Guide on How to Write a Reflection Paper with Free Tips and Example
A reflection paper is a very common type of paper among college students. Almost any subject you enroll in requires you to express your opinion on certain matters. In this article, we will explain how to write a reflection paper and provide examples and useful tips to make the essay writing process easier.
Reflection papers should have an academic tone yet be personal and subjective. In this paper, you should analyze and reflect upon how an experience, academic task, article, or lecture shaped your perception and thoughts on a subject.
Here is what you need to know about writing an effective critical reflection paper. Stick around until the end of our guide to get some useful writing tips from the writing team at EssayPro — a research paper writing service
What Is a Reflection Paper
A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to write your opinion on a topic, supporting it with your observations and personal experiences. As opposed to presenting your reader with the views of other academics and writers, in this essay, you get an opportunity to write your point of view—and the best part is that there is no wrong answer. It is YOUR opinion, and it is your job to express your thoughts in a manner that will be understandable and clear for all readers that will read your paper. The topic range is endless. Here are some examples: whether or not you think aliens exist, your favorite TV show, or your opinion on the outcome of WWII. You can write about pretty much anything.
There are three types of reflection paper; depending on which one you end up with, the tone you write with can be slightly different. The first type is the educational reflective paper. Here your job is to write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended—in a manner that teaches the reader about it. The second is the professional paper. Usually, it is written by people who study or work in education or psychology. For example, it can be a reflection of someone’s behavior. And the last is the personal type, which explores your thoughts and feelings about an individual subject.
However, reflection paper writing will stop eventually with one very important final paper to write - your resume. This is where you will need to reflect on your entire life leading up to that moment. To learn how to list education on resume perfectly, follow the link on our dissertation writing services .
Unlock the potential of your thoughts with EssayPro . Order a reflection paper and explore a range of other academic services tailored to your needs. Dive deep into your experiences, analyze them with expert guidance, and turn your insights into an impactful reflection paper.
Free Reflection Paper Example
Now that we went over all of the essentials about a reflection paper and how to approach it, we would like to show you some examples that will definitely help you with getting started on your paper.
Reflection Paper Format
Reflection papers typically do not follow any specific format. Since it is your opinion, professors usually let you handle them in any comfortable way. It is best to write your thoughts freely, without guideline constraints. If a personal reflection paper was assigned to you, the format of your paper might depend on the criteria set by your professor. College reflection papers (also known as reflection essays) can typically range from about 400-800 words in length.
Here’s how we can suggest you format your reflection paper:
How to Start a Reflection Paper
The first thing to do when beginning to work on a reflection essay is to read your article thoroughly while taking notes. Whether you are reflecting on, for example, an activity, book/newspaper, or academic essay, you want to highlight key ideas and concepts.
You can start writing your reflection paper by summarizing the main concept of your notes to see if your essay includes all the information needed for your readers. It is helpful to add charts, diagrams, and lists to deliver your ideas to the audience in a better fashion.
After you have finished reading your article, it’s time to brainstorm. We’ve got a simple brainstorming technique for writing reflection papers. Just answer some of the basic questions below:
- How did the article affect you?
- How does this article catch the reader’s attention (or does it all)?
- Has the article changed your mind about something? If so, explain how.
- Has the article left you with any questions?
- Were there any unaddressed critical issues that didn’t appear in the article?
- Does the article relate to anything from your past reading experiences?
- Does the article agree with any of your past reading experiences?
Here are some reflection paper topic examples for you to keep in mind before preparing to write your own:
- How my views on rap music have changed over time
- My reflection and interpretation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Why my theory about the size of the universe has changed over time
- How my observations for clinical psychological studies have developed in the last year
The result of your brainstorming should be a written outline of the contents of your future paper. Do not skip this step, as it will ensure that your essay will have a proper flow and appropriate organization.
Another good way to organize your ideas is to write them down in a 3-column chart or table.
Do you want your task look awesome?
If you would like your reflection paper to look professional, feel free to check out one of our articles on how to format MLA, APA or Chicago style
Writing a Reflection Paper Outline
Reflection paper should contain few key elements:
Your introduction should specify what you’re reflecting upon. Make sure that your thesis informs your reader about your general position, or opinion, toward your subject.
- State what you are analyzing: a passage, a lecture, an academic article, an experience, etc...)
- Briefly summarize the work.
- Write a thesis statement stating how your subject has affected you.
One way you can start your thesis is to write:
Example: “After reading/experiencing (your chosen topic), I gained the knowledge of…”
The body paragraphs should examine your ideas and experiences in context to your topic. Make sure each new body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.
Your reflection may include quotes and passages if you are writing about a book or an academic paper. They give your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback. Feel free to describe what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt.
Example: “I saw many people participating in our weight experiment. The atmosphere felt nervous yet inspiring. I was amazed by the excitement of the event.”
As with any conclusion, you should summarize what you’ve learned from the experience. Next, tell the reader how your newfound knowledge has affected your understanding of the subject in general. Finally, describe the feeling and overall lesson you had from the reading or experience.
There are a few good ways to conclude a reflection paper:
- Tie all the ideas from your body paragraphs together, and generalize the major insights you’ve experienced.
- Restate your thesis and summarize the content of your paper.
We have a separate blog post dedicated to writing a great conclusion. Be sure to check it out for an in-depth look at how to make a good final impression on your reader.
Need a hand? Get help from our writers. Edit, proofread or buy essay .
How to Write a Reflection Paper: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: create a main theme.
After you choose your topic, write a short summary about what you have learned about your experience with that topic. Then, let readers know how you feel about your case — and be honest. Chances are that your readers will likely be able to relate to your opinion or at least the way you form your perspective, which will help them better understand your reflection.
For example: After watching a TEDx episode on Wim Hof, I was able to reevaluate my preconceived notions about the negative effects of cold exposure.
Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas and Experiences You’ve Had Related to Your Topic
You can write down specific quotes, predispositions you have, things that influenced you, or anything memorable. Be personal and explain, in simple words, how you felt.
For example: • A lot of people think that even a small amount of carbohydrates will make people gain weight • A specific moment when I struggled with an excess weight where I avoided carbohydrates entirely • The consequences of my actions that gave rise to my research • The evidence and studies of nutritional science that claim carbohydrates alone are to blame for making people obese • My new experience with having a healthy diet with a well-balanced intake of nutrients • The influence of other people’s perceptions on the harm of carbohydrates, and the role their influence has had on me • New ideas I’ve created as a result of my shift in perspective
Step 3: Analyze How and Why These Ideas and Experiences Have Affected Your Interpretation of Your Theme
Pick an idea or experience you had from the last step, and analyze it further. Then, write your reasoning for agreeing or disagreeing with it.
For example, Idea: I was raised to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight.
Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of research to overcome my beliefs finally. Afterward, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key to a healthy lifestyle.
For example: Idea: I was brought up to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight. Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of my own research to finally overcome my beliefs. After, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key for having a healthy lifestyle.
Step 4: Make Connections Between Your Observations, Experiences, and Opinions
Try to connect your ideas and insights to form a cohesive picture for your theme. You can also try to recognize and break down your assumptions, which you may challenge in the future.
There are some subjects for reflection papers that are most commonly written about. They include:
- Book – Start by writing some information about the author’s biography and summarize the plot—without revealing the ending to keep your readers interested. Make sure to include the names of the characters, the main themes, and any issues mentioned in the book. Finally, express your thoughts and reflect on the book itself.
- Course – Including the course name and description is a good place to start. Then, you can write about the course flow, explain why you took this course, and tell readers what you learned from it. Since it is a reflection paper, express your opinion, supporting it with examples from the course.
- Project – The structure for a reflection paper about a project has identical guidelines to that of a course. One of the things you might want to add would be the pros and cons of the course. Also, mention some changes you might want to see, and evaluate how relevant the skills you acquired are to real life.
- Interview – First, introduce the person and briefly mention the discussion. Touch on the main points, controversies, and your opinion of that person.
Everyone has their style of writing a reflective essay – and that's the beauty of it; you have plenty of leeway with this type of paper – but there are still a few tips everyone should incorporate.
Before you start your piece, read some examples of other papers; they will likely help you better understand what they are and how to approach yours. When picking your subject, try to write about something unusual and memorable — it is more likely to capture your readers' attention. Never write the whole essay at once. Space out the time slots when you work on your reflection paper to at least a day apart. This will allow your brain to generate new thoughts and reflections.
- Short and Sweet – Most reflection papers are between 250 and 750 words. Don't go off on tangents. Only include relevant information.
- Clear and Concise – Make your paper as clear and concise as possible. Use a strong thesis statement so your essay can follow it with the same strength.
- Maintain the Right Tone – Use a professional and academic tone—even though the writing is personal.
- Cite Your Sources – Try to cite authoritative sources and experts to back up your personal opinions.
- Proofreading – Not only should you proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, but you should proofread to focus on your organization as well. Answer the question presented in the introduction.
'If only someone could write my essay !' you may think. Ask for help our professional writers in case you need it.
