October 27, 2015

How to Write a Reflective Essay – It’s Personal

How to Write a Reflective Essay – It’s Personal
Reflective essay assignments are common assignments in certain classes. Suppose you have just completed a major community service project as a field experience for an upper level sociology course. You have worked at a community center in one of the poorest neighborhoods, assisting with after-school activities for children. Now that your experience is over you must complete the project report by writing a reflective essay on your experience.

You have never written such an essay, so obviously you are a bit stressed. This post should help you produce a reflective essay that will meet the expectations of your professor.

Understanding the Purpose

A reflective essay should include the following components:

  1. What were your beliefs or attitudes before this experience?
  2. How did you grow personally through the experience
  3. How have your beliefs or attitudes been changed as a result of this experience?

Structure and Process

Before you begin your essay, answer the questions above. This will help you develop your thesis statement, as well as give you the ideas you need for your body paragraphs – in fact, the answers to each one of those questions can easily be body paragraphs.

  1. Prepare a brief informal outline of how you will cover each point in your essay.
  2. Write the body paragraphs. As you write them, be certain to add a lot of detail. If, for example, you came to better understand the struggles of children in poverty, what examples can you provide? Is there an anecdote that really brought you to this understanding? Remember, this essay is personal.
  3. Write the Introduction: Part of learning how to write a good reflective essay means that you understand what information your introduction should include. You want to keep it relatively short. You will introduce the experience you had – a field experience, a play you saw, a trip to see a specific exhibit at the art museum – the topic of your reflective essay, in other words. You will also want to make a general statement that will be your thesis. For example, you might say, “The chance to view this exhibit of post-modern art has changed my original negative attitude toward this period.” The other tip here is to begin that introduction with something pretty compelling. “When I was introduced to Johnny, he just looked up at me and scowled. My work was obviously cut out for me!”
  4. Your Conclusion: Here is where you are going to sum up your overall response to your experience, how it impacted and/or changed you and what you will carry with you from that experience.

Some Additional Tips

  1. If your experience was more negative than positive, you should be honest. If viewing the exhibit of post-modern art did not change your opinion of it, say so, and be certain to say why. Confirmation of a previously held belief or attitude is just as important as having your attitude change.
  2. You can be more informal in this essay, because it will be written from the first person. But don’t be too informal, using slang, etc., unless you are providing a direct quote.
  3. If you find yourself really struggling on this one, you can always contact us and simply say, “Write an essay for me.” We’ll have someone in touch with your immediately.
Latest posts: