I smelled the beach air and walked along all by myself and took an hour to not think about responsibilities to others. Then I wrote "For Rhonda" in the sand and took a picture of it. When I went through the struggles of growing up, I remember feeling soothed by the waves. They always seemed to keep on going. That reminded me to not give up. To know that there is always something to look forward to ahead. To remember that laughter and tears are both a part of everyone's life. To me, the waves reminded me to have faith in a God who is in control of everything and has a bigger purpose for me than I can imagine.
Identify the Meaning of Your Experience Before you can begin writing your essay, you need to decide what is the most important thing you learned from this experience. That "most important thing" will be the thesis of your paper. Example: "What I learned from this trip to the beach is that I need to remember that in the midst of being a caregiver to my mother, my husband, my five kids, my students and my friends, that I also need to care for myself and create a space for myself where I can rest and renew.
The following is an excerpt of my sample reflective essay. To read the essay in full, click on the link above. Even so, I sometimes forget to go there when I visit my mom. This week, I had come to take care of her during her cataract surgery. Along with helping her with appointments and remembering her eye drops, I'd been doing little chores around the house that are hard for her to do.
We'd also taken a visit to see my cousin and visit the Rose garden where my grandmother's ashes are buried. Moreover, we'd had a lot of good conversation, which was probably the most important part of my visit. The day before I was supposed to leave, I still hadn't visited the beach.
That's when I remembered what my friend Rhonda had said to me the day I left, "Go to the beach for me when you are there! Like me, Rhonda cares for her mother, but she does it every day, all year long. Her only break over the past few years since her father died was a one week trip her husband took her to the beach in California.
So, thinking about Rhonda, I had decided I needed to take my own trip to the beach. Teachers often assign these sorts of essays to get students to think about what they are learning, and to delve deeper into an experience.
Aside from school assignments, reflective essays are used in the professional sphere to help workers learn. Here is how professionals and students use these sorts of essays. Literary This type of essay asks you to summarize and then respond to a piece of literature in order to understand it better and relate it to your own life and experiences.
Step 6. Create an outline. Creating a reflective essay outline will allow you to structure all your thoughts in a certain order. An outline is like a map of your future essay. If you want to come to a certain destination and at a particular time, you need to plan your trip. The same thing is true with an essay outline: to be able to finish writing before the deadline, you need a plan of action. Collect all information that arises in your mind and determine the points that stand out.
The structure of a reflective essay will depend on the topic, the purpose of the essay, and the model you choose to use. A properly structured essay will help you clearly present the necessary moments and address certain points. Describe the significance of the experience that you have received during practice in the introduction. Pinpoint personal moments that have arisen after the experience. Identify personal intentions and link this experience with previous experiences. Recognize your own beliefs and values.
Think about future options and ways to improve your everyday life or professional skills. You can begin with creating a table with important points such as past experience, the description, and reflection. In the first row you can list the most important points that can be described in detail in the next rows.
The second row will be about the experience and the third row will describe your personal response to the event. As soon as your table will be ready, you can create the following outline: 1.
Introduction 1. Quick overview of the topic 1. Thesis statement 2. A detailed description of event, person, or place 3. Body paragraph II 3. Description of feelings and thoughts when it happened 4. Body paragraph III 4. Evaluation and analysis of your experience. Conclusion 5. Overview of the event 5. Summary about lessons learned Your outline may be different, as it depends whether you need to reflect on a book or something else.
The only thing you should keep in mind is chronological structure. While writing a reflective essay: Step 1. Every introduction to reflective essay writing should start with an attention grabber that will boost interest in your topic. The introduction is a small overview to the topic. It can be formulated as a question or contain a quote.
The proposed thesis statement will be the starting point for subsequent reasoning. The reflective essay thesis statement will be about places, events, thoughts, experiences, or people that will be described further in the body paragraph. The tutor is not required to read a boring text, especially if students are writing a paper on a similar topic. Be unique and start you essay in an extraordinary way. Notably, scholars such as Aberbach and Rockman , Hoffmann-Lange as well as Zuckerman have also shown that elites prefer to engage with open-ended questions so that they can articulate their views coherently.
During my interviews with elite groups, I did not always draft formal questions, but I made sure that I was familiar with the topic so that I could comfortably develop a natural rapport with the respondents.
Interview times ranged from thirty minutes to up to two hours, and respondents commonly offered me some data sets to consult, which followed with some discussion. I was often required to submit a formal application to access these files, and although I formally submitted a request letter to the Ministry of Urban Development, my efforts proved futile, and it became increasingly frustrating for me to access the data sets I needed.
In some of the interviews, I found that political elites provided evasive answers because of the politically sensitive nature of some of the questions posed. The general etiquette according to Peabody et al. I felt particularly irritated because the absence of a recording device meant I was unable to get hold of a verbatim record of my interviews. Because I had to write down observational notes while engaging with the respondent, it was difficult to record all the information and I lost out on some important points.
I tried to strike a balance between note taking and the interview process, but I found this to be a difficult endeavour. I tried to counteract these limitations by shifting my focus to the second sample in my study, the slum dwellers, although this was also fraught with some complications.
Comparatively and overall, the second sample group proved to be more cooperative and I quickly learned that I had wasted a significant amount of time focusing on political elites, when a lot of the responses I desired could have easily been sourced from policy documents and government reports.
As mentioned, I discovered that slum dwellers, after gaining their trust, provided a great deal of nuanced insight into my understanding of urban regeneration in Rwanda, which was very beneficial for my project. Harvey has highlighted how field researchers must endeavour to earn the trust of their respondents to gain access to high quality data and looking at the results I garnered, I believe I was able to do this successfully.
The data acquisition from the sample group was however, not without complications. The first complication pertained to my status as a foreigner, which I realised made several people wary of my presence. After visiting the research site continuously over a period of time, they became more familiar with me and thus opened up to the idea of participating in my study. I also ensured that I hired a local research assistant, and I realised that my association with a local gave me a greater deal of legitimacy in the eyes of my potential research respondents.
While oftentimes the data collection process was extremely stressful, and sometimes precarious, I learned to be resilient in, and how to maintain focus on meeting my set objectives. Can people change? What was the most important thing you learned from your parents? Who was the person who influenced you the most growing up? Which school subject is most important to learn? How can families stay close? What is the difference between men and women?
Guideline for Conducting an Interview Below is a guideline of things you should ask and take note of during the interview. These are sample questions and you may add to them as you try to get the person to give you more information.
Name: First and last. Question: Your main question and any major follow-up questions that occur to you. Why do you think so? What are some of your reasons? If I had the opportunity to undergo this process again I would research more into the Mental Health field so I had a greater knowledge when prompted to discuss it, also I would take a more relaxed attitude towards the group discussions and take more time to consider the task and structure my answers appropriately, being unfamiliar with this format I struggled to adapt initially.
Looking back I think the final stage of the interview in small groups responding to questions about the field could have been structured better to allow time for people to express their feelings without feeling rushed or under pressure, and people constantly interrupting.
Plan your time. What is the most important thing you've learned in college? Get it done fast!