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The Flexible Reflective Essay Format

Reflective essays are becoming more required when it comes to jobs that demand a great deal of interpersonal work. People training to be teachers, psychologists, social workers, etc. now have to complete reflective essays during their time at college.

The aim of this is to get people to think about their limited past experience. It requires people to look back and question why something happens and how it should have happened. This is a good learning tool because if it continues on into the working world, that student’s work experience will actually start to mean something.

This may be why teachers and professors set a flexible reflective essay format when they give this type of assignment. They want the student to be able to look back and take a relevant event from their past in order to learn and grow from it. The professor is also able to look deeper into the content of the essay and check the student’s diagnostic tools.

The Student’s Diagnostic Tools

A student should have created a pattern of thought to diagnose what they have seen, heard, or been through. This is an important diagnostic tool in a student’s psychological makeup and is so powerful that good detectives, psychologists, and other specialists are able to diagnose events even if they were not there at the time.

A professor may also use a reflective essay to check on the student’s diagnostic tools. Again, if they assign a reflective essay, the student might have to reflect on events that they do not remember nor had much of a part in. For example, a student may reflect upon how students reacted to a heckler in a classroom while missing the fact that the teacher’s reaction and possible inaction may have precipitated the reaction of the students.

The essay writer may reflect upon how the other children in the class reacted loudly because they were brought up incorrectly, their parents let them watch trash TV programs, or because the school is underfunded. The student may have misdiagnosed the situation and not realized that the children’s response was due to a lack of respect for the teacher, which is why many substitute teachers have such a hard time.

The Choice of Topic is Very Telling

A professor is probably going to use a very open-ended essay question and a very flexible reflective essay format in order to set the reflective essay project. This enables the student to pick a topic and event of his or her choosing. This choice is very telling for the professor, as it may indicate just how attentive the students are.

An in-depth and well-planned reflective essay is going to show that a student is attentive and diligent in their work. An essay with a flimsy premise or topic is probably the result of a student who is not trying hard enough. If a student has very little to reflect on, how attentive have they really been? An observant person can pull apart any event and scenario to the point of noting seemingly unrelated events such as body language and personality clashes.

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