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How to Write a Reflection Paper – Complete Guide with Examples

What is a reflection paper?

Regardless of whether you go to a well-known international or local college, there is a time when you will be required to write a reflective paper. Such kind of a paper allows the student to do something that they rarely do due to the strict rules in academic writing, which is sharing their thoughts in regards to a particular topic, class, or assignment. It provides the student with an opportunity of applying what they have learned to their education as well as real life. The term reflection may seem as obvious, but it is important that you clearly understand the requirements for writing the paper from the outset.

These type of essays are different from other forms of academic writings since they are not only informal but also focus on the student`s reactions and how they will use the newly found knowledge. Among the many assignments that a student will be required to complete while at school, reflective writing provides them with an opportunity of speaking out their minds. Students struggling to write their reflection papers can always seek assistance from companies providing essay writing services. Some of the essential elements when it comes to the creation of a reflective essay include the use of clear examples, the unity of ideas, and finally, organization.

When writing a reflection paper, you should include your objective discussion (what you observed) and subjective discussion (what you saw or how you experienced). You may also use the paper to make an analysis of what you liked or disliked or were the arguments presented effective or ineffective. A reflection paper is not like a book report where you restate the information presented by the author. It is more about what you learned after watching the film or reading a book and how you are planning to implement the gained knowledge in the future.

Reflection paper format

The format of a reflection paper is different from that used to write thesis statements, argumentative, descriptive, or expository essays. A college reflection paper is more of a diary entry or a well-structured story that is filled with reflection and riffle. An individual may be required to arrange their essays in either MLA or APA writing formats. Although the general length of a reflection paper may vary from 500 to 700 words, it is important to always seek clarification from your instructor regarding the number of pages or words.

Even though you will be writing about your perceptions, you must write your paper using an academic tone that is not only subjective but also personal. Evade from using informal languages excessively. However, a combination of both the informal and informal language can do a great trick. The following step entails formatting your paper into either MLA or APA.

When writing your paper using the APA format, you should keep the following into consideration;

  • The margin of your paper should be 1”
  • Your paper should be divided into four parts that include; the title page, abstract, main body, and reference.
  • The type of font should be Times, New Roman.
  • The page number should be inserted at the top right.

When writing your paper using the MLA format, you should keep the following into consideration;

  • The font type should be Times New Romans.
  • The titles should be centred.
  • The margins of the page should be 1”
  • The header of your page should include the student`s name, name of the professor, course number, and the date.

Writing tips for a reflection Paper

The following tips will assist you in writing a great reflection paper. To begin with, ensure that you are careful with what you are writing. A reflection paper is personal since it includes the writer`s opinions and feeling about a certain topic. Therefore, before you decide to include anything in your paper, it is essential that you first ask yourself whether the information is apposite or not. If you are not comfortable about writing on a specific topic or providing certain personal information, ensure that you do not include it in your writing or you provide general information on the topic.

You should keep your reflection paper formal and professional by avoiding the use of slang words, correct spellings, and avoiding the use of abbreviations. You do not have to provide detailed information when writing your reflection paper. If you are writing about a person who had a big role in your paper, you should strive at remaining professional and focus on the actions done by the person rather speaking about the person. Ensure that you review your paper sentence by sentence each time you complete writing a paragraph. You should ensure that every sentence has a purpose and there is no squeezing of ideas. Finally, make use of transitions to move from one sentence or idea to a different one. Your reflective paper will without a doubt look professional if you make appropriate use of transition words.

How to build and write a reflection

You can make a reflection of a topic or a story through observation and experience using the skills and knowledge in the field. Writing a reflection gives the writer a chance to think about their plans, successes, failures, choices, and actions. For you to build and write a reflection paper effectively, you need to first select a great topic. Your professor will give you a topic to reflect on, which could be a book, article, movie, or personal experiences. However, if you are not provided with a topic, you should pick one that is trending and also interests you.

