How to write a reflection paper - Examples

Reflection paper writing assignments are similar to those written for the purpose of self-analysis when you take time and note your own positive or negative traits, life views and personal opinions on different issues. A self reflection essay will help analyze yourself from a third-person perspective by analyzing how other people perceive you. Reflection paper is usually written either in this manner or both ways at once — describing yourself from your own point of view then evaluating it through some other perspectives (for example, scientific research).

This type of writing helps develop communication skills since it contains such elements as thesis, specific and general supporting details, transition from one to another idea etc.

Reflection papers are also considered a good way to practice writing skills but in order for it to be really successful, you need to follow certain steps when writing a reflection essay.

A reflection paper is an open and honest approach towards any object or even a person. It often does not express positive emotions like admiration but focuses on defining characteristics of the target being reflected upon (person or object) in both negative and positive aspects. In this case, there is no sense of having evaluative attitude towards the subject — only acceptance of reality without any charges or praises to it.

Reflection writing implies self-analysis as well as its analysis of something else that inspires thoughts about your life, habits, opinions etc,. The reflection paper allows addressing lots of related issues with going deep into one certain issue.

A reflection paper is not a subjective or objective review of something, but it possesses all these traits at the same time. You can express your personal thoughts and evaluate them with common views and opinions of society in order to find similarities between yourself and others that make you feel better about yourself.

Structure of a reflection paper - outline/format

Reflection paper is characterized by the fact that the writer describes his or her views on some object he or she deals with or wants to share something about it with other people. In short, such an essay doesn't restricts itself inside its outline. The outline only helps a writer organize his thoughts in right categories and subcategories that allow him/her write an effective reflection paper after that.

Introduction: Your reflection paper introduction must include three things:

  1. Thesis statement — the main idea of your paper,
  2. An explanation or a preview, - Your point of view as a writer to present it to readers on what you are going to write about in general.
  3. Start with an overview that expresses everything you want your audience to know concerning the topic you chose to write about.

Body paragraphs: If you follow all these steps in appropriate order then body paragraphs will be structured very easily allowing you not only organize your ideas but also support them with examples or details taken directly from real life. Your body paragraphs should be structured in a way that supports your thesis statement and allows you to move from one idea to another gradually without any stop or abrupt change of the general subject.

A good reflection paper is easy-to-understand for other people because it contains three basic points:

  • main idea supported by subtopics, examples (real life stories),
  • key phrases with simple language, proper grammar,
  • well organized structure: outline and correct citation .

The first two are more related to specific personal impressions while the second set makes this essay similar to a scientific research so that others can take their own conclusions from all data being provided.

Conclusion: The conclusion should present your perception on the topic and express what you've learned from it or simply share your opinion with others that read this essay .

References: Include references only from reputable reliable sources such as encyclopedias, journals, newspapers , books etc.

Reflection paper examples

This is not the best reflection paper or an as perfect as an individual one can write, but this is a good example of a student's reflective writing on cultural learning. The student has presented his strengths, weakness, development goals and plan for development very clearly in this essay!

Title of the Reflection Paper: A study abroad life – A cultural learning

Reflection Paper Format (APA style)

1. Introduction: an introduction of this essay, the topic, and its background information is given in the first paragraph;

2. Description of how you started with researching about the subject area (the field): mention what topics you were initially interested in finding out and which ones you focused on instead; explain why and how it became important to study them more carefully;

3. Assessment: after students have completed a large amount of research on different aspects related to a particular subject, they are able to assess their understanding about that skill or topic up till then . This was supposed to be done throughout writing process as well but student has only written down his assessment regarding this task now ;

4. Development Goals: Development goals are also called long-term and short-term development objectives; student has clearly mentioned them in the first paragraph of this part as well as 2 paragraphs perhaps making it more clear for reader to understand what they mean ;

5. Plan for development: He / she has clearly given few examples of steps that he will take to develop those skills at work with his organization or university;

6. What's next?: This is where he can tell readers what he should do now after finishing writing a reflection paper on such topic;

7. Attribution: At last, you must keep the reference section separately at the end , which contains sources , books and journals used while writing an essay on cultural learning. Thus, you provide the reference to these sources and books.

