essay writing tips

Academic Writing Tips: the Meaning of a Reflective Essay

Reflective essays are ones that allow students to describe their experience and the way this experience has affected their lives. If you are writing a reflective essay you can remember an event that has changed your attitude towards a certain kind of music, for example. Quite often, students remember events that made them choose to be vegetarians, athletes, etc. Your main goal when writing a reflective essay is to let your readers feel everything that has affected you and made you change your mind in a certain way.

Depending on the audience, these papers should be composed in different ways. Children in primary school normally compose essays that speak about quite simple experiences. If you are writing your composition for young kids, you should use simple phrases. If your audience consists of older people, you can compose essays speaking about more complicated feelings, cause and effect connections, etc. Still, such papers should be formatted in the same way as all other academic compositions.

Normally, all academic papers have the same structure: three main parts that are explained below.

  1. Introduction.
  2. In this part, you are supposed to introduce the subject to your readers. Say a few words about the experience you are going to describe. Though popular essayists are more likely to dive deeper into details or speak about the effect of the experience in an indirect way, you, as an academic writer, are expected to be much more precise in your description.

  3. Body paragraphs.
  4. There are usually three total, though it is up to you to decide how many of them you will have. The point to remember is that each paragraph should contain a complete thought. An average paragraph should not be longer than five to six sentences. At the same time, the paper should not be overstretched. It usually happens so that three body paragraphs are just enough to have the necessary word count and explain the situation.

  5. Conclusions.
  6. The last and most important part is supposed to speak about the conclusions you have made as a result of the experience. It is usually convenient to rewrite the intro part and recapitulate everything said with a kind of repetition of the initial idea. At the same time, make sure that you have thoroughly explained the event and its influence on you in order to come to your conclusions.

When everything is done, double-check the text and make sure that all its parts are logically connected.

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