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Approaching to a reflective writing essay

Reflective writing actually involves an exploration and explanation of a certain event. Writing this stuff may appear to be more difficult and challenging than any other forms of academic writing, because it involves thinking about errors, anxieties and successes in your interactions with this particular person or accomplishing a certain practical task.

When writing a reflective writing essay, you require standing back from the situation and being as objective as possible. Though you’re writing about your own feelings and experiences, you need to be as thorough and rigorous as you would for any other writing assignment.

Your course might have ready-made guidelines for writing reflective essays, so you’re expected to follow them. Most probably there will be a strict word limit. Sure, you don’t have an opportunity to depict everything, so choose what will cover your discussion best.

In fact, reflective essay writing enables authors to process their practice-based experience in order to produce learning. It has two major features:

  • It integrates practice and theory: So, you need to identify crucial aspects of your reflections and then write them using corresponding theories as well as academic context to interpret and explain your reflections.
  • It identifies the learning outcomes of your personal experience: You’re actually expected to mention your newly acquired values or understanding you’ve learnt about yourself for the last time.

If you’re on the verge of drawing out the links between practice and theory, you’ll need to compare them and explore an evident relationship between them.

Carefully analyze the event. You require thinking about it with reference to a certain theory or evidence. Make sure your observations are fully consistent with a certain academic theory or models.

When writing reflective essay, don’t forget about these crucial elements of your paper:

  • Discuss your reflections with others in order to deepen your insight and improve your ability to express your exclusive thoughts and explore a wide range of perspectives.
  • Be selective. You need to identify the most successful and challenging parts of the encounter. Crucial aspects as well as learning points require your deep reflection.
  • You should collect solid evidence. In fact, there’re two basic sources of evidence, that need to be utilized in reflective writing assignments. These are academic evidence and reflections. Reflections create essential evidence of your experience. You require keeping notes on your reflections as well as developments, which occurred during the process. As for academic evidence, it shows how your practices and ideas have evolved in the context of the relevant academic sources.
  • Then, you’ll require writing a log of the event, you’re going to describe. Tell what happened as objectively and briefly as possible. Perhaps, you may be asked to include the newly written log as an appendix to your writing assignment. Undoubtedly, this will be for good, as it can give you an opportunity to easily recall what happened.
  • Don’t write a long narrative depicting what happened. It’s because in this case you’ll run out of space to analyze what actually took place.
  • You should keep reflecting on that experience before getting down to your writing, though extra insights are likely to emerge in the writing process. Discuss it with a colleague or pal and work out your original insight. When thinking, keep notes on it.
  • It’s up to you to identify relevant examples, illustrating the entire reflective process. Pick up a few of the most puzzling or challenging incidents and figure out why they’re intriguing and what you’ve learnt from them.
  • As a reflective essay writer, you’re expected to start with the points you’d like to make. After this you should pick up good examples to back up your points.

A typical reflective learning cycle involves the following stages:

  • Planning
  • Acting
  • Observing
  • Reflecting
  • Planning again

Thus, you’ll cover the entire process. You’ll be able to explain not just what took place but also why all of this happened.

As you know, any reflective essay is built around an author’s personal experience. The given format suggests using the first person. However, the prompt may forbid you to use the first person. In some cases, the use of the third person is obligatory in any type of essay, including a reflective one. You should always check your guidelines before getting down to your reflective essay. If you haven’t been provided with exact instructions regarding this nuance, you should explain why you’re going to utilize «I» in this particular paper.

You’d better stay away from subjective and emotive terms in your reflective essay. Even though you’re suggested to depict your personal experience, emotions and thoughts, you shouldn’t forget that as a learner you need to adhere to a solid academic style.

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