It is natural to reflect on something you see, hear, or read every day. As you do so, you always have different opinions about the meaning you get. In reflection writing, you try to convey your thoughts and beliefs on the content. It gives your reader a better understanding of yourself.
Sometimes, you may relate well to a movie or an article as it will remind you of an experience you had similar to what it is discussing or portraying. When you analyze and reflect on its meaning and impact, you get to learn much.
This article discusses reflection writing, types, format, and guidelines to follow as you write a reflection paper.
Reflection is having a serious thought about the meaning of given content. It is when you keenly explore and explain an occurrence of events from your perspective.
You reveal your emotions, fears, opinions, thoughts, errors, or successes as you try to describe an event or content. Reflection in writing involves;
It is by reflecting that you get the meaning and impact of something. As you think through content, it becomes reasonable and easier to interpret.
Reflection takes time. It can take you hours as you try to analyze and critically examine an event or observation. As you do so, you develop a clearer view and perspective when you reflect.
Before you reflect on the content, you make sure that you have gone through it a couple of times. It helps you explore what happened from different points of view as you get other opinions.
Through reflection, you associate and acknowledge feelings or thoughts that you might have suppressed and ignored at a particular time.
Reflection makes the content clearer. You understand something deeper as it gets mirrored to you either through relating to an experience you had. You are likely to gain more insights that someone can’t teach you.
A significant step to reflection writing is understanding what exactly is a reflection paper.
It is a systematic type of writing where you take a personal approach and express your thoughts on a topic. Your main goal is to write a critical reflection of your thoughts and perceptions about a particular work or subject.
A reflection paper can take an open structure. It is where you write each paragraph integrating or exploring a new idea, experience, or perspective.
Some of the common issues your reflection writing will include are:
A reflection paper usually reflects on all the facts you find when watching a movie or reading any book. Everything should be in a story format to attract the attention of your readers.
It is an assessment of the individual experience. When writing a reflection about something, you always focus on giving your thoughts or opinions.
Elements your reader looks for in your reflection paper
Reflection papers differ from each other depending on the type of tone you use. Although the goal of a reflective essay is the same, the style you showcase to explain your thoughts and opinions is different.
The following are the types of reflection papers:
In this writing, you explore your thoughts, feelings, and opinion about a person or a particular subject. It can be a more intimate subject revolving around your personal experiences.
You can use transitional phrases to shift your argument or introduce specific details. They help you illustrate how you experienced it. Your aim should be directly linking them to a conclusion or understanding of something.
It is a personal response to a lecture, book, movie, or article to show what you have learned and your interpretation. The paper is most common in schools when teachers want students to respond to what they have learned in a particular subject.
A professional reflection examines your professional behavior and development within a particular setting. It is a type of paper you write in fields such as education or social work. You examine how you behave around other social workers or teachers.
You write a self-reflection paper after a significant project, presentation, or at the end of a course. It gives details of what you learned throughout the process and your development since the beginning.
You usually use this paper within fields where you apply theory in practice like nursing, business, or forensics. You access an idea or approach based on your observations and methods to evaluate your knowledge and skills within the professional field.
If you include the description, analysis, and outcome elements in your reflection writing, you give your reader a clear connection between your experiences and the subject. Mastering the details allows you to:
Critically analyze what you have read, seen, or heard. Reflection writing shows that you can evaluate what you read or experienced.
Make a connection between the text and yourself. Reflection writing allows you to explore your ideas and opinions rather than summarizing the thoughts of an author.
Reflection writing helps you improve your critical analytical skills. It requires you to write what you think and why you feel that way. In reflective essays, you acknowledge that your assumptions and preconceived ideas shape your thinking or view of something.
A reflection paper focuses on personal growth. Through analyzing personal life experiences and professions, you get to understand yourself better and your behavior towards others. You will note how you have grown in your career and how to do your job better.
Before writing a reflection paper, it is important to read the book or article thoroughly as you take notes. You should highlight the key concepts and ideas that you get from the subject.
It is essential to summarize the central concept in your notes. You will get to know if your paper includes all the information that you need for your readers. Prepare a list of how you will effectively deliver your ideas to the reader.
Reading a reflection essay example is very crucial before you start writing a reflection paper. It will give you an idea of how to gather and organize your thoughts.
After you finish reading your article, it is time to brainstorm concerning the concept. The following are some of the questions that you can answer as you reflect:
When writing a reflection paper, you may prefer to use either the MLA or APA format. Each format has a few pointers that you need to follow when formatting your paper.
