THE REFLECTIVE ESSAY
Let’s say we are going to write a reflective composition titled “What would you do if you had a lot of money?” Use the acronym B.A.G. to help you plan your essay.
B – Brainstorm for main ideas
A – Add supporting details
G – Get Organised.
STEP 1 BRAINSTORM for main ideas
Write any idea that you may have concerning the topic above in the box below.
STEP TWO: Add supporting details
From the main ideas, add more facts or ideas that support each main idea.
STEP 3 GET ORGANISED
Look at all the points and determine which paragraph is stronger and should have top priority. Rearrange the points and make them into a list. Think of an interesting introduction and a suitable conclusion. Your basic structure should roughly look like this.
Main Idea 1.
Main Idea 2
Main Idea 3
Supporting details ……..
There are many ways to organise your essay depending on the types of essays.
i. Chronological order – according to the order of how the events occurred
ii. Cause and effect – discuss the causes (reasons) first, then give the effect.
iii. Problem to solution – discuss the problems, then give the solutions
iv. Spatial order – describe from one spot to the next . This is suitable for descriptive writing.
v. Climactic order – starts with the least important to the most important.
Reverse climactic order – starts with the most important to the least important
WRITING THE ESSAY
1. IDEAS FOR INTRODUCTIONS
The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give her an idea of the essay's focus.
Introduce your essay with an attention grabber.
Here are some ideas:
• Use some startling information or facts
A recent survey on teenagers who smoked revealed that 20% picked up smoking before they were 13.
• Use an anecdote.
An anecdote is a short story that illustrates a point.
Be sure your anecdote is short and relevant to your topic.
Raj and his friends do not go home after school. They hang out daily at shopping complexes after school. They are just the tip of the iceberg of the loafing syndrome.
• Use a question
Do you know that Malaysians throw away 1.2 million tonnes worth of newspapers daily? For every ten newspapers bought, only four are recovered for recycling.
• Use a general statement and lead to your topic
Use a few sentences to explain your topic in general terms. Then, lead the reader gently to your main point or thesis of the essay. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.
Of late, there has been increasing concern about the impact of pollution on the environment and our society. How do we reduce pollution?
AVOID THESE INTRODUCTIONS:
1. Nowadays, we hear of many snatch theft cases…..
2. Everyone in this world needs a friend …….
3. The dictionary defines a computer as …………….
These are overused introductions and teachers are tired of reading these introductions.
The conclusion (in three or four sentences) sums up your points or provides a final perspective on your essay.
IDEAS FOR CONCLUSION
• Express your hopes about the topic
Finally, it is hoped that as people become more aware of the need to recycle, more will come forward and get involved in environmental issues.
• Call for action
Shall we just sit back and wait till all our landfills overflow? Let’s get involved and do something to save our environment.
• include a brief summary of the essay's main points.
• ask a provocative question.
• compare with other situations