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Writing, as self-expression, is a potent medium. Through the millennia, people have expressed their thoughts and recounted their actions in the forms of journals and diaries and left them for the progeny. Fiction was always there, in almost every culture, in one form or another. But its development in the last millennia and then immortalization through cinema and TV has solidified its position in the canon of literature and arts.
With all of these monumental developments happening around, essay writing has not been eclipsed yet. In all its types and forms, essay writing offers both seasoned and novice writers the liberty to explore and ponder through the inner depths of their minds to the skies.
What Is A Reflective Essay?
As the term indicates, a reflective essay is about a writer’s analysis of an incident or an accident that happened in the past. In most cases, writing a reflective essay is about something that the writer endured and learned valuable lessons from. But it could also be a tragedy or development in society that affected people’s ways of thinking and, ultimately, living.
Examples From History & Literature
We can always find many examples of reflective essays in literature and history. Most autobiographies written in the later parts of the authors’ lives provide sufficient fodder for reflection. As they recount the incidents and experiences from their youth, they enrich the writing with the lessons learned and the opportunities missed that the readers can easily relate to.
Prime examples of reflective writing can be found in the writings of world leaders and other influential persons such as Nelson Mandela, Benjamin Franklin, and many more.
A Simple Guide To Write Reflective Narrative Essay
On the outlook, the process of writing a reflective narrative essay may seem extremely simple. It is child’s play for novice writers or students in schools and colleges until their teachers assign them one.
The sheer straightforwardness lends a lot of complexities and issues to this narrative. Since it is extremely subjective, writers believe that they can go about writing anything and it will somehow make sense in the end.
In reality, a standard structure provides clarity and focus to both writers and readers. The former can chalk out a solid path with planning while the latter can understand the story better if they face a similar pattern in the organization of writing and thoughts.
Incidents & Changes Enrich Reflections & Thoughts
As individuals go through life, they experience certain events and incidents. The phases of life are often similar for a majority of people. For instance, things start from early childhood, and a bigger change comes from going to school. There, we see new people and get friends and foes who influence our thinking and worldview, in some cases for the rest of our lives.
Because of the impressionable age and formative phase of our lives, school, and college are where we make memories for a later age. After that phase comes to the practicality and often harsh realities of life. People get heartbroken because they face challenges in hurdles in achieving their dreams. Many abandon the pursuit of excellence and settle for mediocrity.
Then, after going through the good, the bad, and the ugly things in life, we reflect!
- We find the necessity to remember who we were in our earlier life and what happened to us
- We remember the people who influenced our life trajectory, for better or for worse
- After recounting the incidents and experiences, we reflect on what happened and what we learned from those experiences
Similar to the purpose of writing a narrative essay, the rationale behind composing a riveting reflective narrative essay is to tell the readers who the writer is, the circumstances he went through, and what he learned from those.
Riveting Examples of Reflective Narrative Essay
A reflective narrative essay follows the same structure as that of a narrative essay or a descriptive essay. It has a clear beginning, called an introduction or opening where a writer sets the stage and foreshadows events through a thesis statement. Then comes an all-explaining body where all the other elements of the essay come into play. In the end, the conclusion summarizes the whole discourse with takeaways.
The introduction or opening of a reflective narrative essay should be punchy and thought-provoking. Many writers start with a bold statement or a question for readers. Later in the body and conclusion, they answer that question that also aligns with the title and thesis statement of the essay.
Reflection essays are written to reflect on personal incidents and events that people face in their pasts. The purpose of this practice is to understand the causes and effects of the changes and incidents and draw valuable lessons from them.
Yes, this is the preferred method by writers to write a reflective essay because it shows a sense of ownership. Also, it helps readers better understand and see the things from writer’s point of view.
The three basic parts or elements of a reflection paper are as follows:
- Introduction to a reflective essay
- The main body explains all the elements
- Conclusion to tie all the loose ends together
In these sections, writers balance out the theme, setting, conflict, and characters for the added effect.
There is no set word count for a reflective narrative form writing. In most schools and colleges, the word count is around 300 to 400 words, but it can vary based on the topic and writing style. Since the composition of the essay is about what happened and what the writer learned from that incident or accident, it should have both subjective and objective elements.