Do You Need a Well-Written Reflection Paper?
Then send us your assignment requirements and we'll get it done in no time.
From Monday, February 5, 2024 to April 28, 2024, the WCC's Online Resources webpage will be undergoing maintenance. During this time, some web and/or PDF resources may be temporarily unavailable. If you need urgent access to a resource, please email [email protected] with the title of the specific resource you require, and we will send you a copy. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience while we work on these improvements.
A Critical Reflection (also called a reflective essay) is a process of identifying, questioning, and assessing our deeply-held assumptions – about our knowledge, the way we perceive events and issues, our beliefs, feelings, and actions. When you reflect critically, you use course material (lectures, readings, discussions, etc.) to examine our biases, compare theories with current actions, search for causes and triggers, and identify problems at their core. Critical reflection is not a reading assignment, a summary of an activity, or an emotional outlet. Rather, the goal is to change your thinking about a subject, and thus change your behaviour.
Tip: Critical reflections are common in coursework across all disciplines, but they can take very different forms. Your instructor may ask you to develop a formal essay, produce weekly blog entries, or provide short paragraph answers to a set of questions. Read the assignment guidelines before you begin.
How to Critically Reflect
Writing a critical reflection happens in two phases.
- Analyze: In the first phase, analyze the issue and your role by asking critical questions. Use free writing as a way to develop good ideas. Don’t worry about organized paragraphs or good grammar at this stage.
- Articulate: In the second phase, use your analysis to develop a clear argument about what you learned. Organize your ideas so they are clear for your reader.
First phase: Analyze
A popular method for analyzing is the three stage model: What? So What? Now what?
In the What? stage, describe the issue, including your role, observations, and reactions. The what? stage helps you make initial observations about what you feel and think. At this point, there’s no need to look at your course notes or readings.
Use the questions below to guide your writing during this stage.
- What happened?
- What did you do?
- What did you expect?
- What was different?
- What was your reaction?
- What did you learn?
In the second So What? stage, try to understand on a deeper level why the issue is significant or relevant. Use information from your first stage, your course materials (readings, lectures, discussions) -- as well as previous experience and knowledge to help you think through the issue from a variety of perspectives.
Tip: Since you’ll be using more course resources in this step, review your readings and course notes before you begin writing.
Below are three perspectives you can consider:
- Academic perspective: How did the experience enhance your understanding of a concept/theory/skill? Did the experience confirm your understanding or challenge it? Did you identify strengths or gaps in your knowledge?
- Personal perspective: Why does the experience matter? What are the consequences? Were your previous expectations/assumptions confirmed or refuted? What surprised you and why?
- Systems perspective: What were the sources of power and who benefited/who was harmed? What changes would you suggest? How does this experience help you understand the organization or system?
In the third Now what? stage, explore how the experience will shape your future thinking and behaviour.
Use the following questions to guide your thinking and writing:
- What are you going to do as a result of your experiences?
- What will you do differently?
- How will you apply what you learned?
Second phase: Articulate
After completing the analysis stage, you probably have a lot of writing, but it is not yet organized into a coherent story. You need to build an organized and clear argument about what you learned and how you changed. To do so, develop a thesis statement , make an outline , write , and revise.
Develop a thesis statement
Develop a clear argument to help your reader understand what you learned. This argument should pull together different themes from your analysis into a main idea. You can see an example of a thesis statement in the sample reflection essay at the end of this resource.
Tip: For more help on developing thesis statements, see our Thesis statements resource
Make an outline
Once you have a clear thesis statement for your essay, build an outline. Below is a straightforward method to organize your essay.
- Background/Context of reflection
- Thesis statement
- Introduce theme A
- Writer's past position/thinking
- Moment of learning/change
- Writer's current/new position
- Introduce theme B
- Introduce theme C
- Summarize learning
- Discuss significance of learning for self and others
- Discuss future actions/behaviour
Write and revise
Time to get writing! Work from your outline and give yourself enough time for a first draft and revisions.
Even though you are writing about your personal experience and learning, your audience may still be an academic one. Consult the assignment guidelines or ask your instructor to find out whether your writing should be formal or informal.
Sample Critical Reflection
Below are sample annotated paragraphs from one student’s critical reflection for a course on society and privilege.
Background/context of reflection : I became aware of privileged positions in society only in recent years. I was lucky enough, privileged enough, to be ignorant of such phenomena, but for some, privilege is a daily lesson of how they do not fit into mainstream culture. In the past, I defined oppression as only that which is obvious and intentional. I never realized the part I played. However, during a class field study to investigate privileged positions in everyday environments, I learned otherwise. Thesis: Without meaning to, I caused harm by participating in a system where I gained from others’ subtle oppression. In one of these spaces, the local mall, everything from advertisements to food to products, to the locations of doorways, bathrooms and other public necessities, made clear my privilege as a white, heterosexual male.
Topic sentence : Peggy McIntosh describes privilege as an invisible knapsack of tools and advantages. This description crystalized for me when I shopped for a greeting card at the stationary store. There, as a white, heterosexual male, I felt comfortable and empowered to roam about the store as I pleased. I freely asked the clerk about a mother’s day card. Writer’s past position: Previously, I never considered that a store did anything but sell products. However, when I asked the sales clerk for same sex greeting cards, she paused for a few seconds and gave me a look that made me feel instantly uncomfortable. Some customers stopped to look at me. I felt a heat move over my face. I felt, for a moment, wrong for being in that store. I quickly clarified that I was only doing a report for school, implying that I was not in fact homosexual. Writer’s current position: The clerk’s demeanor changed. I was free to check, she said. It was the only time during the field study that I had felt the need to explain what I was doing to anyone. I could get out of the situation with a simple clarification. But what if I really was a member of the homosexual community? The looks and the silence taught me that I should be feared. I realized that, along with its products, the store was selling an image of normal. But my “normality” was another person’s “abnormality.” After I walked out of the store I felt guilty for having denied being homosexual.
Summary of learning: At the mall I realized how much we indirectly shame nonprivileged groups, even in seemingly welcoming spaces. That shame is supported every time I or any other privileged individual fails to question our advantage. And it leads to a different kind of shame carried by privileged individuals, too. Value for self and others: All of this, as Brown (2003) documents, is exacerbated by silence. Thus, the next step for me is to not only question privilege internally, but to publicly question covert bias and oppression. If I do, I may very well be shamed for speaking out. But my actions might just encourage other people to speak up as well.
Sample paragraphs adapted from James C. Olsen's Teaching Portfolio from Georgetown University .
Reflective essays are academic essays; what makes an essay "good" will work for a reflective essay. What is different about a reflective essay is that the essay is about you and your thinking. However, you will need evidence from your course to back up your reflections.
You should structure a reflective essay as an essay, that is write to persuade your reader of your key reflections (or argument). The diagram above, details how to stucture your reflections through the essay. To find out more see the section on essay writing .
The following example comes from business. Thanks to Dr Colleen Hayes for the three samples.
Students were asked to write a reflective essay on their learning in the course by responding to the following question:
What key thing have you learned about corporate social responsibility in the course?
Example 1: Retelling
This writing is (1) descriptive/listing of content, not reflective and (2) not properly referenced (the definition of stakeholders is directly copied from Freeman in the lecture slides.
Example 2: Relating
This writing involves relating to personal experience and has some integration of course concepts (stakeholders).
Example 3: Reflecting
More reflective (forward-looking), better citation and integration of multiple course concepts, and reflection that links with personal experience.
An anthropology marking rubric
For this assessment, students were required to write a 1500-1800 word essay building on the themes of the course to address the question "We are all pirates". Attached under reference documents is the rubric used to mark the essay (thanks to Dr Caroline Schuster). Notice that it requires both the reflection (reflect, relate and retell) as well as the poor traditional requirements of an essay (Writing and organisation, Supporting claims with scholarly sources).
- Sample rubric from Anthropology (PDF, 243.24 KB)
Use contact details to request an alternative file format.
- ANU Library Academic Skills
- +61 2 6125 2972
Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments
- Annotated Bibliography
- Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
- Group Presentations
- Dealing with Nervousness
- Using Visual Aids
- Grading Someone Else's Paper
- Types of Structured Group Activities
- Group Project Survival Skills
- Leading a Class Discussion
- Multiple Book Review Essay
- Reviewing Collected Works
- Writing a Case Analysis Paper
- Writing a Case Study
- About Informed Consent
- Writing Field Notes
- Writing a Policy Memo
- Writing a Reflective Paper
- Writing a Research Proposal
- Generative AI and Writing
Reflective writing is a process of identifying, questioning, and critically evaluating course-based learning opportunities, integrated with your own observations, experiences, impressions, beliefs, assumptions, or biases, and which describes how this process stimulated new or creative understanding about the content of the course.
A reflective paper describes and explains in an introspective, first person narrative, your reactions and feelings about either a specific element of the class [e.g., a required reading; a film shown in class] or more generally how you experienced learning throughout the course. Reflective writing assignments can be in the form of a single paper, essays, portfolios, journals, diaries, or blogs. In some cases, your professor may include a reflective writing assignment as a way to obtain student feedback that helps improve the course, either in the moment or for when the class is taught again.
