- Literacy Narrative
- Image Analysis Essay
- Argument Research Essay
- Other Works About My Writing
Final Reflective Essay
At the beginning of the course, I was new to college writing. My writing skills were not bad, but they needed some fine tuning. A lot of the skills I have translated over easily from high school, but some did not. I was always good at getting information and laying down a foundation. Alongside that, I’ve always found writing easy once I have that base. Filling out the main ideas were simple. However, once I arrived in college it was apparent to myself that I needed more detail, and that it was something I lacked. It needed improving, but it was not a hard fix. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand why some writing needs more detail but others do not. This class has helped me fix that issue a bit, while also strengthening my proficiency in other areas. Throughout the semester, I have completed assignments that have increased my skills, and broadened my sense as a writer in different areas. By taking this class, I have been able to develop rhetorical knowledge, develop critical thinking, reading, and information literacy, develop effective strategies for drafting texts, and develop knowledge of conventions.
This class has helped me develop rhetorical knowledge by analyzing and composing multiple forms of writing to understand how genre conventions shape readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes. This means that I have been able to analyze different types of writing in order to understand how a genre affects how an author writes, and how the reader reads. One assignment that comes to mind that helped me achieve this outcome was our advertisement analysis assignments. In class, we spent time looking at different advertisements, and how they appealed to certain audiences. We all had to bring an advertisement to class, and analyze it ourselves, pointing out what techniques the ads were using, if they were effective or not, and who were they targeting. This assignment helps develop rhetoric as it allowed me to understand how the category of advertisement writing can differ from not only other genres, but other ads as well.
Rhetoric knowledge was also developed by practicing purposeful shifts in structure, content, diction, tone, formality, design, and/or medium in accordance with the rhetorical situation, which means to be able to change your writing to reflect the rhetorical situation at hand. This was not the result of one assignment, but many. During the course we were asked to write different essays that reflected different styles of writing. From storytelling and analyzation, to infographics and research assignments, I have been able to change how I write in order to meet the requirements. For example, in the literacy narrative, I had to write to convey a story. This means using traditional elements of a story, such as a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution, along with elements such as foreshadowing. This style of writing is different from an image analysis essay, where the purpose is mostly informative rather than anecdotal. In this case, elements such as facts, context, and comparison are common, and story like elements would not be appropriate here. I display that I have met this outcome by understanding how to write in those genres and how to keep it appropriate.
Another outcome this class has helped me meet is developing critical thinking, reading, and information literacy by composing and reading for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating. One such way I have met this outcome is by writing journals almost every class about different things. Every so often we had to write a journal about our thoughts about either our writing skills, how we defined different terms, and our reflections on our assignments. By completing these journals, I was able to look back on certain assignments, and learn how I was able to accomplish what I did. This style of writing is helpful because of its creative nature, and allows myself to become better as a writer.
Two more ways I was able to develop my critical thinking, reading, and information literacy skills was by using outside materials in their own writing through techniques such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign, and incorporating outside materials through quotations, paraphrase, and summary. By completing the image analysis essay, I was able to meet the outcome about using outside materials in your own writing. I used two advertisements in the essay, and analyzed how they were done, and who they targeted, in order to compare and contrast them at the end. I appropriately commented on their effectiveness, and how they could have improved. Speaking of using outside materials, my research essay demonstrated the outcome related to using paraphrase due to the nature of the assignment. By using outside sources, I was able to make my argument stronger, and I was able to improve as a writer because my skill to read and take information away improved.
The third outcome this class helped me to achieve was to develop effective strategies for drafting texts by working through multiple drafts of a project and recognizing the role of reflecting, revising, and editing in the process, engaging in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes, such as learning to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress, both by and with peers and in one-on-one instructor conferences, and critically reflecting on how they may further develop and apply writing skills in the future. The first outcome was reached simply through the rough drafts of each project. I usually had to brainstorm first, but afterwards, I was able to just write in order to get the information down. It had quite a few flaws to begin with, but during editing, most of them were ironed out easily. The second outcome was achieved through peer review. This was something I had always struggled with because I did not know how to do it. After learning, I saw how important it was. It allowed me to see mistakes my brain would have never saw, and let me see what my most common mistake were, which then allowed me to know what to avoid when writing. By reviewing other’s works, I was able to see common writing errors in general, and thus gave me information about what to avoid. The last outcome was achieved through peer review reflection. This is self-explanatory, but being able to reflect on the advice given is helpful. Mostly because it allows you to take a step back, and go over everything. You can see what you did well, and what you need to avoid in the future. This way, in future endeavors, the same mistakes will hopefully not be made.
