Writing a reflective essay is a lot like writing a narrative essay, just with a lot more heart and mind poured into it. Also similar to writing a diary, reflective essays are meant to contain how the writer felt and what the writer learned following an event. It is an intimate piece written with the purpose of sharing the writer’s innermost thoughts, soliloquy, and realizations to strangers who happened to glance at a sample paper where he scratched a couple of words that became phrases, which turned to sentences that became paragraphs.
For guidelines on writing essays, check out the different Sample Essays we have on site.
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Sample Reflective Essay Paper Format
In a nutshell, reflective essay writing help us think and discover more about the inner workings of our minds. We write it to examine our experiences in life, explore how we’ve changed, developed, and grown from those experiences.
Unlike Analysis Essay Samples, formats of a reflective essay would depend mainly on who the audience is and the preference of the writer. However, like all essays, reflective essays have three main components:
- an introduction where we find the essay’s main idea or overall reflection;
- a body, where the major points and evidences that support the main idea lie; and
- a conclusion that wraps up the points of the writer.
Upon close inspection of the Personal Essay Examples we have on the site, you may notice that there are no significant differences between these and a reflective essay. One main difference would simply be that a personal essay need not be a reflection of the author on their experiences but may be about anything.
Introductory Reflective Essay Template
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Purpose of Reflective Essays
Writing essays can teach the writer how to translate their intangible feelings and thoughts into words that could make a difference to the world around them. Reflective essays are written for many reasons. Among those are the following:
- Provide psychological healing. Writing about a pain you’re experiencing or reading about someone going through a similar situation sometimes help set things in perspective. It might also give you the motivation and hope that you are looking for.
- Creates a sense of oneness. Sharing an experience with others gives you a feeling of shared history. It gives people a sense of brotherhood and connection.
Characteristics of a Reflective Essay
While different experiences yield to essays with different contents, reflective essays are all similar to each other in the sense that they all:
- Show a development, growth, or change. A reflective essay is written to show how a situation changed the perspective or thought process of the author. It shows how the author evolved after their experiences.
- Have a point that it is trying to communicate. A reflective essay format isn’t written just because it’s such a fun pastime. These essays have a point to make, a wisdom to impart, or perhaps even comes with a warning. Either way, a good reflective essay would be one where the reader, after finishing it, would stop for a while and take it all in.
Reflective essays are personal pieces of the writer that they have translated into words. It takes a lot of guts to do something so brave.
For more types of essays, also see the Descriptive Essay Samples we have on site.
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