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An Ultimate Guide On How To Write A Reflection Paper

02 Aug 2021

Beyond writing the casual academic essays, the reflection paper is something more productive to write, feeding your thoughts and mentality. It is a bit different from your other assignments of writing the essays in those you are reluctant to give your own thoughts and experiences. But the process of writing involves the same traditional procedure of essay writing.

Whether you are in a high school, college, or university, the paperwork that your teachers asked you to do is to brush up your writing capabilities. You are always asked by your professors to write the varying types of essays that are really based on bare facts. These essays are confined to be descriptive, argumentative, or evaluative in nature. It is because sometimes in your essay, you have to argue the given topic, evaluate it, or sometimes just need to explain it without arguing.

But in the case of reflective writing, you don't need to argue, explain, or evaluate your essay's topic but to provide your personal ideas about it. In a reflective paper, you just use the defined facts, events, and truths from the experts to support your own point of view about it. It is far away from the hubbub of just collecting the facts and presenting them while arguing or explaining.

How reflective paper tailors your thinking ability?

It is easy for any person to just go through the study, annotating it, and extracting the required information. But when you are asked to write something on a specific topic on your own, it requires deep insight and skills. So, in a few words, a reflective paper requires more brainstorming, thinking, and brain-work than any other writing.

As you know that practice makes a man perfect. So, writing a reflective paper with the use of your own senses, mainly the insight thoughts will brighten and provoke your skills. Moreover, the practice of reflective writing tailors your thinking ability more as you have to use more fraction of your brain than the rest.

Have you been assigned to write a reflective paper by your professor? Or worrying about the method of writing it despite having valuable thoughts and ideas? Then we are here providing you the directions on how to write a reflection paper with the ultimate guide?

In this blog, we are focused on providing you the content and guideline instructions that how to write a reflection paper, what is reflective writing and its types, and the format version of it along with the Quality tips.

For proper and complete guidance, stick to the page till the end and help your pen and senses to collaborate and write on the paper with excellence.

What is reflective writing?

Reflective writing is such a type of writing in which you reflect yourself on a specific topic. The topic may be a class discussion, your continuing course material or a film, book, events, or people. The topic for your reflection can be anything that is influencing your personality in any way.

A reflective paper is meant to polish your level of comprehension and developing ideas regarding the topic of your choice or the assigned one. It involves the presentation of your personal thoughts in the form of a typical academic essay. You must not be too personal while writing it but have to keep the academic tone. You can also name this essay as "Opinion Essay," but it is not its officially described name.

Write A Reflection Paper

Some pre-requisites before writing

Everybody feels it strange to write a thing unknown. To write well about a topic, you must know the procedure of writing it along with fulfilling the qualities. The following instructions are to be followed by the writer to have a stunning impression on your professor or the target audience:

De-stressing your senses

First of all, when you've been assigned the topic for your assignment, you should start gathering ideas about it in a relaxed mood because a stressed brain doesn't work well and qualitatively as the relaxed one does. So, be happy and facilitate yourself with pleasure feeling and let your senses be plain.  

1. Gathering ideas

Start gathering ideas from the very first day as time passes; you would be able to collect more. Note down the ideas you get every day on a notepad because it would help you to remember the valuable thoughts and ideas. This step is important to do for the ideas you already bear before searching your topic or the already known facts.  

2. Research your topic for more thoughts

It is near possible that you may have some idea or an opinion about your topic. But to develop a more authentic and valid point of view about the theme of the essay, you would need to search more. After groping a lot of sources, studies, and theories along with the expert's opinions, you would be able to develop more believable and convincing thoughts.      

3. Radiating all thoughts to a single point

After these both processes of research and gathering ideas, it is required to brainstorm all the ideas and facts, turning them into the main theme. For developing the main theme, you must interlink all the thoughts, interpreting them well. Your opinion after this wholesome strike of gathering knowledge and developing a point of view must be amazing and commanding the will of your professor or reader.  

4. Design the outline

After developing your perspective, you have to chalk out an outline structure for your reflective writing. Well-organized writing is more attractive. So, for the good management and organization of your reflective paper, you have to develop and outline structure with all your main ideas and the supportive facts.  

5. Go through the related examples

When you are unable to understand something, your teacher makes you understand it by giving an example. So, for a better understanding of your reflective essay structure and format, you must go through the standardized examples. Make sure that you go through the quality material for better assistance.  

