Have you ever felt something verbally inexpressible? Illogical speech, too high emotional and heart rate, absolutely unconnected stream of consciousness? Sure you have. These may be easily explained by a wide variety of different life situations and events, aspects and consequences. Sometimes it as vitally necessary to write all this down as if somebody inside of you dictates you. This is where we have a reflective essay, – a form of writing that examines and actually reflects the personal experience progress of one who writes.
Know your purpose
Kind of essays we deal with may serve different purposes. What you have to understand is that it is extremely necessary to define what you want or have to reflect on before writing the essay, otherwise you risk to become a slave of your own stream of consciousness and to lose focus that will lead you to nothing but senseless scribble. Remember, a reflection essay is something more like a journal where you note your thoughts and feelings about a certain topic, – a film, a book, an event, your business trip results or studying course progress.
Introduction is a brief preview to your reflection that is usually written in one paragraph. It doesn’t need to contain too much detail about the body of your essay, though at the same time it has to reflect the purpose. State whether the goals were/were not met leaving out the facts. Later, in the body of your reflection you will detail and explain the reasons of setting these goals, what difficulties you have faced and what you have learned achieving them. That is why first of all you should ask yourself a couple of personal questions:
- How do I feel about this?
- Does it affect me, and how, if it does?
- If it doesn’t affect me, why?
That will help you to reflect your insights and to begin with your essay. Concentrate and explore yourself, these 2 questions do not have to become your limiting point.
Body is where you have to give a substance o your reflections. You have stated above a number of personal questions, here you are free with your answers, concentrating on what you will define your main thesis and controlling idea. Get it and it will become your guide in writing the rest of your reflection essay. Now, when you have a thesis statement, formulate the ideas that will support it. Write each of your arguments in a separate paragraph, including your own experience and observations to make it well supported.
After having the body paragraphs finished, return to your personal questions and pretend trying to confirm what you have written. Alter these very questions as if you are trying to reaffirm the authenticity of answers stated above:
- Is this how I really feel about this very topic?
- Is this the actual way it affected me, if it did affect me at all?
Express what you really feel because mere writing down the things that are far from you contradicts the very idea of the reflective essay. Also, note not only your insights, but how and in what circumstances you have arrived to them. You’re your paragraphs fully developed, stick to them and do not let one of your ideas inflict the other. Try to make your reflective essay attractive not only in content aspect, but in readability also. Concerning the form of presentation of the material, you are absolutely free to use epithets, metaphors, hyperboles an plenty of other stylistic devices, one rule you should stick to without any reserve – correct usage of these devices and competent spelling.
In the conclusion, briefly remind your main controlling idea. Ending with tricky question about this very topic is as appropriate as ending your reflective essay with a challenge to your readers, like you are asking them to reflect on the same topic.
At any rate, what is important to remember that your reflective essay has to be deeply personal to you, because this very distinctive feature makes a reader feel as if he was next to you when the event occurred.