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How To Write A Reflection Essay On A Novel

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Louise Ammentorp is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology, received her BA in Psychology and Art History from Rutgers University. In her dissertation writing project she explored the study of linguistic meditation and children’s understanding of conflict. Follow the updates on her most recent works here.

Most students will be required to submit a reflection paper once or twice in high school or college. But what is a reflection paper? Aside from writing in general is not easy for most people, it will be more difficult if you don’t know what you need to write.

Reflection Paper: What Is It?

A reflection paper is an essay of your thoughts about something that could be a movie, book, incident, etc. To put it simply, it is a paper on what you think about something. Most teachers would require students to write about a similar subject such as a reflection essay on this movie or that event. Others would give a general topic such as the best childhood experience.

Reflection Paper: What It’s Not

To ensure that you will write the right type of essay, it is also important that you know what it is not. For instance, a reflection paper is not a piece composed of mixed thoughts of other people. No matter how well known the people you will quote, you will end up with a failing grade as this type of essay requires your own thoughts.

What Should Be in the Reflection Paper?

To understand what is a reflection paper, knowing what should be in it might also help. A reflection paper should be mostly about your personal insights. It could be your experiences and beliefs. It could also be your personal observations. It is a simple reflection paper. It is easy to write because you just have to express your thoughts and how you see things.

To make it easy for you (considering that you already have a subject), you can start by describing the big picture in the introduction. There is no rule on how you should write the introduction but it is best to give them an idea – a general statement – that prepares them for the body of your reflection paper. Be sure to include your thesis statement in the introduction. It is the statement that sums up the entire essay.

Aside from the introduction and a narration or description of the subject, a reflection paper should also have a judgment, a conclusion, etc. It is usually in the latter part of the essay. Since it is a reflection essay, it should be your own words and how you exactly perceive things. It should state your personal insight, which makes it different from other types of essay.

What is a reflection paper? To put it simply, a reflection paper or essay is something that reflects your insights, opinion, or observation. You could quote once in a while but the essay should not be entirely what other people think about the subject. Like other types of essays, it should have an introduction (thesis statement), body and conclusion (judgment and summary).

Free Examples

How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book

What is a reflection paper?

A reflection paper is a two to three page piece that lets you share your thoughts on an experience that can be reading a book of choice and apply what you have learned or gained to your life and education.

Writing such papers is very common in institutions of higher learning and not many students who know how to write a reflection paper on a book.

Reflection papers will stand out among other types of papers as they are relatively informal and focus on your reactions to the experience and how you plan on using your newly acquired knowledge. A reflection paper on a book will help you transfer your comprehension of various topics covered from theory to practice. There is freedom to develop your paper the way you want it, however, there are guidelines and recommendation to consider always.

To overcome challenges many students face when presented with such a task because they don’t know how to write a reflection paper on a book is by doing practice and reading other peoples works.

Here are a few tips on How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book

A reflection paper is a piece that focuses on your thoughts about a book or any other related material and so it has to be written in the most appealing and contemplative manner. To successfully write a great piece on your book, keep in mind that, a reflection paper is not based on mixed thoughts of other people. Your own thoughts are necessary for your reflection paper to be fruitful.

Everything that you include in your paper should incorporate your insight, observation or opinion. Like any other papers, your reflection paper should include introduction, body and conclusion sections. If stuck or having challenges on comprehending, you can find out more from professional writers, tutors or friends who have written reflection papers before. These are personal and subjective papers, and you have to uphold an academic tone in the whole paper and ensure that it is thoroughly and cohesively planned.

Here are a few tips to help you know how to write a reflection paper on a book with ease:

Determine your main themes– In the notes that you make from the book that you have read, sum up the experience or lesson in a number of sentences that are descriptive and straightforward. Identify why the material will stand out and what you have learned from it. Keep track of your main points or experiences from the book you have read, then list personal response to the points you have amassed and describe how this response is helpful to your paper.

