Reflective Writing: Basic Definition

One of the most creative types of essay papers is one that forces you to describe events of your own life. Process of the writing of such an essay without any exaggeration is the reliving of some moments of your past, trying to find causes and explain to yourself the point of your past behaviour for example. Reflective essays are written all over the world in almost every educational establishment as it is a great way to discover the personality of a writer and understand where he is going in life.

Taking the reflective essay writing seriously is essential because when thousands of pupils write similar faceless papers without thorough studying of the subject (meaning mostly yourself), while the tutor’s purpose is to create an emotional and psychological portrait of the student, not trivial question answering. The more you practice writing this kind of essay the better you understand yourself in some cases.

What is inside Reflective essay?

All that happened to you in your life forms you as a person eventually and changes your outlook and knowing reasons for these changes is the key to understanding the skill of reflecting. This is the ability to explain action motives, depicting past events, expressing yourself through your personal experience. When writing a reflective essay, you’re trying to literally reflect the subject in your own words and interpret it for yourself, not the reader. That is why most of the academic settings are very strict about this type of writing and forces to incline deep analysis of your individuality.

When someone asks: “What should I learn to write my essay properly?” The answer is – you. You are the main subject of any reflective paper, so knowing yourself is the most important thing in this matter. But of course, knowing some psychological basics is also welcome at some point, as well as skills of eloquence to carry the reader away into the depths of your inner world.

The most common mistakes in a reflective essay

Despite the apparent ease of writing an essay of this type, many students commit fundamental errors. Life experience is never easy to analyze but to write a reflective paper you should review lessons you’ve learned due to outer or inner changes. Soul-searching seems easy only when performed in your head, but to giving it to the paper is difficult and frequently causes similar mistakes.

  • Just like any other essay, the reflective essay must have a clear complex goal to be effective and meaningful. This goal is set by the author and if it is not relevant to the experience which the author describes as an argument to achieve this goal, the text just wouldn’t work properly. So make sure that every little thing you bring out about yourself should be directly corresponded with your main idea because the strength of the text is defined not by the originality of your story but by lessons you’ve learned from this story, thus you will certainly get a good grade.
  • Detail overload is the next problem. When you try to give as much detail as possible you simply disturb the chain of the narrative making your reader distract and breaking the logic of essay. The story should flow smoothly without thorough deepening in unnecessary particulars.
  • Making a correct summary on the analyzed subject is another essential skill which will help you avoid talking generalities and tar all of the argumentation with the same brush. This skill grows by adding more personal into the text and decreasing the number of common phrases.
  • 50 % of all mistakes – are grammar and spelling ones. People often forget to be careful when they finally made the brain working and the paper is being swiftly filled with text. A reflective essay is not only creative work but obviously the academic paper, so be sure to inspect the whole text several times and remove any stylistic and other errors.

The most common topics of reflective essay

Once you’ve seen a reflective essay you’ll find out that the topic can be absolutely different. The themes vary from love and friendship to distrust and enmity. The subject may offer you to put yourself in someone’s place or to share your judgments about some universal concept. To practice your writing skill tries to give a short review on the following answers (also most commonly used topics):

  • When has the religion made any effect on you?
  • Which person have you adopted your character from mostly?
  • Which words made you suffer the most?