Reflective essay on growth as a writer

What is a Reflective Essay? – Definition, Format & Examples

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor’s in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

A reflective essay is an essay in which writers examine their own life experiences and growth. Explore the definition, format, and examples of reflective essays, as well as their structure, which is comprised of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Updated: 10/19/2021

Format of a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is an essay in which the writer examines his or her experiences in life. The writer then writes about those experiences, exploring how he or she has changed, developed or grown from those experiences.

The format of a reflective essay may change slightly depending on who the audience is. For example, writing a reflective essay for a college course and an academic audience will have slight changes in how the essay is organized from writing a reflective essay for a magazine or a collection of essays, which has a broader audience, without people who have necessarily gone to college. However, some major elements go into a typical reflective essay: introduction, body and conclusion.

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Structure of a Reflective Essay

Reflective essays always have an introduction, where the speaker shares, either directly or indirectly, what the overall focus of the reflection will be. Many popular essay writers might be a bit indirect about their main topic, or about what part of their lives they will focus on. However, an academic writer should be more direct in explaining what aspect of his or her experiences that he or she will talk about.

The body of the reflective essay explains how the writer has changed or what the writer has learned. It also explains what things caused the writer to change. For example, many academic writers are asked to reflect on how they improved as writers over the semester or quarter. Those writers often share how different assignments and lessons made them stronger writers.

A strong reflective writer will not only share the change but also give examples as supporting details. For example, if a writer discusses becoming more optimistic in life, then examples should be given of what made this change, such as sharing an incident in which the writer took a positive approach to resolving the incident.

In the conclusion of a reflective essay, the writer sums up how he or she has changed or the effect of those changes. The writer also might look ahead or look backward. If looking ahead, the writer shares how he or she thinks the experiences in the essay will change him or her in the future. If looking backward, the writer will note how different he or she was in the past. Often, the writer will compare past and future selves to emphasize the difference.

Examples of Reflective Essays

Numerous essayists have used the reflective essay style to share ideas that are important to them or lessons that they have learned through personal experience. Examples include the following:

  • James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son is a collection of essays that shares a reflection of the author’s relationship with his father and compare it to the turbulence within society during the Civil Rights era.
  • Scott Russell Sanders’ Looking at Women reflects on the author’s complex relationship since he was a pre-teen with being attracted to women sexually, but not wanting to harm them by objectifying them.
  • Barbara Kingsolver’s The One-Eyed Monster and Why I Don’t Let Him In reflects on her and her family and their experiences with not having television in their household and how it makes their lives better.

Lesson Summary

Reflective essays are written in order to look back on personal experiences and measure how that experience has helped the author to grow or change. Reflective essays should have a clear introduction, body and conclusion in order to share the past events and how those events created change in the writer. A few examples of reflective essays are Notes of a Native Son and Looking at Women.

Table of Things to Remember

Terms/Authors Definitions/Works
Reflective essays written to look back on personal experiences and measure ways in which they helped the author grow or change
Introduction the speaker shares what the overall focus of the reflection will be
Body explains how the writer has changed or what the writer has learned
Conclusion sums up ways in which the author has changed or the effects of those changes
James Baldwin Notes of a Native Son
Scott Russell Sanders Looking at Women
Barbara Kingsolver The One-Eyed Monster and Why I Don’t Let Him In

Learning Outcomes

So you’re done with the video lesson? Now find out if you are ready to:

  • Provide the definition of ‘reflective essay’
  • Enumerate the three major parts of the essay
  • Cite examples of well-known reflective essays

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My Reflection On My Growth As A Writer

I am firm believer in making the best out of every situation. This semester has been a great learning experience that came with a lot of adjustments and surprises. I started off my semester to a rough start due to late registration which led me to playing catch-up in a lot of my courses. Even with these minor setback I still was able to achieve some of my goal that I made for the semester.
This course has helped me figure a lot of my strengths as a writer. I learned that I have good ideas and can be a good writer when a topic interest me. I have also learned that my grades usually reflect on how well I followed the criteria of an assignment. I realize that I have unique points of views on certain topics and often like to give my own thoughts and explanations about a topic. I also know how to be straight to the point with whatever message I try to convey. At the beginning of the semester I never payed attention to the tone of my writings and failed to realize how it affected the reader ‘s perception of my intended message. Before this course I feel like a had a narrow point of view on how to approach topics. I still struggle with planning out my thoughts before I start writing. I don’t brainstorm my thoughts on paper which is a direct result of why my ideas aren ‘t always …show more content…
Even though this course was my favorite class this semester, I don ‘t think I fully applied myself to the best of my ability. I could have managed my time more wisely and I also missed out on some key assignments trying to balance my home and work life with school. I feel that my shortcomings have helped me realize my flaws and that I still have a lot of growing to do because I am not okay with failure. I know I have to be pay attention to details and use my time wisely in order to be successful with alI thing that I want to accomplish as a student and in my

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Critically Reflective Essay.

