Below we offer an example of a thoughtful reflective essay that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI). We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.
Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CI Code of Conduct.
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Sample Reflective Essay #2
Author: Nekisa Mahzad
I have been a student at California State University Channel Islands (CI) for 5 semesters, and over the course of my stay I have grown and learned more that I thought possible. I came to this school from Moorpark Community College already knowing that I wanted to be an English teacher; I had taken numerous English courses and though I knew exactly what I was headed for-was I ever wrong. Going through the English program has taught me so much more than stuff about literature and language, it has taught me how to be me. I have learned here how to write and express myself, how to think for myself, and how to find the answers to the things that I don't know. Most importantly I have learned how important literature and language are.
When I started at CI, I thought I was going to spend the next 3 years reading classics, discussing them and then writing about them. That was what I did in community college English courses, so I didn't think it would be much different here. On the surface, to an outsider, I am sure that this is what it appears that C.I. English majors do. In most all my classes I did read, discuss, and write papers; however, I quickly found out that that there was so much more to it. One specific experience I had while at C.I. really shows how integrated this learning is. Instead of writing a paper for my final project in Perspectives of Multicultural Literature (ENGL 449), I decided with a friend to venture to an Indian reservation and compare it to a book we read by Sherman Alexie. We had a great time and we learned so much more that we ever could have done from writing a paper. The opportunity to do that showed me that there are so many ways that one can learn that are both fun and educational.
The English courses also taught me how powerful the written word and language can be. Words tell so much more than a story. Stories tell about life and the human condition, they bring up the past and people and cultures that are long gone. Literature teaches about the self and the world surrounding the self. From these classes I learned about the world, its people and its history; through literature I learned how we as humans are all related. By writing about what we learn and/or what we believe, we are learning how to express ourselves.
I know that my ability to write and express my ideas, thoughts and knowledge has grown stronger each semester. I have always struggled to put my thoughts on paper in a manner that is coherent and correct according to assignments. I can remember being told numerous times in community college to "organize your thoughts" or "provide more support and examples". These are the things that I have worked on and improved over the past couple of years and I feel that my work shows this. The papers I wrote when I first started here at C.I. were bland and short. In these early papers, I would just restate what we learned in class and what I had found in my research. I did not formulate my own ideas and support them with the works of others. The classes I have taken the past couple semesters have really help me shed that bad habit and write better papers with better ideas. I have learned how to write various styles of papers in different forms and different fields. I feel confident that I could write a paper about most anything and know how to cite and format it properly.
There are a couple of things that I do feel I lack the confidence and skill to perform, and that is what I hope to gain from participating in Capstone. I am scared to teach because I don't know how to share my knowledge with others-students who may have no idea what I am talking about. I hope to learn more about how teachers share their knowledge as part of my Capstone project.
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Careers in English and Writing
The English program at California State University Channel Islands prepares students for a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers, including:
- English teacher
- Social media strategist
- Media production (film, TV, internet)
- Print and digital publishing
- Corporate communications
- Foreign service
- Human resources
- Foundations/non-profit management
Learn more about CI's English Program
Why reflective essay examples are important?
A focal point of a reflective essay is…
…YOU. Yes, that’s right – you are the center and the core of any reflective essay rubric. That is another reason why they call it a self reflection essay. As a matter of fact, students writing a reflective essay must keep in mind that the task aims to evaluate both writing skills and critical thinking. That’s important.
One may say that reflective essay topics play the second fiddle and be completely right about it. But the statement is 60% true because a solid personal reflection essay is based on a topic that engages you, launches your cognitive process, and evokes emotions.
If it doesn’t, you’ll have to put a much, MUCH greater effort to tune into the beat and present a comprehensive work. NOTE: Use a reflection essay example to get a visual reference.
6 hints on how to write a reflective essay properly
All in all, there are 6 cornerstones of how to write a reflective essay effectively. US experts use this approach all the time. You should do it as well.
- Express your personal thoughts and feelings about a topic, ask yourself questions;
- Come up with a one-sentence thesis based on these answers;
- Draw up a reflective essay outline aligning arguments to support your view;
- Present facts (if suitable), yet focus on your own feelings, not someone else’s;
- Compose a well-structured piece of writing with an Introduction, a Main Body, and a Conclusion;
- Use stylistic devices to create vivid images and resonate with readers.
You might want downloading reflective essay examples to incorporate these tips in practice. Do it to see how exactly the theory works out “in the field”.
Reflective essays in the framework of project writing
Numerous examples of reflective essays are taken from serious academic projects such as dissertations. They deal with student’s personal achievements, successes, and failures during the project making.
Thus, concentrate on your final results. Have you reached your goal? Have you proven your thesis right or wrong? Mind to clear out a potential influence and value it bears. Be straightforward and sincere.
As you can see, the notion of how to write a reflection essay is versatile and can be dealt with in a great number of scenarios. Composing serious and voluminous academic papers is, perhaps, the most common among them all.
About the importance of reference sources
Students state that having a reflection essay sample pays off during the writing process. And their point is valid. Choosing the right reflective essay format, presenting original personalized content, sharing personal feelings and speculations. All that is challenging and might take you a lot of time.
However, a sample reflective essay prevents from going around in a circle. It serves as a solid grounding for your own work that, nevertheless, is clean of typical mistakes and composition errors.
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