Let us ask you a question, have you ever read the movie reviews before watching “How to get away with murder” or “Joker”? If you have, there will be no problem with you writing a reflection paper. To put it simply, all you are required to do is to share your impressions on some event or situation in a structured and logical way. It is like being a film critic on Oscar. We would describe a reflection paper as “a win-win situation”. Whichever decision you make, it will be the right one, because your opinion can’t be wrong a priori.
However, if the phrase “reflection paper” still causes your headache and anxiousness, experts in “write my essay” requests have got your back! Let’s figure out how to write a reflection paper once and for always.
The Reflection Paper: What Should You Write?
So, your professor has assigned to write a reflection essay in one of your college courses. Before googling the tips on how to do it, you have to know what the genre expectations are.
A reflection paper is different from a traditional essay or research paper. It is less formal, more like a journal entry. In a reflective essay, you are at the center of the story, rather than the theory or statement which you might have to summarize and discuss in a traditional paper. The focus is on your feelings, so it is appropriate to use the first person. As long as it is related to the subject of the paper and express your way of thinking, you can write anything that comes to your head. Use metaphors, complex sentences, and descriptive adjectives.
However, the point is that your reflection paper has to be more than just a storytelling or description. Reflection, first of all, is a mental process. It is contemplation or a long consideration. Reflection is an interpretation, exploration, and your perspective of the situation that affects how you see it in the first place.
Usually, at college, you are asked to reflect on the theories you have learned and the experiences you have had. It means to analyze, question, and evaluate the situation you were in to develop new insights and perspectives. A reflection paper is a chance to think critically about how a certain experience made you feel and how it relates to your personal beliefs. So, how to write a reflective essay that will delight your professor and turn you into a confident reflective essay writer? Keep reading to complete this college task.
Whether You Want it or Not, a Reflective Paper Has to Be Structured
Where do the reflective writing ideas come from? The answer is experience. An action, event, or story that transformed and affected your views and personality in a certain way. How to address the experience in the reflective essay properly? In order to make a breathtaking narration, you will have to structure the paper with blocks like any essay.
Basically, there will be introduction (where you provide the significance and the focus of the situation), body parts (where you describe the event and your feelings at the time, evaluate it, analyze the effect, providing cause/effect or compare/contrast points; write it according to the “thesis-argument” principle), and conclusion (where you give a brief the summary and suggest the course of actions). Now, let’s spice things up a bit. To write a killer reflection paper, you should go through five reflective cycles.
Description. To help the reader or professor to get into the mindset or the shoes of the author (you), provide a brief description of the situation. A word of caution, it is only the first cycle. Do not spend too much time describing or summarizing. The person reading your paper has read the same book, seen the same movie, or has been in the same situation. A reflection is not a description paper. It gives your reader a good understanding of how you feel or what you think.
Evaluation. Be the judge, honestly answer the question: “Was it a good experience or bad one?” What was good or bad about it? It is time to apply your critical thinking skills. While at college, there is a good possibility that you will be required to evaluate your learning experience in a course. So, at this stage, you have to estimate where you think your skills were at the start of the course and determine the skills you have developed, by examining all the work you did.
Analysis. It is quite similar to evaluation, so ask yourself the following question to analyze the situation: “Did it change me or my way of thinking?” If so, explain how.
Conclusions. Here, everything is even easier. Looking back at the situation with more depth, write about whether you would have done it differently, tell about the alternatives you had. Reflect on the work you have done. Consider how successfully you feel you have completed the work and how the skills and strategies you have learned in completing this work may help you in the future studies.
The final cycle in your reflection paper is your plan. How can you apply new skills? What new resources do you possess? Do not forget to incorporate some of the class vocabulary presented during the course.
4 Keys to a Perfect Reflection Paper
1. Identify your themes or talking points. Write what parts of the material made an impression on you? Why was it important?
2. Connect those themes to your life. How does new information relate to your previous experiences?
3. Give examples. Share brief stories or parts of your life that illustrate the connection between what you have heard or seen and what you have already known.
4. Explain those connections. Do not assume that your audience knows what you are talking about. Be specific.
Here are a few more tips on how to write a reflection essay. The author’s opinion is what matters the most in that kind of paper. It means that your work will be biased by default, and it is totally OK. So, the essential point is obvious: do not try generalizing other people’s thoughts on the question. You should express your viewpoint and then analyze it in comparison with existing hypotheses and axioms in your head.
Remember of details. The paper looks more trustable and solid if you fill it with certain facts, reasonable arguments, and good examples. It is the basis, flew and blood of any writing.
In order to demonstrate the deep reflection in the paper, you have to watch your language. You can evaluate the situation and describe how the experience made you feel by using phrases such as “I found”, “I felt”, “which gave me”, “it reminded me”.
For you to know, reflection is what scientists do at the end of an experiment. So, what have you identified by examining the body, Sherlock?