An essay is an article that comprises several paragraphs. But, reflective essay writing requires you to think deeply about the topic than just putting down your thoughts in words; it demands you to put down your feelings while describing the topic of discussion. This type of essay focuses more on the writer’s personality and experiences than on the case alone.
What is a Reflective Essay?
A reflective essay is also one of the specific types of essay writing. Still, it is different from other essays because of its requirement to put down your thoughts and feelings on a topic rather than just focusing on the facts about the case. If you decide to write a reflective essay describing your personal views on an issue, you have to follow some steps to develop the best output.
To write a reflective essay, you have to assess your skills and knowledge about the topic. Reflective essays can be picked from any subject matter of your choice. Some people select their favorite topics, while others prefer interesting issues they think are worth writing about.
You need to start with choosing a topic and then think about your views on it. If you have personal experiences about the issue or know other individuals who have experienced something, write that down in a notebook to use later while writing the essay.
How to Write a Reflective Essay?
There are some steps that everyone has to follow while writing a reflective essay. Every student must have to go through all these steps to compose an excellent reflective essay.
To start with, ask yourself the question: “Why do you want to write this essay?” You should be very clear about it. Also, put thought into the subject matter which you have chosen to describe. From there, develop a thesis statement for your essay. It should be the last sentence in your reflective essay where you tell the readers why they should agree with your point of view on the issue or topic.
The next step is to collect all of your relevant materials (your personal experiences and those of others, notes from classes.), using which you will describe your thoughts and feelings about the topic. Next, write down your ideas in a free-flowing manner. Let them flow! Don’t try to make it sound perfect. Just keep writing without overthinking; you can always correct or edit it later when you don’t have any more ideas.
Later on, you have to re-read what you have written and make necessary corrections so that everything looks perfect. If you want to use quotations or other materials from others, ensure that it is appropriately cited. Otherwise, your essay will be a plagiarized one and be considered academic malpractice. After correcting and editing your essay, make sure that you don’t have any more ideas for adding to it. If you do, then write those down in a notebook so that you can add them to your essay later on if required.
Why Should You Consider Writing One?
Writing a reflective essay is not a difficult task if you follow the steps in an orderly manner. You can use it as a tool to understand your strengths and weaknesses, to give yourself moral support, or to increase your confidence level by describing what you are good at. Reflective essays will allow you to open up about something you like while also learning about different aspects of your personality.
It is always better to write about something you like or want to know more about because it will help you develop the best possible essay on the topic. Reflective essays are a type of academic writing, but they can be used as tools for self-discovery and self-improvement where you can evaluate your behavior.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Reflective Essay:
To report an excellent reflective essay, there are some common mistakes which you should avoid. Here are the top 5 mistakes which students make while writing their essays:
Writing about something you do not know much about or are indifferent towards
If you write your essay without thinking or explaining, it will sound very fake and unauthentic. Also, it would reflect poorly on the quality of your writing skills. So, make sure that what you write is significant to your personality so that the readers can feel you think and write passionately about it.
Plagiarizing someone else’s essay:
If a reader finds out that your writing is not entirely original, they will consider your efforts worthless and would not take you seriously in the future either. So, always make sure to cite any sources or quotes from where you have taken information so that you can avoid getting caught for plagiarizing someone else’s work.
Not following the format:
Some students make the mistake of presenting their essay in a form that is different from what was required. For instance, some reports are expected to be written according to MLA format, while others might need APA formatting and so on. So, always make sure to follow the format given as a guideline or be penalized heavily by your college.
Not using correct grammar and spelling:
Using improper grammar would reflect very poorly on the quality of your essay since the readers will see it as self-plagiarized content. So, make sure that you use proper grammar and spelling in your reports so that it doesn’t look like you copied some other person’s work.
Writing too much:
Reflective essay writing is supposed to be an evaluation of yourself, but when you write too much, it will affect the quality negatively as well. So, make sure that your essay does not exceed 500 words; otherwise, you will lose your readers’ interest.
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