Reflective Essays

A reflective essay is a specific type of writing, which is aimed at examining and observing the progress of the writer’s individual experiences. To know how to write a reflective essay, the writer must pay particular attention to descriptive language. Apart from explaining and analyzing the development of the writer, reflective essays also review the future aims. As a part of preparing the portfolio, such essays will thoroughly analyze your development as a student. This must necessarily include a description of the strengths and weaknesses, which you managed to gain as a professional writer. In order to overcome their weaknesses, the writers may also discuss their plans towards further improving in future. If your language is perfect, the reader will surely understand your ideas and approach to the specific subject matter. Reflective essay definition is: it is a type of an essay, which is usually closely connected with academic portfolios. The following essays are concentrated on your own experiences, so you are expected that to write about yourself, your point of view, opinions and thoughts. Thus, it is entirely acceptable to use the first person pronouns (“I”, “me”) in such types of essays.

Structure

Due to the fact that the reflective essay is based on personal experiences, the writer has the possibility to be as creative as possible. At the same time, avoid focusing too much on your creativity, and do not forget that the most important task of writing a reflective essay is to provide your audience with the information on how you have grown as a student and writer.

The structure of reflective essays is similar to the structure of most academic papers. Unless you are attempting to argue some specific point or perspective in your work, it is not required for your paper to include a thesis statement. A usual structure for a reflective essay is described below:

Introduction

Introduction to a reflective essay does not need to be very long, and usually it is only one paragraph in length. While writing an introduction, make sure you include the aim of your reflection without giving your audience too many details regarding the body of the whole paper. In the introduction, it is also very useful to tell your readers if you met your aims of the project. Later on, in the body of the paper, you may also show how this purpose was or was not met in a more detailed way. Perceive your introduction as a short preview to the body of your assignment.

Body

The body of an essay must describe in a detailed way your development as a student. For example, while preparing a reflective essay for a particular class, how did you grow professionally? What new things have you practiced? In which way may you apply your newly gained experience to your future academic or life goals? How did you manage to meet your purpose of the project you were participating in? This entirely differs from what you must discuss in the introduction. Do not simply tell the audience whether or not you met these aims. It is much better to show the reader your perceptions by illustrating the most important experiences. Do you think that there any skills, which you may improve in future? If yes, how are you planning to do so?

Conclusion

In the conclusion of your essay, you must restate your thesis statement by reminding the readers about the ways in which you managed to develop as a student. This may seem unimportant and totally unnecessary to you, as you have already discussed these things in a detailed way in the body of the paper, but keep in mind that the conclusion is the last thing your readers will grasp. Consequently, leave no doubt in the minds of your intended audience that your reflective essay clearly depicts how you have grown during the whole project. Consider that a reflective essay format always depends on the professor’s requirements.