A reflective essay: what it is about
Most of the students find it very challenging to complete a reflective essay and some of them simply start panicking, as it is definitely a complex assignment.
A reflective essay is a writing task, which aims to give the reader information on your character, personal approach and identity. However, it is not just a glance at your personality and you need to master various techniques to be able to complete an essay you can be proud of.
Such assignment aims to provide an analysis of your personality throughout a certain period of time or after some specific events took place. You need to know yourself perfectly well to complete such a task, so it is not enough simply to master various writing techniques.
Things you need to know
First and the most important rule is that you should always stay informative and focused. This means that you need to know what to write about and stick to it. Being disorganized may cause you a lot of troubles.
That is why one of the most popular ways of creating a reflective essay is starting with writing an outline. It will help you to remain focused and you will be able to stick to the point, not letting your thoughts drift away. With the help of a draft, you will easily remember about your main goals, avoiding excessive information.
Despite the fact that such essay greatly differs from other written assignments, it still has the same structure and consists of three main parts: introduction, body paragraphs and conclusions.
One of the main advices you may receive on completing a reflective essay is starting it by a so-called ‘hook’. This means that you may include a joke, a personal story or a juicy detail on a subject you are going to discuss.
However, you should always remember that a serious essay should never start with an anecdote and it is better to begin with a quote or some interesting facts. Providing catchy details at the beginning will help you to grab interest of the audience and make the whole essay live and engaging.
- Introduction. Apart from the catchy element we were talking about, this section should contain a thesis statement. It is a sentence, which contains information on the question you are trying to solve in your work. Be brief and simply include general details on the story you are writing about;
- Body paragraphs. They are the heart of your whole work and should contain all the details, thoughts and insights on the story you are trying to convey to the reader. Although a reflective essay differs from the rest, you should still make it as informative as possible, providing details in a chronological order. Don’t forget to follow your outline and provide only necessary information. All your details should eventually lead to a catchy conclusion;
- Conclusions. This section aims to gather all your arguments and information together. At the end, you need to provide a thought-provoking idea and offer an argument for discussions. A great advice is to mark the influence of a certain situation/person/place on your personality.
Mistakes you need to avoid
- It is always necessary to follow a clear aim. Just writing on a certain subject won’t do and you will easily be lost in the thoughts. Always remember about your goal and complete every paragraph according to the structure;
- Try to avoid excessive details, like places, names, numbers and so on. They may easily puzzle the audience and they will feel bored;
- Read your paper over and over again until you eliminate all the grammar, lexical and stylistic errors. Your essay should always be smooth and readable, as mistakes may greatly influence your grades;
- A reflective essay is your personal thought on a certain subject and a tool to put your personality on the paper. That is why you shouldn’t be general and always add personality to the subject.
There are thousands of reflective essay topics depending on the subject you need to discuss. Usually they aim to show your ideas on friendship, love or communication.
- Attitude to religion in a modern society;
- Is it possible to become happy without success?
- Do you have a lifestyle guru?