Whether your teacher assigns an internship reflection paper or any other type of a reflection paper, don't write about the image in the mirror. On the contrary, study your thoughts on a given topic. Most students first encounter this type of writing when describing how they spent summer. However, this type of academic writing can cover much more. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about this type of academic piece!
What Is a Reflection Paper: A Detailed Definition
Reflection paper refers to a type of academic writing where you should analyze your personal life, and explore specific ideas of how your changes, development, or growth turned out.
Consider this piece like diary entries. Except that others will be reading them. So it should have consistency, reasonable structure, and be easy to understand. In this respect, this work is very similar to any other academic assignment. Simply put, a reflective paper is a critique of life experiences. And with proper guidance, it is not very difficult to compose.
Moreover, there are different types of reflection papers. After all, you can reflect on different things, not only your own experience. These types are:
- Educational reflection paper In this type of work you must write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended.
- Professional paper It is usually written by people who study or work in education or psychology.
- Personal paper It goes without saying that this type is all about your own feelings and thoughts on a particular topic.
Reflection Paper Format: Which One to Choose
Reflection paper format can vary slightly depending on who your audience is. It is not uncommon that your paper format will be assigned specifically by your professor. However, some essential structural elements are typical for MLA, APA, or Chicago style formatting. These include introduction, body, and conclusion. You can find more information on paper formats in our blog. As always, paper writers for hire at StudyCrumb are at your hand 24/7.
How to Start a Reflection Paper: Guidelines
Here, we will explain how to begin a reflection paper. Working on how to start a body paragraph, review criteria for evaluation. This first step will help you concentrate on what is required. In the beginning, summarize brief information with no spoilers. Then professionally explain what thoughts you (if it is a personal paper) or a writer (if educational or professional paper) touch upon. But still, remember that essays should be written in first person and focus on "you."
Reflection Paper Outline
The best reflection paper outline consists of an introduction that attracts attention. After introduction, the plan includes the main body and, finally, conclusions. Adherence to this structure will allow you to clearly express your thinking. The detailed description of each part is right below.
Reflection Paper Introduction: Start With Hook
Reflection paper introduction starts with a hook. Find a way to intrigue your reader and make them interested in your assignment before they even read it. Also, you should briefly and informatively describe the background and thesis statement. Make it clear and concise, so neither you nor your reader would get confused later. Don't forget to state what it is you're writing about: an article, a personal experience, a book, or something else.
Number of Body Paragraphs in a Reflective Paper
Reflective paper body paragraphs explain how your thinking has changed according to something. Don't only share changes but also provide examples as supporting details. For example, if you discuss how to become more optimistic, describe what led to this change. Examples serve as supporting structure of your assignment. They are similar to evidence in, say, an argumentative essay. Keep in mind that your work doesn't have to be disengaged and aloof. It is your own experience you're sharing, after all.
How to End a Reflection Paper
In the short reflection paper conclusion, you summarize the thesis and personal experience. It's fascinating that in this academic work, you can reflect forward or backward on your experience. In the first case, you share what role the essay plays in your future. In the second case, you focus more on the past. You acknowledge the impact that the essay's story has on your life. Reflect on how you changed bit by bit, or, maybe, grew as a person. Perhaps, you have witnessed something so fascinating it changed your outlook on certain aspects of your life. This is how to write conclusion in research paper in the best way possible.
How to Write Reflection Paper: Full Step-By-Step Guide
Writing reflection paper could be initiated by the teacher at college. Or we can even do it by ourselves to challenge our evaluation skills and see how we have changed. In any case, it's not an issue anymore since we've prepared a super handy guide. Just follow it step by step, and you will be amazed at the result.
Step 1. Answer the Main Questions Before Writing a Reflection Paper
A reflection paper means you should provide your thoughts on the specific topic and cover some responses. So before writing, research the information you want to apply and note every idea. If you're writing an educational or professional paper ask yourself several questions, for example:
- What was my viewpoint before reading this book?
- How do I consider this situation now?
- What does this book teach me?
If your goal is to reflect on personal experience, you can start with asking questions like:
- What was your viewpoint before the experience?
- How did this experience change your viewpoint?
The more details you imagine, the better you can answer these questions.
Step 2. Identify the Main Theme of Your Reflection Paper
Reflection papers' suggested topics can be varied. Generally, it could be divided into four main categories to discuss:
- Articles or books.
- Social events.
- Persons or famous individuals.
- Personal experiences.
In any case, it's good to show your own attitude to a topic, and that it affects yourself. It is also suited to write about your own negative experiences and mistakes. You need to show how you overcame some obstacle, or maybe you're still dealing with the consequences of your choices. Consider what you learnt through this experience, and how it makes you who you are now.
