Composing A Great Final Reflection Essay

A final reflection essay reveals your personal perspective. It usually does not require factual research, and it’s usually not about your feelings toward the professor. Each professor probably has certain expectations, so the first step is to consult any homework handouts the professor may have provided.

All students should strive for well-defined, crisp writing and sharp narratives in all their papers. All essays require structure, especially reflective ones, as the student is detailing their personal experiences and justifying opinions. Good reflective writing, therefore, follows a certain structure or outline. Using an outline before you even start writing will condense all vital facts, keep you organized, and lessen the possibility of forgetting details, and decrease the likelihood of wasting time. Again, this is a general outline:

  1. Introduction.
    • Hook
    • Thesis Statement
  2. Description of experiences: what were your feelings?
  3. Effect or evaluation of experiences: what was positive? What was negative?
  4. Lessons learned from / Analysis of the experiences: causality/compare and contrast.
  5. Conclusion
    • Recap of experiences
    • General impact / lessons learned

Definitions

Hook: a brief telling of the most interesting part of your dissertation. You want to spark interest right away and make the reader want to keep on going.

Thesis Statement: a concise declaration of what your essay will cover and how the course affected you. Solid thesis statements are the basis of any well-written paper, especially a reflective one. It should be in the first-person and only one or two sentences. It should also be straightforward, not broad. Spark controversy, if you want. Again, keep it concise. You’ll expand on everything in the body of your paper.

Experiences: The professor’s handout may describe what experiences you should include and those you shouldn’t. Generally, however, detail what you may have learned and how you managed to learn it. Mention something that may have been interesting in relation to what you learned. Include something that you will take along with you for your future. Cite specific examples.

You can also mention an unachieved goal – if you do, explain why you did not achieve it, and indicate what you learned from your failure. Don’t forget; you are analyzing yourself. Despite what you may think, your professor genuinely wants to know what you learned and what else you want to learn. Has anything changed you? This is important, too. Explain what changed you and what impact the change had. Did it make you stronger? Weaker? Afraid? Bold? Again, mention an example.

Conclusion: a brief reiteration your central points and general takeaway from your reflection. If you learned something different than what the course intended, mention it.

Some freelance writing services offer the option of purchasing final reflective papers. Such sites indicate that such freelance services are helpful to students who don’t know how to start, lack time, or don’t have writing skills. Many universities, however, have honor codes that strictly forbid students from buying papers and consider such a practice submission of someone else’s work and morally wrong. Research your school's policy before consulting such a service.

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