Reflection Paper Writing

A reflection paper is a common type of assignment given to college students. Almost all subjects taken in college require the student to express their opinion on particular matters. Reflection papers should contain an academic tone yet be subjective and personal. In this type of paper, the student needs to analyze and reflect upon how a lecture, article, academic task, or experience shaped their thoughts and perception of a subject.

What is a Reflection Paper?

This type of paper needs you to write your viewpoint on a topic, supporting it with personal examples and observations. Different from giving your readers the views of other writers and academics, a reflective essay allows you to present your point of view, and what’s more, there is no wrong answer. It’s all about YOUR opinion, and you must express your thoughts clearly and understandably to everyone who will read your paper. The range of topics is limitless; for example, do aliens exist? Does the Bermuda triangle swallow ships? You can write about literary anything.

Types of Reflection Papers

Reflection papers are of two kinds.

  1. Experiential reflection paper

This type of reflection paper analyzes a personal observation or experience. In an experiential reflection paper, you can assess the accuracy and study the knowledge of a specific theory. Usually, you observe the experience objectively, summarize it, and emphasize the underlying ideas and principles that support your analysis of the experience. An experiential reflection paper is famous in professional programs such as medicine, education, and business as it helps you relate theories and principles to practical experiences.

  1. Textual reflection paper

This type of reflection paper evaluates a written text, an essay, an article, or a book. The paper contains your analysis, opinion, and interpretation of the reading material. The paper may not have any personal anecdotes, as it solely focuses on the content of the text. A textual reflection paper is an evaluation and reaction to the material.

How to Write a Reflection Paper

Following these steps in writing a reflection paper, you can analyze an assigned text or experience suitably. A good reflection paper keeps a formal tone while stating your opinion on a particular subject.

  1. Comprehend and Summarize the Material

You must evaluate the material before you write the reflection paper. You can review similar authorities and texts to help you understand the contents of the text. Some reflection papers need you to evaluate a specific event.

To direct your writing, you may summarize the event or text in one or more paragraphs. The summary may comprise the writer’s thesis statement and perception if your text is nonfiction. If the text is fictional, you may summarize the plot. Your summary should not be the actual copy of the material and may include a brief statement of your views on the work. You may also write an outline of your supporting arguments and ideas.

  1. Analyze the Material

Usually, you analyze the content, argument, or thesis of the text before you write the reflection paper. Your reflection paper can contain your perspective of the academic material. You can dispute the arguments made in the text and demonstrate the reasoning behind your judgment. Typically, you ask primary questions after reviewing the text and write out problematic areas identified in the document. You can also reference and review other materials that support your position. It is also good to reference personal experiences that dispute the argument of the material.

You can utilize a mind map to illustrate your ideas, thought process, and supporting arguments. Highlight the questions you raised while reviewing the material and use them to create your analysis and review.

  1. Choose a Theme

You can apply your analysis of the reading material or event to choose a theme for the paper. It is essential to select a theme as it directs the argument and tone of your writing. Also, it helps you structure the essay. You can pick a theme by finding common conclusions or points in your analysis and writing the arguments that elicited your strong opinions.

  1. Connect your Opinions

You can connect your arguments to prepare and write the paragraph sequence of your paper. The connections allow you to write an inclusive outline that connects the opinions to the views presented in the article. It can offer a sketch of your questions, thoughts, and ideas related to the reflection paper topic. You can use this framework to link the concepts and provide more insight into the arguments.

  1. Start with an Introduction

Your introductory paragraph carries the topic and purpose of the reflection paper. It contains the thesis statement and gives readers insight into your views on the topic. The introduction can also include a summary of the experience, book, or article the paper analyses. When writing an introduction, you may refer to the topic and themes in the paper.

  1. Write the body

This section contains a detailed analysis of your thesis statement. You can present your examples, references, and supporting arguments. The body of your paper can carry three to four paragraphs, with each section introducing a new idea. If your reflection paper is based on a book or article, you may also include direct quotes from the book or article. Usually, you link up your ideas and ensure the paragraphs have a reasonable structure.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion summarizes the arguments and ideas described in the paper. You can explain things you learned by evaluating the experience or article. You may also re-emphasize and restate your thesis statement.

  1. Edit and proofread

Proofread your paper severally before submitting it. Ensure that you rectify factual and grammatical errors. You can ask your mentors, classmates, and colleagues to review the article. If the reflection paper has specific guidelines, you can check to establish that you have followed all the procedures.

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