Going beyond experience
Refection =Looking at yourself in detail.Looking back and thinking about changes.
Showing ReflectionIn your writing, you can show you are reflecting by using the following phrases;
Looking backNow I realiseWhen I think about thisI have learnedFrom this I can seeThis taught me a lot becauseI should haveSince this happenedIt was a _____ thing to do because
Topics for reflectionYou could do the following:Take an idea such as friendship, popularity, responsibility, happiness, fear or failure and think about what it means to you. Write about an experience which taught you the meaning of this idea.Think about something which means a lot to you e.g. being involved in a sport/team, having a skill/hobby. Write about your experience and why you think it is important.
Places for Ideas Past papersThink about a time you were separated from a member of your family. Write about your thoughts and feelings when this happened.Think about a time when you had to face someone or something unpleasant, or something to which you were not looking forward. Write about the situation and how it turned out.Some people are just born lucky. Basing what you write on more than one person or experience, write your thoughts on this idea.Childhood dreams are often very powerful. Describe one that you still remember, perhaps for a special reason. You may wish to add a paragraph saying how you feel about it now. Have you ever felt on top of the world after achieving something important to you? Write about your achievement and how it made you feel.
Writing a Reflective OpeningA lot of people would probably say success is measured in pounds. Big houses, shiny cars, jumbo-sized TVs. Open any magazine and you will see it: plastic celebrities showing off their latest bling and living it up. For a while, I thought that achieving something meant having lots to show for it. Then I had an opportunity to do something which made me realise success is much harder to measure, but means so much more.
In other wordsRefer to what you think most people would consider the meaning success/fear/failure etc.Begin to introduce what it means to you.
LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE THEN MAKE IT PERSONAL.
Checklist for the openingIs it clear that this is personal?Have you made it clear what idea/emotion is the focus of your writing?Is it clear what lesson you learned?
Make sure that you have used key words/phrases e.g. happiest, most frightening etc OR responsibility, pride, friendship, team work.
Looking at the Criteriagive a clear account of a personal experience with some sense of involvement;convey the gist of a personal experience;express personal feelings and reactions sensitively;express personal feelings and reactions with some attempt to go beyond bald statement.
Step 1 gather ideas
Step 2 Rough PlanTopic/Focus Explain what your general focus is e.g. most terrifying experience, change in relationship with sibling, what success means, feeling of failure.Opening How are you going to engage your reader? Flash forward? Discussion of theme?Events think carefully about the key events which made you have this important realisation.Reflection Think about the Higher example we read. Plan when and where in your essay you will write about what the experience made you think of and how it made you feel.Conclusion What was the lesson learned? How do you feel about the experience now? Have you changed? Remember to use the suggested phrases.
Example PlanDiscuss typical idea of a bully expect someone strong, aggressive and physically powerful. Introduce own experience bullies dont need physical strength to cause pain.Write about first time meeting bully seemed nice at start. Describe appearance looked innocent. Describe games played at start, getting along well.Change next day pretended to be friendly but started nasty, sarcastic comments. Sum up week that followed picking up on what made me different, making a big deal out of the smallest things. Started to feel like a freak pushed aside by others in class.Write about trying to deal with issue realising had no proof of bullying as had no bruises etc. Describe thoughts/feelings. Describe experience when telling parents.Write about overcoming the bullying realised how insecure she was. Write about confronting bully.What I learned people dont need to be physically strong to have power, but often those that bully are the weakest people. Experience taught me how to deal with pathetic people and in fact made me mentally stronger.
The Tree HouseI was told there was nothing we could do. Looking at it I could tell the situation wasnt good. Parts had started to crumble, splintered wood covered in mould. It didnt ease the pain. As I reached up to tear the first plank of wood away, I couldnt help but feel a little bit of regret as the tree house had been so important to me. Building it had been the best achievement of my life.
Making the team workIt goes without saying that to work in a team you need to work together. That old phrase, Theres no I in team is used to remind us that supporting each other is important for success, but sometimes this is easier said than done. Last year I found myself faced with a team mate who put the me in team.
Reminder Show not TellAs I looked up at him, he seemed to grow taller. The shadow he cast over me was cold and unwelcoming, made even worse by his icy stare.
I was certain my head was about to explode. Looking at him, I clenched my fist so tight that my nails were digging into my palm. He looked so smug, that grin snaking its way across his face. I wanted to wipe that grin off his face.
It seemed like time had stopped. I stood there, unable to accept what had just happened. It was my name they called, wasnt it? Could this be real? As I put my hand to my face, I was almost shocked by the size of my smile. Someone was shaking my hand, and it took a moment for me to get a grip and utter, Thanks!