. Critically reflective essay Emma Purnell: 0522771 “Our planning (or worrying about) what’s happening next gives us little opportunity or inclination to examine what has just passed” Wallace (2005) Writing from a student teacher perspective I thought it was very apt to start with the quote above. I believe I, like many student teacher colleagues, spend so much time worrying about what I have to do next, that sometimes I need to have a gentle prod or reminder that I need to be critically reflective of my actions in order to improve my future teaching performance. Sometimes if a session goes wrong I would rather not dwell on it and re-examine why it went wrong as it hurts my pride. However, this would be the easy option and how many times in future situations could I close my eyes and pretend bad experiences hadn’t happened? So regardless of how painful the experience it is vital that we critically reflect on everything we do as teachers, after all we reflect automatically on events in our personal life that we do or don’t want to happen again yet we find it harder to do it in our professional lives. The idea of the need for reflection goes back to the time of Socrates who claimed that the unexamined life was not worth living. More recently however, the idea of reflection in learning was radical in the times of traditional educational institutions. John Dewey as early as the 1930’s wrote and advocated the need for reflection in learning. Dewey, the father of.

Words: 2853 – Pages: 12

Studies

. Task 1 : 2000 Words report to describe and evaluatehow the student in their professional role, support the ethos and mission statement of their school with particular regard to a specific whole school policy area. TITLE: A report to describe and evaluate how I , in my professional role, support the ethos and mission statement of my school with particular regard of the school’s Language policy. Mission Statement: To provide a rich academic programme A curriculum based on best research evidences and on successful teaching and learning strategies for teaching for children of diverse backgrounds and learning needs. To be a community school A vibrant center for educational, recreational, cultural and social programs for children and adults in an international community which draws upon and contributes to the vitality of the international community through an innovative and focused curriculum. To maintain a unique Professional Development Focus A culture of continuous professional growth for all staff and functions as a “hub” for educators throughout the region to engage them regularly in a wide range of learning opportunities that promote ongoing professional growth. IB LEARNER PROFILE Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiryand research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and thislove of learning will be sustained throughout their lives. Knowledgeable They explore concepts.

Words: 2539 – Pages: 11

It’s Dannyboy

. Senior English Curriculum Map: 2010-2011 School Year English IV * Note: “Sacred Book List” Addendum is at the end of this document Quarter #1 August 23 to October 22 Essential Questions: 1. How do writers and artists organize or construct text to convey meaning? 2. What does it mean to be a stranger in the village? Unit Goals 1. To understand the relationship between perspective and critical theory. 2. To apply critical theories to various texts studied and created. 3. To control and manipulate textual elements in writing to clearly and effectively convey a controlling idea or thesis. Student Published Portfolios: For each of the first three quarters, students are required to complete three to four published writing portfolio products. Quarter 4 is devoted to completion of the Laureate Research Project. . Pacing: This map is one suggestion for pacing. Springboard pacing guides precede each unit in the “About the Unit” sections and offers pacing on a 45-minute class period length. Prentice Hall Literature – Use selections from Prentice Hall throughout the quarter to reinforce the standards being taught as well as the embedded assessments within the SpringBoard curriculum. QUARTER #1 SpringBoard Curriculum Pacing Guide August 23 – October 22 Standards and Benchmarks | Unit Pacing Guide | SpringBoard Unit/Activities | Assessments | SpringBoard Unit 1Literature * The students will analyze and compare significant works.

