How to Write a Letter of Reflection

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Part of the learning process is reflecting on your work. Many teachers in high school, as well as professors in college, will ask you to write a reflective letter or essay at the end of a semester or before graduation. The goal of this letter is to demonstrate not only what you have learned in a course or throughout your time at that school, but also to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of the quality of the work you have produced. Another goal of the reflective letter is to discuss where you must continue to improve after the course is finished or after you have graduated.

1 Type your address

Type your address, without your name. Skip a line and type the date. Skip an additional line, and write the recipient's name, title and address on separate lines. Skip another line. Type "Dear Mr./Ms. (Last name)" followed by a colon. If you are not sure to whom you should address your letter, ask your instructor.

2 Begin the letter by leading into the topic

Begin the letter by leading into the topic. Explain what sort of student you were before the experience. For example, if you are being asked to reflect about your experiences in your introduction to college composition course, you could begin by explaining your writing skills before you took the course.

3 Continue the letter

Continue the letter with relevant examples of your work and a discussion of what you learned from each experience. For example, discuss what might you have done differently, knowing what you know now. Do not discuss your personal feelings about each assignment; a reflection essay or letter is about what you have learned and how you have grown, not an evaluation of the course.

4 Conclude by summarizing what you have learned

Conclude by summarizing what you have learned. Then discuss which skills you must continue working on as you move into your next course and as you use the skills learned from the course in life.

5 Close the letter by typing Sincerely

Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your full name. Print the letter, and sign above your name in blue or black ink.

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.