  • Do use your own personal experience and ideas in the essay, but combine them with supporting facts and research material to make the paper conform to a reflective essay definition.

Don’t:

  • Don’t sound too personal. It should not resemble a letter to a peer, as this type of essay is still an academic assignment.
  • Don’t attempt to make the paper overloaded with examples and stories from your personal experience. Choose the facts that are the most relevant and important.
  • Don’t be too general in descriptions. Use a mind-map to make your ideas organized and directed. A well-written outline is another solution to the problem of idea arrangement.
  • Don’t forget about logical order of your thoughts in the essay. Make all your ideas and insights well structured. The flow should be smooth and uninterrupted.

Typical Mistakes

  • Too many personal details in the essay. Ask yourself, “What is a reflective essay?” and try to state your opinion clearly to provide thorough analysis of the chosen issue. Do not make your essay look like your autobiography; instead, refer to the most important of your experiences to support your ideas.
  • Disorganized paper. Incoherent text without any structure is difficult to understand and not effective.
  • Informal tone. A reflective essay is a formal academic task to be done with proper care.

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