Today’s blog is about that reflection paper you need to write. So, how do you write a reflection paper for a class? Writing the top-notch self-assessment essay is not always easy, but I’ll tell you exactly how to make it really easy. But first, here are some facts – 52% students cannot write a passing reflection paper and here’s how a struggling sophomore went from a C- to a 96% on a self-reflection paper. Yes, he took the help of an essay writing service and got an essay written on critical reflection. But if you want to take a shot and go the independent way, here’s how you can write your own self-assessment essay.
So, what is critical reflection? Reflection is about two big words – “contemplation and deliberation” about your personal experiences and what you learned from these experiences. So, there are two stages to a critical reflection – Relating or narrating your personal experiences, and interpreting the meaning of your personal experiences. While writing a personal reflection, you must narrate the experiences in detail. Remember, this is a subjective piece you’re writing, but if you do provide some objective facts, that should be done at the beginning of the essay when you introduce the topic to the reader.
Pull the Punch – and think / Image Source: 123rf.com
Now, suppose you are asked to write a reflection paper on your experiences as a manager or a nurse. How do you do it? The #1 trick to write a top-notch self-assessment essay is to keep it simple and direct. Relate the essay directly to your experiences and readers must be able to understand your point of view.
Create the outline for your reflective paper. Open the word document file on your computer and create an APA, MLA, Harvard or Turabian paper and use a skeletal formatting structure. For example, if you are writing an APA paper, use a running head, and if it’s MLA style citation you are following, clearly mention your name and coursework and create a skeletal MLA format for your paper. With the skeletal format, you must be ready to move on to the outline of the paper. The outline should include an introduction about you, your place of work, type of work, the specific case you want to narrate about, some points from your specific experiences and your final reflections and conclusion.
The next stage is to elaborate on the outline you have already created. Elaborate on the introduction first. Introduce yourself to the reader. They must know who you are and where you work, why you are unique, why your views are unique and how you relate to your personal experiences. This part has to be clear, brief and precise. Be powerful and direct about yourself and provide an introduction that will capture people’s interest. Creating interest is the first step towards writing a successful reflection paper. Why will people read your reflections and experiences if they are not interested in “you”? Yes, no matter how narcissistic this sounds, a reflective paper must focus on “you”.
Provide a clear introduction to the scenario or the setting you intend to write about. Is this a company or organization or hospital you are working with? Provide the details of the setting, so that readers can get an idea on the background and can relate to the work culture. Creating the setting or the background is necessary to help the reader to envision the situation you are working in, and they will have a better idea on how you think or react and what your circumstances are.If you are a student writing about your experiences at school, describe the school or your specific surroundings.
Elaborate on your job introduction or the circumstances that define your specific reflective scenario. Is the reflection about your work or a specific case study you handled? Define or narrate the circumstances of your work and provide an introduction to the case study and your duties or job. Provide details on what you do and it will be easier for readers to relate to your activities, your thinking and and your experiences. A brief and clear introduction about your job will help you to get the attention of the readers.
Narrate the details of your case. What are you reflecting on? Is this a patient case study you have to write about? Is this a reflection on your managerial duties? Is this about your experiences as a teacher? Whatever your circumstances are, write about your circumstances in detail. If you are a junior manager and want to write about your experiences with seniors, introduce people to the work culture and organizational structure, so that people understand the issues you want to highlight. If you are describing a specific event, be direct, precise and state what went wrong and how you fixed it.
At this point, try to directly answer the question. What is the reflection about? Is this a case study? What are the steps you took? If this is a reflection on how you managed a group discussion as a team manager or how you administered certain medications to patients as a nurse? Write about what you did, so that readers are clear what you were working on. Did you administer a specific type of medication or use a clinical approach that is more effective than others? Write about these stages, what you did, describe each stage and in detail. This part has to be objective as you would provide details on your activity and the real reflection begins in the next step.
Stop – and think / Image Source: YouTube
You will have to discuss the consequences or effects of your actions. What happened after you managed the team or implemented a specific type of clinical practice? What were the results of your actions? Were the results of your actions exactly as you expected or different from your expectations? This is the step where you discuss what happened after you carried out your actions. Write about the results and the changes that happened in the organization, if any, as a result of your actions.
This is the part where you reflect about your experiences and not just narrate these. This is the step when you go beyond the narration and write about your experiences and reflect on the changes you have made or the consequences of your actions. The reflective part will be highly subjective as you have to provide details on your personal experiences and how you specifically handled the situation you describe and most importantly, what you felt and what were your subjective experiences following the events or circumstances you describe in the essay.
This is the step when you summarize your reflections, provide an action plan on what you could have done or should do in the future when you encounter similar events or problems. Provide your recommendations and suggestions on how one should move forward when faced with similar goals, issues, problems or events. You must provide specific and concrete suggestions on how your actions helped overcome a crisis and how you could have taken a different approach to handle the crisis or the problem. Then, try to weigh whether a different approach to the problem would have been better than the approach you adopted.
