In a reflective essay, you have to explore a particular topic using relevant personal thought and experience. Here, the writer uses the topic as a springboard and tries to reflect on personal history, world events, objective fact, or emotional experience. The basic aim is to write an essay where the reflections are used in a way that they convey a completely new and different thought to the reader. It is not easy to accomplish this goal, especially if you don’t plan things in advance. One of the first things you have to do is create a reflective essay outline.
Most students don’t really know the approach they should adopt to write a reflective essay, and that’s mainly because they don’t have complete knowledge of the basics. And one of the basic things is to finalize an outline before getting started with your research. However, it’s equally important to understand the basics involved in ‘creating’ an outline. For instance, a good essay outline will have an intro, body and conclusion. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to write a simple reflective essay outline – you should also be in a position to elaborate the outline. It means that along with finalizing an outline, you will have to plan the direction of your essay in advance. For instance, when writing the introduction, it’s not enough to use this space to simply ‘introduce’ your topic, but you’ll have to find interesting ways/points to grab your reader’s attention in the very first sentence.
Similarly, you’ll have to be very careful when deciding on what to state in the body paragraphs. In your outline of reflective essay, you should have subheadings or points you’re going to cover in each paragraph. To make your essay more impressive and convincing, you’ll have to mention a point and elaborate it in separate paragraphs. You’ll find it a lot easier to flesh out the skeleton if you already know the important points. Therefore, your reflective paper outline should include 3-5 different points that you will be discussing in separate body paragraphs.
Finally, your outline should include some points you’re going to cover in the closing paragraph. Generally, a conclusion includes a summary of the essay, but sometimes, you’d want to use your discussion to raise a different point, which can be stated in your final paragraph.
It all boils down to the fact that the outline of a reflective paper should cover three sections – intro, body paragraphs and conclusion. However, you should keep a few other points in mind to ensure that your essay is convincing and helps you get a good grade. For instance:
- Always keep in mind that your reflective essay will work if it is intellective, not emotional or factual.
- Avoid reliving or recounting any universal experiences; instead, write about the way they have influenced your life.
- Avoid taking your reflective essay as a diary entry or confessional piece. Therefore, you should choose your topic sensibly, and realize the fact that you will have to disclose certain personal facts to your reader.
- Check your essay for grammar or spelling mistakes.
- Read your essay twice to ensure there’s no repetition of facts. Be ready to remove sentences or paragraphs that don’t provide any new info.
- By keeping these points in mind, you will be able to write a good reflective essay. Remember, if you overlook the importance of writing a reflective essay outline, it will become extremely difficult to produce a convincing essay.