What is a Reflection Paper?
You might have watched a number of movies during a couple of years. Do you have an urge to share your impression about it? If you like to do it, the best way is to write a reflective paper to tell your friends and family about your emotions and feelings about that movie. Reflection papers are not limited to movies; you can also elaborate on your feelings about motion pictures, events, a person, or even your favorite trips. So, what makes a perfect reflection paper?
- A good reflection paper shows your thought process and analysis about an event you witnessed, a book you have read, a motion picture you have viewed, or even about a person you have observed.
- A good reflection paper also shows your understanding of a piece of work together with changes in any of your ideas with possible implementation in future.
- You can also use the restorative questions for generation of some feelings and thoughts pertaining to your experiences.
- A good reflection paper can also engage the community as a whole as well.
How to Start a Reflection Paper
Here is the basic process for starting a reflection paper:
- A reflection paper starts with a basic outlook on different thoughts, and it is usually about the film, idea, lecture, or even a historical personality.
- Prior to starting a reflection paper, you need to articulate and integrate your classroom experiences and the core theme of readings or observations.
- Brainstorming of the key ideas is also quite an important step the allow jotting down of the key ideas and thoughts based on thinking and reading. You will also need to determine what ideas can stand out and help you support your opinions. For the lectures, the best way is to jot down direct and indirect quotations. You can also summarize different passages in a book for the very same purpose. For the reflection papers having personal experiences, you are going to make notes of specific details pertaining to your experiences. What you can do about it? You can also write a short story or even write a brief summary about an event. It could also be an experience that stands out. It could involve sounds, images or even, sensory parts of your experience.
- Once the ideas are articulated and brainstorming conducted, the essays could either be description-based or bearing a personal opinion.
- An educational reflection paper is basically a response to the film, book, or even a lecture that is quite commonly viewed based on an academic setting to analyze the students’ competence.
- A professional reflection paper requires a method for the analysis of professional behavior that is quite commonly used among social workers and teachers.
- Personal opinion-based reflection paper has personal opinions and assessments as part of the paper.
- One of the ways is to formulate the thoughts in the form of a table or chart to greatly track your ideas and thought process.
- As part of the charts, mention the key experiences and points in the first column. These points can also comprise of anything pertaining to the speaker or author that are of vital importance. It can also involve specific details that are of particular interest to you. You can divide these core points and ideas into separate rows as well
- For the second column, you need to jot down your personal responses pertaining to the key points that are mentioned in the first column. Based on that, your subjective beliefs, values, and, most importantly, experiences that have influenced your specific response.
- In the third column, you need to decide the degree to which you would like to share your opinion as part of your reflection paper.
- Questioning yourself to help you in propelling your response is another key step. Sometimes, you might feel that you are struggling to articulate your own thoughts and feelings. For that, you can ask questions pertaining to your readings or experiences. It could include question that involve the readings, experiences, or even lectures to challenge your developed emotional, social, cultural, or even theological thoughts. Further, it could involve the extent to which it has influenced your thoughts. It could also involve conflicting norms and beliefs. Moreover, it can also leave you questioning your pre-existing beliefs and norms. The ideas or issues that are presented in reading or experience could intertwine with your previous readings or experiences. The contradicting or supporting nature of the reading and experience, or lecture can further be elaborated as part of the reflection paper.
What is a Reflection Paper Format?
You might be wondering about the format of reflection papers. In most cases, course teachers usually recommend the use of Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting. Why is that? It is because the MLA style of formatting allows high school students with the simplest format that can help them present their personal views quite casually. For the basic paper formatting for the reflection paper:
- Use of 1-inch border margin at the sides, top, and bottom of the page
- Page size should be white with the size of 8 ½” by 11”
- Most of the times, instructors ask for double-spaced paragraphing
- Font should be Arial or Times New Roman
- Font size should be 12 points
- Based on the number of words, a reflective paper is usually around 300 to 500 words long.
What a Reflection Paper Should Include?
A reflection paper needs to include a number of possible steps includes:
- Selection of Subject and Topic: The subject and topic can quite commonly include a motion film, book, lecture, or film that is being studied in a classroom environment. Apart from that, the students are also tasked with writing regarding their personal experiences bearing the subject matter. The chosen theme can be considered the building block of your reflection essay.
- Brainstorming Activity and Outline Development: Note taking and jotting down ideas in black and white can put the thoughts in order and make the writing much more efficient. You can start by jotting down a few sentences that relates to your core theme. They can serve as note-taking points for developing the remainder of your notes. However, it is necessary to keep in mind to put forward your own opinion as part of brainstorming. By brainstorming sessions, you can create a rough outline for your paper.
- Organizing the Reflection Paper: Before proceeding further into writing a reflective paper, take some time to ponder on your notes for a brainstorming session. Following are some steps that are essential for organizing the reflection paper:
- Incorporation of Reflective Question: It could be a simple question relating you to the subject matter. It would help you in setting the theme and tone of your essay. The first-person pronoun is quite commonly used as part of the structure of the reflection paper.
- Formulation of Robust Introduction: As part of an introduction, you are going to need to be precise about your subject matter in about two to three lines that would clearly state your opinion.
- Focusing on the Thesis Sentence: After a robust introduction, you need to construct a thesis sentence in the introductory paragraph that articulates your opinion, expectations, and thoughts about the subject matter. The thesis provides cohesion and focus to your reflective paper as a whole.
- Explanation of the Idea in Body: The body of the reflection essay needs to explain the thesis. Apart from that, the details are also provided on the degree to which it has or has not met your expectations supported by evidence.
- Concluding Remarks: Based on your ideas and expectations, you will need to briefly articulate the concluding remarks based on your feelings and thoughts in around two to three sentences.
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What is an Example of Reflection Paper?
A lot of the students are overwhelmed with lots of assignments and personal life responsibilities, making it virtually impossible to strike work-life balance. It usually results in poor grades and even passing their courses. Similarly, students with good academics are also faced with similar circumstances that results in bad performance in assignments. There is a way for striking a better work-life balance. Most of the students use the readymade reflection papers to have a fair idea of the subject matter. It can help the students massively by reducing efforts for successfully completing reflective paper. For that, we have some amazing topics for you, as listed below:
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For successfully writing a reflection paper, you will need to keep some of the following aspects in mind:
- Keep it concise, short, and precise.
- Ensuring the clarity of each thought through articulated sentence formation
- Incorporate one idea as part of one paragraph
- Keep a professional tone for the reflective paper
- During the essay, keep focus on your basic feelings and thoughts