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You need to be able to reflect (more on this later) on your experience by showing how it influenced your subsequent behaviours and how your life has been particularly changed as a result.
You need to really think about how the personal experience you have chosen to focus on impacted or changed you.
Use your memories and feelings of the experience to determine the implications for you on a personal level.
In a reflective essay, a writer primarily examines his or her life experiences, hence the term ‘reflective’.
The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to provide a platform for the author to not only recount a particular life experience, but to also explore how he or she has changed or learned from those experiences.
Note also, that the aftermath of the experience is especially important in a reflective essay; miss this out and you will simply be storytelling.
It sounds obvious, but the reflective process forms the core of writing this type of essay, so it’s important you get it right from the outset.
While the format of a reflective piece of writing may change, there is one element that will mostly remain the same, and that is the structure.
You may be relieved to know that, much like any essay, a reflective essay is typically comprised of an introduction, body and conclusion.
As you go about deciding on the content of your essay, you need to keep in mind that a reflective essay is highly personal and aimed at engaging the reader or target audience.
And there’s much more to a reflective essay than just recounting a story.