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Hands up if you are able to write a good essays!

(13 Posts)
XBenedict Tue 06-Nov-12 08:03:25

How the heck do you start? I have 5 weeks to write a 3,000 word reflective essay and I don't want to leave it to the last minute (like I used to do)!

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Tue 06-Nov-12 08:14:21

Best way to start is by drafting your plan.

When you say a reflective essay - reflecting on your own practice?

I would advise writing your title, writing an abstract (about a 100 word summary of what the whole piece will be about), then sketch out roughly what subheadings you will be working to and assign a word target for each section.

Then start with section one!

Write your formal introduction and conclusion last.

When you get a sensible structure in your head it is much easier to get started IME.

Oblomov Tue 06-Nov-12 08:15:53

I used to write down any good quotes, as I went.
I number ideas/points and then swapped them around nearer the end.
I used to write down ideas as they came to me, often when I was queing to pack my shopping!! If you don't write it down there and then, you easily forget.
If you are starting early, then that is so good. Takes off all the pressure.
It was only near the end, that I would collect all my points together and turn it into a first draft.

GooseyLoosey Tue 06-Nov-12 08:18:17

Don't foget that a good essay needs to be structed with a good introduction and conclusion. It has to start and arrive somewhere.

XBenedict Tue 06-Nov-12 08:24:19

Thank you for your tips. Yes it's a reflection on practice and the expansion of 2 competencies I have had to achieve in practice. (I'm on a refresher course after a career break).

I think that's what I struggle with Goosey - the structure, the formation of an effective arguement. I tend to end up being too descriptive and not critical enough.

flossyfloo Tue 06-Nov-12 08:36:07

Have you chosen the reflective model you are going to use?

XBenedict Tue 06-Nov-12 08:43:46

flossy they want us to use Gibbs.

tabulahrasa Tue 06-Nov-12 08:52:26

I always get a rough idea of my argument, pick my points, find a quote for each one (or to be totally honest sometimes the other way round, lol) put them in a logical order, then write a paragraph round each one. Introduction and conclusion are done last and are pretty much rewordings of my topic sentences in opposite order to each other.

flossyfloo Tue 06-Nov-12 09:10:43

I think it's a good idea to start a reflective piece with why reflection is so important. If you are a nurse, there is something about being a reflective practitioner from the NMC (in the code of conduct I think). Talk about the benefits of reflection and put in a few quotes.

It's a shame they are telling you which model to use, as I usually follow the above with my rationale for choosing the model I have. Possible you may be able to do this in yours - say what benefits the model has and why it is adaptable to use in your essay, maybe?

This part doesn't need to be long - 150-200 words I reckon, before you then actually do the reflection. Just follow each heading from the Gibbs model to guide you.

Hope that helps x

XBenedict Tue 06-Nov-12 09:34:02

grin - I am a nurse Flossy

It all helps, I feel quite motivated now, thank you smile

flossyfloo Tue 06-Nov-12 09:42:33

Good luck x

AyeOopMoose Thu 08-Nov-12 17:38:08

I'll try & be brief:

INTRO- define what is meant by reflection, define key words (or in this case explain the areas for refection (this is important for referring back to at the end of each para/ , briefly summarise how the reflective process will/has been undertake.

MAIN BODY-Use Point, Evidence, Explanation to structure each paragraph. P-introduces the content of that para. Evidence is discussing what happened (in this case). This is where you'd use quotes/data etc. Explanation then links back to explaining/reflecting on what you did/observations/conclusions and should link to your overall title/theme.

CONC-summarise the main findings from your refelction, how it will inform future practice.

What I tend to do is open a doc with these heading and add bits and before you know it you have an outline structure to add to!

Hope that helps a little!

XBenedict Fri 09-Nov-12 10:09:17

Brilliant thank you smile

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