A reflection paper assignment is a much less formal type of essay that shows you the thought process about an event you experienced. Here’s everything you need to know about a reflection paper.
Writing a reflection paper assignment is a relatively easy and straightforward process provided you know what you are doing. A reflection assignment basically equips you with relevant ethical and analytical skills that you benefit from practical experiences. Fortunately, writing an impactful reflection paper isn’t as difficult as most students think. And the fact that there isn’t always a right or wrong way that you can write a reflection paper assignment makes it even more exciting.
As a student, you must brace yourself for writing such papers after joining college. At some point, you will have to deal with a reflection paper. The best part of writing these types of papers is that they allow you the opportunity to express your own thoughts and ideas. Unlike other forms of essays, a reflection paper assignment allows you to speak your mind in your paper. Often, you don’t get such opportunities with other papers due to the strict laws of academic writing.
Reflective writing encourages you to look at things, experiences from a different perspective, yours. This type of paper also allows you to share your views and experiences with others. All that changes when writing a reflective essay. Find out more about this essay, how to write it, and which format you should use.
Generally, there are three main types of reflection essays that you can be asked to write about. The type of reflection paper that you write will largely dictate the writing process. As such, it’s vital to know which type of reflection essay you want to write before putting pen to paper.
Like with other types of essays, there are several different steps you can use to make your essay more impactful. This section should break down the tips and tricks you can use to write your own essay and make it even better.
Usually, your professor will assign you a topic to write about, especially when writing an educational reflection paper. In such a case, the professor may ask that you write a reflection essay about a book you read, a film you saw, or a lecture you attended. You will, therefore, have to write any personal experiences connecting you with the subject matter.
There are also instances where your professor allows you to pick your own topics. And, as much as this type of freedom may sound nice, deciding on the best topic to write about can be a stumbling block. It’s, therefore, vital that you don’t rush when choosing the right topic for your reflection paper assignment. Choose a compelling subject with a strong theme. Such topics often have a strong foundation that you can use to build your entire reflective paper.
Another critical step is note-taking. Taking notes about what you want to write about in your reflection paper will help you organize your thoughts and ideas about the paper. This allows you to crank out the final draft even faster and start writing your paper.
Start by writing your theme and how it relates to the topic. Afterward, it becomes much easier to write down potential supporting arguments that you can use on the paper. Things like personal ideas, current events, historical events, and quotes can work perfectly.
However, you must remember that the purpose of writing a reflective essay is so you can express your own opinions. As a result, the meat of your paper should be personal. Using quotes and events can also strengthen your views on different matters. They shouldn’t, however, form the main focus of the essay.
At this stage, you should have a bullet list of the ideas that you want to include in the reflection paper. It’s now time that you organize them and make them have some type of flow when eventually put in writing. Here’s how you should organize your ideas:
Here’s where the fun part begins. Now that you have got an outline, it’s time to start writing your paper. Write as quickly as possible to fill out each section of your paper. It doesn’t matter if the paper sounds or looks good or not. Just keep writing. Get everything out as ideas flow from your head. Doing this will help double your writing speed and enable you to type a low faster.
Only stop once you are done. Once the paper is complete, you can peruse through the paper to polish it up wherever you can.
After completing your paper, it’s time to start cleaning it up. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while editing your paper:
The tips and tricks mentioned above should help boost the effectiveness of your final reflection essay and make it an A+ paper.
These are just some of the common mistakes that students tend to make when writing reflection paper assignments. However, following the writing tips mentioned above should help point you in the right direction and improve your final grades.
Like any other type of essay, a reflection paper assignment should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Here’s a brief overview of how the structure of a reflection paper assignment should be:
Here, the writer shares with the reader what the overall focus of the reflection paper will be. Here’s where you should focus the reader on what your main topic will be or what part of your life you want to focus on. The introduction should also have a hook that will pique the reader’s interest and attention when reading your essay.
You cannot, therefore, afford to have a plain or bland introduction. If applicable, start with a quote that’s closely related to your topic. By this stage, your reader should have a clue of what topic you intend to write about. It should also be brief and have the main theme of the paper. Introduce a thesis statement that will act as the road map for your reflection paper.
The body of your reflection paper is where all the meat, all the flesh is and should explain how you have changed or what you’ve learned. Here’s where you also explain what things or situations caused you to change. For instance, most academic writers tend to reflect on how and what helped them improve as writers over a period of time. In such a case, you can write about how different lessons and assignments made you a stronger writer.
A strong reflective writer not only shares the change but also provides examples that support those changes. If, for instance, your essay is about what made you become more optimistic in life, then the examples that you provide should support what made that change. You can share an incident where you took a positive approach toward resolving an incident.
Remember, the body is primarily an explanation of what your topic is and your thesis too. You must, therefore, extrapolate all the aspects that you listed under your thesis here. Following this pattern should help you to provide clearer and more concise content for your reader.
The conclusion summary of any graduate course reflection paper should sum up how you have changed or how those changes have impacted your life. You may also look ahead or look backward here. If you choose to look ahead, then it’s best that you share with the reader how you think that those life experiences will change you in the future. On the other hand, if you decide to look backward, then you should note how you were in the past and use that to compare how your life experiences changed you compared to how you are now. This will help you to emphasize the difference.
Like the introduction, you should also write the conclusion in the manner of brevity. The conclusion should have energy even as you summarize the content of your reflection paper assignment. If possible, try to introduce a write-up that will summarize your content effectively and make your paper even more memorable.
By this stage, you should have a general idea of what you should do to start your self-reflection essay and hook the reader to it. In more detail, however, it’s important that you do thorough research on the topic that you want to write about beforehand. Whether you are reflecting on a book, academic essay, or activity, it’s critical that you highlight all the key ideas and concepts in the introductory paragraph.
Start off by summarizing your main concept. This will also allow you to determine whether your paper includes all the information that your reader needs to see in your paper. There are several different brainstorming techniques that you can always use to write a captivating, clear, and concise start to your reflection paper. And you probably already know the most effective one, as mentioned in the above excerpt.
The format used in a reflective essay often changes depending on who your audience is. For instance, you will need to use a slightly different format when writing a reflective paper for a university course and academic audience compared to when writing a reflective paper for a magazine. Also, being as reflection essays express the writer’s experiences in real-life situations, instructors hardly always provide specific formats to use.
Still, not having restrictions on which formats to use for your paper doesn’t provide you a license to use those fancy, hard-to-read fonts. There are some major formatting elements that a writer must consider when typing a reflective essay.
Generally, the formatting steps mentioned above are standard and what most academic institutions find acceptable. However, there are instances where your professor may give you a specific format to use in your paper. It’s vital that you stick to the writing format provides by your instructor. Failure to do so may end up costing you some points in your final grades.
Writing a self-reflection essay isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be, from what you have read so far. There are also several reflective questions that you can use to help you think about your learning and essay. These questions can help you have a better idea of what you want to write about and what you should include.
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The excerpt mentioned above provides you with all the information you need to write the best self-reflection essay in class. This article has enough to help you get started on your first reflection paper. Keep the points mentioned above in mind, and you will surely produce one of your best reflection papers yet.
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