How to write a reflective essay for university easily

Knowing how to write an essay for your university subject can be challenging. It can consume great swathes of your time and can cause you no end of stress and feelings of self-doubt. Just being able to master writing essays for your main university subject can be taxing enough but what happens when your tutor asks you write a reflective essay? You may feel as if your previous apprehension is nothing in comparison to figuring out what on earth a reflective essay is and how you can possibly do one. You may feel at a loss, alone on an island of doubt, unable to consider how you can possibly reflect on your subject and turn that reflection into an essay which will get you an excellent mark. You shouldn’t worry, however, because this article will break down for you all the tricks and techniques you need to know to be able to write an excellent reflective essay end ensure that you get the best possible grade that you can. It will show you exactly how to write a reflective essay for university.

 

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Reflection is not simply to do with triangles or the thing that you see in the mirror. A reflection essay reflects not just on your subject but how you interpreted it, what you have learned from it and how you’ll be able to transform your experiences of the subject into an essay. Reflection, however, should not be viewed as not a serious subject. Like any part of essay writing it is as important as your main subject as through your reflective essay you can fully understand how you respond to your subject, what it means to you and how, through reflection, you can ensure that your understanding of it is strong enough to ensure that you do well in your exams.

Reflection also allows you to fully understand the sequence of events that have occurred in your day to day academic life. It allows you to think of what exactly you’ve done during the day, how you’ve dealt with problems and how you can master those problems and turn them into solutions. Reflection is a natural element of all our lives – we reflect all the time, thinking about what we have to do, why we must do it and how to improve ourselves. By writing a reflective essay you are ensuring that you train your reflective ability and channel it into something that is productive – rather than simply idly dreaming away, your problems flicking through your mind, your reflective essay guides them and will ensure that you can find a solution to your problems and consider whether you could have tackled a particular project or essay in another, more effective way. This will allow you to fully comprehend what you need to do in the future.

There are several ways in which you can help yourself when writing your reflective essay. You shouldn’t try to simply use reflections that you have had on the day when you come to write your reflective journal; for one, your tutor may have set you a question that requires using reflections from weeks or even months ago that you wouldn’t be able to fully remember to include in your essay, which would make your essay less likely to be successful. Therefore, there are certain steps that you need to take to ensure that your essay is of the highest possible standard and higlights all of the reflections you have had, rather than leaving the material you need for the essay to chance.

  • Reflective Journal. A Reflective Journal is an important part of being able to write a good reflective essay for university. It allows you to put all of your immediate reflections, following a learning experience, down on paper in an organised and easy to understand way. Your journal will give you the chance to rely on reflections that you have throughout your time at university and thus allow you to utilise them expertly when you come to write a reflective essay. Your Reflective Journal allows you to properly organise your reflections in such a way that you can easily write them down and refer back to them without too much of a problem. Your journal doesn’t need to simply be in book form – you can write your journal on your computer or record it using your phone or a video camera. What is important is that you are persistent with it and ensure that you keep it as regularly as possible and that you can quickly and easily get it out to help plan any reflective essays you may have to do.
  • Reflective Questions. Another way to ensure that you have the necessary reflection available to you to allow you to write an excellent reflection essay is to use Reflective Questions. Reflective Questions are similar to questionnaires, except that questionnaires are generally directed at an individual that is not yourself or a group of people. Reflective Questions are purely for yourself and allow you to answer questions about what you’ve learned from your most learning experience. It, like the Reflective Journal, allows you to filter and channel the information you’ve gained and allow you to look back on it later in an academically astute and positive way. Reflective Questions also allow you to think about your reflection in a different way – rather than simply thinking of it in the same way you would when noting down your initial reflections in your journal, your questions allow you to fully consider your reflection in a more academic and constructive manner rather than to have to wade through all the description that you have put into your Reflective Journal. Your Reflection Questions allow you to channel your reflections succinctly and clearly so that you can have both a full description of the experience of reflection and a more direct transcript of what particularly struck you about the learning experience you have just engaged with.
  • Reflection Circle. The Gibbs Reflection Circle is another important element that, when properly used can be an essential tool in ensuring that you write an excellent reflective essay for university. The idea of the circle is that it allows you to start with a description of what you are reflecting on and then goes through several stages until you have an action plan that allows you to properly define what issues you may have had with the topic you have learnt about or allows you to resolve any nagging questions you may have about the area that you have gained knowledge from. Unlike the Reflective Journal, the Reflection Circle is better used not as a main source of reflection but as a second well of information as the amount of information that you can fit into it is limited and if you used this as the main source for your reflective essay then your essay would be limited, and you may not get the grade that you want.

What must be stressed when talking about different means of recording reflection is that different methods work for different people. As we reflect in unique ways and as such don’t think of things in the same way, it is impossible to be certain as to which method is perfect and suitable for different people – it is worth trying each different method to see which you feel more comfortable using.

Once you have the raw material for your reflective essay and you are asked to write one, it is important to remember that a reflective essay, when you are fully prepared, is no different in its structure from any other sort of essay you may be required to do as part of your university course. The only difference is that you will use your reflections as a means of answering the question rather than using literary theory or events from a particular historical era. As such, when you come to write your reflective essay you should not be overly concerned with structure as it will be no different to the structure you would otherwise use.

Once you have your reflections at hand and have written your reflective essay, it is time to ensure that you have done it to the highest possible standard. The process of checking and editing your essay can be a long and tiring one but it is a challenge that you must accept if you are to ensure that your essay is of the highest possible standard and will help get you the best possible grade you can get.

Hopefully, this article will have helped you to understand how to write a reflective essay for university and will ensure that you can write a reflective essay to the highest possible standard. However, if you have some problems understanding anything in this piece of feel that you don’t have the time to produce a piece to the standard you want, then perhaps we can help?

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