Review and an essay

Reflective essay writing: is it easier than writing other kinds of essays?

Let us start with pointing out that reflection is thoughts, laid out in accordance with logic, supported by evidence, connected by a chain of arguments and growing into convincing conclusions.

The reflection reveals and describes the causes and interconnections of any phenomena. In its beginning, as a rule, a thesis is placed – an assertion, the truth of which must be proved with the help of arguments, weighty and convincing arguments. The composition can be based both on reasoning-statements (the truth of the thesis is proved), and on arguments-refutations (the falsity of the basic proposition is proved). The writer is given the opportunity to use not only direct facts, but sometimes also evidence from the opposite. Building the evidence, the author of the essay can rely on personal experience, newspaper and magazine publications, films, give examples from life and literature.

Scheme of writing reflective essay

Before you start work on writing, you need to clearly formulate a thought that you will need to write about. Then, based on the statement that requires argumentation, a plan of future creative work is drawn up.

Scheme of the reflective essay

  1. Introduction.
  2. Thesis.
  3. Arguments: evidence, explanations, justifications; examples, cases, facts, figures; opinions of authoritative people, statements, quotations …
  4. Conclusion.

The introduction to the reflective essay is a small introduction to the topic. It can be formulated as a question or contain a quote. The proposed thesis will be the starting point for subsequent reasoning, and the bulk of the essay will be the argumentation – at least 2/3 of the total volume of the text. It is believed that the optimal number of arguments for reflective essay is three (as in any other type of essay).

Arguments in the reflective essay

What can a student use as an argument?

  • historical facts;
  • statistical data;
  • episodes, plot lines of literary works, confirming the proven thought;
  • proverbs and sayings, aphorisms;
  • personal opinion and viewpoint on a particular issue;
  • opinions of reputable people…

To argue the proof of your position, you can use the following words and phrases:

  • Let’s turn to (fact, memories of someone, scientific data…)
  • It is enough to give such an example…
  • This can be proved as follows …
  • The following fact can be a confirmation of what has been said…
  • I will give one more example, which proves my point of view, …
  • This is easily seen by referring to …
  • For example…
  • Let’s say …
  • According to the testimony (of someone) …
  • Suppose …
  • As; because…
  • First, secondly, etc.

Finishing the essay of reflection

The conclusion concludes the main thoughts of your essay. It should be convincing, because it is a conclusion, a result, a consequence of your reflection. It almost duplicates the thesis, but it takes it to a new (deeper) level due to generalizations and, possibly, forecasts. The conclusion can be formulated using the following words and expressions: so, generalizing what was said, thus, proceeding from our reasoning, therefore…

Reflection essay will become more convincing under the following conditions:

  • the main thesis corresponds to the theme of the essay,
  • the selected evidence is weighty enough,
  • there is a close logical connection between parts of the composition,
  • the conclusions are clearly stated.

The form of the derivation (in particular, the proof) is correct if no rule of logic is violated in it.

What’s the difference between a review and an essay?

The essay expresses individual impressions and thoughts of the author on a particular subject and doesn’t pretend to be an exhaustive or defining interpretation of the topic. In terms of volume and function, on the one hand, it borders on a scientific article and a literary essay, on the other hand, with a philosophical treatise.

The quality of any essay depends on three interrelated components, such as:

the source material that you are going to use (abstracts of read literature, lectures, recording the results of discussions, your own considerations and the experience gained on this issue);

quality of processing of the available source material (its organization, reasoning and arguments);

argumentation (how closely it relates to the problems raised in your essay).

 The review is an extremely complex genre. Simultaneously, the review is the highest indicator of skill.  In this genre the author must demonstrate on all the new skills that haven’t been processed yet and skills of analyzing the literary work that he received while studying classical, established things. The main task of the review is to address the most recent, contemporary phenomena of literature, about which practically no one has written about which a certain opinion hasn’t taken shape. Talking about such a work, the writer needs to consider it in the context of modern life and the literary process: to evaluate it precisely as a new phenomenon. This topicality (in the best sense of the word) is an indispensable sign of any review. It goes without saying that for this, it is necessary for a person preparing to write a review to at least occasionally look through literary and art magazines in order to be aware of novelties and to navigate in the main directions of literary life.

 The composition of written work, as a rule, consists of:

Introduction: the essence and rationale for choosing this topic.

Development of the topic: a reasoned disclosure of the topic based on the collected material (ideas, models and data).

Conclusion: generalizations and reasoned conclusions on the topic, indicating the scope of its application, etc. It’s like a sandwich, in which the reasoned disclosure of the topic is the filling, which represents the desired part.