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Philippine Literature

. conversation in sentences and paragraphs, while poetry refers to those expressions in verse, with measure and rhyme, line and stanza and has a more melodious tone. I. Prose There are many types of prose. These include novels, biographies, short stories, contemporary dramas, legends, fables, essays, anecdotes, news and speeches. 1. Novel. This is a long narrative divided into chapters. The events are taken from true-to-life stories and spans a long period of time. There are many characters involved. 2. Short Story. This is a narrative involving one or more characters, one plot, and one single impression. 3. Plays. This is presented in a stage. It is divided into acts and each act has many scenes. 4. Legends. These are fictitious narratives, usually about origins. 5. Fables. These are fictitious and they deal with animals and inanimate things who speak and act like people and their purpose is to enlighten the minds of children to events that can mold their ways and attitudes. 6. Anecdotes. These are merely products of the writer’s imagination and the main aim is to bring out lessons to the reader. 7. Essay. This expresses the viewpoint or opinion of the writer about a particular problem or event. 8. Biography. This deals with the life of a person which may be about himself, his autobiography or that of others. 9. News. This is a report of everyday events in society, government, science and industry, and accidents, local and national.

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E-Portfolio

. college freshman taking up BS Legal Management. This E-portfolio encapsulates my entire writing journey of sorts in my ENGLCOM (Basic Communication and Study Skills) course throughout the second term of my first year in university. In here, you will be able to read about various ideas—from the meaning of the word “infinite” beyond the concept taught to us in our Math classes, to the causes of the Philippines’ lagged progress (no, it is not solely due to corruption), and, well, Korean Pop. With all these topics mentioned, I hope you appreciate how much I have grown in terms of flexibility, as I was never comfortable with writing beyond my interests. The entire journey was a roller coaster, thanks to the great deal of papers that came with strict deadlines, high standards, along with numerous revisions inked in either pink, green, red, or blue. However, I believe that all those days figuring out how exactly my professors want me to revise parts of my papers and whatnot are worth it—The innumerable scratch papers that I was armed with in the beginning of the term are gone. I can now write an article of great quality without having to frantically jot down my ideas on a separate sheet of paper. I believe that this growth of mine is impossible without my professors. Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude to them: To Ms. Aileen Bautista for her meticulousness, as for without her seemingly “harsh” comments, my supposed scholarly papers would have been that of the quality.

A Reflection on The Improvement in My Reading, Writing, and Learning

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Reading, Writing, and Learning Process Reflection

Through taking this class, I have significantly improved in my reading, writing, and learning! I have noticed these improvements several times as I have written assignments for other classes, as well as reading in general. I have focused on my strengths and aimed to fix my weaknesses. This growth and expansion is unique to this semester for me. I have never felt as confident about these skills until completion of this course. These skills will follow me into my future career, and I am appreciative of this opportunity. Prior to this course, I was not good at discovering hidden meanings and ideas in readings, and had many grammatical issues. Now, I have strengthened in both areas, thanks to the ideas and reflections presented in throughout the entire semester.

Reading has always been a struggle for me. Not reading out loud, more finding the hidden themes and so forth in texts. However, this course required that we read and analyze articles such as the one by Fallow. This weakness made these writings somewhat difficult. I had to read and research a lot, however, by doing so, I learned the proper mechanisms to complete such tasks. Now, I feel confident about putting the puzzle pieces together. I can more easily pick out the hidden themes and issues that authors include in their writings. This is a great skill to master, and I am very fortunate to have such assignments that focus on enabling me to strengthen such weaknesses. Reading is not only about speaking, but also about how to find ideas and make sense of the presented materials. Reading is very essential to the entire process, because once one is familiarized with proper reading techniques , they can also improve in other areas such as writing.

Through this class, my writing skills have also improved significantly. I have noticed these changes after my improvements in reading concluded. The two go together and one improves, the other follows. Initially, I dreaded writing. It is very hard to write when English is not your first language. However, now I actually enjoy writing, and use it as a way to express my thoughts and ideas. Writing is one of the most important skills that any student can possess. If one is good in writing, they can change the world. I noticed, in my initial writings, I had many grammatical errors. However, these instances are fewer now. Which I feel very proud to say. Grammar is very confusing, however, through revisions, and criticism, I have learned where my common mistakes were primarily. It was basically tense related, my errors, that is. I had a hard time deciphering which tense to use in sentences. However, I have significantly improved in such cases.

I have employed an entirely new thought process through these improvements. I have learned that sometimes criticism is needed. I have learned that we all have weaknesses and these should not bring us down. I have certainly gained a more proactive attitude towards improving in things that I have struggled with for a long time. Before this change, I use to have a negative though process. Each time I faced something I struggled with I would immediately dread it. Now, when I think negatively, I can immediately reflect on more positive aspects. Like how much I have improved in all three of these skills.