Ask yourself a few questions to guide you on your response– If you find it hard to gauge your own feelings on the topic of choice or your own response, try to ask yourself a few questions about the experience or lesson and how it relates to you. Excellent sample questions may include;

  • Does the experience or lesson affect you socially, emotionally or theologically?
  • Does the experience or lesson from the book leave you with many questions?
  • Do the ideas that you obtained from the book contradict or back up each other?
  • Did the author of the book fail to address any essential issues?

You have to keep it short and impressive– Do not include more content that cannot be backed by topic ideas or evidence accessible from the book. You will easily lose credibility from your readers if you present false information in your paper.

Ensure you reveal details in a wise manner– Due to subjective feelings and opinions that accompany reflection papers, it is wise to not reveal personal things learned from the book. Ask yourself whether it is necessary or not to include a few in the paper.

A Step By Step Guide on How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book

To be well prepared on how to reinforce what you have learned from a book you read is quite easy, especially if you know how to write a reflection paper. Writing is an art that you can easily master with a comprehensive step by step writing guide in mind. Producing a quality and appealing reflection paper on a book requires multiple sources and frequent use of examples.

Grasping how to write a reflection paper on a book helps you to organize your thoughts methodically and acquire more from practical experience. Nevertheless, you cannot produce a great piece, if you do not have helpful writing guidelines at disposal. The idea of a reflection paper on a book is to describe your reactions and analysis to your reading or lessons learned from the book. Here are steps on how to go about it;

  • Come up with a clear and remarkable introduction

Writing a reflection paper differs from just slapping some thoughts on a paper. You have to create a clear and impressive introduction. Here you have to describe your expectations and initial attitude from reading your book of choice. Create an informative statement about the lessons or experiences gained to appeal to the reader of your paper. In the final sentence of your introduction, sum up your feelings or response on what you gained from the book in a thesis statement that outlines the core points you will talk about in the rest of the paper.

  • Elaborate on your reactions to the subject of the book

Expound more on your ideas and do not generalize things regarding your lessons or experience. Analyze all your experience in a theoretical concept and depict how it closely adapted to your theoretical expectations. Use certain examples to show how you have reached your conclusions on the topic. In addition, you can use direct quotes from the book to support your ideas or observations. Providing your readers with examples to back up your topic will help them see the importance of what you have learned from the book.

  • Apply what you have amassed from the book

Your conclusion should sum up for readers of your reflection paper on how you plan to use the new knowledge acquired and how it applies to your life. Put all your critical thinking skills at test in this section as you summarize what you have acquired from reading your book. Depending on the topic that you decide on from your book of choice, what you incorporate in your piece should leave readers with a clear statement of your lesson’s value to your life.

  • Edit and proofread your reflection paper

It is also wise to find out what should be included in your paper or not. Editing is never easy as it requires time and a focused mind. You have to go through your paper and get rid of grammar, punctuation and spelling flaws. Have your friend read aloud the final draft and single out any areas that are not clear.

The above guidelines are some of the things that will help you how to write a reflection paper on a book without difficulties.

Here is a good example for you;

Reflection paper from: The Goodfellow Chronicles-The Sacred Seal by J.C Mills

Moving into the shaky old Hawthorne house in New England is no pleasurable for 10-year-old Sam Middleton, who does not fancy his new house. Until, that is, he encounters mouse-sized Mr. Goodfellow. Goodfellow is one of the sages who provide inspiration to people on the approach of discovering, creating, and devising, including Beethoven, Rembrandt, Einstein and Edison among others. He’s on the hunt for the lost Hawthorne manuscript and with Sam’s help he hopes to discover the whereabouts of this mysterious artifact before his adversaries track him down….. Read this summary

From this book you can come up with significant issues that are depicted by the characters. This book has a significant and great impact to adults and kids. For instance; teamwork and cooperation were the key aspects connecting Sam and Jolly to excel in their endeavors. I and many other readers can related to Sam and Jolly in the sense that I had hard time in finishing certain tasks, but when I teamed with my friends I was able to excel in the assignment, a trait that is well depicted in the book……

We hope that from the above guidelines you now know how to write a reflection paper on a book with ease.

Seek Help on How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book


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