The last outcome this class helped me to achieve was to develop knowledge of conventions by demonstrating competence in grammar, punctuation, and spelling, practicing genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone and mechanics, and understanding the concepts of intellectual property that motivate documentation conventions through application of recognized citation styles. The first two outcomes are rather similar, in the regard that most of the assignments help reach this outcome. Grammar will never change in writing, so it is important to get it write initially. The only assignment that really tested this was peer review. Being able to recognize sentences that do not make sense is helpful, and will help a writer catch confusing or contradicting statements. As for practicing genre conventions, almost every project helped display that. Writing paragraphs and formatting them correctly is easy, so there is not reason to drag on about this point. Lastly, the assignment that helped reach the outcome about citing intellectual property was the research assignment. It is important to cite your sources so that you do not plagiarize someone’s work, and jeopardize your own academic career. The research assignment helped because you had to find sources for you argument, and as a result, citations would follow.
During the course, I was faced with a few assignments where I had to write day by day, and not just in one day. Writing is not something to do, but rather a process that you have to follow in order to succeed. Many of the different assignments helped improve my skills in rhetoric, critical thinking, drafting, and conventions. While some did not improve much, others did exponentially. The work is not perfect, but for a beginner in college, it shows that I am willing to put in the time and effort to become more than just a beginner. As I progress through school, I hope to not only maintain these skills, but improve them also. Writing is not something that you leave behind after leaving school, so it is important that I take these skills not only with me for the next four years, but for the rest of my life. If I succeed in doing that, then I will always be prepared for any assignment that my field of interest throws at me.
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Guide on How to Write a Reflection Paper with Free Tips and Example
A reflection paper is a very common type of paper among college students. Almost any subject you enroll in requires you to express your opinion on certain matters. In this article, we will explain how to write a reflection paper and provide examples and useful tips to make the essay writing process easier.
Reflection papers should have an academic tone yet be personal and subjective. In this paper, you should analyze and reflect upon how an experience, academic task, article, or lecture shaped your perception and thoughts on a subject.
Here is what you need to know about writing an effective critical reflection paper. Stick around until the end of our guide to get some useful writing tips from the writing team at EssayPro — a research paper writing service
What Is a Reflection Paper
A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to write your opinion on a topic, supporting it with your observations and personal experiences. As opposed to presenting your reader with the views of other academics and writers, in this essay, you get an opportunity to write your point of view—and the best part is that there is no wrong answer. It is YOUR opinion, and it is your job to express your thoughts in a manner that will be understandable and clear for all readers that will read your paper. The topic range is endless. Here are some examples: whether or not you think aliens exist, your favorite TV show, or your opinion on the outcome of WWII. You can write about pretty much anything.
There are three types of reflection paper; depending on which one you end up with, the tone you write with can be slightly different. The first type is the educational reflective paper. Here your job is to write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended—in a manner that teaches the reader about it. The second is the professional paper. Usually, it is written by people who study or work in education or psychology. For example, it can be a reflection of someone’s behavior. And the last is the personal type, which explores your thoughts and feelings about an individual subject.
However, reflection paper writing will stop eventually with one very important final paper to write - your resume. This is where you will need to reflect on your entire life leading up to that moment. To learn how to list education on resume perfectly, follow the link on our dissertation writing services .
Reflection Paper Format
Reflection papers typically do not follow any specific format. Since it is your opinion, professors usually let you handle them in any comfortable way. It is best to write your thoughts freely, without guideline constraints. If a personal reflection paper was assigned to you, the format of your paper might depend on the criteria set by your professor. College reflection papers (also known as reflection essays) can typically range from about 400-800 words in length.
Here’s how we can suggest you format your reflection paper:
How to Start a Reflection Paper
The first thing to do when beginning to work on a reflection essay is to read your article thoroughly while taking notes. Whether you are reflecting on, for example, an activity, book/newspaper, or academic essay, you want to highlight key ideas and concepts.
