How to Write a Self-Reflection Paper Using APA

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A self-reflection paper differs greatly from most other academic papers you are assigned. As the writer, you are asked to write in first person, making "I" statements that encourage you to explore your emotions about the work you have accomplished throughout the semester. Most professors waive style requirements for self-reflection pieces, but if you must do yours in American Psychological Association, or APA, style, it is similar to writing an essay in APA style.

Writing the Paper

  • Write a first draft of an introduction paragraph. In three to five sentences, relate your personal life to the class. State a pivotal conclusion you drew from the class that affects the way you view or act in your own life. You explain this correlation in the coming paragraphs.

  • Write one to three paragraphs citing specific examples from the class. Cite the materials you used to study, such as books, essays and films. Cite the teacher's lectures. Cite projects you or your classmates completed. For each source, state at least one conclusion you drew. Explain how and why that source affected you as it did.

  • Write at least one paragraph comparing your views before and after taking the class. Mention a pivotal moment in the class that stands out. Explain the opinions you held about the subject matter of the class before taking it, and whether these opinions changed. If they did change, explain why.

  • Write a conclusion paragraph explaining how the lessons learned through the class changed how you act or may think in the future. If the class did not change how you act or think, explain why. If you would like to make helpful suggestions to the teacher for improving this class in the future, do so.

  • Reread your first draft paragraphs and edit. Cut out unnecessary words. Check to make sure you used "I" statements. Check grammar and punctuation.

Formatting the Paper

  • Type your paper if you hand-wrote it initially. Double-space the text, put 1-inch margins on all four sides of the text and make the font 10 to 12 points in Times New Roman or a similar, standard font.

  • Insert a page header at the top left corner of each page. The header is the title of your paper. Insert page numbers in the top right corner of each page.

  • Create a title page. On the title page, type the title of your paper, your full name and your institutional affiliation -- the name of your school. APA instructs you to leave out titles or degrees when typing your name, such as Ph.D. or Dr.

  • Create an "Abstract" page. Type "Abstract" and center it at the top of the page. Do not bold, underline, italicize, enlarge or change the text in any way. Write an overview of what your self-reflection paper entails in one paragraph.

  • Create a "References" page. Type "References" and center it at the top of the page. For each reference, type the author's or authors' names inverted (last name, first name). Type the year of publication. Type the title of the work in italics. Type the location of the publisher. Separate each item with a period and a single space. Alphabetize the authors' names from A to Z in your list.

References

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