Reflective essays, as the name suggests, are essay which are a reflection of a particular even, incident or experience in life. Written in the first person, reflective essays require students to share their personal thoughts, opinions, experiences on a specific topic or theme. The use of ‘I statements’ is common in reflective essay writing and students are expected to write all their experiences and thoughts with the readers.
Reflective essay writing assignments are a common aspect of academic education and students from almost all disciplines are expected to write reflective essay at some point of time. Relating personal opinion about a certain subject or the knowledge gained from a certain course are some of the more common reasons for reflective essay assignments. Students taking management courses are also commonly told to work on reflective assignments and relate their experiences of working in a team and how the experiences contributed to their personal growth. Combined class projects and in which students are required to interact with one another are common reasons for writing reflective essays. Fro instance, when students are required to for teams and complete a project, they will be required to assume different functions. Their contribution to the team and the personal development which occurred due to the team work activities is one of the most common reasons for writing reflective essays.
Students taking courses in nursing may also be required to write reflective essay assignments. Reflective nursing essays may not be simple to write and students will have to refer to a model of reflection like the Gibbs reflective model for writing their reflective essays. These essays enable students to deeply consider their inner thoughts, feelings and emotions as they experienced a particular incident or event. The essays also facilitate development of self so that students know their strengths and weaknesses and work towards personal development.
Similar to other essay types, the structure and format of reflective essays includes an introduction with a thesis statement, main body paragraphs and a conclusion. Even though the essays are written in the first person and are based on personal experience, it is important to include some research in reflective essay writing. The use of reliable scholarly references grants authenticity to reflective essays and make them essays which can contribute to personal development and growth.