In the case your teacher asked you to create a reflection paper for the first time, you may feel totally embarrassed and puzzled. Perhaps, you have already dealt with writing different essays and college papers, however, a reflection paper differs from other types or writing works.
This task is not assigned too often, however, each student faces a challenge of writing a reflection paper at least once during the academic course.
We decided not to leave you being desperate and prepared a brief but very informative guide to create an A+ reflection paper easily!
What is a Reflection Paper?
Don’t start your preparation or writing before you have a clear understanding of what a reflection paper is and how it differs from dozens of different essays and papers of other types. The primary function of this type of academic paper is to reflect your feelings, ideas, and opinions about some certain events, books, films, etc. The text shall reflect that inner answer you had while experiencing or seeing something.
Well, when the basic definition sounds quite clear, you may have another question: how a reflection paper differs from similar types of writing works, like descriptive essays, position or reaction papers with very similar functions and aims.
Unlike most of the similar writing works, a reflection paper aim is to share your personal attitude to the topic more than speaking about the subject itself. There’s no need to prove your position or to prepare to protect your idea as well as there’s no need to convert someone or to deny alternative ideas about an object.
All you have to do is to describe your opinion and feelings in a way that a reader may clearly understand it and share it with you.
Steps for Writing a Reflection Paper
Crafting a good essay starts long before writing the first word of it. It begins with a preparation that may take a lot of time. Without a preparation, you have a few chances to write an academic paper that may impress your teacher and readers.
In order to help you to build an effective plan of preparation, we’ve decided on very important stages of creating your writing paper.
Choosing a Topic
Sometimes, teachers offer ready topics for writing your reflection paper. However, you can be also asked to choose a topic on your own. In this case, it’s necessary to stop your search on a topic that meets 3 requirements mentioned below:
- The topic is interesting to you;
- The chosen theme is able to attract the attention of many readers;
- There is enough accessible information about the topic
Learning More About a Topic
Many students think that writing a reflection topic doesn’t require any additional research. Yes, the main aim of the writing work is to reflect your own opinion about something. However, your opinion won’t sound impressive if it’s not based on some sober facts.
It’s always useful to do some research and to get information that can be interesting both to you and to your readers. Some data that was not familiar to you before may influence your opinion or even change it.
For example, you may change your idea about an interview with a famous person if you learn more about the biography of a person. Some facts that are not very obvious may play a great role in imagining the complete picture of the situation and sharing it with your readers.
Make a Plan and Manage Your Notes
Perhaps, you’ve already heard that outlines or a clear plan is that important ‘skeleton’ of each work that becomes a great base for every essay. No doubts, that writing a detailed plan is a very wise step to be taken before writing your paper itself.
Moreover, outlines will help you to manage your notes and to see which part of your future reflection paper needs some extra work and revision.
Reflection Paper Format and Outline
If you are aimed at getting the high mark for your academic paper, you shall pay great attention not only to the quality and informative value of your text but also to formatting and structuring your paper in a correct way.
A Reflection Paper Format
A reflection paper format depends on the academic style chosen for this type of work. If you are not sure which style is required, you can simply ask your teacher or a professor who assigned the task to you.
In most cases, teachers ask to write the paper in MLA style. This style is proposed by the Modern Language Association. It’s quite simple and doesn’t have many specific requirements, at the same time, the style allows formatting your text in a nice and structured way.
Some important features of the style:
- Your text shall be printed on a 8 ½ x 11” page;
- All margins from all the sides are equal to 1 inch;
- Use double space for the entire text;
- You shall identify the first word of each paragraph;
- Use Times New Roman or Arial fonts and 12th size of symbols.
Outlines of a Reflection Paper
A properly written plan of your text or outlines works both for an author and for a reader. This helps you to manage your work, saving your time. However, it also helps a reader to read and accept the information easier.
Think over the aim of your text. In order to reflect your feelings and attitude about an object, your text shall first introduce your reader to the chosen theme and then share your opinion about the described issue. Lines of the outlines help you to manage and to navigate your text to fulfill the aim:
- The Introduction
Here you acquaint your reader with the topic and describe the most interesting and bothering sides of the described object. Writing an introduction try to give some very compressed facts that may attract the attention of your auditory and inform your reader about the topic.
- The body paragraph
This paragraph is the biggest and a very informative part of your work. Use it as a chance to tell your reader about a chosen object, creating a full picture of the described object.
- The conclusion This part serves for leaving an impression and sharing your conclusions with a reader. The tone of the final summary depends on your own ideas about the topic.
Writing an A+ reflection paper seems to be a difficult task. There are a lot of nuances that are impossible to keep in your mind without some experience and constant hard work. However, with an expert help and advice, it’s always easier to find the most effective ways of creating excellent writing works!