How to Write a Reflection Paper . Academic Skills, Trent University; Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; Tsingos-Lucas et al. "Using Reflective Writing as a Predictor of Academic Success in Different Assessment Formats." American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 81 (2017): Article 8.
Benefits of Reflective Writing Assignments
As the term implies, a reflective paper involves looking inward at oneself in contemplating and bringing meaning to the relationship between course content and the acquisition of new knowledge . Educational research [Bolton, 2010; Ryan, 2011; Tsingos-Lucas et al., 2017] demonstrates that assigning reflective writing tasks enhances learning because it challenges students to confront their own assumptions, biases, and belief systems around what is being taught in class and, in so doing, stimulate student’s decisions, actions, attitudes, and understanding about themselves as learners and in relation to having mastery over their learning. Reflection assignments are also an opportunity to write in a first person narrative about elements of the course, such as the required readings, separate from the exegetic and analytical prose of academic research papers.
Reflection writing often serves multiple purposes simultaneously. In no particular order, here are some of reasons why professors assign reflection papers:
- Enhances learning from previous knowledge and experience in order to improve future decision-making and reasoning in practice . Reflective writing in the applied social sciences enhances decision-making skills and academic performance in ways that can inform professional practice. The act of reflective writing creates self-awareness and understanding of others. This is particularly important in clinical and service-oriented professional settings.
- Allows students to make sense of classroom content and overall learning experiences in relation to oneself, others, and the conditions that shaped the content and classroom experiences . Reflective writing places you within the course content in ways that can deepen your understanding of the material. Because reflective thinking can help reveal hidden biases, it can help you critically interrogate moments when you do not like or agree with discussions, readings, or other aspects of the course.
- Increases awareness of one’s cognitive abilities and the evidence for these attributes . Reflective writing can break down personal doubts about yourself as a learner and highlight specific abilities that may have been hidden or suppressed due to prior assumptions about the strength of your academic abilities [e.g., reading comprehension; problem-solving skills]. Reflective writing, therefore, can have a positive affective [i.e., emotional] impact on your sense of self-worth.
- Applying theoretical knowledge and frameworks to real experiences . Reflective writing can help build a bridge of relevancy between theoretical knowledge and the real world. In so doing, this form of writing can lead to a better understanding of underlying theories and their analytical properties applied to professional practice.
- Reveals shortcomings that the reader will identify . Evidence suggests that reflective writing can uncover your own shortcomings as a learner, thereby, creating opportunities to anticipate the responses of your professor may have about the quality of your coursework. This can be particularly productive if the reflective paper is written before final submission of an assignment.
- Helps students identify their tacit [a.k.a., implicit] knowledge and possible gaps in that knowledge . Tacit knowledge refers to ways of knowing rooted in lived experience, insight, and intuition rather than formal, codified, categorical, or explicit knowledge. In so doing, reflective writing can stimulate students to question their beliefs about a research problem or an element of the course content beyond positivist modes of understanding and representation.
- Encourages students to actively monitor their learning processes over a period of time . On-going reflective writing in journals or blogs, for example, can help you maintain or adapt learning strategies in other contexts. The regular, purposeful act of reflection can facilitate continuous deep thinking about the course content as it evolves and changes throughout the term. This, in turn, can increase your overall confidence as a learner.
- Relates a student’s personal experience to a wider perspective . Reflection papers can help you see the big picture associated with the content of a course by forcing you to think about the connections between scholarly content and your lived experiences outside of school. It can provide a macro-level understanding of one’s own experiences in relation to the specifics of what is being taught.
- If reflective writing is shared, students can exchange stories about their learning experiences, thereby, creating an opportunity to reevaluate their original assumptions or perspectives . In most cases, reflective writing is only viewed by your professor in order to ensure candid feedback from students. However, occasionally, reflective writing is shared and openly discussed in class. During these discussions, new or different perspectives and alternative approaches to solving problems can be generated that would otherwise be hidden. Sharing student's reflections can also reveal collective patterns of thought and emotions about a particular element of the course.
Bolton, Gillie. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development . London: Sage, 2010; Chang, Bo. "Reflection in Learning." Online Learning 23 (2019), 95-110; Cavilla, Derek. "The Effects of Student Reflection on Academic Performance and Motivation." Sage Open 7 (July-September 2017): 1–13; Culbert, Patrick. “Better Teaching? You Can Write On It “ Liberal Education (February 2022); McCabe, Gavin and Tobias Thejll-Madsen. The Reflection Toolkit . University of Edinburgh; The Purpose of Reflection . Introductory Composition at Purdue University; Practice-based and Reflective Learning . Study Advice Study Guides, University of Reading; Ryan, Mary. "Improving Reflective Writing in Higher Education: A Social Semiotic Perspective." Teaching in Higher Education 16 (2011): 99-111; Tsingos-Lucas et al. "Using Reflective Writing as a Predictor of Academic Success in Different Assessment Formats." American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 81 (2017): Article 8; What Benefits Might Reflective Writing Have for My Students? Writing Across the Curriculum Clearinghouse; Rykkje, Linda. "The Tacit Care Knowledge in Reflective Writing: A Practical Wisdom." International Practice Development Journal 7 (September 2017): Article 5; Using Reflective Writing to Deepen Student Learning . Center for Writing, University of Minnesota.
How to Approach Writing a Reflection Paper
Thinking About Reflective Thinking
Educational theorists have developed numerous models of reflective thinking that your professor may use to frame a reflective writing assignment. These models can help you systematically interpret your learning experiences, thereby ensuring that you ask the right questions and have a clear understanding of what should be covered. A model can also represent the overall structure of a reflective paper. Each model establishes a different approach to reflection and will require you to think about your writing differently. If you are unclear how to fit your writing within a particular reflective model, seek clarification from your professor. There are generally two types of reflective writing assignments, each approached in slightly different ways.
1. Reflective Thinking about Course Readings
This type of reflective writing focuses on thoughtfully thinking about the course readings that underpin how most students acquire new knowledge and understanding about the subject of a course. Reflecting on course readings is often assigned in freshmen-level, interdisciplinary courses where the required readings examine topics viewed from multiple perspectives and, as such, provide different ways of analyzing a topic, issue, event, or phenomenon. The purpose of reflective thinking about course readings in the social and behavioral sciences is to elicit your opinions, beliefs, and feelings about the research and its significance. This type of writing can provide an opportunity to break down key assumptions you may have and, in so doing, reveal potential biases in how you interpret the scholarship.
If you are assigned to reflect on course readings, consider the following methods of analysis as prompts that can help you get started :
- Examine carefully the main introductory elements of the reading, including the purpose of the study, the theoretical framework being used to test assumptions, and the research questions being addressed. Think about what ideas stood out to you. Why did they? Were these ideas new to you or familiar in some way based on your own lived experiences or prior knowledge?
- Develop your ideas around the readings by asking yourself, what do I know about this topic? Where does my existing knowledge about this topic come from? What are the observations or experiences in my life that influence my understanding of the topic? Do I agree or disagree with the main arguments, recommended course of actions, or conclusions made by the author(s)? Why do I feel this way and what is the basis of these feelings?
- Make connections between the text and your own beliefs, opinions, or feelings by considering questions like, how do the readings reinforce my existing ideas or assumptions? How the readings challenge these ideas or assumptions? How does this text help me to better understand this topic or research in ways that motivate me to learn more about this area of study?
2. Reflective Thinking about Course Experiences
This type of reflective writing asks you to critically reflect on locating yourself at the conceptual intersection of theory and practice. The purpose of experiential reflection is to evaluate theories or disciplinary-based analytical models based on your introspective assessment of the relationship between hypothetical thinking and practical reality; it offers a way to consider how your own knowledge and skills fit within professional practice. This type of writing also provides an opportunity to evaluate your decisions and actions, as well as how you managed your subsequent successes and failures, within a specific theoretical framework. As a result, abstract concepts can crystallize and become more relevant to you when considered within your own experiences. This can help you formulate plans for self-improvement as you learn.
If you are assigned to reflect on your experiences, consider the following questions as prompts to help you get started :
- Contextualize your reflection in relation to the overarching purpose of the course by asking yourself, what did you hope to learn from this course? What were the learning objectives for the course and how did I fit within each of them? How did these goals relate to the main themes or concepts of the course?
- Analyze how you experienced the course by asking yourself, what did I learn from this experience? What did I learn about myself? About working in this area of research and study? About how the course relates to my place in society? What assumptions about the course were supported or refuted?
- Think introspectively about the ways you experienced learning during the course by asking yourself, did your learning experiences align with the goals or concepts of the course? Why or why do you not feel this way? What was successful and why do you believe this? What would you do differently and why is this important? How will you prepare for a future experience in this area of study?
