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Critical Reflection Paper

A critical reflection paper is different than a standard academic essay. Generally, critical reflection papers deal with some personal experience which the writer must then be critical during reflection, asking how the experience could have been improved or what steps could have taken to make the experience better or more worthwhile.

A critical reflection research paper follows the steps outlined below:

  1. Begin with describing the experience
  2. Reflect on the experience, emphasizing what was discovered or learned
  3. Interpret one's own criticism of the experience

A critical reflection paper begins by describing the experience to be discussed. Details can be expanded upon during the introductory paragraphs to give the reader a complete sense of the event. Writers should ideally, in a critical reflection paper, provide insight into feelings and observations from the original experience.

Next, a good writer will apply the critical reflection from the experience into meaning for moving forward. This is the section where the writer can discuss what was learned, and how the experience has changed one’s outlook. After this, the criticism can be applied to the experience. Writers can explore in depth both an understanding of the event, any mistakes that were made, and what could have been changed to make the outcome better.

The final step in a critical reflection paper is to interpret one’s own criticism, by discussing how what one has learned can and will be applied to future situations, or how current situations would be different if different choices had been made.

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