You can start writing your reflection paper by summarizing the main concept of your notes to see if your essay includes all the information needed for your readers. It is helpful to add charts, diagrams, and lists to deliver your ideas to the audience in a better fashion.
After you have finished reading your article, it’s time to brainstorm. We’ve got a simple brainstorming technique for writing reflection papers. Just answer some of the basic questions below:
- How did the article affect you?
- How does this article catch the reader’s attention (or does it all)?
- Has the article changed your mind about something? If so, explain how.
- Has the article left you with any questions?
- Were there any unaddressed critical issues that didn’t appear in the article?
- Does the article relate to anything from your past reading experiences?
- Does the article agree with any of your past reading experiences?
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Here are some reflection paper topic examples for you to keep in mind before preparing to write your own:
- How my views on rap music have changed over time
- My reflection and interpretation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Why my theory about the size of the universe has changed over time
- How my observations for clinical psychological studies have developed in the last year
The result of your brainstorming should be a written outline of the contents of your future paper. Do not skip this step, as it will ensure that your essay will have a proper flow and appropriate organization.
Another good way to organize your ideas is to write them down in a 3-column chart or table.
Do you want your task look awesome?
If you would like your reflection paper to look professional, feel free to check out one of our articles on how to format MLA, APA or Chicago style
Writing a Reflection Paper Outline
Reflection paper should contain few key elements:
Your introduction should specify what you’re reflecting upon. Make sure that your thesis informs your reader about your general position, or opinion, toward your subject.
- State what you are analyzing: a passage, a lecture, an academic article, an experience, etc...)
- Briefly summarize the work.
- Write a thesis statement stating how your subject has affected you.
One way you can start your thesis is to write:
Example: “After reading/experiencing (your chosen topic), I gained the knowledge of…”
The body paragraphs should examine your ideas and experiences in context to your topic. Make sure each new body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.
Your reflection may include quotes and passages if you are writing about a book or an academic paper. They give your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback. Feel free to describe what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt.
Example: “I saw many people participating in our weight experiment. The atmosphere felt nervous yet inspiring. I was amazed by the excitement of the event.”
As with any conclusion, you should summarize what you’ve learned from the experience. Next, tell the reader how your newfound knowledge has affected your understanding of the subject in general. Finally, describe the feeling and overall lesson you had from the reading or experience.
There are a few good ways to conclude a reflection paper:
- Tie all the ideas from your body paragraphs together, and generalize the major insights you’ve experienced.
- Restate your thesis and summarize the content of your paper.
We have a separate blog post dedicated to writing a great conclusion. Be sure to check it out for an in-depth look at how to make a good final impression on your reader.
Need a hand? Get custom writing help from our writers. Edit, proofread or buy essay .
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How to Write a Reflection Paper: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: create a main theme.
After you choose your topic, write a short summary about what you have learned about your experience with that topic. Then, let readers know how you feel about your case — and be honest. Chances are that your readers will likely be able to relate to your opinion or at least the way you form your perspective, which will help them better understand your reflection.
For example: After watching a TEDx episode on Wim Hof, I was able to reevaluate my preconceived notions about the negative effects of cold exposure.
Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas and Experiences You’ve Had Related to Your Topic
You can write down specific quotes, predispositions you have, things that influenced you, or anything memorable. Be personal and explain, in simple words, how you felt.
For example: • A lot of people think that even a small amount of carbohydrates will make people gain weight • A specific moment when I struggled with an excess weight where I avoided carbohydrates entirely • The consequences of my actions that gave rise to my research • The evidence and studies of nutritional science that claim carbohydrates alone are to blame for making people obese • My new experience with having a healthy diet with a well-balanced intake of nutrients • The influence of other people’s perceptions on the harm of carbohydrates, and the role their influence has had on me • New ideas I’ve created as a result of my shift in perspective
Step 3: Analyze How and Why These Ideas and Experiences Have Affected Your Interpretation of Your Theme
Pick an idea or experience you had from the last step, and analyze it further. Then, write your reasoning for agreeing or disagreeing with it.
For example, Idea: I was raised to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight.
Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of research to overcome my beliefs finally. Afterward, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key to a healthy lifestyle.
