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An individual’s understanding of another author’s work may be judged through the writing of a reflective essay. Basically, these essays challenge authors to articulate their positions in a straightforward manner. In turn, such types of works do not mean that they are not academic. In particular, students write reflective essays in the first-person perspective with limited references to academic sources. Also, it implies that they do not strictly conform to the academic writing guidelines.

Definition of a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a type of academic paper. Basically, it documents individuals’ interpretation of a piece of information and the extent to which their experiences have influenced their position. For instance, the writing of reflective papers provides instructors with a means of evaluating a student’s internalization of course content. Specifically, instructors are interested in assessing the meaning of a set of principles in the context of an individual’s experience. Also, reflective essays depend on an individual’s critical thinking skills. In turn, the ability to think critically influences the quality of an opinion essay because it defines an individual’s capacity to relate theoretical principles to real-world experiences. Hence, a reflective paper is a crucial evaluation technique in academic writing.

Reflective essay

Unique Aspects

The language used in reflective essays does not necessarily adhere to the guidelines for controlling the use of language in academic writing. For example, such essays use personal pronouns because of the first-person perspective. Then, students present the content of personal reflection from the author’s point of view. In this case, authors address the audience by using personal pronouns. Also, they establish that remarks in an essay belong to them. In turn, reflective papers may use informal language. However, the use of informal language is highly constrained, for instance, slang and contractions are not permissible. Thus, writers have limited freedom in their use of language.

Comparing With Academic Essays

Reflective essays are academic papers. However, this type of work does not rely heavily on scholarly sources. Basically, such papers contain few in-text citations as compared to other academic works. In this case, the reliance on scholarly materials to develop arguments is not observable in reflective papers. Also, authors may provide citations when referring to a specific event in a text. In turn, it acts as the start point of a discussion. Then, the limited use of scholarly citations suggests that an essay provides a subjective opinion. On the other hand, academic papers develop objective arguments supported by research. Moreover, citations form an insignificant portion of reflective essays because of learning the author’s thoughts on a particular work. Hence, such an essay is not created through the mere presentation of facts but the discussion of the significance of facts in the context of the author’s experiences.

Summing Up on a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is an essential evaluation tool for both self-evaluation and peer review. Basically, scholars may use reflective essays to assess their understanding of the broader implications of a piece of writing. Also, students can subject their reflective papers to peer reviews that provide a platform for receiving positive feedback or criticism. In this case, reviewers may point out a particular weakness in the authors’ perspectives. Thus, reflective papers play a crucial role in advancing a less structured form of academic discourse. In turn, students may consider some tips on how to write essay fast or how to write essay about yourself.

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