Write the conclusion. For the conclusion, summarize the problems you faced, provide details of the case, what you did, how the events unfolded and what were your solutions? Provide your reflections on whether you changed anything in the practice, was the organization changed in any way? Reflect on your experiences and suggest how things can change in the future.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few things to remember while you write your self-assessment essay. Try to be direct, honest, reflective, balance the subjective and objective, be precise, be critical and tell the readers why your experiences are so unique and your self-assessment so accurate. A critical reflection is about being honest to yourself and to the reader and to balance your subjective views with the objective facts to relate the experiences as they affected you. A critical reflection highlights change in the organization as a result of your actions. Try to focus on the change and suggest what you changed, how the change affected the organization you work in? What would you do in similar circumstances in the future? Is there a new approach you would take? What would be the expected solutions or the new solutions that you would consider to handle the same problem?
Assess your actions / Image Source: globaldigitalcitizen.org
A critical reflection has to communicate to the reader and must be articulated in a manner that will create and retain interest of the reader. Write the reflection in a way people can relate to your thoughts and your views. Critical reflection is just another version of critical thinking but the reflection indicates that instead of just thoughts, your essay is about your reflections, so it’s necessary to think about your practice and ideas, accept critical reflection as a challenge and examine your thinking process as you reflect on your experiences and ask questions related to the what, how and why.
What was the problem or the event you want to reflect on? How did you respond to the problem and how did you react or come up with an action plan? Why did you respond in a specific way and why do you think your actions were right or wrong? What are the measures you would adopt in the future? How would you adopt these measures and solve the same problem with possibly a different approach? Why do you need a different approach to the problem you just encountered? Is this new approach a better solution to the problem? Why would it be necessary to adopt this approach? Question, question, question….the primary point of a reflective essay is to ask questions to yourself and find answers to these questions.
Ask questions – as many as you like and see where your questions take you and how you seek answers or respond to these questions. It’s like an adventure down that narrow lane that will ultimately take you through a dark tunnel and clear, bright sunlight. Yes, every enquiry is a journey and your personal critical reflection is also a journey to the unknown, when you try to dig deeper and understand your own circumstances and reactions and try to emerge a better human being through your own reflections.
All reflective exercises are aimed to make you better, to fill a gap in your own knowledge, these are about yourself and so finally, we come back to the same point, the reflection has to be subjective, direct and about “you.”
Reflection is about you / Image Source: MindsInBloom.com
Critical reflections are subjective assessments of your experiences and although primarily subjective, you have to strike that healthy balance of the objective and the subjective to keep the reader hooked to your brilliant musings. There may be several levels of reflection or several issues you must reflect on. For example, if you are a teacher, you may be interested in reflecting on your students’ achievements or your own approach to teaching. You may be interested in reflecting on student assessments, on grading assignments or on the strategies that are used for teaching. So, although it is all too subjective, finally you have to depend on objective issues and facts to write your reflective essay. A critical reflection and self-assessment require that you must be detailed, honest, critical and focused both on the assessment and on the reflection.
There are two things you must remember while writing a reflective paper – first, make it critical and approach the subject from a critical and reflective viewpoint. Secondly, focus on the self assessment and instead of being just critical and reflective about your experiences, use the tools of assessment with the what, how and why questions and develop a comprehensive reflective assessment and essay structure.
Now, let’s go back to the student who wrote a critical reflection paper – or okay, got it written by an essay writing service – how did he get an A+? The essay writer probably got it right. She focused on his experiences, his strengths, weaknesses, problems and solutions. She was direct, honest, critical, reflective…and provided an accurate assessment of the student’s potentialities and experiences. So, did the student’s life change? The student’s understanding definitely changed. He learned better, understood his flaws and knew how to tackle his problems. Critical reflection helps in developing insight into your own personal circumstances and helps you to change through critical assessment of your abilities. Critical reflection and self-assessment papers are aimed to develop your personal insight, identify your flaws, develop your strengths and make you a better and more capable and reflective human being.
Personal Self Assessment Essay
1329 Words6 Pages
Self assessment is a process in which you examine yourself in attempt to discover and learn more about yourself. Your likes, dislikes, behaviors, attitudes and habits can be found during this process. You can use the discoveries to your advantage by accepting or changing strengths and weaknesses. I plan on using this course to enhance my personal skills to become a better student and find success in earning my Bachelor of Arts degree at Ashford University in Social Science. Self Assessment is the first step in my successful future.
I can remember in high school, it seemed like I was always one of the last students finished with a test.
I was sometimes slower at completing a written paper or an assignment. In open discussions…show more content…
I have discovered some interesting things I have noticed in myself before taking this course. For example, my learning style I have noticed is the visual learning style.
With this, I prefer to see and read information to full gain comprehension. If I forget the data, or not clearly understand it the first time read, I have the option of reading it over. I do not always trust myself to absorb all information the first time around. I take a lot of notes to look at. Notes help me remember even though I may not read the again, I can refer to them in my mind after writing them down. I am not sure if just anyone reading them would get anything out of it, but at least I know what they mean.
I like to take my time with material, but am not always given the allotted time to do so. I also like to keep a written list of things to do to refer to. I am comfortable with my learning style, accepted it as my very own. I am not sure if changing it this late in life is such a good idea. I have got by this far, it must work out for me.
I have identified my personality style as being extroverted, one who becomes easily energized by others, and outwardly expressing thoughts as long as I am fully understanding context and material being discussed. If I have no idea what is being addressed, I am better of keeping quiet to save myself from