How to choose the best reflective essay topics

Life as a student can be full of highs and lows. You may feel pleased with yourself because you have finally grasped how to write an academic essay with ease. However, your relief suddenly turns into that familiar feeling of uncertainty again as you are asked to write a reflective essay. Don’t worry, in this article, you will learn:

 

Writing a reflective essay can be both inspiring and cathartic. However, students often have difficulty with them because they have to refer to themselves in conjunction with whatever the topic is. The difficulty arises from a mixture of sources.

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So what is a reflective essay? First of all, it really is nothing to worry about. It is simply a way of defining how an event, book or movie, job or course has changed or developed your perspective on something. Essentially, if you can embrace this idea then you may find that writing a reflective essay actually helps you on your academic journey and the experience can be very worthwhile. The difficulty can be in deciding what are the best reflective essay topics for you to write about. In order to help you, let’s look at some categories and how to write them.

An event reflective essay can be an event that happened to you personally such as your Dad losing his business. The best way to structure this would be to break your essay down into three parts.

  • Before the experience. You would capture how you felt and thought before the experience. For instance, when you were told that the family was probably going to lose the main form of income that paid for the home and car etc. what did you think would happen and how did you imagine that you would cope with it. What fears arose?
  • During the experience. In this part of your reflective essay, you need to think about what decisions did you make to help you cope with the change. Was it as you imagined? How did you cope with the challenges? Did you make the experience successful? Did you learn anything from this life event?
  • After the experience. Think about how you viewed the situation directly after the worst part of the event. Compare this with how you felt at a later date when you had experienced emotional distance. Were the challenges as you expected them before the event. What was actually different in reality? If you had to go through the event again but with the benefit of hindsight, what would you do differently? What have you learned because of your life event? Do you think it has made you a better person – why?

Alternatively, you can use a life event that did not happen to you personally but affected you personally. For instance, in 2017 Grenfall Tower, which is a block of high rise flats, caught fire and quickly claimed many lives. As people watched the tragedy unfold, no-one could not be touched by it emotionally. If something like this has touched you so much that it had made you wish to go into Social Services so that you could help people, you could write a reflective essay on that using the aforementioned structure (before the experience, during the experience and after the experience). You can use the same questions to springboard your writing.

This is truly a wonderful way to engage with your academic studies. This can be broken down into two categories:

  • Fiction. These are works of fiction but are inspired by nonspecific events that are inspired by true situations. For instance, if you were studying Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, you would get a picture of life in Manchester during the middle of the nineteenth century. The novel is based on the dreadful conditions for the working classes in that period. If you had a 21st century, middle class upbringing and this book suddenly made you realise what it was like for someone that was suffering from dire poverty to virtually starve, you could write about how Mary Barton had given you an interest in poverty and had maybe changed your research direction for your dissertation or even given you ideas for which career you want to pursue.
  • Non-fiction. Basically, if you have read a book or documentary that are non-fictional and they have changed the way that you see the world or even made you notice something that you were unaware of before, you could write a reflective essay on it. For instance, a good example would be, if you know that you are not racist but apart from that have not really thought about it but then you are horrified by watching a documentary about Civil Rights in America during the 1960s. Moments of awareness can change our perspectives and the way we lead our future life and so they make very deep and powerful reflective essays.

Education always changes us in some way, this is a fundamental truth. For that reason, this is why the subject makes such a great topic for reflective essays. For instance, up until doing A level, you may have planned to be an archaeologist because History had always been your main interest. However, you may have had to study Politics as a filler for your subjects. During this course, you may suddenly have become enlightened that the reason that you are really interested in history is because of the politics. In fact, you may actually have had a light bulb moment and realised that instead of being an archaeologist, you want to be a politician.

If you decide to write a reflective essay on a course that you have taken, you can still use the aforementioned structure of before the event, during the event and after the event to plan your essay. You can also use the same questions to help you write it too.

Now that we have covered some of the reflective essay topics that you can write a reflective essay on, you may have a title for your essay. However, if you are still struggling with the concept of how to tackle this type of essay, you may need some help. We provide a whole host of writing services that cover every type of essay and dissertation work from research through to writing. Furthermore, if you need help with letter writing for professional reasons or even someone to write a speech for you, we can do it. We have a full range of specialized writers so get in touch and discover how we can make your life less stressful.

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