A reflective essay is an analytic and descriptive type of writing that evaluates the events in a person’s life. Academic reflective essays are based on an argument of a thesis.
As the word suggests, a reflective essay is a reflection. It is a piece that people write to reflect on their life experiences, personality, people they have met, and places they have been. The writer writes in details about those experiences and explores how he/she has developed, grown or changed from those experiences. This is one of the essays that the teacher requires the students to think widely and explore their creative thoughts while planning the essay.
The audience of the reflective essay will define the format and essay structure. For instance, an essay for an academic or college course will have a different structure from an essay for a magazine. Nevertheless, all reflective essays have a typical format which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. If the reflective essay is a school assignment, the teacher gives a guideline essay format. Before the student commences writing, he/she should read and understand the given information provided by the teacher on the essay.
Brainstorming and prewriting
This is a vital part that is often overlooked when constructing a reflective essay. Due to the nature of the reflective essay, it is quite easy to gather information and start writing. This makes the writers feel overconfident about the assignment and therefore skip the prewriting and brainstorming part. Prewriting does not only help you to get the information you to write but also plays a very important role in providing the framework and structure so that your thoughts are connected perfectly.
The writer chooses the prewriting format that he/she deems fit. Some writers may opt to use the bubble maps to link their thoughts, while other prefer creating a full draft and then go back to edit it. Whatever the style you choose, prewriting is all about getting an essay structure and creating a backbone for your reflective writing.
This is the part where the writer shares the overall focus of the reflection directly or indirectly. Most of the best writers employ the indirect format to introduce their main ideas and thoughts. Nevertheless, an academic writer is encouraged to use the direct format in explaining the main aspects of the experiences he/she plans to write about.
The body of the essay
This is where the writer explains about the experiences, what he/she has learned, and how they have changed his/her life. Good reflective essay writers do not only write about the change but also share examples as supporting information.
This is a summation of the entire experience. This is where the writer sums up the changes the experiences brought and the effects of those changes. The writer is allowed to look backward or look ahead. If looking ahead, he/she should write how he/she thinks the experiences will change him in the future, and if looking backward, he/she should how different the past was before the encounter.
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