Step 3. Summarize the Material for Reflection Paper
At this step of reflective paper, you can wait for inspiration and brainstorm. Don't be afraid of a blank sheet. Carefully read the topic suggested for the essay. Think about associations, comparisons, facts that immediately come to mind. If the teacher recommended particular literature, find it. If not, check the previous topic's background. Remember how to quote a quote that you liked, but be sure to indicate its author and source. Think of relevant examples or look for statistics, and analyze them.
Just start drafting a summary of everything you know regarding this topic. And keep in mind, that main task is to describe your own thoughts and feelings.
Step 4. Analyze Main Aspects of Reflection Paper
A whole reflection paper's meaning lies in putting theory and your experience together. So fill in different ideas in your piece step by step until you realize there's enough material. If you may find some particular quotes, you should focus on your viewpoint and feelings. Who knows, maybe there is some relatable literature (or video material) that can highlight your idea and make it sound more engaging?
The Best Tips on Writing a Reflection Paper
We prepared tips on writing reflection paper to help you find evidence that your work was excellently done!
Some, of course, go without saying. Edit your piece for some time after writing, when you cooled down a bit. Pay attention to whether your readers would be interested in this material. Write about things that not only are interesting for you, but have a sufficient amount of literature to read about.
Below you will find more tips on various types of writing!
Tips on Writing a Critical Reflection Paper
Role of a critical reflection paper is to change your opinion about a particular subject, thus changing your behaviour. You may ask yourself how your experience could have been improved and what you have to do in order to achieve that. It could be one of the most challenging tasks if you choose the wrong topic. Usually, such works are written at the subject's culmination. This requires intensive, clear, evaluative, and critical context thinking.
- Describe experience in detail.
- Study topic of work well.
- Provide an in-depth analysis.
- Tell readers how this experience changed you.
- Find out how it will affect your future.
Tips on Writing a Course Reflection Paper
Course reflection paper is basically a personal experience of how a course at your college (or university) has affected you. It requires description and title of course, first of all.
- Clearly write information you discussed, how class went, and reasons you attended it.
- Identify basic concepts, theories and instructions studied. Then interpret them using real-life examples.
- Evaluate relevance and usefulness of course.
How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book
A reflection paper on a book introduces relevant author's and piece's information. Focus on main characters. Explain what problems are revealed in work, their consequences, and their effectiveness. Share your experience or an example from your personal life.
How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Project
Main point of a reflection paper on a project is to share your journey during a process. It has the same structure and approach as previous works. Tell all about the obstacles that you needed to overcome. Explain what it took to overcome them. Share your thoughts! Compare your experience with what could have been if there were another approach. But the main task here is to support the pros or cons of the path you've taken. Suggest changes and recognize complexity or relevance to the real world.
How to Write a Reflection Paper on an Interview
A reflection paper on an interview requires a conclusion already in your introduction.
- Introduce the person.
- Then emphasize known points of view, focusing on arguments.
- Later, express what you like or dislike about this idea.
It is always a good idea to brainstorm and research certain interview questions you're planning on discussing with a person. Create an outline of how you want your interview to go. Also, don't digress from a standard 5-paragraph structure, keep your essay simple.
You may need a guide on how to write a response paper as well. There is a blog with detailed steps on our website.
Reflection Paper Example
Before we've explained all fundamental basics to you. Now let's look at a reflection paper example. In this file, you'll find a visual structure model and way of thinking expressed.
Reflection Paper: Main Takeaways
A reflection paper is your flow of thoughts in an organized manner concerning any research paper topics. Format is similar to any other academic work. Start with a strong introduction, develop the main body, and end with conclusions. With the help of our article, you can write this piece only in 4 steps.
Our academic assistants are up for the task! Just pick a twitter to your liking, send them your paper requirements and they'll write your reflection paper for you!
Frequently Asked Questions About Reflection Paper
1. How long should a reflection paper be?
A reflection paper must be between 300 and 750 words. Still, it always depends on your previous research and original task requirements. The main task is to cover all essential questions in the narrative flow. So don't stick directly to the work's volume.
2. Do reflection papers need a cover sheet or title page?
A cover sheet or title page isn't necessary for reflection papers. But your teacher may directly require this page. Then you should include a front-page and format it accordingly.
3. Do I need to use citations and references with a reflection paper?
No, usually, you don't have to cite in your reflection paper. It should be only your personal experience and viewpoint. But in some cases, your teacher may require you to quote a certain number of sources. It's necessary that the previous research was completed, so check it beforehand.
4. What is the difference between a reflection paper and a reaction paper?
The research paper definition differs from reaction paper. Basically, the main point is in-depth of discussion. In the first case, you must fully describe how something affected you. While in the second one, it is just asked to provide a simple observation.