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How to Write a Reflective Essay for University?

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Step-by-Step Guide

1. Think about the topic

Reflective essays focus on real experiences, imagined scenarios, special places, or impactful encounters. Reflect on how the event or subject changed you and your feelings about it. This deep self-awareness will make your essay more engaging. Take your time to ponder the topic while doing other activities.

2. Take notes

Jot down your thoughts, feelings, and any questions that arise during the brainstorming process. Writing down ideas helps you avoid forgetting valuable insights and allows you to sift through them later.

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3. Decide who your reader is

Consider who will read your essay, whether it’s the professor, admissions officer, or others. Tailor your language accordingly to appeal to a wider audience while being gender-sensitive and interesting.

4. Plan a strong beginning

Start your essay with a strong introduction that provides a general picture of the subject’s impact on you. Include a clear thesis statement that sets the tone for the rest of the essay. For example, you can express your feelings or opinions about the subject to make a strong impression on the reader.

5. Split the body into manageable parts

Organize the body of your essay logically. Each paragraph should focus on a different reason the subject made an impact on you. Share your thoughts and insights without worrying about right or wrong answers – your personality and opinions should shine through.

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6. Conclude strongly

The conclusion should summarize and reaffirm the points made in the essay, reinforcing your thesis statement. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion. You can also reflect on how the subject has personally changed you.

7. Read in order to write better

Improve your writing skills by reading well-crafted reflective essays. Classic works like George Orwell’s “Why I Write” or Phillip Lopate’s “Against Joie de Vivre” can provide inspiration. Marcel Proust’s leisurely reflections are also insightful, but remember to keep your college essay concise and focused on the topic.

Writing a reflective essay for your college application can be a nerve-wracking experience, but by following these steps and showing your authentic self, you can craft a compelling and meaningful essay that stands out to the admissions office.

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Note: The paragraph above has been simplified, and the key points have been bolded for clarity.

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