6. Keep the academic tone

While writing your reflective paper, your tone must not be gone too personal. As the reflective essay or paper is the manifest of your personal experiences and insight about a specific topic. You may explain your thoughts with words like "I see this situation as or I have this (specific) idea about it."

You should use the personal pronoun or the first person singular to elaborate on your thoughts on the paper. Don't write sentimentally about the topic but maintain the credibility through keeping the academic standards.      

7. Pay considerable heed to the Paper's length

Length is one of the most important attributes to be handled carefully. Reflective papers are not too long. The standard estimation of words for a mandatory reflective essay range from 250 to 750. The maximum word count for this type of paper is 750 words.

These are some important points to be considered while writing a reflection paper. Before writing such an essay, you must adopt these aspects or points that we've mentioned above. These points will definitely help you out outraging the quality of your essay.

The standard format of reflective paper's length includes one paragraph of introduction, three body paragraphs, and the last single one of the conclusions. 

Types of reflective writing

Reflective writing is varied a little and is divided into three types. These types are almost the same, but the difference is minor among them. You must address the respective category of the related type and deal with it, keeping the original essence and tone of it. These three basic types are classified on the base of niche you are targeting to write about, e.g.:

  1. Educational
  2. Professional
  3. Personal

1. Educational type

It is a type of reflection of your thoughts given in the context of book, film, lecture, or a response to these categories (book, Film, or lecture) discussed in the lecture during class. The purpose of this writing by the teachers is to check the understanding of the students what they have learned.  

2. Professional type

This type of reflective paper engages the writing format of teachers and social workers analyzing their professional behaviors.  

3. Personal type

In this type, a person writes about any personal subject on which he reflects his thoughts and ideas. It is that case in which you choose the topic yourself rather than being assigned by your professor. So, this type involves a more personal approach.

We are intended to explain here the educational type of reflection paper. It is because the other two types of reflective essays are not of our concern. Assisting you in attaining high grades by your professor, we are providing you the step by step procedure of education reflective writing.

But if you had to write any type other than the educational type, you can follow the same method of writing as the differences among them are minor.

Step by Step procedure on writing a reflective paper

After all the above key points and other discussions, now we have to discuss the main procedure of writing the reflective paper. We will go through the whole procedure one by one, following the steps and then moving towards the end. The basic steps of writing a reflective paper along with its detail are as follows:  

1. Pick a unique topic

Your topic deeply influences the quality and outcome response to your essay. It's obvious how much interesting and vivid your essay will be; there are more positive responses and likes. Picking a topic usually occurs in a personal type of reflective writing. But when you are writing such a paper for your teacher, you have already chosen the topic by your teacher.  

In the case if your teacher asks you to choose the topic yourself, you must choose that topic about which you have some fore-knowledge. That's why, for an impressive reflective essay, you must choose already known topics or about which you have strong knowledge and a clear self-point of view.      

2. Spend plenty of time in brainstorming the topic and organizing the ideas

This is very important to be noted. It's a fact that you can't write well until you don't have a presumptive plan for your future work. You can't conquer a war without a proper strategy and planning before fighting it.  

Writing a reflective paper is the same as that war, which everyone wants to conquer, but it requires vigilant planning and deep insight with good management. For effective planning, you must have to think a lot before planning and set up a strategic format.  

You can also gather ideas and thoughts by questioning yourself that how these things related to you in your personal life, and did you come across very similar events like that?

That's why we ask you to focus and spend plenty of time on your topic and exploring it. When you will spend more time wondering, you get new ways to see it and analyze it. After gathering the valuable thoughts in your own respective manner, you must organize the thoughts to develop the main theme or central idea of your essay.  

3. Evolve a comprehensive and authentic thesis statement

Have you explored and organized your thoughts well? The next step to it is evolving the main theme by interlinking your personal thoughts and gathered ideas. The thesis statement is very important because it addresses the whole essay, meaning in a few lines to the readers. Your thesis statement must have the following virtues:

  • It must be comprehensive and cover the whole meaning or message that you want to deliver
  • It should be illustrative in that way appeals the readers interest the very first strike
  • As it is included in the introduction, so It must be that much catchy to compel the reader to go through the whole paper and study it
  • It must convey the real idea and all the sub-themes that you are going to discuss later in your essay
  • As it is for your reflective writing so it must reflect your original point of view to the readers, leaving them impressed
  • It must look credible and authentic

The thesis statement is usually presented at the last of the introductory paragraph with a scope in further two or three lines (if required).

