If you are a high school learner, you must have some idea about how to write a reflection paper to benefit yourself in college. Among the various essays that a college student learns to write, a reflection paper is one where you get a broad scope to express yourself. Read this blog to explore the writing tips on how to write a reflection essay.
Table of Contents
What is a reflection paper?
A reflection paper is a known word among high school or college-goers. It is an academic paper where you have to express self-reflection on vivid matters. To make the writing more straightforward, you should follow the exact format and give it the ideal and compact structure.
In a reflection paper, you are expected to represent insightful thoughts. It is here where you can dig into some personal issues rather than elaborating simple facts. Discuss a variety of subjects in a reflection paper. You can write on educational, professional, and emotional problems. Each matter is based on a unique style.
The most interesting fact about a reflection paper is that although you write something personal, it should follow the guidelines of an academic task. Stick to the article to get some more useful tips on the reflection paper outline.
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What are the types of reflection papers?
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Popularly there are two types of reflective writing:
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All the topics related to business, social work, education, nursing, etc., fall into the category of experiential writing. Under this category, you have an opportunity to build connections between practice and theory. Here you can talk about your choices, actions and ups and downs in life, and many observations. It is exciting to think that even abstract ideas can take a perfect shape when colliding with real-life experiences.
Sometimes you need to submit a reading reflection. Many interdisciplinary courses demand such thoughtful assessments. The instructors provide clear guidelines about the structure of such essays. It is important to take down that your analysis and the textual meaning may differ. This is what makes a reading reflection more interesting.
About self-reflection paper
Before we know about a self-reflection paper, we first need to understand the meaning of self-reflection. The process of self-reflection asks you to pay more attention to your own thoughts, decisions, emotions, instincts, and behavioral approaches. For example, we learn a lot from our past mistakes. That means now we are experienced and able to decide better.
There are several benefits to cultivate self-reflection. It focuses on self-awareness and has a positive impact on your professional and personal life. Hence the topic that deals with self-reflection will demand a self-reflection paper.
Let’s talk about some self-reflection skills that we can work upon
With openness, we mean the perspective of an individual. It means to come out of the stereotypical beliefs and become more open to welcome new ideas and practices. When you become more open-minded, you can make more significant decisions instantly, which thereby proves to be successful. Your thoughts, expectations, values, and goals take a new turn. Therefore your writing becomes more mature.
Power of observation
Here observation focuses on self-observation skills. You should learn to observe yourself as you see external affairs. Self-observation skills can be enhanced with the help of meditation. This will let you shift your focus from what is going on in the outside world to what is happening inside your mind.
This skill allows you to keep your thoughts, emotions, and desires at bay. Objectivity lets you realize that you are more than the contents of thoughts or emotions. Anyone who is focussing on objectivity does not get affected by personal feelings.
Students may get several types of assignments like essays, long descriptions, dissertations, etc. These days, the professors and high school teachers are assigning essays on the topic ‘ rhetorical analysis essay’. The professionals assigned helpers are there to help you on this.
How to start a good reflection paper
Reflection here means to read, understand and express the thoughts that have been evoked. For this, you need to go through your article and understand how to express the matter.
Begin your reflection paper by conceptualizing the main theme. The beginning should have all the information that would help the readers understand the issue early. You can take the help of charts, diagrams, and lists to be more precise.
- Did the article able to move you?
- Will the article be able to affect the readers?
- Are you able to focus on some more questions on the same topic?
- Are there any critical issues that could have been addressed in the article?
Reflection paper format
The average word limit of college reflection papers is generally between 400 to 800 words. There is no specific format to write a reflection paper. You can choose to follow the reflection paper format of MLA, APA, or Chicago style. There will, however, be criteria set on the paper by the professors. Use your creative skills to describe the topic after formatting it correctly.
For writing the essay, you can use a standard A4 Size paper and draw a 1inch margin on either side. You can use various readable fonts as well. In case you find it tough to draw a reflection paper format, you can choose to hire professionals from academic solutions like Eduessay to improve your test scores.
Best tips on how to write a reflection paper
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Experts say that you should know yourself first if you want to know how to start a reflection paper. Find out what makes you give a kick-start to your writing. It may be anything from taking a sip of coffee to talking to your favorite person; do whatever makes you feel energized to start writing a reflection paper.
Follow few more tips to get on to the right track.
1. Do not stress about the deadline. Thinking of deadlines repeatedly will shift your focus and will do more harm than good.
2. Check out the reflection paper example. The reflection paper examples would give you ideas on the reflection paper format and outline.
