If you are tasked with creating a reflective essay, the professor will expect you to talk about how the material covered in class has helped you grow. Any professor in any field can assign his or her students this task. However, it will mostly occur in Music, Education, Art or Literature.
These are areas that mostly deal with affecting the human at an emotional level. If you study in any of these fields, you should read these instructions before-hand. It helps if you follow every detail in this piece of advice.
In music and art, the reflective paper will come hand in hand with the creation of a portfolio. In education, the reflective essay task is mostly given after the student has been to a class to teach schoolchildren. In most cases, these essays are subjective and personal. However, there is still a lot that needs to be considered. Some factors such as content, format, and style need to be carefully monitored. To write a good reflective paper, students should follow these guidelines. It will help them get good grades or be admitted to other programs. No matter how good your grades are, this essay will determine if you qualify or not in some instances.
1. The Introduction
The introduction should be short and straightforward. It only needs to establish the parameters of the reflective essay. In a nutshell, briefly talk about the things that you did, read, what you participated in or achieved during the experience. The paragraphs that are contained within the main body of your essay will offer a more detailed look at your skills. If the introduction has too much information, it will affect the content quality in the body.
2. Be Detailed
When writing the essay, think deeply about what you want to discuss. Try to make the reader understand how the experience affected you. Avoid being simplistic and merely glazing over an issue, For instance, do not say, “That experience was exciting.” Such type of sentence does not indicate that you grew in any way. The point of the essay is to demonstrate that you have changed and grown. Here are some better examples:
- I found the book I read so compelling that I had to go and research the author further. I added more of his work to my list of books of reading.
- The class I attended forced me to reconsider my views on this issue. It has influenced a project that I am currently creating.
3. Watch Your Words
There is no reason to lie in a reflective essay. If the experience was negative, you should as much. However, this does not mean you can use an undiplomatic way. The reader should get to understand your experience without feeling offended by your words. For instance, do not say you found a book to be boring. Instead, tell the professor the reaction you had when reading the book and why you felt that way. Also, take care of how you criticize the teacher. The essay is about how you felt not about how you were taught. It is still possible to learn something in class even when you do not agree with the professor. Besides, it is not nice to offend the person teaching you.
4. Be a Bit Formal
When you discuss yourself in an essay, it can be easy to slip into a language that seems to show you are talking with one of your friends. Keep in mind that you are writing a formal essay to earn points. The tone you use in the essay should be reflective. You can use the first person point of view in such an essay. However, do not use it in any other essay. Slang and contractions should not appear in your essay at all. Using informal language could send the wrong message to the professor. It shows that you treated the whole class or workshop as a joke. As a result, you may fail or get a low-quality grade.
5. Talk About Your Achievements
A reflective paper should not just concentrate on the emotional aspect of your experience. You should also talk about the new skills you have acquired. In fact, you can focus on the skills learned and avoid talking about the emotional stuff. However, remember to mention how these skills have had an impact on your life. Also, it is always nice to include how the experience or class made you feel deep inside. It shows you are in touch with the subject matter, and you deeply care about it.
For instance, if you have learned a new way to use the paintbrush, talk about how it has made your painting much faster. Also, you may talk about how the quality of your work has gone up. If you were a teacher and received positive feedback from the students, do not forget to mention this experience. Mentioning little things that happened in the course of your experience can boost your grades. It demonstrates that you were paying attention. Also, it shows you were committed to learning something.
6. Remember Every Step
A reflection essay is supposed to show how you have improved over time. It may be on an issue concerning a course, a unit, or a workshop you attended. So as to learn how far you have come, the reader must be made aware of your situation before. Make sure you answer these questions in your essay.
- What was my experience with the subject matter before?
- Did I have a positive or negative perception of the object before?
- What was my notion before?
7. Use Descriptive Language
Make sure your essay keeps the reader interested. A good essay is one that makes use of descriptive language. Make the person reading it visualize what you are discussing with ease. Talk about the details of something like its texture or its color. Do not only say something was beautiful. In the same essay, talk about how that object or experience made you feel. Ensure your words evoke all of the senses if possible.
A reflective essay is a chance for you to show how much you have grown as a student. In most cases, many people read the paper. It is especially the case if it is for your major. In some cases, how you perform in the essay will determine if you get accepted into a particular program. Make use of online resources that can help you churn out a better essay. An excellent site to use would be Trueessays.com. The site has assisted many students to come up with exemplary works. Always ensure that you look for a site that has high ratings and has been around for a while.