For example: Idea: I was brought up to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight. Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of my own research to finally overcome my beliefs. After, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key for having a healthy lifestyle.
Step 4: Make Connections Between Your Observations, Experiences, and Opinions
Try to connect your ideas and insights to form a cohesive picture for your theme. You can also try to recognize and break down your assumptions, which you may challenge in the future.
There are some subjects for reflection papers that are most commonly written about. They include:
- Book – Start by writing some information about the author’s biography and summarize the plot—without revealing the ending to keep your readers interested. Make sure to include the names of the characters, the main themes, and any issues mentioned in the book. Finally, express your thoughts and reflect on the book itself.
- Course – Including the course name and description is a good place to start. Then, you can write about the course flow, explain why you took this course, and tell readers what you learned from it. Since it is a reflection paper, express your opinion, supporting it with examples from the course.
- Project – The structure for a reflection paper about a project has identical guidelines to that of a course. One of the things you might want to add would be the pros and cons of the course. Also, mention some changes you might want to see, and evaluate how relevant the skills you acquired are to real life.
- Interview – First, introduce the person and briefly mention the discussion. Touch on the main points, controversies, and your opinion of that person.
Everyone has their style of writing a reflective essay – and that's the beauty of it; you have plenty of leeway with this type of paper – but there are still a few tips everyone should incorporate.
Before you start your piece, read some examples of other papers; they will likely help you better understand what they are and how to approach yours. When picking your subject, try to write about something unusual and memorable — it is more likely to capture your readers' attention. Never write the whole essay at once. Space out the time slots when you work on your reflection paper to at least a day apart. This will allow your brain to generate new thoughts and reflections.
- Short and Sweet – Most reflection papers are between 250 and 750 words. Don't go off on tangents. Only include relevant information.
- Clear and Concise – Make your paper as clear and concise as possible. Use a strong thesis statement so your essay can follow it with the same strength.
- Maintain the Right Tone – Use a professional and academic tone—even though the writing is personal.
- Cite Your Sources – Try to cite authoritative sources and experts to back up your personal opinions.
- Proofreading – Not only should you proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, but you should proofread to focus on your organization as well. Answer the question presented in the introduction.
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Free Reflection Paper Example
Now that we went over all of the essentials about a reflection paper and how to approach it, we would like to show you some examples that will definitely help you with getting started on your paper.
The lecture started off with a quote: “If we can conquer space, we can conquer world hunger” — Buzz Aldrin. This quote had already got me thinking about how incredible of a feat it is that we’ve sent humans and animals into space. If it’s possible to survive in the infinite vacuum we know as Space, how are there billions of people who have a hard time surviving on Earth? This relatively simple idea reached out to get my attention and make me feel sympathy for all of the starving children and families in the world. On a morning like any other, our guest professor gave a lecture that truly impacted me to my core.
Do You Need a Well-Written Reflection Paper?
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Reflective Essay Examples and Samples
Reflecting on a chosen topic requires deep insight, making reflective essays difficult to write. Read our samples of reflective essays to gain a greater understanding of how to write one on your own.
Introduction to Reflective Essay: An Exploration of Self
A reflective essay is a type of personal writing that allows you to explore and document your thoughts, feelings, and insights about a particular subject or experience. Unlike other forms of academic writing, a reflective essay is more subjective and focuses more on your personal perspectives and interpretations. Writing a reflective essay can be a powerful way to articulate your growth and discoveries, making it an essential tool for creative and personal writing.
The Importance of Personal Experiences in Reflective Writing
Reflective writing revolves around personal experiences. It’s through such experiences that we learn, grow, and evolve. As such, personal experience plays a crucial role in reflective essays. A well-written reflective essay should vividly describe the experience, delve into the feelings it evoked, and critically analyze the impact it had on you. Reflective essays are not just a recounting of events, but a deep exploration of how those events influenced your outlook on life, reshaped your beliefs, or contributed to your personal growth.
Creative Expression: The Heart of a Reflective Essay
Creative writing goes hand in hand with reflective essays. The very nature of reflective essays – introspective, personal, and subjective – calls for creative expression. The creative door is wide open when writing a reflective essay, allowing you to experiment with different writing styles, narrative structures, and descriptive techniques. The goal here is to create an engaging and compelling narrative that captures your personal insights and emotional journey in the most authentic way possible.