Example Reflection Paper: Cultural Learning and Diversity Management: An interdisciplinary Inquiry

This is an example of a reflection paper written for a course on cultural learning. Use the example to write your own reflection paper for school.

In this course, I have been exposed to interdisciplinary perspectives on diversity management in organizations around the world. This has given me knowledge about how people from different cultures interact with one another, and how cultural learning is considered an integral part of a globalized society where employees are encouraged to prepare for a multicultural environment both within their organization and outside it. The course focuses specifically on interplay and importance of realizing diversity in an organization so that all employees receive equal opportunities by maximizing the richness derived from their unique characteristics. In addition, students are also taught how they can work as agents of change by incorporating diverse cultures in the workplace where they can provide their unique skills, knowledge and experience to aid in the process of organizational learning. The course materials provided a conceptual framework that placed emphasis on overcoming barriers which restrict effective communication among people from various cultural backgrounds. I highly enjoyed this course since it took me beyond classroom walls to learn about diversity management in an experiential manner through study tours, where I met with different international students and faculty members at my university who shared an array of cultural insights while also revealing issues they encounter in American society.

This training program helped enhance my understanding of diversity by introducing me to new ways of thinking about culture; thus allowing me to stretch beyond traditional definitions of what constitutes a specific cultural group and consider the different ways people from ethnically diverse backgrounds interact with one another. Since cultural learning is considered key to working effectively in an intercultural environment, I am better able to understand the importance of cultural diversity management as a way to enrich organizational culture, while also developing my own skills for successful negotiation within intercultural interaction.

Activity: Visiting Professor's Office Hours: In this activity we met individually with our professor who shared his experiences living outside of America which enabled me to learn about American society while also providing him a space where he could share his views on American identity compared to that of other parts of the world. This experience allowed us to gain insight into how others perceive Americans through an international perspective by sharing information and knowledge about the country. This was particularly important to me since I am planning on traveling in the near future and wanted to gain insight into how others perceive America and what makes it unique with regards to other parts of the world.

Activity: Group Discussion: In this activity we were introduced to different perspectives about culture, including those that emphasized similarities among cultures as opposed to differences between them. Although our group members were from diverse ethnic backgrounds, we all contributed with ideas for how cultural learning can be incorporated into organizations without being a hindrance or perceived as tokenism by Americans who are not accustomed to interacting with people from other countries on a regular basis. Therefore, we considered ways Americans can develop more open-mindedness towards diversity within their own organization to prepare for intercultural interactions with people from other parts of the world.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Through Visual Stimuli: In this activity we had to try and put together a puzzle which consisted of different questions about cultural learning compared to traditional ways of thinking about culture. This helped introduce us to diverse perspectives on issues such as cultural identity, multiculturalism, human rights and nationalism in our discussion groups. Our group was able to generate some key points impacting the definition of diversity management in organizations while highlighting ways individuals can incorporate their own unique characteristics into their workplace

Activity: Cultural Awareness Quiz: In this activity I learned more about how people from different cultures work or interact with one another based on my survey results since most respondents perceived Americans as competitive, direct and informal; despite the fact that I and most of my peers are not representative of these qualities. This exercise helped me understand how others perceive Americans through different perspectives while also helping me identify certain qualities such as informality in everyday conversation that makes it easier for me to connect with others from diverse backgrounds.

Activity: Brainstorming Ideas: In this activity we had to discuss ways cultural learning can be incorporated into organizations; an important skill for working effectively in intercultural environments since it helps us develop a common understanding during interactions between people from diverse backgrounds. This activity allowed us to generate ideas for a variety of purposes, including using cultural learning activities for diversity management purpose s , planning cross-cultural events or as part of team building exercises . Most importantly, this activity demonstrated the fundamental role cultural learning activities can play in helping employees bridge differences between them as part of their overall work experience.