Secondly, you should do brainstorming by conducting extensive research on the discussion topic. Before you can come up with a reflection, ensure that you obtain all relevant information on a topic and develop short notes. Performing this activity will assist you to develop a better understanding of the topic and organize your ideas in ways that will make sense to the reader. You should use external sources to gather information and thereafter focus on your personal opinions.

When it comes to organizing your ideas, you may set the overall theme and tone of your paper by asking yourself reflection questions such as; how do I react to the movie, article, or subject? Thereafter, start your essay with one or two sentences that grab the attention of the reader. You should never forget to mention your thesis statement as well as your intentions. Some important tips to consider when developing your reflection are; strive to be unique by choosing your unique style of writing and not copying another person. Be as brief as possible and avoid using too many words to communicate a simple message. Avoid using jargons and slang words and instead, be professional. Finally, develop an idea for every paragraph.

Peachy Essay Guides – Working through an example of reflective writing

How to start a reflection paper

Ensure that you know the type of reflection paper you are going to write. There are different types of reflection papers and they are divided into professional, educational, and personal. Whereas a personal reflection paper talks about an individual`s sentiments and thoughts on personal issues, educational refection papers on the other hand aim at reviewing films or books. There is also the professional research paper that aims at analysing the professional behaviours of certain professions such as teaching and nursing among others.

The following step entails reading the article thoroughly. Whether you are writing a reflection of a film, newspaper, or a book, you need to begin by highlighting the key concepts and ideas. You may begin by first summarizing your paper and check whether all the main ideas mentioned in the paper have been highlighted. You may consider adding graphs, diagrams, and charts to ensure that the audiences have a better understanding of what you are talking about. After reading and understanding the material you are to write a reflection on, the next thing you should do is brainstorming. You may consider asking yourself several questions such as;

  • How did the film/article affect you?
  • Do you agree with the arguments presented in the readings?
  • Has the article left you with unanswered questions?
  • Has the article changed your perception regarding the topic of discussion?
  • Does the reading relate with anything of your past?

After brainstorming, you should be able to come up with an outline that you will use to write your future paper. Brainstorming will aid in ensuring that there is a good flow of your paper as well as a proper organization.

The structure of a reflection paper

The structure of a reflection paper follows the basic format of an essay where there is the introduction, body, and finally, the conclusion. At the introduction, the writer should include a thesis statement, which specifies the paper`s main ideas. You should also incorporate hook sentences so as to grab the reader`s attention. Your introduction should be precise, informative, and catchy. You may include questions, remarkable statement, or quotes from famous people.

At the body is where you will explore and discuss your thesis in deep depths. It is advisable that you divide your essay into three paragraphs. In the first one, you may write about the knowledge you gained after watching a film or reading a book. In the second paragraph, you could compare your experience with those of others, while the third paragraph, should describe what you have learned. The conclusion should contain a summary of your experiences. It should describe to the reader how your new knowledge has changed your perception of a certain topic or subject.

Reflection Essay Example

In my life, I have gone through diverse experiences, which I could describe them as life-changing. Each of the experiences, at one point or another, seemed fascinating to me. While some experiences changed my life positively, others did the opposite. The most transformative experience I had was with the birth of my younger sister, Romilly. My parents used to call her a happy accident. The truth is that I always resented having a sibling because I believed our family was complete.

The pregnancy, which was unplanned for, also happened to have a lot of complications. At the time when my mother was almost due, I was the only one at home and hence, I had no choice other than to accompany her to the hospital. Sitting next to her through the entire contraction period gave me a new respect for women. I witnessed how powerful women can be in the midst of their weakest moment. Holding her hand for almost the entire duration at the hospital made me realize how strong my mother was.

At the time when my sister was born, everything changed and I realized two things. To begin with, I did not notice what I was missing my entire life until I saw baby Romilly. Secondly, I knew that things would never be the same. It was until she curled her little finger around mine that I came to understand what happy accident meant. I have had many experiences, which have changed my perception of various things in life. However, nothing has profoundly changed my life such as the birth of my little sister.

