An article is about how to prepare and write reflective essay using all tactical-literary techniques.
Reflective essay always has the goal of convincing the reader (listener) of something, changing or fixing his opinion on a particular issue (if the author’s and reader’s opinions coincide.
Therefore, the basis of reasoning is one main idea, which core is clearly formulated, understandable and justified from different positions.
Writing reflective essays on a free topic
Step one. Formulate thought you want to prove clearly.
You can check the success of this step in the following way. Read the wording to several people: if they do not have questions about your position (objections on the substance of the matter – do not count), then the wording is good. Now we can proceed to writing essay.
What a reflective essay consists of?
It consists of 3 parts:
• thesis (that idea, judgment, position that you formulated and which you will prove);
• arguments (each of them should serve as a visual, accomplished, and therefore convincing proof of your thoughts);
• conclusion (it repeats the thesis, but brings it to a new level with broad generalizations, forecasts, recommendations, etc.).
An optional but desirable part of the reflective assay is a short introduction, the task of which is to engage the reader in a dialogue, to identify the essence and urgency of the problem.
Example. The theme of reflective assay is “First Love …”. It is possible to talk about the first love endlessly (as well as about other questions), therefore immediately we take the first step – we formulate the thesis.
With the thesis “The first love is the most important stage in a person’s life that will affect all future relationships and the personality itself”, the introduction can be: “For teenagers, it becomes the meaning of life, and for adults it causes an indulgent smile. However, in vain parents and acquaintances grin: according to psychologists, first love hides the source of our “adult” happiness and misfortune.”
Argumentation in reflective essay should occupy not less than 2/3 of the total volume. The optimal number of arguments for a small (school or examination) essay is three.
The best arguments are widely known historical facts (or not very well known, but which can be easily found in authoritative sources – encyclopedias, reference books, scientific works, etc.). Good evidence will be statistical data, the events under discussion. In school essays, the best argument is a literary work, but not all, but that episode, the story line, the hero’s story that confirm your idea.
To pick up the arguments correctly, mentally each time, pronounce your thesis and ask the question “Why?”
Example. Let’s take another thesis related to the theme “First love” – ”To love means to become better”. Why?
• Seeking to please another person, we are improving. Argument from literature. Loris, wishing to unravel the soul of Onegin, spends his days in his library reading books, eagerly peering at the notes left by Mark, and reflecting on what she has read. She not only understands, at last, with what person fate brought the two of them together, but she also grows spiritually and intellectually.
Argument can be some personal experience, but remember that such evidence is least convincing and it is well represented in the form of an extension to the main facts, known and authoritative.
Step two. Choose the arguments that support your idea, and arrange them in the following order: “very convincing – convincing enough – the most convincing”.
Conclusion about writing reflective essay
Conclusion deepens the thesis, contains advice, rules, and offers forecasts even if they are not explicit.
Example. The first love, no matter what age it may be, can make a man a tough, ruthless cynic, and an incorrigible romantic, and a realist who does not exclude any opportunities for himself.
The first one will be deeply unhappy: he will not be able to love, which means that he will remain alone. The second one from the absolute optimistic idea of “love forever” often turns to the same pessimism of “no love”. However, only the third one is able to find harmony. To make the number of these people bigger, adults, relatives, friends should be careful and serious about the feelings of teenagers and children.