Reflective essays are often assigned by the teachers to let the students communicate what they like or dislike about classes, what kind of expectations they have of them, and what can be done to improve them. It is often way too hard for the students to reflect on the work of their teacher as they feel like they are being impolite or too judgmental. However, constructive criticism is the natural part of the life, and schoolers have to master it.
Even though you are asked for your opinion, it is still a school assignment, which makes it impossible for you to use the free style of writing. You may not seem too formal, but as the task is still a part of the academic writing, you need to approach it in a more professional way, and here is how you can do it.
- Recall the days you have visited the classes and write down your impression about it.
- Put down some details that stand out in your mind, and think of the material you remembered the most from the class. Use the info you have written down during the lesson to help yourself.
- Think of the questions you may ask yourself if you cannot assess the lesson critically. What was the most memorable part of the class? Did you find all information understandable, and what was the most challenging part of the lesson? Did the data you received contradict something you already knew? Were you interested, bored, excited, or annoyed by the information provided? Did something change the way you think?
- Do not make the essay too long. The typical length of such work varies from 275 to 650; however, it is always better to consult your teacher on the matter. If he or she does not have any, you can sure use these tips. But in case the requirements contradict the range indicated here, stick to the ones the teacher gave you.
- If you had any questions you did not ask in class, it is time to think of them while writing. Why do you think the question did rise? Was the material too hard to understand or the explanations failed to convey the real meaning of it? Did the author of the used source leave any issues unanswered? Was his or her opinion on specific matter biased or illogical?
- Writing an intro of the reflective essay, mention the expectations you have had of the lesson, and if they were fulfilled or not. It does not matter if your expectations were too high or way too low – this is your opinion, and you will not sound rude if you do not put it that way. Only make sure that the expectations were realistic, and think what did you base them on.
- Work on the thesis statement. The same as in every essay, your reflective paper has to have a thesis. In the case of the work of such kind, it will be pretty unusual, as you will have to transition from expectations to conclusions or impression that the lesson has left you with.
- Expand on the impression in the body paragraphs. Include specific details and mention how you have felt on the lesson and the reasons behind it.
- Finish by summarizing the paper. In the end, you should link all of the above and analyze how your expectations conflicted with your conclusions. Make a few general statements about the overall impression taking all information you have included in the consideration.
- Revise the paper until you like it. When you read the paper for the first time, you may feel like something is wrong. You may not have felt confident while writing and some of the sentences sure turned out to be weak. Be calm and professional while rewriting the phrases, and make sure you do not sound impolite.