How to Write a Reflection Paper
Reflection papers are often written by students, professors, and graduates to analyze and review texts and experiences. To write a good reflection paper, one needs to be familiar with the relevant formats and structures. This article outlines what a reflection paper is, types of reflection papers, how to write a good reflection paper, and answer frequently asked questions regarding reflection papers.
What is a Reflection Paper?
A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to write an opinion regarding an article, experience, or a topic. This gives the student/writer a chance to write his/her view unlike most of the other academic papers where the student presents a third-party opinion. Reflection papers can be used while writing pretty much anything including movies, TV shows, books, articles, projects, and group works. The list is endless.
Types of Reflective Papers
Textual Reflection Paper
Textual reflection papers provide an analysis of an already-written text. This can be a book, an article, or an essay. For this reflection paper, the content is the analysis of the text together with the writer's opinion, Basically, it is an evaluation of written material.
Experiential Reflection Paper
Experiential reflection paper analyzes personal experience or observation. The writer studies an experience and sometimes relates the experience to a specific theory. This type of reflection paper is common in professional practices, education, businesses, and medicine since it involves evaluating theories.
8 Steps of Writing a Good Reflection Paper
Step 1: Understanding the Material
The first step involves reviewing, understanding, and comprehending the material to have enough knowledge of what you will write about. You can summarize the relevant materials by writing an outline of ideas that represent the material.
Step 2: Analyze the Material
After understanding the material, you need to analyze the text, argument, or experience before writing the reflection paper. This involves assessing the material critically and defining areas where you agree or disagree with the text for textual reflection paper.
Step 3: Select a Theme
Using the analysis done, you need to select a theme for your paper. Themes are important in reflection papers because they guide the argument presented and the tone of the paper.
Step 4: Connect your Opinions
The paragraphs in a reflection paper should be well-connected and outline a solid trail of thoughts. Thus, connecting your thoughts is vital to help you prepare the sequence of your article.
Step 5: Introduce the Paper
The first paragraph should contain the topic and the purpose of the paper. After introducing the paper, the first paragraph should end with a thesis statement that informs the reader about the position/argument of the writer regarding the topic.
Step 6: Write the Body of the Paper
This section should include a detailed analysis of the thesis statement provided in the first paragraph. The writer should write well-connected and arranged paragraphs that support the thesis statement with arguments, references, and examples.
Step 7: Write a Good Conclusion
A conclusion should summarize the ideas presented in the body. In a reflection paper, the writer can also provide insights into what he/she has learned through the analysis. At this stage, you can also restate or reemphasize the thesis statement.
Step 8: Proofread and Edit
After completing the paper, proofread the paper multiple times before submission. This is to ensure that the paper does not have grammatical or factual errors.