Use Times New Roman 12-point font and double spacing
The margin should be 1’
Integrate your name and the page number of each of the pages on the top right
You should place all your titles at the Centre
In the header, you can include your name, the type of your reflection paper, or the article that you are discussing
You retain any work that you have cited on the last page
Use Times New Roman 12-point font and doubles spaced
The margins should be 1’
You should insert a page header on the top of each page
You should insert the page numbers on the right of each page
Divide your essay into title page, abstract, main body, and references.
Each reflection paper has a different writing style. The following are common guidelines you can use to write a reflection paper:
After choosing a topic, summarize what you have learned and your experience with the subject. From the summary, come up with the main idea that will be the main point of discussion. It should answer the question about your feelings towards the topic.
Be honest about how you feel about that topic. It will help your readers relate to your opinion and your perspective. They will have a better understanding of your reflection paper.
As you take notes, you should put your opinion about your topic in mind as part of the brainstorming activity. Write down everything that you can think about your subject. Through brainstorming, you can create a rough outline of your ideas and experiences. Use vivid adjectives to describe your experiences.
Join your ideas and thoughts logically to make your reflection writing more efficient. You can start your reflection paper by jotting a few sentences that relate to your core theme. They will serve as points for developing the rest of your ideas.
Your ideas should connect with your theme. It is important to organize your ideas to relate to each other, giving a clear theme interpretation. How well you organize your ideas, structure your experiences and thoughts in a systematic manner.
Before you begin writing your reflection paper, analyze the most important thing you have learned from the ideas.
You can note down some simple questions relating to the subject matter. They will help you in setting the tone of your essay. You can select a few questions from the group you have written and try to answer them.
As you answer the questions, you will recognize how your personal experiences affect the interpretation of ideas. You will get many ideas from answering the questions.
You should be precise about the subject matter, as you clearly state your opinion. The introduction is the first thing that your reader will see on the reflection paper. It should be attractive to draw them to read the entire paper.
Building a thesis statement gives focus and harmony to your reflective paper. Your thesis statement should explain your expectations, opinion, and thoughts regarding the topic.
A good thesis statement covers your observations and the conclusions that you have made on the topic. It should reveal your clear position about the issue you are discussing.
When writing a reflection paper, you should clarify your thesis statement. It is crucial to provide your details on the degree to which it meets your expectations. You should include evidence to support the thesis statement.
Write a summary of your ideas and feelings in a few words. You should briefly articulate your conclusion based on your thoughts and expectations. You can write your closing comments in about two or three sentences.
After you have gathered your thoughts, ideas, and experiences, reflection starts with an outline. It will help you stay organized and make sure that you structure your writing to make a clear point.
The introduction should specify the subject that you will be reflecting on. It consists of the following:
The body is an explanation of your thesis. In the paragraphs, you examine the ideas and experiences you have in context to your topic. Each section should start with a topic sentence. You explain what you saw, heard, or felt in connection to your thesis statement.
For example, if you want to write about an article or book, your reflection paper may include quotes or passages. It gives your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback.
In conclusion, you summarize what you have learned from the experiences. You describe the feelings and overall lesson due to the incident or reading.
You can conclude your reflection paper in two ways:
It is essential to understand how to write a reflective paper on a book, article, course, project, or interview. The following are useful hints for reflection writing on a book, article, and critical analysis of an object or event.
When writing a reflection paper on a book, you need first to understand the plot. Your reflection paper should reflect your thoughts, experiences, and perspectives related to the book.
As you write a reflection paper on a book, you can refer to the following guidelines:
In this paper, you provide an opinion or criticism of that article. You may read a report and have different views about the subject. You may write a reflective essay expressing your opinion and thoughts regarding the paper under such a situation.
When writing a reflection paper on an article, you focus on the article topic. You can follow the following steps:
Writing a critical reflection paper is the climax point of your studying process. It is intensive thinking that presents your ability to observe, question, evaluate, and apply personal experiences when interpreting the subject.
Reflective writing is different from other academic papers as explained in this article. It is personal writing where you give your ideas, thoughts, perspectives concerning a subject matter. You write a reflection essay through what you see, experience, hear, learn, or smell.
As discussed, the reflection writing format and guide will help you structure your reflective essay effectively. It will give you an idea of how to organize and write your thoughts
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