In the future, I hope that I can write and read at an expert level. This can be accomplished through reading and writing daily. Practice does not make perfect, but it does lead to improvements. Revisions and peer based criticism is certainly needed through this process. This is how I realized the majority of my errors in both categories. In the future, I hope to carry over the many skills I have taken with me this semester, while also aiming for more enhancements.

Personal Growth Essay | A Winning Essay Writing Strategy

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One of the most successful strategies is to use a past event as a lens through which you can assess who you were and the person you became, how you have grown and changed, your transformation. Most children are curious, but were you the one who asked your teacher what caused the change of seasons of the year and then created a solar system model and explained the concept to your classmates? Though you may think that your topic needs to be more grandiose, that is not necessary for an essay to be effective. Instead, success lies in painting an accurate and vivid picture of yourself — one that will show admissions officers that you have much to offer their school.

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The most important advice we can give is to be honest, refrain from using clichés, and show maturity. College represents a radical change from high school, so you want your reader to realize that you are more than ready to take the next major step in your life.

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The main goal of this essay is to show your ability to face different challenges. Usually, the applicants write about a situation or person who changed their minds fundamentally. Also, it’s important to highlight your problem-solving skills by mentioning the steps you undertake to go through some life situations.

You need to start with an introductory sentence to make a preview of your personal story. Adding a hook can help stand out from the rest of the potential students. Usually, an applicant chooses one of the topics to describe your personality: the hardest challenge in your life, your dream and long-term goals, or your biggest achievement or failure.

It’s better to choose a situation from your life that was the hardest challenge for you. Then, mention why it was so hard for you and list the main steps you made to overcome this problem. Finally, summarize how these circumstances affected your personality and what skills you’ve gained.

Self-reflection on My Experience as a Writer in My English I Class

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Self-Reflection

English I was more than I expected. When you come from middle school with all A’s and the confidence that you will reach the stars, you would think that English I in high school would be a breeze. But I was wrong. It seemed like a dream in the first few weeks of school, but once the first quarter ended, the paperwork started piling up. I would have never foreseen the work and the feeling of failure that would come to pass. Every paper seemed like a brick wall, a standing obstacle between me and my academic success. As each assignment became increasingly harder, I felt it more difficult to climb over these “walls,” whether it be a simple reading question or a critical analysis paper. When you analyze the works that I included in my portfolio, you will notice that I have not been able to climb over all the “walls” that I encountered. But I’ve realized that my success has always been dependent on my feelings on the assignment, the difficulty of the task at hand, and my skills as a writer. My writing skills seem to be premature, but the more works I complete, hopefully my writing ablilites will grow. (If I may, I never really understood how to establish a thesis statement.)

My experience as a writer has grown quite a bit over this school year. I have never written a critical assessment paper, self-reflection, or other papers that demanded more deep thought than a basic story sypnosis. I have answered critcal answer questions, but not a whole paper. I feel kind of foolish not having that kind of experience before going to English I. But as the final days of English I fade away, I can at least look back in some dim sense of achievement.

I was introduced to a wider array of topics and ways to write a paper. I reestablished in myself the basic fundamentals of writing, including making specific connections, being less vague, etc.

To tell you the truth, I felt as if I haven’t made muc h progress. Based on all the “red-ink” on my papers—the correction ink wasn’t necessisarily red; it’s just an expression—I don’t feel like I made a lot of, if any, progress. For example, on my paper on facing adversity in I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, the main comments included misplaced or a lack of supporting quotations, as well as vague material and a poor conclusion. Later on in the school year when I wrote a paper on the duality of power in Animal Farm, I still made the same mistakes. I don’t understand why I made the same mistakes, and I’m not quite sure how to fix them.

As you may know now, I had some difficulty in English I. The assignments here and there were okay, but there was this one assignment that especially gave me trouble. The piece that was the most challenging was a paper on facing adversity on I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It seemed very challenging to me because it was rather difficult writing a paper that required me to think critically about a book I disliked and couldn’t “sink into.” I found the book tedious and uneventful, with no offense to the author, Maya Angelou. When I feel out-of-sync with the book I have to write about, it is hard to come up with ideas. That was what made that piece extremely challenging.

My time in English I wasn’t “a walk in the park,” but there were some pieces that were actually agreeable. My favorite piece was the Pre-CAPT Question #2. I enjoyed it greatly not because of the grade, but because it was straightforward. It demanded critical thinking, but it balanced that aspect with a linear answer. Basically, it was easy. It was probably the best work I did all year. I must have had a great amount of motivation.