NOTE: If you are assigned to write a journal or other type of on-going reflection exercise, a helpful approach is to reflect on your reflections by re-reading what you have already written. In other words, review your previous entries as a way to contextualize your feelings, opinions, or beliefs regarding your overall learning experiences. Over time, this can also help reveal hidden patterns or themes related to how you processed your learning experiences. Consider concluding your reflective journal with a summary of how you felt about your learning experiences at critical junctures throughout the course, then use these to write about how you grew as a student learner and how the act of reflecting helped you gain new understanding about the subject of the course and its content.
ANOTHER NOTE: Regardless of whether you write a reflection paper or a journal, do not focus your writing on the past. The act of reflection is intended to think introspectively about previous learning experiences. However, reflective thinking should document the ways in which you progressed in obtaining new insights and understandings about your growth as a learner that can be carried forward in subsequent coursework or in future professional practice. Your writing should reflect a furtherance of increasing personal autonomy and confidence gained from understanding more about yourself as a learner.
Structure and Writing Style
There are no strict academic rules for writing a reflective paper. Reflective writing may be assigned in any class taught in the social and behavioral sciences and, therefore, requirements for the assignment can vary depending on disciplinary-based models of inquiry and learning. The organization of content can also depend on what your professor wants you to write about or based on the type of reflective model used to frame the writing assignment. Despite these possible variations, below is a basic approach to organizing and writing a good reflective paper, followed by a list of problems to avoid.
In most cases, it's helpful to begin by thinking about your learning experiences and outline what you want to focus on before you begin to write the paper. This can help you organize your thoughts around what was most important to you and what experiences [good or bad] had the most impact on your learning. As described by the University of Waterloo Writing and Communication Centre, preparing to write a reflective paper involves a process of self-analysis that can help organize your thoughts around significant moments of in-class knowledge discovery.
- Using a thesis statement as a guide, note what experiences or course content stood out to you , then place these within the context of your observations, reactions, feelings, and opinions. This will help you develop a rough outline of key moments during the course that reflect your growth as a learner. To identify these moments, pose these questions to yourself: What happened? What was my reaction? What were my expectations and how were they different from what transpired? What did I learn?
- Critically think about your learning experiences and the course content . This will help you develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding about why these moments were significant or relevant to you. Use the ideas you formulated during the first stage of reflecting to help you think through these moments from both an academic and personal perspective. From an academic perspective, contemplate how the experience enhanced your understanding of a concept, theory, or skill. Ask yourself, did the experience confirm my previous understanding or challenge it in some way. As a result, did this highlight strengths or gaps in your current knowledge? From a personal perspective, think introspectively about why these experiences mattered, if previous expectations or assumptions were confirmed or refuted, and if this surprised, confused, or unnerved you in some way.
- Analyze how these experiences and your reactions to them will shape your future thinking and behavior . Reflection implies looking back, but the most important act of reflective writing is considering how beliefs, assumptions, opinions, and feelings were transformed in ways that better prepare you as a learner in the future. Note how this reflective analysis can lead to actions you will take as a result of your experiences, what you will do differently, and how you will apply what you learned in other courses or in professional practice.
Basic Structure and Writing Style
Reflective Background and Context
The first part of your reflection paper should briefly provide background and context in relation to the content or experiences that stood out to you. Highlight the settings, summarize the key readings, or narrate the experiences in relation to the course objectives. Provide background that sets the stage for your reflection. You do not need to go into great detail, but you should provide enough information for the reader to understand what sources of learning you are writing about [e.g., course readings, field experience, guest lecture, class discussions] and why they were important. This section should end with an explanatory thesis statement that expresses the central ideas of your paper and what you want the readers to know, believe, or understand after they finish reading your paper.
Drawing from your reflective analysis, this is where you can be personal, critical, and creative in expressing how you felt about the course content and learning experiences and how they influenced or altered your feelings, beliefs, assumptions, or biases about the subject of the course. This section is also where you explore the meaning of these experiences in the context of the course and how you gained an awareness of the connections between these moments and your own prior knowledge.
Guided by your thesis statement, a helpful approach is to interpret your learning throughout the course with a series of specific examples drawn from the course content and your learning experiences. These examples should be arranged in sequential order that illustrate your growth as a learner. Reflecting on each example can be done by: 1) introducing a theme or moment that was meaningful to you, 2) describing your previous position about the learning moment and what you thought about it, 3) explaining how your perspective was challenged and/or changed and why, and 4) introspectively stating your current or new feelings, opinions, or beliefs about that experience in class.
It is important to include specific examples drawn from the course and placed within the context of your assumptions, thoughts, opinions, and feelings. A reflective narrative without specific examples does not provide an effective way for the reader to understand the relationship between the course content and how you grew as a learner.
The conclusion of your reflective paper should provide a summary of your thoughts, feelings, or opinions regarding what you learned about yourself as a result of taking the course. Here are several ways you can frame your conclusions based on the examples you interpreted and reflected on what they meant to you. Each example would need to be tied to the basic theme [thesis statement] of your reflective background section.
- Your reflective conclusions can be described in relation to any expectations you had before taking the class [e.g., “I expected the readings to not be relevant to my own experiences growing up in a rural community, but the research actually helped me see that the challenges of developing my identity as a child of immigrants was not that unusual...”].
- Your reflective conclusions can explain how what you learned about yourself will change your actions in the future [e.g., “During a discussion in class about the challenges of helping homeless people, I realized that many of these people hate living on the street but lack the ability to see a way out. This made me realize that I wanted to take more classes in psychology...”].
- Your reflective conclusions can describe major insights you experienced a critical junctures during the course and how these moments enhanced how you see yourself as a student learner [e.g., "The guest speaker from the Head Start program made me realize why I wanted to pursue a career in elementary education..."].
- Your reflective conclusions can reconfigure or reframe how you will approach professional practice and your understanding of your future career aspirations [e.g.,, "The course changed my perceptions about seeking a career in business finance because it made me realize I want to be more engaged in customer service..."]
- Your reflective conclusions can explore any learning you derived from the act of reflecting itself [e.g., “Reflecting on the course readings that described how minority students perceive campus activities helped me identify my own biases about the benefits of those activities in acclimating to campus life...”].
NOTE: The length of a reflective paper in the social sciences is usually less than a traditional research paper. However, don’t assume that writing a reflective paper is easier than writing a research paper. A well-conceived critical reflection paper often requires as much time and effort as a research paper because you must purposeful engage in thinking about your learning in ways that you may not be comfortable with or used to. This is particular true while preparing to write because reflective papers are not as structured as a traditional research paper and, therefore, you have to think deliberately about how you want to organize the paper and what elements of the course you want to reflect upon.
ANOTHER NOTE: Do not limit yourself to using only text in reflecting on your learning. If you believe it would be helpful, consider using creative modes of thought or expression such as, illustrations, photographs, or material objects that reflects an experience related to the subject of the course that was important to you [e.g., like a ticket stub to a renowned speaker on campus]. Whatever non-textual element you include, be sure to describe the object's relevance to your personal relationship to the course content.
Problems to Avoid
A reflective paper is not a “mind dump” . Reflective papers document your personal and emotional experiences and, therefore, they do not conform to rigid structures, or schema, to organize information. However, the paper should not be a disjointed, stream-of-consciousness narrative. Reflective papers are still academic pieces of writing that require organized thought, that use academic language and tone , and that apply intellectually-driven critical thinking to the course content and your learning experiences and their significance.
A reflective paper is not a research paper . If you are asked to reflect on a course reading, the reflection will obviously include some description of the research. However, the goal of reflective writing is not to present extraneous ideas to the reader or to "educate" them about the course. The goal is to share a story about your relationship with the learning objectives of the course. Therefore, unlike research papers, you are expected to write from a first person point of view which includes an introspective examination of your own opinions, feelings, and personal assumptions.
A reflection paper is not a book review . Descriptions of the course readings using your own words is not a reflective paper. Reflective writing should focus on how you understood the implications of and were challenged by the course in relation to your own lived experiences or personal assumptions, combined with explanations of how you grew as a student learner based on this internal dialogue. Remember that you are the central object of the paper, not the research materials.
A reflective paper is not an all-inclusive meditation. Do not try to cover everything. The scope of your paper should be well-defined and limited to your specific opinions, feelings, and beliefs about what you determine to be the most significant content of the course and in relation to the learning that took place. Reflections should be detailed enough to covey what you think is important, but your thoughts should be expressed concisely and coherently [as is true for any academic writing assignment].
Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; Critical Reflection: Journals, Opinions, & Reactions . University Writing Center, Texas A&M University; Connor-Greene, Patricia A. “Making Connections: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Journal Writing in Enhancing Student Learning.” Teaching of Psychology 27 (2000): 44-46; Good vs. Bad Reflection Papers , Franklin University; Dyment, Janet E. and Timothy S. O’Connell. "The Quality of Reflection in Student Journals: A Review of Limiting and Enabling Factors." Innovative Higher Education 35 (2010): 233-244: How to Write a Reflection Paper . Academic Skills, Trent University; Amelia TaraJane House. Reflection Paper . Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence, University of Arkansas; Ramlal, Alana, and Désirée S. Augustin. “Engaging Students in Reflective Writing: An Action Research Project.” Educational Action Research 28 (2020): 518-533; Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; McGuire, Lisa, Kathy Lay, and Jon Peters. “Pedagogy of Reflective Writing in Professional Education.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2009): 93-107; Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; How Do I Write Reflectively? Academic Skills Toolkit, University of New South Wales Sydney; Reflective Writing . Skills@Library. University of Leeds; Walling, Anne, Johanna Shapiro, and Terry Ast. “What Makes a Good Reflective Paper?” Family Medicine 45 (2013): 7-12; Williams, Kate, Mary Woolliams, and Jane Spiro. Reflective Writing . 2nd edition. London: Red Globe Press, 2020; Yeh, Hui-Chin, Shih-hsien Yang, Jo Shan Fu, and Yen-Chen Shih. “Developing College Students’ Critical Thinking through Reflective Writing.” Higher Education Research and Development (2022): 1-16.
Focus on Reflecting, Not on Describing
Minimal time and effort should be spent describing the course content you are asked to reflect upon. The purpose of a reflection assignment is to introspectively contemplate your reactions to and feeling about an element of the course. D eflecting the focus away from your own feelings by concentrating on describing the course content can happen particularly if "talking about yourself" [i.e., reflecting] makes you uncomfortable or it is intimidating. However, the intent of reflective writing is to overcome these inhibitions so as to maximize the benefits of introspectively assessing your learning experiences. Keep in mind that, if it is relevant, your feelings of discomfort could be a part of how you critically reflect on any challenges you had during the course [e.g., you realize this discomfort inhibited your willingness to ask questions during class, it fed into your propensity to procrastinate, or it made it difficult participating in groups].
Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; Reflection Paper . Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence, University of Arkansas.
Another Writing Tip
Helpful Videos about Reflective Writing
These two short videos succinctly describe how to approach a reflective writing assignment. They are produced by the Academic Skills department at the University of Melbourne and the Skills Team of the University of Hull, respectively.
- << Previous: Writing a Policy Memo
- Next: Writing a Research Proposal >>
- Last Updated: Feb 8, 2024 10:20 AM
- URL: https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/assignments
How to Write a Reflection Paper: Example & Tips
Want to know how to write a reflection paper for college or school? To do that, you need to connect your personal experiences with theoretical knowledge. Usually, students are asked to reflect on a documentary, a text, or their experience. Sometimes one needs to write a paper about a lesson or a movie.
Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!
This assignment tests your critical thinking rather than your summarizing skills.
Struggling with a reflection paper? This article by our custom-writing experts will help you ace this task. Here you’ll find:
- A guide on how to write a reflection paper;
- Outlining and formatting tips;
- Reflection paper example & a template.
🤔 What Is a Reflection Paper?
- ✅ Reflection Paper Types
- ✍️ Step-by-Step Guide
- 📃 Examples & Formatting Tips
A reflection essay is a type of academic assignment in which you connect theories learned in class with your personal experience and knowledge. Additionally, you analyze your feelings and attitudes towards the subject. It helps you understand how to put theory into practice.
For this assignment, the ability to use reflective thinking is vital. What does it mean? It means that you should be able to look back at and analyze:
- what you did;
- how and why you did it;
- how it made you feel ;
- what you could have done differently .
Consequently, your reflection essay should include the following components:
Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour
So, let’s make clear what a reflection paper is and what it’s not. Have a look at this comparison:
When it comes to topics, a reflexive paper may be about many things, such as:
- an analysis of your work;
- your impressions from attending a class or a speech;
- an experience that has influenced your worldview;
- a solution to a problem;
- the steps to improve your academic progress.
Once you have a topic idea, the next step is to prepare for writing.
✅ How to Write a Reflection Paper: Tips for Various Types
Before your start working on your essay, let’s find out what exactly you should deal with. There are several different types of reflexive essays. Make sure to choose the one that suits you best.
We have prepared three classifications, depending on when, how, and what you will reflect.
Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions. Cut 20% off your first order!
Depending on time, reflection papers can be:
- Reflection-in-action. You study your actions under certain circumstances. Usually, it’s a patient-therapist interaction. In this case, you observe, feel, and analyze the situation you are engaged in.
- Reflection-on-action. You study your actions after the situation has already occurred. It’s crucial to use your critical thinking here as well.
Depending on the manner, reflexive essays can be:
- Experimental. You make connections between theory and practice by conducting an experiment. It’s suitable for sociology, education, business, psychology, forensics, and nursing.
- Reading. You connect the ideas from the texts and your interpretations to show your comprehension.
Depending on the content, reflective writing can be:
- a journal (to reflect on your learning in the course)
- a learning diary (to evaluate group work)
- a logbook (to reflect on your experiments, analyze past actions, and plan future ones)
- a reflective note (to express your attitudes towards an issue)
- an essay diary (to write an annotated bibliography, to analyze and critique the sources)
- a peer review (to present your feedback on other students’ work or teamwork)
- a self-reflection essay (to examine and comment on your working process).
Personal Reflection Paper: Writing Tips
In a personal reflection paper, you need to present your attitudes, emotions, feelings, and experiences. How do you do it?
Here is the answer:
Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!
- Think about an experience that evokes particular emotions.
- Describe what happened: mention the participants and their actions.
- Demonstrate your emotions and feelings. It’s important to show them rather than just tell. The trick is to make the reader feel the same. You can do it by using imagery and various descriptive techniques.
- Analyze your experiences and make connections with your present-day life. You can relate them to your study material or relevant theories and concepts.
- Conclude with your plans. Tell the readers how you’re going to implement this knowledge.
These reflective writing examples should give you an idea of what your writing should be like and what to avoid. First, let’s have a look at a poor example :
I wanted to become a painter. I liked to paint very much. Once I saw a painting of Claude Monet and decided to become like him. I bought paints and a canvas. My first work was not very good, but I didn’t give up. My future pictures were much better.
As you can see, it’s not very informative. There’s no analysis of an experience, and connections are not made. It also lacks interesting descriptions.
Now, check out this good example :
Critical Reflection Paper: Writing Tips
In a critical reflection essay, you assess how theories can be applied in practice, examine causes and consequences, and find solutions to problems. It’s all about evaluating and changing your attitude towards an issue rather than summarizing events and details.
The critical reflection process consists of two stages:
- Analysis . Ask critical questions to find the core of the issue and your role in it.
- Articulation . Organize your ideas into a structured essay.
How exactly can you make an analysis?
Have a look at the following three-stage model. All you should do is answer the following questions:
- What? During the first stage, you describe the details of the issue.
- So what? The second stage requires you to relate your theoretical knowledge to the situation you discuss. The way you do it depends on the questions you are going to ask yourself while writing. There are three major perspectives to choose from:
- Now what? At this stage, you think about the future outcomes. Ponder on how this situation will shape your further experiences.
As soon as the analysis stage is over, you’re ready to relate your thoughts and ideas in written form.
How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book
Now, let’s see what strategies can help you write an excellent reflective essay on a book. First of all, remember that this assignment is not about summarizing the plot. It’s about analyzing and connecting the ideas presented in the text with your knowledge.
To write a perfect reflective paper on a book, take the following steps:
- Analyze the text. Explore the ideas, purpose, and theoretical framework of the book. State its main point clearly and concisely. Then, discuss the information that interested you the most. Mention what emotions it evoked, and say whether the ideas in the book are new to you.
- Expand on your ideas. Describe how this information shapes your understanding of the subject. Also, state whether you agree with the author’s arguments.
- Establish connections. Show how the book helped to broaden your knowledge. Mention whether it had challenged your assumptions.
The following sample will help you see how you can structure your ideas:
How to Write a Reflection Paper on an Article
Usually, a reflection paper on an article is concerned with critiquing a written text or a speech. These strategies will help you write it:
- Focus on your attitudes and feelings towards the article. You may mention your expectations and whether they were met.
I believed this book would help me understand the difference between traditional and radical forgiveness. I thought these two types had a lot in common. However, it turned out they are entirely different.
- Refer to the passages that interested you the most: quote directly, paraphrase , or summarize them.
- Include your subjective opinion: it’s important not to overdo it.
- Combine formal and informal vocabulary to make your writing more expressive.
✍️ How to Write a Reflection Paper: Step-by-Step Guide
Want to know what exactly you should do to get an excellent reflexive essay? Read the following tips. They will help you write any type of reflection essay .
Reflection Paper Writing: Before You Start
Let’s start with some pre-writing strategies. Here are the main steps:
Step 1: Brainstorm ideas . Identify your central theme and write a summary of essential points.
Main theme: Psychological reasons for eating a lot of sweets
- Usually, I eat sweets when I’m sad or upset.
- I have read that people who lack love and positive emotions and feelings try to substitute it with food.
- Watching a documentary has evoked my interest in this topic.
- My attitude towards sweets has changed after research.
