How to Write a Reflection Paper: Everything You Need to Know


How to Write a Reflection Paper: Everything You Need to Know

To learn how to write a reflection paper is not an easy task. The first and foremost problem that lots of students have when they start writing a reflection paper is a variety of instructions and tips. Very often they do not show a complete picture of the task. You need to study a bunch of material before you can understand the way of composing the aforementioned type of academic writing. What to do in a situation like this? This guide is your answer, since here is a comprehensive and small-volume instruction. So without further ado, let's get started!

So, clarification of what is a reflection paper is the first thing you need to learn. As far as it is a reflection paper it means revealing your thoughts. Analyze things you have seen, read or experienced. Your aim here is to showcase your own understanding, world perception and the way it affects your ideas. There are various types:

  • educational type - an answer to some movie, book or lecture studied in class
  • professional type - a general assignment for a teacher, university or social worker, focused on investigating their person’s behavior
  • personal expresses - your feelings concerning a more intimate topic

To accomplish tasks well and create a worthy essay, you need to have abstract thinking. What does it mean? Develop the ability to constantly raise questions and find answers. If you want to master a skill, you need to learn to recognize the larger picture. And not just some picture joining a few ideas. After gaining certain skills, you can move on to the tips of writing a good reflection paper.

Reflection paper: Tips to make successful work easily

At first glance, it is quite easy to write a reflective paper, cause it is like speaking your mind. But, there is also a certain format and structure you should not forget about. These tips in a question-answer format that will help you to understand key aspects better:

  • What reflection paper format to use? 

When writing a reflection paper, it's better to follow the formal style of storytelling. It is an academic essay, so carefully check your grammar. Here is a great free Grammar Checker that will help you immensely. So all-in-all, there is no particular format for the body but you may consider describing the experience. 

  • What a reflection paper should include? 

It is not a summary of the course readings or a stream of the conscious mind. You can include whatever you want, but in general, your paper should contain subsequent moments: your personal opinion and identification of the chosen themes integrated with your experience, the way both affect your thinking and practice. You can also add quotes or references. Don't forget to use APA style for any information you cite. 

  • How do you start a reflection paper? 

It's always up to you to decide how to start a reflection paper, because it is your personal reflection of your thoughts. But the most important thing you need to know is a logical link between all the elements of your story. Describe the problem gradually. It's better to start your paper with a general overview of a problem and reveal it step by step. The reader should not ask any questions about the logical transition. He or she should read the clear and transparent growth of your story.

  • How do you conclude a reflection paper? 

In conclusion, in the last paragraph of your paper, restate or rewrite only the paper’s main point and tell the reader the general meaning of your story. Point out at the deep sense of everything you have experienced. Does it change your life? Does it affect your thinking? You can touch these or any other questions you want. After all, it's up to you to decide what is the central sense of your writing. In addition, while making your point, don't forget to be brief.

  • What is a reflection paper outline and what it's the general summary? 

Here is an effective sequence of all steps:

  1. Introduction: Identification and explanation of the chosen subject; your personal reaction to the subject; your personal attitude towards the situation; understanding of what did you explore from it.
  2. Body Paragraph (2-3 paragraphs): topic sentence; a few supporting pieces of evidence. 
  3. Conclusion: Recap thesis statement, recap every paragraph; conclusion statement.
  • What is the example of reflection? 

Evaluating samples of effective reflection papers is an excellent way to get a better conception of what’s expected. You can look at a few strong examples here: Sample Student Reflection Paper.

The aforementioned list of tips is a comprehensive and simple way out of your dilemma of composing an effective reflection paper. Taking into account each one of these tips will contribute immensely to crafting an astonishing story. Remember, if you feel uncomfortable in front of a blank paper and have no words to say, don't assume you will never feel different. 

Writing skills can be constantly improved. This principle applies to both masters of writing and newbies. Everything is in your hands and every day you can make skills more crystallized. Good luck!