What is a Reflective Essay? - Definition, Format & Examples

In its basic form, a reflective essay will take the common essay structure:

Introduction: This section should be the shortest; usually only one paragraph that establishes the frame of your personal reflection in a clear and concise manner. This is often achieved using reflective statements, then pointed sentences that describe the key ideas of reflective essay. For example, “the structure instilled in me by my baseball coaches has made me more organized and focused throughout my academic career”, or “I believe my membership on the school debate team has been the single largest contributor to my research skills today.”

Body: The body paragraphs are where you can be more creative with your space and structure. Some reflection papers resemble narratives in which the writer tells their story from the perspective of how their experiences have impacted their personal growth and development. In the body of the essay, it is important to use descriptive language to differentiate between simply a retelling of key events and a rich narrative that exhibits true personal reflection.

A reflective essay prompts you to analyze and write about your life, personality, and/or experiences. Reflective essays are much less academic than or , and the structure of these essays can vary, but don’t let that fool you. They still take a lot of effort, concentration, planning, and to make it worthwhile for yourself and the reader.

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Most arguments for reflective practice hold the opinion that it is a very vital tool for designing development. Both teaching and The Reflective Manager Essay.

A basic guide on how to write a great reflective essay.

The reflective essay structure is similar to the pattern of the majority of academic writings. What distinguishes it from the rest is its free form. You can shape your essay into a common structure of the introduction, body and conclusion, but you can also present your views and feelings in a unique, one-of-a-kind style. But your language must be descriptive, and it is advisable to hold a discussion from the first-person perspective, since you are expected to write an essay about your own experience and individual opinions. Strong reflective essay samples may give you an idea how to maintain balance between critical thinking and creativity when giving a perspective on what kind of person you are.

Reflective writing | University of Technology Sydney

In reflective essays, students are required to write about past events and the experiences they got out of them. The main aim of such essays is to help students learn to analyze events that had impacts on them, as well as help draw conclusions not about abstract and detached notions, but rather about something they took part in. Reflective essays are always thrilling to write, as most of them are associated with repeated emotional experiences. Therefore, this type of essay is popular at different stages of school and college education. The structure of reflective essays is traditional; they usually contain an opening paragraph, a main body, and a conclusion. Their main advantage is the freedom to express what the author wants to say the way he or she considers the most appropriate.

If we try to give a reflective essay definition, we can come to a conclusion that this is a kind of essay that involves an analysis of a problem or an event as well as explains it and contains the author’s personal opinions and feelings. What makes it complicated is that we have to provide our own view on the matter and at the same time remain objective. The main advantage is that from the possible reflective essay topics you may select the one that genuinely concerns you. You do not have to dig in other people’s thoughts and accurately recite them, you only need to sink into your thoughts and make your own conclusion, as we can see from various reflective essay examples.

Here are some ideas for reflective essays that can be easily transformed into new ones in accordance with what you would like to share:

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The purpose of a reflective essay is for the writer to ruminate on past events to discover how they have influenced his life

I also want to attend a conflict resolution study day to learn how to resolve conflicts. Communication with others can be challenging (Webb, 2011) and conflicts may arise at any time, not only between team members but also between health professionals and patients or their families. Summarizing, reflection on this experience allowed me to identify gaps in my knowledge and establish my own learning needs. Gibbs (1988) model of reflection given me the chance to explore my thoughts and feelings, analyse the situation and draw conclusion for the future. This essay also enabled me to connect theory and practice.

These reflective essay prompts for high school students invite teens to think about role models; challenges and growth; and missed opportunities.

Expanding an opinion means explaining why you have that opinion in the first place. "I like 'Star Wars' movies" may be an opinion, but as a thesis it needs to include reasons for the "I like." It must begin to answer the "because" part of the question. "I enjoy the 'Star Wars' films for their unique characters, plot lines from ancient mythology and exciting action sequences" works well, since it expands the topic into three areas of reflection, each of which you now can address in separate paragraphs or sections of the essay.