Getting Well-Written Reflective Essay Examples

A reflective essay requires the author to examine him or herself. Usually one personal subject or event is discussed and then reflection is made on how that subject or event affected the person. And a direction of how the author will proceed in his or her life after this event is usually stated in the conclusion.

Dos and Don’ts

Students are some times wary of exposing themselves, especially the young people in the preteen years. They may not even know who they are or where they are going in life. Much angst and turmoil can be a part of the daily life of a preteen. To bring them or any student to the point of composing a well-written reflective essay follow these tips:

  • Be very low-key about the assignment
  • Remind the students that only the teacher will be reading it
  • You may want to skip peer review or reading the finished product aloud for this essay
  • Mention that this assignment can be a means of self-discovery
  • Allow much time and many drafts for this composition
  • Consider grading only the mechanics and not the content for this essay

Young People and Writing

Studies have shown that most children journal, writes poems, lyrics, or keep a diary. The reflective essay is an extension of these writings with more of an analysis or summary at the end. Most students do not do a recap at the end of their personal writings.

More Tips

To get the child to analyze the event and the impact on the child, ask them a few questions and let them pick two or three to include in the conclusion. Some examples may be:

  • Do you regret the event, why or why not
  • Have you changed any of your behaviors because of this event
  • Twenty years from now will you remember this incident
  • Is this incident a secret
  • Were you scared when this happened
  • Will you ever tell your children (if you have any) about this event
  • Can you categorize this event as happy, sad, traumatic, funny, or a moment of anger

Children do like self-expression, but on their terms. And they want to express who they are to a person or persons who will be nonjudgmental. This is not the lesson to emphasize such things as transitions, the thesis statement, or active verbs. You may have to go light on the teacher tool and relax on this assignment in order to get a well-written reflective essay from your students.