3. Brainstorm ideas for more practical and recent topics.
4. Think and write on a daily basis. Do not rush to complete an essay at a time.
5. Always write the introduction at the end. In the middle of writing, you need to shift your focus and highlight some other theme.
6.Give practical implications of your insightful thoughts. Do not give vague ideas.
7. Never attempt to write derogatory languages. Also, eliminate the local tone in your writing.
How to write a reflection paper; A broader outlook
Check out the tips to write a reflection paper in detail.
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1. Solve these doubts
In the beginning, answer some thoughtful questions to allow yourself to have a clear understanding of the material. Check out these doubts, which should be clarified before you start a reflection paper:
- What do you feel about the topic? Does it sound positive, negative, or neutral?
- What do you think about the writer?
- Is the material impactful?
- Did the material cover all the major aspects? If no then what are those points?
- What is your overview of the material?
- Can you relate the matter to any of your personal experiences?
2.Hunt for a theme
Now, as you have answers to all the above questions, it’s now time for you to identify a concrete theme. Focus on your feedback on the material and understand what is the theme of the material so that you can establish your claim more effectively.
The reflection paper is not just a summary of the original material. When you write a reflection paper, take care that you do not just summarize what you have read. Write down the main aspect of each point. Elaborate each matter with specific examples, phrases, and quotes to support your claim.
Also, add necessary facts related to the author to make the readers understand the plot. Do not write irrelevant points so that you fail to put your actual argument in time. Just make sure what you write should be in context to allow the readers to find your work amusing.
It is interesting to know that a reflection paper offers you an opportunity to work on your reasoning skills. When you analyze a topic critically, you have a stronger effect on the mind of your readers.
After you have completed writing the central part of the article, you can throw light on these critical points like the purpose of writing the article, the writer’s eminence, and the writing style of the essay.
Find out how you can connect the material with any of your personal experiences. Or does it sound similar to one of those recent movies which you have watched? Are you able to build strong connections with any real facts or current affairs?
As you could connect the material to any of these matters, you can give a more vivid picture of your reflection in the article.
Reflection Paper Template: The Technical Aspect of the outline
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More than a compact structure, a reflection paper focuses more on insightful ideas. Present each picture effectively. Since the word limit of a reflection paper is less, you have to organize the entire essay in that restricted reflection paper outline.
See how you can design your paper:
Here, you can add the title, name of the title, and other related references
Write the theme
Add the summary
State the thesis to introduce the main idea of the article.
In this section, you have to describe the main idea to support the thesis. Add relevant quotes to assist your arguments. Also, relate the connections that you can develop in the process.
Here, you bind all the facts that you have described till now. This is not the section to introduce a new topic. It is here when you conceptualize your feedback on the entire issue.
Reflection paper outline
The reflection paper outline stands on two approaches
Be it any category; the reflection paper is divided into three parts:
Introduction in a reflection paper is a bit complicated. When you get an opportunity to write on an emotional topic, you likely get immersed in the subject. At this point, it is truly needed to have control over the outflowing emotions and keep it at bay. Also, you need to retain the academic style and while adhering to the guidelines of the instructor.
When you write the instruction, keep a check that your write-up is compact yet informative. Make space for reflective queries. Do not write the thesis while writing the introduction. Keep it for the time when you end complete the entire article. It is at that time when you have the exact idea on what is your real claim.
In the body, you can write down several things. Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence, and each topic sentence should explain different thoughts. Whenever you are writing an academic article, you may insert passages and quotes in a body paragraph to allow the readers to understand your feedback.
As the reflection paper is short, you can attempt to complete the entire body in three paragraphs. Here you can explain how influential the topic is and can write down some experiences. Write logical and rational points to tell the readers how the issue has affected you.
The final paragraph is the impactful ending of the reflection paper. It focuses on the bottom line of the subject matter. At this time, you need to wrap up the entire topic with solid and impactful texts to have a long-term effect on the mind of the readers.
Conclusions should be persuasive. Also, you need to make sure that you should have answered all the questions aroused in the topic as you are on the verge of ending.
Also, see how to write an essay outline on the next page.
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Reflective Paper example
Here is a list of some interesting reflective paper example for you to practice:
- A moment in love
- The beauty of sunset and sunrise
- A memorable incident
- The first job experience
- Your blind date experience
- A big personal loss
- On the last day at school
- The most embarrassing
- Your reflection on the college experience.
- A memorable vacation
- Your thoughts about college
- Your experience of public speaking
- A day with a newborn
- A terrible fight with your best friend
- Your favorite space in the house
- The best experience when you helped someone
The final words
The best tip to write a reflective paper is to dive deep into the feeling and exploit the thoughts evoked in the process. You can even choose to take some professional help to make a progressive score in your academics.
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