I’ve learned so much throughout this school year and in English I. I’ve made some improvements, but I’ve realized from my experiences and paper comments some areas I can improve. Most of the major areas include making specific connections, inserting better supporting quotations, and establishing strong conclusions. I somewhat enjoyed English I; and I know that if I put more effort in my writing and fulfill theses areas of needed improvement, I will hopefully succeed and find more enjoyment in English II than English I.

Reflective essay on growth as a writer

  • Argumentative Essay
  • Baseline Essay
  • Autobiographical Essay
  • Literary Analysis Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Community Leadership Essay
  • My Growth as a Writer Reflection
  • Baseline Essay (“XX” Poem)
  • Biographical Essay (Enrique’s Journey)
  • Expository Essay (Leopard Man)
  • Literary Analysis Essay (Lord of the Flies)
  • Argumentative Essay (Kindred)
  • My Journey as a Writer

My Growth as a Writer Reflection

Guadalupe Zamora
Ms.Ha
Period 4, English 1
20 May 2017
My Journey As a Writer

In the beginning of the year I was doing terrible on my essays. I wrote awkward phrases that usually ended up on most paragraphs. I did not know why I was doing these easy to find mistakes. In the beginning, I never spoke my essay out loud. What that meant was that I never found my mistakes because I never read it out. I always read it on my mind which did not help me out because my mind usually skipped most of the errors. Not to mention that my writing was very skimpy and not detailed at all. Now I am more aware of making sure that I can include detail to fulfil the reader. My journey was not perfect. I had my ups and down throughout it but everyday I learned how to become the more improved writer of me. I noticed that now, when I write I usually do not stop around the 4th or 5th sentence. I keep on going because it became a habit to make the writing long and not skimpy. Before I used to write pedestrian words such as “bad”, “good”, or “thing”. Until this year when I found out that there was better vocabulary to replace those words.

Out of all the essays I have done this year, I think I did my best on the autobiographical essay. I think I did my best on this essay because it required a personal story of mine. In the story I could make sure it was detailed and that most events of that story were in the essay. There was not many errors compared to my other essays. I did have awkward phrases on this essay because at times parts of my essay did not make sense. It was also because I did not read the sentences out loud in which I would have heard the errors. There was times in the essay in which I would be on a role but then later it would get skimpy and a bit plain. Like most of essays I could get really skimpy and start repeating myself over the same topic. But in this essay I basically wrote all the story in one paragraph which would give me trouble on the next. On the other hand, I think overall my autobiographical essay was one of the best essays I have done this school year because it was one of the most personalised story I have of my life.

The essay I had a difficult time on has to be the Night Literary Analysis. This essay was the most difficult for me because even if I knew my topic and what I was writing about in the middle of the my essay I would blank out. What this meant that I wrote all the juicy parts at the beginning which would leave me with nothing at the end. My topic of the essay was “decisions”. I knew why I wanted to write about decisions because in Wiesel’s story he had to decide his life and how would he be able to survive. This would be a topic that would allow my to write in depth about Wiesel’s story. Well it did not go quite as planned because when I started writing, I wrote all my thought down until I noticed that I had nothing left. I felt as if I kept repeating myself over and over again. This was the part in which I started to get stressed and I did not know what to do. This essay was the most challenging to me because I knew a lot about the holocaust but I did not really understand why Wiesel’s made those decisions. At the end I received a thirty-five out of fifty which is a basic. I was really disappointed but when I read why I had received that grade it made sense. Most of the feedback stated my lack of explanation and simplistic thinking. In addition, this essay helped me improve on my other future essays even if it was one of my worst.

My journey as a writer has great, so of my goals for my upcoming years are to be more confident with my writing. I would want to be more confident with my writing because I always feel like my essays are never good enough. To make this happen I will try to be comfortable with my writing because if I write like there was no one there to judge I could write what I feel personally. I would also think that I can do it and try not blank out. These are my goals because they are the ones that I struggle the most in my writing and in my life in general. Hopefully I can achieve these goals in college because that is where I plan to go when I finish high school. But if I could do it in high school that would also be amazing. My journey has allowed me to explore how far I could go with my writing right now. In the future I could become a better more improved writer and then I would look back to this moment in my journey and think to myself how much I have grown over the years. In conclusion, I feel like writing will stick with me wherever I go because it has become something I look forward in doing in the Puente Program and for the rest of my life.

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