Step 2: Analyze your ideas. Then, connect your experiences with theoretical knowledge.
The following list of questions will help you navigate your response.
Step 3: Organize your reflection essay . This list will make it clear what the writer does and doesn’t do in a reflective essay. Keep it in mind while planning what to include in your paper.
Here’s a bonus tip: to structure your reflection process, use the 4Rs model :
- Report on the topic and its relation to the course.
- Relate it with your personal experiences.
- Reason out connections between your practical and theoretical knowledge.
- Reconstruct the initial idea to make a conclusion.
Reflection Paper Template: What to Include
Now, let’s have a look at your essay’s structure. Your paper should consist of an introduction, main body, and conclusion:
Want to know how to write each part? Keep reading!
Reflection Paper Outline: How to Start
The introductory part of your essay should be catchy, informative, and well-organized. How can you do it? Follow these strategies:
- It should be specific: try not to include general and well-known information.
- Make this sentence catchy. This will get your readers interested in the rest of your paper.
- major facts or details related to the situation or issue;
- general themes covered in the text, interview, or video under analysis;
- aspects of teamwork or an individual assignment;
- your biases, expectations, and possible challenges.
- cover observations or conclusions made by you;
- reveal a clear position on an issue;
- include a plan on how to defend your opinions throughout the paper.
Don’t forget to reread your introduction each time before writing a new body paragraph. Make sure that all of them match the ideas covered in your introductory part and thesis statement.
Reflection Paper Outline: Body Paragraphs
So, what’s the next part? After you’ve presented your ideas in the introduction, you expand on them in the body paragraphs. The main point here is to cover one idea per paragraph and provide necessary supporting evidence. That’s why it is better to have no more than 3 body paragraphs.
Here’s what to include in this essay part:
Reflection Paper Outline: Conclusion
Finally, any academic paper needs a conclusion. Don’t know how to write it? Check out the following helpful tips:
📃 Reflection Paper Examples & Formatting Tips
The moment when you stop writing your essay is really amazing. But then comes the final part: you need to format your paper appropriately. Don’t know how to do it? Look no further: we have prepared some formatting tips for you.
You only need to know which citation style to use. APA and MLA are the most popular citation styles. That’s why we have gathered the most helpful information on them. Check it out!
APA Reflection Paper Formatting
American Psychological Association (APA) format is mostly used in sciences, psychology, and education. Consider the following tips if you need to write an APA reflection essay.
Below you’ll find a downloadable reflection paper example in APA format.
Reflection Papers Format: MLA
Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting is widespread in the humanities. Do you need to write an MLA reflexive essay? Have a look at some essential formatting tips about this citation style below.
If you want to know more about MLA formatting, check out this free reflection essay sample. You can download the full version below.
Reflection Paper Example
The COVID-19 pandemic raised the need for educational means that will not potentially endanger the students’ health. As a result, the need for online classes sharply rose worldwide. However, it is difficult to conclude whether such practices have been successful so far, especially in regions that are considered least developed. According to my personal observations, online classes may represent a negative educational experience that will hinder its primary role as the means of passing on the knowledge.
Make sure to check out these reflection paper samples to get more ideas for your essay.
- Personal Philosophy of Nursing Reflection Paper
- Application of Research in Social Sciences Reflection Paper
- Ibsen’s A Doll’s House: Reflection Paper
- Reflections on Aging
- Reflection on the Book of Psalms
- Epidemiology Course Topics Reflection
- Personal Nursing Practice Reflection
- Relational Practice: Reflections on Family Nursing
- Reflection on “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein
- Martin Luther King Speech Reflection
Reflection Paper Topics
- Personal response to Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
- Reflection on importance of leadership in healthcare .
- Globalization of Missions by Kgatle: personal reflections.
- Personal reflection on social work policy and its values.
- Racism as an example of social injustice : reflection paper.
- Reflection on the immigration policy based on Paul Vitello’s article Kiss me, I’m Illegal .
- Personal response to William Shakespeare ’s quotation, “For there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so.”
- Reflection and evaluation of Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper .
- Importance of realization the policy of diversity: reflection paper.
- Analyze your personal response to the sports industry cowboysization.
- What, in your opinion, is leadership and professionalism?
- Reflect on the significance of the International Women’s Day celebration.
- Analyze the survey on nursing ethics and give your evaluation of its results.
- Personal reflection on French Revolution and value of liberty.
- Values and beliefs of nursing as a multifaceted healthcare area: personal evaluation.
- Brief analysis and personal evaluation of Christianity framework .
- Reflection on your personal nursing philosophy and beliefs.
- How does media affect friendship ?
- Reflections on the portrayal of family in Homer’s Odyssey .
- Personal evaluation of Gary Smalley’s Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships .
- Reflect on the historical and literary significance of Chronicles of the Indies .
- What does the leadership skills mean: reflection paper.
- Reflection on John Hume’s Nobel Prize speech and lecture about reaching agreement.
- Personal response to Soderbergh’s film Contagion .
- Reflect on visiting the website Virtual American Revolution, Boston and its role in teaching history.
- Describe your impressions of The Love Suicides at Amijima by Chikamatsu Monzameon.
- Reflect on the meaning of art using the installation My Bed by Emin as an example.
- Analyze your thoughts and feelings evoked by Epic of Gilgamesh .
- Is photography a true art?
- Does the idea presented in a series of stories The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien correlate with your personal beliefs?
- Bachelor of Science in social work : reflection paper.
- Discuss the problems reflected in the documentary Autism: Insight From Inside .
- Present your reflections on the single-parent families .
- How do you understand ethics ?
- Consider the crucial points of Cheleyem : An Experimental of Mapuche Film Program.
- The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic : personal reflections.
- Present personal evaluation of the film Mi Familia directed by Gregory Nava.
- Bill of Rights : reflective essay.
- Describe the impression of the film Rampant: How a City Stopped a Plague by Victoria Midwinter-Pitt.
- Evaluate staging of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
We hope that this article on a reflection paper has made things clear for you. In a nutshell, here are the main steps:
- analyze the situation;
- reflect on your feelings and experiences;
- connect them to your theoretical knowledge.
We wish you the best of luck with your assignments. Don’t hesitate to share this article with your friends!
- How to Write a Lab Report: Format, Tips, & Example
- What Is a Master’s Thesis & How to Write It: Best Tips
- Literature Review Outline: Examples, Approaches, & Templates
- How to Write an Annotated Bibliography: Tips, Format, & Samples
- 10 Research Paper Hacks: Tips for Writing a Research Paper
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
A reflection is a combination of critical thinking and learning. It’s a way of responding to one’s experiences, issues, and acquired knowledge. There’s no right or wrong in reflection writing, as every person reacts uniquely.
It’s better to discuss the essay’s length with your instructor. However, if there are no specific instructions regarding word count, your reflective essay should contain between 300- 500 words (approximately 1-2 pages.)
To write an effective reflexive essay about a lesson, you need to:
1. describe the lesson’s contents; 2. express your ideas and feelings related to the class; 3. mention what you’ve learned and how it affected you.
To write a reflection paper on a movie, follow the template below:
1. reflect on your emotions before, during, and after watching the film; 2. analyze your observations; 3. draw connections with the information learned in class.
- Reflective Writing: UNSW Sydney
- Models of Reflection: LibGuides at La Trobe University
- Reflective Writing: Deakin University
- The Reflection Paper: University of Toronto
- Reflection Papers: Cleveland State University
- The 4Rs Model of Reflective Thinking: Queensland University of Technology
- Keys to Writing a Reflection Paper: Seattle PI
- How to Write a Reflection Paper: Trent University
- Reflection Template: University of South Florida
- Critical Reflection: University of Waterloo
- Critical Reflection: Texas A&M University
- A Short Guide to Reflective Writing: University of Birmingham
- The Structure of Reflective Writing: Monash University
- General Format: APA Style: Purdue University
- Using MLA Format: MLA Style Format
- Share to Facebook
- Share to Twitter
- Share to LinkedIn
- Share to email
Hi custom-writing.org admin, You always provide practical solutions and recommendations.
Thanks for the feedback, Julian! Much appreciated.
This information on reflective writing has been very helpful. Thank you so much. Linda Grayson Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN
Thanks for the feedback, Linda! Much appreciated.
Recommended for You
Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essays: What’s the Difference?
The difference between an argumentative and persuasive essay isn’t always clear. If you’re struggling with either style for your next assignment, don’t worry. The following will clarify everything you need to know so you can write with confidence. First, we define the primary objectives of argumentative vs. persuasive writing. We...
How to Write a Cause & Effect Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips
You don’t need to be a nerd to understand the general idea behind cause and effect essays. Let’s see! If you skip a meal, you get hungry. And if you write an essay about it, your goal is achieved! However, following multiple rules of academic writing can be a tough...
How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]
An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays. While composing an argumentative essay, the students have to...
How to Write an Exemplification Essay: Topics, Examples, & Outline
Exemplification essays, also called illustration essays, are one of the easiest papers to write. However, even the simplest tasks require experience and practice. It is a good idea to find and analyze free exemplification essay examples. You can also ask your teacher to give you some sample exemplification essays from...