The group and I connected with our professor by communicating regularly via email to make certain we understood the assignment while also asking for clarification on concepts that may have been unclear or not easily understandable from the readings . We worked diligently during this activity since all members were eager to engage in a conversation about how we can incorporate cultural learning into organizations without being perceived as tokenism or as a hindrance to productivity; essentially, making it easier for Americans to be open-minded towards diversity within their own organization to prepare for intercultural interactions with people from other parts of the world.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Mural: In this activity we were able to showcase a variety of different objects in which I tried to link them with our readings on cultural learning by asking my group members about their perception on each object. This helped me develop a more inclusive view of how others may perceive Americans. Because most respondents perceived Americans as competitive, direct and informal; despite the fact that I and most of my peers are not representative of these qualities. Furthermore, it allowed me to integrate the concept s discussed in class such as cultural identity, multiculturalism, human rights and nationalism into my everyday conversations.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Drawing: In this activity we were asked to draw images representing cultural learning through visual stimuli . This activity introduced us to diverse perspectives on issues such as cultural identity, multiculturalism , human rights and nationalism by tapping into our individual and collective knowledge of images that represent these concepts. For my image, I drew a picture of a group of people with various skin tones linked together to represent the role cultural learning can play in shaping society.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Videos: In this activity we were educated on issues such as cultural identity, multiculturalism , human rights and nationalism through videos while keeping in mind the characteristics (e.g., understanding and openness) our professor identified earlier on which help us improve intercultural interactions between people from diverse backgrounds; indicating the importance of viewing visual stimuli to develop an appreciation for diversity within organizations . Since most Americans lack cross-cultural interaction s due to geographical reasons, it is important that they are exposed to other cultures by using cultural learning activities as a way of nurturing such interactions.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Map: In this activity we were able to showcase the role human rights can play in shaping how others perceive our culture; much like it did for me when I visited my professor's country. This exercise allowed us to understand another person's experience with their own culture and helped us become more empathetic towards the diversity within our own organization . One member of my group answered that Americans are perceived as direct, competitive and informal; despite knowing that I am none of those characteristics. By allowing students from diverse backgrounds to interact with one another on a regular basis, they can gain an appreciation for multiple perspectives which allows them to open up to others. This is important since people may just have a preconceived assumption on how we as Americans behave without ever actually interacting with one another; the same goes for other cultures.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Essay: During this activity, I developed a more inclusive definition of cultural learning by integrating various topics from our readings and activities , such as cultural identity, multiculturalism , human rights and nationalism . My partner and I also worked diligently during this activity since all members were eager to engage in a conversation about how we can incorporate cultural learning into organizations without being perceived as tokenism or as a hindrance to productivity ; essentially, making it easier for Americans to be open-minded towards diversity within their own organization to prepare them for the workforce.

Activity: Cultural Awareness Reflection Paper: By integrating my class notes on cultural learning with outside readings and activities, such as those on cultural identity, multiculturalism , human rights and nationalism , I was able to develop a more comprehensive understanding of this concept . My definition of culture al learning is simply an ongoing process of acquiring new behaviors through experience which allows us to maintain our own values while respecting that people from other cultures may have different values then ours. This activity also allowed me to reflect upon my intercultural interactions in order to share how I can avoid further offending my professor's country by embracing their unique customs. 

Summary Activity 1-Drawing: In this activity we were asked to draw various images representing our own definition of culture al learning. Mine was a picture depicting myself as the center surrounded by other people from various backgrounds. Next to my image I wrote that culture al learning is a process of acquiring new behaviors through experience which allows us to maintain our own values while respecting that people from other cultures may have different values then ours.

Summary Activity 2-Role Play: In this activity we were asked to discuss how each individual's definition of cultural learning can affect intercultural interactions within an organization. The role play began with me asking my partner if he would participate in a local election based on his background and role in the organization. He responded by saying no since he felt like it was not his place, despite being encouraged to do so. When I asked him why, he responded that there is no one from his organization to represent their interests at the table since most members are African Americans . This made me think about how an immigrant would feel if they were told by their employer that they don't need to have a seat at the table because our culture al learning activities will teach them about it later on.

Summary Activity 3-Cultural Learning Role Play: In this activity we were tasked with facing off in debate predicting intercultural interactions and issues within my own organization as well as other organizations across the United States. My partner and I took turns playing each culture and were encouraged to incorporate aspects from various readings into our arguments. Although my partner did not agree with my argument, he allowed me to express myself freely because it was important for each of us to respect one another's cultural background. I have learned through this activity that the purpose behind intercultural learning at work should be viewed as a two-way street , meaning that everyone benefits from such activities.

