How to Write A Reflection Paper In A Few Easy Steps

How to Write A Reflection Paper

Are you required to write a reflection paper? Are you wondering what is a reflection paper? Do you need practical tips on how to write a reflection paper to score well? If your answer to these questions is a ‘yes’, this article is just for you. Read on to find out ways to write impressive reflection papers from scratch.

What Is Reflection Paper?

Before you understand how to write reflection paper, it is crucial to understand what it is, its purpose and types.

A reflection paper is a write-up where you are required to express your opinion on any given topic. It is an essay that must include your point of view and personal examples instead of experts or academicians’ viewpoints.

  • There are no wrong answers in reflection papers — only your answers.
  • The range of topics is too wide although we can categorize reflection papers into three types –

– The educational reflective paper: It is a feedback/review on a seminar, book, or course

– The professional paper: Written by experts or students from a specific field.

– The personal paper: It focuses on only your feelings and thoughts on a personal topic.

  • There is no specific reflection paper format. Students can write freely without the bindings of guidelines.
  • Professors may set some reflection papers format for uniformity and assessment.
  • You may be asked to write your paper within 500-800 words.

How to Start A Reflection Paper?

When wondering how to begin a reflection paper, the best approach is to organize your ideas and thoughts. Create a rough draft that summarizes your concept well. Then look for diagrams, charts, or tables to support your view and convey your opinion in the best manner. Once this is done, it is time to start brainstorming. You can take help from a friend or do it yourself by asking questions such as:

  • How does the topic affect me?
  • Does my write-up grab my audience’s attention?
  • Does the article provoke some thoughts on any issue, if yes explain?
  • Are there any unanswered questions?
  • Did I miss out any critical issues?

After you have brainstormed, reorganize your thoughts and cover whatever was missing.

Creating a Reflection Paper Outline

To write a reflective paper, your thoughts must have a good flow and high readability. Therefore, it is essential to list out key ideas or pointers under the following heads:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Under each of these heads, you can create a rough template wherein you fill in the details based on prompts such as the following:

For the introduction: Your introduction must inform the reader about your topic and the stand you take concerning it.

  • My paper talks about the…
  • Through this paper, I aim to highlight…

For the body: Here you must examine the topic and elaborate upon your experiences related to it. Have two or three paragraphs and a good flow to the content.

  • After my experience at the …. I learnt it was…
  • The amazing response we got led me to believe…
  • The real learning came from…
  • It impacted me because…

For the conclusion: Here you should summarize the experience and your learnings from it. Conclude by tying together all thoughts conveying a clear standpoint.

  • My takeaway from this experience was…
  • Some lifelong lessons this book left me with were…

How to Write A Good Reflection Paper?

Producing an impressive self-reflective paper is not very difficult. It is essential to keep in mind the APA format reflection paper guidelines and then stick to the topic/theme. Here is a step-by-step guide with reflection paper examples for easy understanding:

  1. Start with a theme

Once you have the topic be clear about what opinions you want to share and create a short summary based on it. Honest opinions always aid better understanding.

Example:
After I attended the seminar on Options trading, it changed many preconceived notions I had about the skill.

  1. Brainstorm and look for ideas that lend support

Look for quotes or references. Search for tables or data to support your arguments or opinions. Make sure to keep the choice of words simple and effective.

Example:

  • Many people think that the losses are enourmous in options trading, and there is no way to control them. However, the data below proves otherwise.
  • Anyone can trade, even with limited capital if only you keep the following guidelines in mind.
  1. Assess your ideas and express how the experiences affected them

You can take a specific perspective you had before the experience and elaborate upon how it changed, specifying whether now you favour or are against the subject in question.

Example:

  • My perspective changed after I studied the tables given below shared in the seminar.
  1. Provide analysis

This is where you can reference general perception and what you feel contrary to it because of your experiences.

Example:

  • There is a general perception that options trading is mere gambling, and even I was brought up to believe so until I attended this course. It changed my opinion, and now I feel this is a logical science that needs an in-depth study.
  • I have also lost money in options trading to realize that the right way forward is to preserve the capital. Sometimes not trading is also the right decision.
  1. Form connections for cohesiveness

When writing reflection paper, it is crucial to connect thoughts, observations, findings and experiences logically before you conclude.

Reflection Paper Sample Topics

Some most common topics for reflection papers include writing on –

  • Books
    • My interpretation of the Christmas Carols
    • How the book Atlas Shrugged affected me
  • Courses
    • How has the study of Psychology evolved over the years?
    • How learning Botany shaped my interests
  • Interviews
    • My opinion on Hitler’s first interview
    • Takeaways from Michele Obama’s famous interviews
  • Projects
    • Evolution of floriculture as an industry
    • Nomadic tribes and their social structure

Effective Reflective Paper Writing Tips to Remember

Even though your writing style will differ, these tips will help you create an impeccable submission:

  • Always go through some good examples before you start.
  • Unusual or unique subjects always work
  • Take your time to write, do not rush through in one go
  • Do not mix too many ideas in one paragraph
  • Stick to the word count
  • Stay clear and concise in your expression
  • Maintain an academic and professional tone
  • Do not forget to cite your sources
  • Always proofread and edit before submission.

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