How to Write about a Topic You Lack Interest in 
During their school years, students may not always have the opportunity to select a topic for their essay or research paper. Instructors tend to assign one or offer a list of ideas that might not seem engaging. Moreover, even the topic that you choose yourself can sometimes end up being...
1000-Word Essays: Writing Guide + FAQ
Do you have to write an essay for the first time? Or maybe you’ve only written essays with less than 1000 words? Someone might think that writing a 1000-word essay is a rather complicated and time-consuming assignment. Others have no idea how difficult thousand-word essays can be. Well, we have...
- Schools & departments
Guidance and information on using reflective essays.
The reflective essay is one of the most common reflective assignments and is very frequently used for both formative and especially summative assessments. Reflective essays are about presenting reflections to an audience in a systematic and formal way.
Generally, all good academic practice for assignments applies when posing reflective essays.
Typical reflective essay questions
Reflective essays tend to deal with a reflective prompt that the essay needs to address. This also often means that the essay will have to draw on a range of experiences and theories to fully and satisfactorily answer the question.
The questions/prompts should not be too vague, for example ‘reflect on your learning’, but should define an area or an aspect relevant to your learning outcomes. This is most easily ensured with thorough guidelines, highlighting elements expected in the essay.
Questions could be something like (not exhaustive):
- reflect on learning in the course with regards to [choose an aspect]
- reflect on personal development across an experience with regards to certain skills
- reflect on development towards subject benchmarks statements and the extent to which these are achieved
- reflect on the progression towards the course’s defined learning outcomes or the school’s or the University’s Graduate Attributes
- reflect on some theory relevant to the course. (Remember that for this to be a reflective essay and not an academic/critical essay, the student must use that theory to explain/inform their own experiences, and use their own experiences to criticise and put the theory into context – that is, how theory and experience inform one another.)
Typical structure and language
Reflective essays will often require theoretical literature, but this is not always essential. Reflective essays can be built around a single individual experience, but will often draw on a series of individual experiences – or one long experience, for example an internship, that is broken into individual experiences.
The typical language and structure is formal – for thorough descriptions on this, see ‘Academic reflections: tips, language and structure’ in the Reflectors’ Toolkit, which can be valuable to highlight to students.
Academic reflections: tips, language and structure (within the Reflectors’ Toolkit)
Length and assignment weight if assessed
There is no one length that a reflective essay must take. As with all written assignments, the main consideration is that the length is appropriate for evidencing learning, answering the question and meeting the criteria.
Similarly, there is no clear answer for what percentage of the overall mark is attached to the assignment. However, the choice should mirror the required workload for the reflector to complete it, how that fits into your initiative, and the amount of preparation the reflector has had.
For instance, if the student has received formative feedback on multiple pieces of work, a larger proportion of the course mark may be appropriate, compared to if the student had not had a chance to practice. It is important to keep in mind that many students will not have had many chances to practice reflective essays before university.
Back to ‘Components of reflective tasks’
Make a Writing Center Appointment:
Email Address: Password: Create an account
- Teaching Commons
- Campus Connect
- Career Center
Or Search for People / Departments
- Yale Divinity School
You are here, theologies of hope.
This article is a shortened adaptation of a two-part “For the Life of the World” podcast on the theme of hope that YDS Professor Miroslav Volf posted in summer 2020, produced by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. You can listen here to podcast Part 1 and Part 2 .
Fear, more than hope, is characteristic of our time. In the late 1960s, we were optimistic about the century’s hopes for the triumph of justice and something like universal peace, but that has given way to increasing pessimism. “No future” scenarios have become plausible to us. As I write in summer 2020, the coronavirus pandemic gives the dominant shape to our anxieties. But even before the pandemic, we feared more than we hoped. We feared and continue to fear falling behind as the gap widens between the ultra-rich and the rest who are condemned to run frantically just to stay in the same place yet often cannot prevent falling behind. We fear the collapse of the ecosystem straining under the burden of our ambitions, the revenge of nature for violence we perpetrate against it. We fear loss of cultural identities as the globe shrinks, and people, driven by war, ecological devastation, and deprivation, migrate to where they can survive and thrive.
Politically, the consequence is the rise of identity politics and nationalism, both driven largely by fear. Culturally, the consequences are dystopian movies and literature, and the popularity of pessimistic philosophies. In religious thought and imagination, too, apocalyptic moods are again in vogue. Hope seems impossible; fear feels overwhelming.
A Thing With Feathers
The Apostle Paul has penned some of the most famous lines about hope ever written: “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25). Hope is a strange thing – as Emily Dickinson declares in her famous poem , it’s a “thing with feathers” perched in our soul, ready to take us on its wings to some future good. In fact, hope is a thing that has already taken us to that good with the tune that it sings. In hope – or perhaps by hope – “we were saved,” writes Apostle Paul. In hope, a future good which isn’t yet, somehow already is. A future good we cannot see, which waits in darkness, still qualifies our entire existence. We might be suffering or experiencing “hardship … distress … persecution … famine … nakedness … peril … sword … we are being killed all day long” (Romans 8:18, 35-36), and yet we have been saved and we are saved.
Interpreting the phrase “in hope we are saved,” Martin Luther suggested in his Lectures on Romans that just as love transforms the lover into the beloved, so “hope changes the one who hopes into what is hoped for.”  Thus, a key feature of hope is that it stretches a person into the unknown, the hidden, the darkness of unknown possibility. For Paul this can happen because God is with us – God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist.
Hope vs. Optimism vs. Expectation
When I hope, I expect something in the future. I cannot hope for my 18-year-old son to know how to ride a bike, because he knows that already. But I can hope for him to do well in college, for that’s where he is headed in the fall. Without expectation for the future, there can be no hope. But we don’t hope for everything we can expect in the future. We generally don’t hope for natural occurrences, such as a new day that dawns after a dark and restful night; I know , more or less, that the next day will come. But I may hope for cool breezes to freshen up a hot summer day. We reserve the term “hope” for the expectation of things that we cannot fully control or predict with a high degree of certainty. The way we generally use the word, “hope” can be roughly defined as the expectation of good things that don’t come to us as a matter of course . That’s the distinction between hope and expectation.
The God who creates out of nothing, the God who makes the dead alive, justifies hope that is otherwise unjustifiable.
In his justly famous book Theology of Hope (1964), Jürgen Moltmann, one of the greatest theologians of the second part of the 20th century, made another important distinction, that between hope and optimism.  The source of the distinction relates to the specific way some ancient biblical writers understand hope. Optimism, if it is justified, is based on extrapolations we make about the future based upon what we can reasonably discern to be tendencies in the present. Meteorologists observe weather patterns around the globe and release their forecasts for the next day: the day will be unseasonably warm, but in the early afternoon winds will pick up and bring some relief; now you have reason to be optimistic that the afternoon will be pleasant, perhaps you even look forward to sailing your little 12-foot sloop on three-foot swells. Or, to take another scenario, you and your spouse are healthy adults of childbearing age, you have had no trouble conceiving, and the obstetrician tells you that your pregnancy is going well; you have reason to be optimistic that you will give birth to a healthy child. The present contains the seeds of the future, and if it is well with these seeds, the future that will grow will be good as well. That’s reasonable optimism.
Hope, argued Moltmann, is different. Hope is not based on accurate extrapolation about the future from the character of the present; the hoped-for future is not born out of the present. The future good that is the object of hope is a new thing, novum , that comes in part from outside the situation. Correspondingly, hope is, in Emily Dickinson’s felicitous phrase, like a bird that flies in from outside and “perches in the soul.” Optimism in dire situations reveals an inability to understand what is going on or an unwillingness to accept it and is therefore an indication of foolishness or weakness. In contrast, hope during dire situations, hope notwithstanding the circumstances, is a sign of courage and strength.
What is the use of hope not based on evidence or reason, you may wonder? Think of the alternative. What happens when we identify hope with reasonable expectation? Facing the shocking collapse of what we had expected with good reasons, we will slump into hopelessness at the time when we need hope the most! Hope helps us identify signs of hope as signs of hope rather than just anomalies in an otherwise irreparable situation, as indicators of a new dawn rather than the last flickers of a dying light. Hope also helps us to press on with determination and courage. When every course of action by which we could reach the desired future seems destined to failure, when we cannot reasonably draw a line that would connect the terror of the present with future joy, hope remains indomitable and indestructible. When we hope, we always hope against reasonable expectations. That’s why Emily Dickinson’s bird of hope “never stops” singing – in the sore storm, in the chilliest land, on the strangest sea.
Hope Needs Endurance, Endurance Needs Hope
We are most in need of hope under an affliction and menace we cannot control, yet it is in those situations that it is most difficult for us to hold onto hope and not give ourselves over to darkness as our final state. That is where patience and endurance come in. In the same letter to the Romans, in the same passage that celebrates hope and its transformative darkness, Paul writes: “If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25). “Patience” is here the translation of hypomone , which is better rendered as endurance, or perhaps “patient endurance.”