Write A Reflection Paper

What is the scope?

The scope is the limitation that you usually apply to your thesis statement, and the essay's direction that is up to it is confined. It means that what things would be addressed in the essay, and what would be not? The scope is not used in each essay but depends on the conditions and the paper's requirements.  

4. Chalking out the outline

The implementation of your pre-planning while brainstorming comes here at this point. Once you have thought and planned well, now the next step is to put that plan in the final map form or the graphical format on the paper.  

Described by many experts of writing, chalking out an outline map for your assistance and saving the ideas has proven much more effective. It is because when you have a jingle of hundreds of ideas, it may be possible that with the arrival of the new one, you may lose the previous one. There are many other benefits of drawing out an outline map

Benefits of outline structure

  1. It makes your writing coherent, well-directed, and erratic.
  2. It is really time-saving, as while writing a thorough essay, you don't need to think more and just need to exaggerate the ideas mentioned in the outline map.
  3. It provides your essay backbone strength with effective management and organization.
  4. While writing the essay, you may also modify the outline ideas and can make your essay more focused by making it concise.

Outline structure format

The outline structure can be in different forms that you find convenient to draw out and remember. It depends on you and your writing style. You may write or draw it as a map, graph, flow chart, or a brief or summary essay. But the standard one is the brief essay structure that includes:

  • Introductory paragraph

Having the thesis statement and the orientation to the main claim but briefly. Sometimes it also includes scope but not necessarily.

  • Three-Body paragraphs

Each paragraph is based on the topic sentence written at the start of the paragraph, then the supporting evidence and at last the concluding line-summarized  

  • The concluding paragraph

It is written at the last of the essay and must be of capacity to attract people and giving them an interface of the whole essay-summarized as you are writing it while chalking the outline

5. Introduction-the first impression

As the sub-topic of this block implies, the introduction is the first impression that's the reader encounters while reading. So, it must be of the caliber that intrigues the writer to engage his interest and go through the whole one. For any type of essay, we always recommend you to make it as beautiful and appealing as you can. It is because beauty always rules the people's mind. You can create beauty by some important methods as;

  1. You can start the essay's introduction with a stunning question making the reader curious and finding the answer to it
  2. You can also use the bold fact that is naturally accepted by a substantial weightage of the community
  3. You can also start the introduction from an anecdote or a short story about a real event making the people trust you as a credible and authentic one

The introduction involves three things usually;

  1. The orientation to the main theme concise by the event, anecdote, statistics or bold fact
  2. Main thesis statement
  3. Scope

The thesis statement is written in the last lines of the introductory paragraph and, at the very end, is the scope (if required). At the start, there is the orientation to the main claim.    

6. Essentials of Body paragraphs

Body paragraphs are written next to the introductory paragraph, and the standard essay involves them 3 in number. In each body paragraph, you give different supporting ideas first explained in the topic sentence and then supported by the textual evidence or related facts.  

At the last of each paragraph, you have to add a concluding line summing up the body paragraph, along with its topic sentence. The structure of the body paragraph you must follow in a sequence is:

  1. Topic sentence
  2. Supporting evidence
  3. Concluding line

Note: Keep in mind that the theme of all your body paragraphs somehow must be related to the main claim of the essay. And for connecting the evidence between body paragraphs or within a body paragraph, you must use virtuous transitional words of your choice, such as, as a result, however, etc.

Write A Reflection Paper

7. Wrapping up the whole essay with a conclusion

At the last of the whole essay or reflective paper, you have to give a conclusion. But as you are writing it for a reflective paper, you must interpret and present the ideas described and what you have learned.

Usually, a conclusive paragraph involves a rephrased main theme and all the ideas described in the body paragraphs in their summary and concise form. In this section, you have to reflect on your learned skills or your possible behaviors if changed. You can also question yourself to answer all these things. So be attentive and skillful in making your extract of conclusion impressive.

Final words

It can be concluded that reflective writing involves your engagement more with the brain than any other essay. It is a bit different and also demanding some extra hard-work to write with excellence. No doubt, you may be feeling difficulty or reluctant while understanding or writing it? But whenever you feel difficulty in writing all your academic essays, CaseProfessors reaches you at your laptop or mobile screen to make this journey comfortable for you. We always find it a pleasure to make your academic career bright and shining with all these sincere efforts of us.

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