Summary Activity 4-Cultural Awareness Essay: In this activity we were asked to write an essay incorporating various topics from our readings and activities on multiculturalism , human rights and nationalism . I placed particular emphasis on cultural identity since I felt like other concepts were better understood if we began by defining ourselves first. My partner did not agree with my definition but regardless, he continued to allow me to voice my perspective throughout the conversation due to the fact that it was necessary for me to learn about him as well. During this activity I learned about how my own cultural identity helps others identify with me better, and also gives them a sense of reassurance that they belong since we have similar backgrounds.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed learning about this topic because it allowed me to reflect upon myself while helping me understand other cultures better. I am very happy to say that taking part in these activities has helped eliminate the guilt I feel whenever I offend someone due to cultural differences. As an immigrant I would like to think that my participation in this activity will help eliminate ignorance in culture al learning while bringing people closer together by identifying with their unique backgrounds.

An example of how to write a personal reflection paper

A personal reflection paper has four sections: Self-profile, Assessment, Development goals and Plan for development. This can be used to write a self reflection essay.

  • Self-Profile: This is where you describe your background interest in this field (or topic). What knowledge did you have before you started this assignment? Next, describe what you thought to be important about the subject area and how much time you spent studying it so far in comparison with other subjects or areas; highlight any gaps in your knowledge or misunderstandings that may impact your performance on this assignment
  • Assessment: After describing your background/ starting point, assess what aspects of the subject area you were able to master so far. On what aspects do you feel you could have worked harder? Which activities did you choose to spend your time on and why?

Where should one start with writing a personal reflection paper?

What's the first step in this assignment? The answer is 'research'. Before you get into writing, reading other people's ideas about this subject area may be helpful. This will also give you a chance of learning how others write their papers.

Learn more: how to start a reflection paper.

After that, find out what topics are important for the paper and which are not because time is limited while writing an essay.

Also, decide whether to focus on strengths or weaknesses; as every individual has each.

Identify some weaknesses and strengths in your personality.

If you are not satisfied with your personality, how and when would you change it in a better way?

  • Development goals: describe what you intend to achieve by the end of this course or training session.
  • Plan for development: Next, set long-term goals (6 months to 5 years) and short-term goals(one month) that will help you develop your potentials. Look at the progress over time and give feedback about how well your strategies work out. In case of any difficulties with meeting those objectives, report them as well so that immediate action can be taken on solving those problems.

What's next after one has finished writing a personal reflection paper?

One should allow some time to review your paper within 2 to 3 days after finishing it. Pick few topics that have been written about your essay and try to find mistakes or shortfalls in them. Make sure that you are able to find out a solution for those mistakes/shortfalls.

Tips for writing a good college reflection paper

Here are things to consider while writing a reflection paper for college assignments. Be sure to follow these tips and other guidelines you have learnt in class.

  • Writing style: Be sure to use a conversational yet formal writing style (not too informal and not too formal) when writing a reflection paper . It helps you connect with readers better while expressing yourself more clearly in just a few words than if you were using long sentences here and there without any sense at all! Always write like you would speak to someone face-to-face about this particular subject matter to fully convey your thoughts and feelings concerning it.
  • Avoid plagiarism: Reflection paper requires your own work that means that you are supposed to learn something from this experience, share it with others and comment on it from your own perspective . So be sure to always use quotation marks when taking ideas or thoughts of other people and properly cite them by either using standard footnote system (with page numbers) or APA-style system (with author's name and year). You can find more details about citation styles here .
  • Grammar: Proofread your reflection paper for little grammar mistakes that might change the meaning of some sentence in totally different way than you wanted it to be understood! That would make a totally wrong impression on readers since they expect to read an excellent essay .
  • Sources: Make sure that your sources are credible and trustworthy ones because you need at least a few details to support your thesis statement with examples, facts or stories taken directly from life . You don't want to end up making up a totally fictional story about something unrelated with the topic in order to make your paper look more interesting to others since this would be considered as plagiarism .
  • Avoid mistakes: If you practice writing some essays on different topics by yourself before submitting them for review then it will allow you find some little mistakes that might change the meaning of whole sentences or even paragraph sometimes! So be sure to always proofread your work (and even ask someone else do it) before submission for grading!

College reflection paper writing help

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