Neither patience nor endurance are popular emotions or skills. Our lives are caught in a whirlwind of accelerated changes; we have little endurance for endurance, no patience with patience. Technological advances promise to give us lives of ease; having to endure anything strikes us as a defeat. And yet, when a crisis hits, we need endurance as much as we need hope. Or, more precisely, we need genuine hope, which, to the extent that it is genuine, is marked by endurance.
When the great Apostle says in Romans 8:25 that if we hope, we wait with endurance, he implies that hope generates endurance: because we hope we can endure present suffering. That was his point in the opening statement of the section on suffering in Romans 8:18: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” The hope of future glory makes present suffering bearable. But, in Romans 5:3-5, he inverts the relation between hope and endurance. There he writes, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Now endurance helps generate hope. Putting the two texts together, Romans 8 and Romans 5, we can say: hope needs endurance and endurance needs hope; genuine endurance is marked by hope; and genuine hope is marked by endurance.
The God of Promises
More than half a century after his Theology of Hope , Jürgen Moltmann has written an essay, On Patience (2018), about two aspects of patience we find in the biblical traditions: forbearance and endurance. Writing as a 92-year-old, he begins the second paragraph of this essay on patience autobiographically:
In my youth, I learned to know “the God of hope” and loved the beginnings of a new life with new ideas. But in my old age I am learning to know “the God of patience” and stay in my place in life . 
Youth and old age, Moltmann goes on to say, are not about chronology, but about experiences in life and stances toward life. Hope and patience belong both to youth and to old age; they complement each other. He continues:
Without endurance, hope turns superficial and evaporates when it meets first resistances. In hope we start something new, but only endurance helps us persevere. Only tenacious endurance makes hope sustainable. We learn endurance only with the help of hope. On the other hand, when hope gets lost, endurance turns into passivity. Hope turns endurance into active passivity. In hope we affirm the pain that comes with endurance, and learn to tolerate it. 
Hope and endurance – neither can be truly itself without the other. And for the Apostle Paul, both our hope and our ability to endure – our enduring hope – are rooted in the character of God. Toward the end of Romans, he highlights both “the God of endurance” (or steadfastness) and “the God of hope” (Romans 15:5, 13). Those who believe in that God – the God who is the hope of Israel, the God who is the hope of Gentiles and the hope of the whole earth – are able to be steadfast and endure fear-inducing situations they cannot change and in which no good future seems to be in sight. But more than just endure. Paul, the persecuted apostle who experienced himself as “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus,” was hoping for more than just endurance from the God of hope. Toward the very end of his letter to the Christians in Rome – in the second of what looks like four endings of the letter – he writes: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). In the midst of affliction, the God of hope opens us up for the possibility of joy and comprehensive well-being.
Our salvation lies in hope, but not in hope that insists on the future good it has imagined, but in hope ready to rejoice in the kind of good that actually comes our way. The God who creates out of nothing, the God who makes dead alive – the God of the original beginning of all things and the God of new beginnings – justifies hope that is otherwise unjustifiable. When that God makes a promise, we can hope.
Miroslav Volf is Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at YDS and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. He is the author of A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (Brazos, 2011) and other books.
 Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans , edited by Hilton C. Oswald, volume 25 of Luther’s Works , edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut Lehmann (Concordia Publishing House, 1972), p. 364.
 Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of a Christian Eschatology , translated by Margaret Kohl (HarperSanFrancisco, 1991).
 Jürgen Moltmann, Über Geduld, Barmherzigkeit und Solidarität (Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2018), p. 13, my translation.
 Moltmann, pp. 13-14.
Home — Essay Samples — Life — Expectations — My Future Expectations throughout the Semester and Life
My Future: My Expectations in Life
- Categories: Expectations Life Goals
About this sample
Words: 452 |
Published: Sep 1, 2020
Words: 452 | Page: 1 | 3 min read
Cite this Essay
Let us write you an essay from scratch
- 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
- Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Get high-quality help
- Expert in: Life
+ 120 experts online
No need to pay just yet!
7 pages / 2969 words
4.5 pages / 1958 words
5 pages / 2204 words
2.5 pages / 1142 words
Remember! This is just a sample.
You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.
121 writers online
Still can’t find what you need?
Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled
Related Essays on Expectations
Gender expectation refers to a normative conception of appropriate attitudes and activities for a particular racialized and gendered group. My first experience that highlights gender expectations relates to my childhood, where I [...]
Gender, a mere noun used to define the two sexes of male and female, seems to be a simple classification based on biology. However, societal perceptions have long created a scenario in which it is believed that men and women [...]
A College is dreamland of every student’s educational life and career. It is a beautiful period and picture of learning, enjoyment, freedom and friendship. Sweet memories of college life are simply amazing. They have an [...]
Society often misjudge people because of how they look on the outside. In the story, On the Sidewalk Bleeding by Evan Hunter, shows that people presume other people’s personality by their looks. Andy, the protagonist of [...]
The Piano Handbook by Carl Humphries is a great book for amateur piano-lovers. It consists of an introduction and 18 units that are arranged from easy to hard. However, can someone learn how to play the piano by reading The [...]
In an e-commerce environment where millions of transactions take place between the providers and users, a need for the establishment of the validity of the service provided arises. A customer feedback system has been provided [...]
By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.
Where do you want us to send this sample?
Be careful. This essay is not unique
This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before
Download this Sample
Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts
Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.
Please check your inbox.
We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!
Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!
- Instructions Followed To The Letter
- Deadlines Met At Every Stage
- Unique And Plagiarism Free
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- How to conclude an essay | Interactive example
How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example
Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay . A strong conclusion aims to:
- Tie together the essay’s main points
- Show why your argument matters
- Leave the reader with a strong impression
Your conclusion should give a sense of closure and completion to your argument, but also show what new questions or possibilities it has opened up.
This conclusion is taken from our annotated essay example , which discusses the history of the Braille system. Hover over each part to see why it’s effective.
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text
Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.
Table of contents
Step 1: return to your thesis, step 2: review your main points, step 3: show why it matters, what shouldn’t go in the conclusion, more examples of essay conclusions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion.
To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument.
Don’t just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Next, remind the reader of the main points that you used to support your argument.
Avoid simply summarizing each paragraph or repeating each point in order; try to bring your points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion is your final chance to show how all the paragraphs of your essay add up to a coherent whole.
To wrap up your conclusion, zoom out to a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of your argument. For example:
- Does it contribute a new understanding of your topic?
- Does it raise new questions for future study?
- Does it lead to practical suggestions or predictions?
- Can it be applied to different contexts?
- Can it be connected to a broader debate or theme?
Whatever your essay is about, the conclusion should aim to emphasize the significance of your argument, whether that’s within your academic subject or in the wider world.
Try to end with a strong, decisive sentence, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of interest in your topic.
The easiest way to improve your conclusion is to eliminate these common mistakes.
Don’t include new evidence
Any evidence or analysis that is essential to supporting your thesis statement should appear in the main body of the essay.
The conclusion might include minor pieces of new information—for example, a sentence or two discussing broader implications, or a quotation that nicely summarizes your central point. But it shouldn’t introduce any major new sources or ideas that need further explanation to understand.
Don’t use “concluding phrases”
Avoid using obvious stock phrases to tell the reader what you’re doing:
- “In conclusion…”
- “To sum up…”
These phrases aren’t forbidden, but they can make your writing sound weak. By returning to your main argument, it will quickly become clear that you are concluding the essay—you shouldn’t have to spell it out.
Don’t undermine your argument
Avoid using apologetic phrases that sound uncertain or confused:
- “This is just one approach among many.”
- “There are good arguments on both sides of this issue.”
- “There is no clear answer to this problem.”
Even if your essay has explored different points of view, your own position should be clear. There may be many possible approaches to the topic, but you want to leave the reader convinced that yours is the best one!
Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services
Discover proofreading & editing
- Literary analysis
This conclusion is taken from an argumentative essay about the internet’s impact on education. It acknowledges the opposing arguments while taking a clear, decisive position.
The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.
This conclusion is taken from a short expository essay that explains the invention of the printing press and its effects on European society. It focuses on giving a clear, concise overview of what was covered in the essay.
The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.
This conclusion is taken from a literary analysis essay about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . It summarizes what the essay’s analysis achieved and emphasizes its originality.
By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Choosing Essay Topic
- Write a College Essay
- Write a Diversity Essay
- College Essay Format & Structure
- Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay
- Grammar Checker
- Paraphrasing Tool
- Text Summarizer
- AI Detector
- Plagiarism Checker
- Citation Generator
Your essay’s conclusion should contain:
- A rephrased version of your overall thesis
- A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
- An indication of why your argument matters
The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.
For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
McCombes, S. (2023, July 23). How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example. Scribbr. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/conclusion/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to write a thesis statement | 4 steps & examples, example of a great essay | explanations, tips & tricks, what is your plagiarism score.