Reflective essays are all about describing specific event or experience in own words and with the help of own feelings. This writing task is rather a challenging one, as you have to write about own failures and successes during interactions with certain people or implementations of projects. The best way to express yourself in the assignment is to step back, and take a critical look at the situation you are going to describe. Even though you will express your feelings and thoughts, it is important to remain professional, be thorough and demanding. Follow these guidelines to create a top-notch essay.
1. Mind the course instructions. You will most likely have a word limit set for the paper, which is why you have to choose just enough information to cover in the essay. Note that mere descriptions will not get you a good mark. Teachers are more interested in the way you reflect, so save a decent amount of space for it.
2. Understand why you reflect. Many students misunderstand the real purpose of the essay they are writing. No, the teachers are not really interested in where you have been or what you have done. Their main interest is – what you have learned. All the experiences you have in life, whether good or bad, teach you a lesson, and your instructors need to see whether you learn from own actions. Your essay relates theory to practice. You can analyze the setting you have been in and the way it along with other factors affected your decisions and actions. Also, it makes you think of the other ways you could have done certain things. You are getting a chance to reevaluate what you did and how you did it, as well as lets you create a better plan for the same situation, which will be helpful if you get into it in the future.
3. Write a story. Think of the things that happened and try to recall what you have felt with all your senses. Create the list of the things you have done, said, etc. in a chronological order not to confuse while writing. Remember that you do not have to write a long story about what happened. The analysis is the key here, so leave at least 70% of the essay for it.
4. Use your friends. Not in a bad way, for sure. You can use the help of the friend while writing. If you were in the situation with a friend or a family member, ask him or her to recall the day it occurred, and remind you of the details. Discussing such thing with a someone, even the person who has not been with you, will remind you of the setting and some of your feelings. The image will look more realistic in your mind, and it will be easier to reflect on the event.
5. Include examples. To make the story seem more vivid, you can include other examples from your life. They will help the reader understand exactly how you felt and relate to the situation more.
6. Do not be too emotional. Although you are sharing your experience with the audience, and it sure could have been emotional for you, do not make your audience cry. The paper you write is academic, and you are still a student that has to adhere to the rules of writing. Also, make sure your descriptions are clear enough and the readers will not be able to misinterpret them. Thus, instead of mentioning that the customer was not happy with the purchase, you can say that he was irritated because of the time and money wasted.
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