Have you ever logged in to your class to check your grades and sat there staring blankly in amazement because you failed a test or got a big fat “F” on an essay?
After you got the anger (and maybe a few tears) out of your system, did you think about why you failed so miserably?
Maybe you reflected on the situation and learned a valuable lesson about the importance of time management. As a result, you’re now a more conscientious student.
If you spent any amount of time pondering your failed assignment, then you already know something about writing a reflective essay. It’s this type of thinking about what you’ve learned or how the experience changed you that is the essence of a reflective essay.
In this post, I’ll give you a short tutorial on what makes a reflective essay, well, reflective. I’ll also point out the strengths of two reflective essay examples to help you get started.
The Reflective Essay
If you look at your own reflection in a mirror, you’ll see yourself as you are today, not as you were yesterday.
Wow—that sounds pretty deep, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Each day you change in some way.
If you’re writing a reflective essay, you’ll think about (or reflect on) how you’ve changed or perhaps how an event changed you.
For example, if you were walking to class yesterday and were almost hit by a car as you crossed the street, you might reflect on how the near-death experience changed you forever.
If you’re still not quite sure what it means to reflect, read How to Write a Reflective Essay That Is Interesting or check out this informative SlideShare.
But even if you know what a reflective essay is, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to write a good reflective essay.
Here are two reflective essay examples to help illustrate what makes a reflective essay good.
Reflective Essay Example #1: A Personal Account of Anorexia
Even though this essay isn’t very long, it’s a good example of the core component of the reflective essay: an explanation of how an event or experience affects the writer.
The writer of this essay discusses a personal struggle with anorexia. She explains how the experiences shaped her view of herself and how they helped determine her career goal.
A Personal Account of Anorexia
Reflective Essay Example #2: The Pressures of College
Reflective essay example #2 offers a different take on this type of essay as it includes a response to an article.
The writer of this essay reflects on personal pressures he faces in college and discusses strategies to overcome these pressures.
The Pressures of College
Final Thoughts on Our Reflective Essay Examples
As you can see, like most essays, the reflective essay follows a basic essay format. It has a solid introduction, a clear thesis statement, examples and evidence to support body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion.
Now you know what makes a reflective essay good (thanks to my helpful article and our reflective essay examples).
If you still don’t know what to write about, here are 15 topics to inspire you. You can also check out more reflective essay examples. Here’s a few worth looking at:
If you’re already inspired and have a topic in mind but don’t quite know how to organize your ideas, try outlining. Use this reflective essay outline to get started.
Now that you’re a more conscientious student, after reflecting on your academic career, be proactive. Let a Kibin editor help revise and perfect your paper.
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A reflective essay is a write-up usually done to reflect about the things that have transpired in the writer’s life. It may be about a thought, a past experience, new learning, and entirely a lot more of personal experiences where inspiration can be drawn from. It deals with the perspective of an individual about growth and development. With everything that has happened into his or her life, a reflective essay is a good way to show how he or she was able to go through challenges and be the person that he or she is today.
If you want to write a reflective essay but have no idea how to start, you may use our Essay Outline Template and use its structure as a reference in creating your very own reflective essay.
Personal Reflective Essay Template
Self Reflective Essay Template
Reflective Essay Outline Template
Reflective Essay Plan Template
Writing Reflective Essay Template
Do Not Describe, Reflect
Since a reflective essay is personal, there is not much of rules that are needed to be followed in writing one. However, one must be able to express him or herself and not just describe a situation. As an example, if a reflective essay is about surviving from a calamity, do not describe the things that have happened.
Otherwise, let the people know how you felt—for example, during a calamity—what made you afraid, what made you think that you can survive, and what are the thoughts that kept your hope alive during those times. Finally, conclude with the learning that you’ve had because of the experience and how it has helped you to be the person that you are today.
Writing a Reflective Essay
As a writer, you must consider the following when you are writing a reflective essay:
- Know the main thought or event that you are writing. Knowing what the essay is all about will give you a more concise thinking on what to put into your writing.
- Know the strong points that you need to showcase. Point this out especially in answering the question about why a specific event or happening that occurred in your life is worthy to be analyzed.
- Know the entire process of development. State in a way that people can actually relate and understand where you are coming from and how you came up with the specific reflection that you have written.
Aside from our reflective essay templates, you may also download our Argumentative Essay samples.
Reflective Essay Template for High School
Reflective Expository Essay Template
Reflective Narrative Essay Template
Junior Reflective Essay Template
Write as If You Are the Only Person Who Will Read Your Writings
A problem commonly seen in writing a reflective essay is that a few writers care too much on what other people might say about the thoughts that they have presented in their reflective essay. I am aware that we should all be careful by what we write as we need to be firm with what we have written. But then again, a reflective essay is a personal writing, and what it reflects is your personality and how you think about certain things. So make sure that the next time you write a reflective essay, it is the true you that is writing and not someone who just wanted to please the crowd.
If you already have enough idea about a reflective essay, browse through our Scholarship Essay for another kind of essay writing.
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