Learning to write strong, reflective essays is key to tightening your critical thinking skills. It will also help you better articulate your opinion on any given topic. Expressing your thoughts and feelings about events that have happened can seem like a deeply personal thing to do and can seem somewhat alien at first.
Writing a reflective essay is similar in many respects to writing an essay or a journal. With so many conflicts occurring globally, it is not difficult to take an event and then document it from your viewpoint; through your eyes.
When written correctly, reflective essays can be a very powerful tool in which to help others better understand what has occurred. Conversely, you might choose a topic that impacts upon society, for example, drug addiction or the rise of extremism and reflect upon that. Now that I have briefly explained what a reflective essay is, it is time to write one! If you follow my quick tips, you shouldn’t encounter too many difficulties.
This might seem obvious, but the first thing that you need to do is choose the topic/event that you are going to write about. I would suggest mulling over a few topics for a few days until you find the one that inspires or motivates you in some way. The worst thing that you can do is choose a topic randomly for the sake of it. If you want your reflective essay to be strong, then you need to care about your subject.
Brainstorm. Get all of your key thoughts down on paper. It doesn’t matter what order they come out in, you can work on that later. The key thing at this point is to get all of your thoughts and ideas down before you forget them, and then look for logical links and joining points. This is critical to formulating the structure of your essay.
Again, this might seem like a no-brainer but start at the beginning. Without a strong opening paragraph, your essay will just fall flat on its face. Yes, it is only one paragraph, but right now it is the most important paragraph that you are going ever to write. Take your time and don’t cut corners. Once you have this in place, the rest will easily flow.
A good, reflective essay is all about viewpoint. Your viewpoint. Don’t muddy the waters by including quotes or citations from other people. This essay is all about how you perceive the subject matter that you are writing about.
Your final paragraph is as important as your first. Everything else is effectively sandwiched between. A crisp summary of your thoughts followed by a rhetorical question to your readers is all that is required.