Penning your thoughts is an opportunity to clarify your stand on a subject. Since my early days in school, essay writing and spinning fictional stories has been a passion. Sculpting a reflective essay to present your thoughts, in the most elegant fashion, requires a lot of time and preparation. Most of all, it requires that you exercise your analytical powers and draw from your experience, to write a coherent piece.
A Reflective Essay Defined
This type of an essay is your own thoughts and opinions about any issue, compiled together to drive home a point. It may be a personal or sociopolitical issue, or any subject that matters to you. It may be an introspective look at some deep issue, that has affected you personally. Such an essay is a quiet contemplation on any issue under the Sun, that you feel passionately about.
How to Write a Good One?
Once you decide an idea to explore, your work begins. Before writing, you must spend a considerable amount of time, in contemplating about the topic. Personally, I don't start writing an essay until the thought process on the subject has been completed by my mind. Let the subject be at the back of your mind for some time. Let your conscious and subconscious mind mull over it. When you are ready to write, you will know it. I have just described my own process for writing on topics, which are close to my heart. Here are some tips.
Create an Outline
You may want to structure your essay at the start and create an outline of the main body of discussion. Some people start after drawing a clear mind map on a piece of paper, which details all the aspects of the topic. A previously decided outline will make your essay well-rounded and ensure that it doesn't stray from the main point, while covering multiple aspects. There has to be an introduction, main body of text, and a final conclusion.
Let the Start Be Gripping and Inviting
The way to develop an essay is to start with a bird's-eye view of the subject and explore it in detail, as you zero in on the intricacies of the topic under consideration. Let the beginning be catchy and inviting for the reader. This is the place where you may raise questions, which you will gradually answer, as you get to the meat of the subject. You may talk about the need for exploring this topic and why is it important to be contemplated upon. If you can grip the reader at the start, chances are that they will be with you, till the end.
Explore As Many Facets As You Can
A narrow-minded approach to the subject is not advisable. Explore as many facets of the issue at hand, as possible. Let the tone of discussion be exploratory, than authoritative. You have to start with as many related threads to the subject, as possible and gradually weave them together into a whole.
Let Thy Experience Speak
Personally, I think that the best piece of writing happens, when words flow from the depth of experience. When you write what you have felt and gone through, expression comes naturally. Let your firsthand experience be put into words, when you are writing a reflective essay.
Get Your Facts Right
If you are going to mention some facts as proof or evidence to make a point, make sure that they are right. Let the sources be quoted. Let your research be thorough and complete. Avoid jumping to conclusions, out of half knowledge.
Gradually Increase the Depth of Discussion
The flow of your essay should be such that the depth of discussion gradually increases. If you are driving the whole issue towards a point, then make sure that you build a causal structure that supports your point ultimately. Try to be unique in your presentation. You could adopt a dialectic kind of discussion that gradually becomes more deeper and direct.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
After building the base of the discussion, approach the heart of the matter, as subtly as you can. Your build up could be such that by the time you get to the heart of the subject, the reader sees your point easily.
Let Conclusion Be the Gist of the Matter
After exploring the main point of your whole discussion, it is time to summarize and put in your final say on the subject, based on consideration of the subject, as a whole. Let the summary be brief and to the point, but let it have your concluding take on the entire issue.
All it really takes is clarity in thinking and presenting your own original thought and opinions. Research well and try to look at things from your own perspective. All you have to do is reflect on the topic and put your thoughts into words.