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Louise Ammentorp is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology, received her BA in Psychology and Art History from Rutgers University. In her dissertation writing project she explored the study of linguistic meditation and children’s understanding of conflict. Follow the updates on her most recent works here.
Most students will be required to submit a reflection paper once or twice in high school or college. But what is a reflection paper? Aside from writing in general is not easy for most people, it will be more difficult if you don’t know what you need to write.
Reflection Paper: What Is It?
A reflection paper is an essay of your thoughts about something that could be a movie, book, incident, etc. To put it simply, it is a paper on what you think about something. Most teachers would require students to write about a similar subject such as a reflection essay on this movie or that event. Others would give a general topic such as the best childhood experience.
Reflection Paper: What It’s Not
To ensure that you will write the right type of essay, it is also important that you know what it is not. For instance, a reflection paper is not a piece composed of mixed thoughts of other people. No matter how well known the people you will quote, you will end up with a failing grade as this type of essay requires your own thoughts.
What Should Be in the Reflection Paper?
To understand what is a reflection paper, knowing what should be in it might also help. A reflection paper should be mostly about your personal insights. It could be your experiences and beliefs. It could also be your personal observations. It is a simple reflection paper. It is easy to write because you just have to express your thoughts and how you see things.
To make it easy for you (considering that you already have a subject), you can start by describing the big picture in the introduction. There is no rule on how you should write the introduction but it is best to give them an idea – a general statement – that prepares them for the body of your reflection paper. Be sure to include your thesis statement in the introduction. It is the statement that sums up the entire essay.
Aside from the introduction and a narration or description of the subject, a reflection paper should also have a judgment, a conclusion, etc. It is usually in the latter part of the essay. Since it is a reflection essay, it should be your own words and how you exactly perceive things. It should state your personal insight, which makes it different from other types of essay.
What is a reflection paper? To put it simply, a reflection paper or essay is something that reflects your insights, opinion, or observation. You could quote once in a while but the essay should not be entirely what other people think about the subject. Like other types of essays, it should have an introduction (thesis statement), body and conclusion (judgment and summary).