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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).
How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book
Knowing how to write a reflection paper on a book is very important because your teacher or professor might ask you to write one as part of your coursework. A reflection paper refers to an essay that is two or three pages long and it allows you to share thoughts on your experience after reading a book or watching a movie and applying what you have learned from the experience to your education and life- follow this link for more information.
A reflection paper on a book is mostly academic in nature but it is less formal. It should be based on your experience and it allows you to react to personal feeling after reading a book. While writing a reflection paper on a book, you are expected to provide personal feelings and support them with examples while citing the knowledge of an expert if possible.
Why you should know how to write a reflection paper on a book
Writing reflection papers on books is important because it enables students to evaluate their experiences after reading books. When you know how to write a reflection paper, you can easily compose one analytically when required to do so. Remember that a reflection paper is not just a summary of opinions and experiences. Writing a reflection paper entails deconstruction and analysis. Your teacher or professor wants you to not just recap the events or story line of the book but to dig deeper while discussing specific aspects. The reflections, analysis and discussion should be based on personal opinion.
Reflective writing allows you a chance to connect to and engage with a reading critically. You can opt to focus on a section or passage or respond to the major theme or premise of a book. Although a reflection paper should be subjective or personal, it should have an academic tone- follow the link here for more information.Writing a reflective paper entails maintaining an informal approach while maintaining an organized or coherent structure. To do this effectively, you need knowledge because a reflection paper on a book should be a dialogue between the reader and you regarding a particular book.
A five steps guide on how to write a reflection paper on a book
- Prepare to write the paper
The process of writing a reflection paper should start with proper preparation. If for instance the professor or teacher gave you a writing prompt, consider it thoroughly. Have the prompt in mind as you read the book that you are required to write your reflection paper on. This will enable you to come up with a reflection paper that meets all the specified requirements. After analyzing the prompt thoroughly, organize ideas to form an outline and take notes of the major points that you will cover in your paper. Arrange the points logically in the outline. This will keep you focused while writing the paper.
Although a reflection paper has a personal nature, you should not simply put your thoughts on a paper. Since it is an academic assignment, your introduction should be clear with a thesis statement. A good way of writing the introduction of a reflection paper is describing your initial expectations and attitude towards the book that you read. Let readers know what your first impression towards the book was and what your experience was after reading it.
- Include a thesis statement
Just like with most writing assignments, your reflection paper should have a central, unifying idea in the introduction. Therefore, come up with a thesis statement for your reflection paper that reflects your experience while indicating the specific knowledge that you acquired after reading the book. Your thesis statement should be the theme on which your reflection paper is based.
In the body, elaborate the thesis statement that you stated in the introduction. Do not express your experience in generalities in the body. Instead, demonstrate how you reached the conclusions after reading the book citing specific examples from it. For instance, you can quote excerpts from the book directly to support your observations. Such citations will enable you to illustrate the topic in a clearer manner and enable readers to see the importance of the experience as well as the knowledge that you acquired after reading the book.
After supporting your thesis statement in the body using examples from the book that you are reflecting on, come up with a conclusion that ties the major points together. The conclusion should have a brief summary of the concluding feelings on the basis of the provided evidence and points. It should discuss the major points’ implication. Thus, after reading the conclusion of your reflection paper, readers should have a concise idea of the summary of the paper- follow the link classroom.synonym.com for more information.
Generally, when you grasp how to write a reflection paper on a book, you can easily organize your thoughts and opinions methodically in the paper. You also acquire more writing skills by practicing writing reflection papers. This way, you will eventually know how to describe your analysis, opinion and reactions after reading books.
Characteristics of a good reflection paper on a book
Regardless of the setting or purpose of a reflective paper, there are characteristics that can be used to identify it. Once you grasp these characteristics and how to ensure that your paper has them, count yourself among those who know how to write a reflection paper on a book.
They are as follows:
Your reflection paper should not be simple thoughts put down on a paper as they emerge from your head. It should not be like a personal diary. Instead, it should indicate a reflective form of writing that serves an academic purpose. It should be written with a goal which could be to accomplish something, learn, demonstrate, understand better or improve.
A good reflection paper on a book should explore or demonstrate your personal experiences or feelings towards a book that you have read. It should demonstrate your position regarding the book.
A reflective paper on a book should not simply tell or describe a story. It should indicate a higher order or critical thinking. Readers should see that you are analyzing the book, synthesizing its content and evaluating it to determine your attitude or perception towards it. It should meet the main goal of reflective writing which is to express your thoughts and reasons for thinking about the book in a particular way-follow the link trentu.ca for more information.
A good reflection paper should meet quality standards of clarity, precision, correctness and conciseness. Therefore, revise your paper and edit it thoroughly to ensure that it meets these quality standards.
Bonus hints and reminders on how to write a reflection paper on a book
- Although you are allowed to include your reactions and thoughts towards the book that you read or simply your experience, do not rely on them alone.
- Your reflection paper focuses on personal reactions, analysis and feelings towards a book than it would be the case for an analytical essay or formal research but you should ask your teacher or lecturer if you can use first person in writing the paper.
- Do more than simply summarize your reading because a reflection paper on a book is not a mere free-flow of thoughts or ideas-See more at resources.cleary.edu.
- Keep your reflective paper short by ensuring that it includes ideas that you can support with evidence from the book that you read only.
- Before revealing what you learnt from the book, ask yourself if it is necessary. This is important because of the subjective opinions and feelings that are usually expressed in reflective papers.
- Ensure that the main theme of the book that you are reflecting on comes out clearly in your paper. You can know the main theme of a book by reading the notes that you take while reading the book and in the preparation stage before you start writing the paper.
- Use sample reflection paper as a guide for writing because a good sample will enable you to know how to structure your reflection paper on a book properly. Here is a link to an example of a reflection paper on the book, African Fractals by Rogan Eglash that you can use as your practical guide for writing a reflection paper on a book; www.slideshare.net.
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