How simple is it to write these types of papers?

Reflective essays seem so easy, yet they are very difficult to write. To put it in simple terms, reflective writing entails a critical examination of an individual`s perception and views regarding a certain topic or subject. With the right form of guidance, writing reflective papers does not have to be difficult. Composing a reflective essay can be likened to writing a diary, only that it needs to be coherent and well-structured. When it comes to writing reflective papers, evade from including too much personal information since your main objective is stating your opinion and analysing a certain issue. Also, ensure that you use the right structure to avoid writing incoherent and disorganized content, which may be difficult for the reader to understand. Finally, although you are writing a personal essay, strive as much as possible to be formal and avoid jargons or sluggish terms.

Importance of the Reflection Paper

Many students at the collegiate and university levels never truly understand why they are requested to write reflective papers. Not only does it seem overly easy to do in most cases, but it also seems that this kind of writing is different from other forms of academic papers. One of the most significant importance of the reflective paper is that it helps students learn from a given practical experience. When you write a good reflective paper, it allows you to connect the things that you are taught in class with the things that you need to do in real life practice. In other words, it allows you to apply theoretical teachings to real-world situations or problems. When you think about the content that you have learned, you are able to think of the best ways that you can use such content to solve some of the problems that you are likely to encounter. When you reflect, you are able to learn better and faster. In this kind of writing, you need to think and put on paper the things that you have been through when conducting a given activity for example teaching a class, selling a product, or even writing an assignment. The reflective paper in turn helps you to make sense of some of the things that you did and make it easier to do these kind of activities in future.

There are many different reasons why you may need to reflect and so many different approaches that you can use when writing these kind of papers. For example, you may decide to write a person blog or make records in your diary. In this article we are however focussing on reflective papers for academic purposes. Here you will be needed to provide a record of the actions that you took alongside a reflection of how you completed the action using the things that you are taught in class for a given area of study. You should also offer the practical experience that you stand to gain by engaging in a given task. The paper offers you the rare opportunity to think about the things that you do from a deeper perspective and to learn from your experience. You also get the chance to understand how the things that you are taught in class help you in real-world settings or even during academic tasks. When you put down your thoughts on paper, it becomes simpler to think about them and make good connections between your thoughts and the things that you learn in class. The reflective paper will also act as a source of reference and evidence for your later use. The paper generally helps you understand a great deal of matter from your own point of view which is excellent for your learning.

When you write reflective papers, you always make use of conscious consideration and an analysis of beliefs and the different actions for the sake of learning. The papers offer your brain the chance to relax amidst the huge amount of work that you need to complete, focus on some of the things that you observe and experience, and helps you to take into consideration the various interpretations and give you closure. The paper is all about careful thinking and the chance to learn things that can inform your future actions and attitudes. This is very important for your ongoing growth and development especially as a student. When you spend time to reflect about the lessons you learn, you will see a difference in performance in comparison to when you fail to reflect. Reflection in essence helps you to become happier, more productive, and less tired than you classmates who fail to tackle these papers. When you combine all these factors, reflection papers are an essential part of higher learning and students should always ensure that they take their time to come up with these great pieces.

Final take

Despite the fact that reflective papers are generally hard to write, the impact is clear. Ensure that you constantly practice how to write these kinds of essays by doing as many as you can even when it is personal reflection. Consider multiple perspectives when writing these types of essays and also consider the reverse of what you believe. When you feel that it is too challenging to come up with a good paper, you can also seek for help from a professional individual from a great essay writing service provider such as Peachy Essay. It is never easy to write and you should give much attention to such papers since they help you understand things from a different point of view. It is always great to learn new things and a well-trained professional can help you attain your goal of writing the perfect reflective paper. It does not matter if you do not trust your reflective skills, we can all learn to get things done if we use the right approach as illustrated above.

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