Examining Growth Through Reflective Essays: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Reflective essays often serve as a mirror, reflecting your journey of growth. Whether it’s overcoming a personal challenge, learning a new skill, or undergoing a transformative life experience, these growth narratives form the backbone of reflective essays. When writing a reflective essay, it’s essential to not only describe the event or experience but also to delve into how it contributed to your growth as a person. How did it change you? What did you learn about yourself? How have you evolved as a result? Answering these questions can lead to profound insights and self-discovery.
Using Books and Literature as a Catalyst for Reflection
Books and literature often serve as a catalyst for reflection. A classic novel, a thought-provoking non-fiction book, or a compelling piece of poetry can provoke deep reflection and become the subject of a reflective essay. Whether it’s a book that changed your perspective, a character you deeply resonated with, or a theme that made you rethink your beliefs, reflective essays about literature can be a powerful way to explore your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the written word.
Emotional Intelligence: Exploring Your Emotions in a Reflective Essay
Exploring your emotions forms an essential part of the reflective writing process. In fact, reflecting on our feelings and emotions is an exercise in emotional intelligence. A reflective essay offers a safe space to navigate complex emotions, understand emotional responses, and articulate emotional growth. Whether reflecting on a life-changing event or exploring your reactions to a particular book, it’s crucial to delve into your emotional journey. By understanding your feelings, you can gain deeper insights into your emotional patterns, personal triggers, and coping mechanisms.
- Understanding Emotional Responses: When writing a reflective essay, it’s crucial to delve deep into the emotions experienced during a particular event or circumstance. This could range from joy and excitement to confusion, disappointment, or even grief.
- Navigating Complex Emotions: Sometimes, experiences can elicit complex emotions that are hard to navigate. Reflective writing offers a safe space to untangle these emotions and gain a clearer understanding of your emotional state.
- Articulating Emotional Growth: A reflective essay allows you to document your emotional growth. Overcoming a difficult situation, managing negative emotions, or discovering a new perspective all signify emotional growth that can be articulated through reflective writing.
- Identifying Emotional Patterns: By consistently writing reflective essays, you can identify patterns in your emotional responses. This can help you better understand your reactions to similar situations in the future.
- Recognizing Personal Triggers: Reflective writing can help you identify personal triggers that prompt specific emotional responses. This awareness can equip you to manage these triggers more effectively.
- Developing Coping Mechanisms: Understanding your emotions through reflective writing can lead to the development of effective coping mechanisms. Whether it’s mindfulness, meditation, or simply taking a walk, recognizing what helps you manage your emotions is a significant step towards emotional intelligence.
Reflecting on College Class Experiences
College classes offer rich experiences that can provide plenty of material for a reflective essay. Perhaps it’s a creative writing class that opened up a new world of expression for you, or a challenging science class that pushed you to your limits. Reflecting on these experiences can help you understand your academic journey, recognize your learning style, and appreciate the knowledge you’ve gained. Discuss the skills you’ve acquired, the challenges you’ve faced, the friendships you’ve made, and how these experiences have contributed to your growth and development.
Time Management Reflections: Overcoming Procrastination
Reflecting on time management can lead to valuable insights about your work habits and productivity. Have you struggled with procrastination? Have you discovered effective time management skills? A reflective essay on this topic can discuss your past struggles, the strategies you’ve employed to overcome them, and the progress you’ve made. By examining your relationship with time, you can uncover patterns, identify areas for improvement, and devise strategies to enhance your productivity.
Reflective Essay Examples: Lessons and Insights
One of the best ways to understand reflective essays is by reading and analyzing examples. These examples can serve as a guide, offering insights into the structure, tone, and style of reflective writing. Whether it’s an essay reflecting on personal growth, a transformative travel experience, or a powerful book that left an impression, reflective essay examples can provide inspiration for your own writing.
In conclusion, reflective essays are a powerful form of personal and creative writing. They allow you to explore your experiences, emotions, and growth in a deeply personal way. Through reflective writing, you can gain valuable insights about yourself and your journey, making it a rewarding and transformative process.
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Essays on Self Reflection
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My Journey Towards Personal Growth: Pursuing Higher Education
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The Factors that Have Shaped My Personal Life and Worldview
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