How To Write an Effective Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a written work where you reflect, think and assess certain events and experiences from your own personal point of view. It is, in essence, a narrative of any happening in your life or community that may have affected you in certain ways. The objective of writing this literary work is to create new impressions on the audience based on your individual analysis. It is not easy to write a reflective essay because at the back of the writer’s mind, is the desire to appear convincing, believable and authentic to the readers. Of course the writer cannot force his reflections to people but at least the hope remains that in one way or the other, his reflective essay is read and understood.

If you want to come up with an effective reflective essay, read these tips:

  • Decide what events or aspects in life you want to write about. Your topic is the springboard from which you shall start your essay. Think of a theme that truly touches your heart and challenges your mind. Develop your essay from here on.
  • Construct your lead sentence. The lead sentence is the first sentence in your essay. It should be able to attract the attention of the readers. Make sure this sentence is woven creatively. You can actually have a one-word opening sentence as long as it is strong enough to stir the readers’ curiosity. You may use a known phrase related to the topic, a question or a statement of fact. Whichever technique you choose, make sure they are in conjunction with the idea of the whole essay.
  • Illustrate or draw your thoughts with pen and paper. Chart the main topic, the events surrounding it and cap it with your reflections. You may ask someone to discuss the plan so you can draw suggestions and impressions from him.
  • Get ready with supporting facts. You cannot invent what you write down. They should be factual and realistic. Although you may deal with experiences on ghosts and supernatural beings, you still need to boost your claims with actual information and details.
  • Choose only the vital points from your map. No matter how detailed and factual your chart is, you cannot include everything in the essay. Hence, you need to really sit down and analyze your thought map and pick out only those that can help you weave an effective reflective essay.
  • Provide a personal aspect on the topic you are discussing. If, for instance, you write about global economic crisis, point out your own experiences on financial difficulties and your family’s coping mechanisms to overcome the prevailing monetary shortage.
  • Conclude your work with a reflective question or statement. This is the part where you will enjoin the readers to be analytical and critical about the topic. Leave a challenge for the readers to reflect on to make them want to read the essay again or look forward to more written articles under your authorship.
  • Edit your essay to make it seamless and unified. Make use of conjunctions to join phrases and sentences together. Blend the ideas and make sure the sentences flow smoothly for an easy read.

Bear in mind that a reflective essay must be devoid of feelings. It should appeal to the intellect not on emotion. Though sentiments are included, they must be presented only to give more enlightenment on the topic and not really to trigger drama or spectacle.


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