What Is a Reflective Narrative?

In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin reflects on various formative durations throughout his life. The literary work is divided into 4 parts: his childhood; his apprenticeship; his career and also achievements as a printer, writer, and also scientist; and also a brief section about his civic involvements in Pennsylvania.

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Franklin’s Autobiography is a historic example of a reflective narrative. A reflective narrative is a form of individual writing that permits authors to look earlier at incidents and alters in their stays. Writing a reflective narrative permits authors to not just recount experiences however additionally analyze just how they’ve adjusted or learned lessons.

Reflective Narrative Essay Example

A reflective narrative essay consists of a beginning, middle, and also ending. The start, or introduction, offers background and introduces the topic. The middle paragraphs carry out details and occasions leading approximately the adjust. Finally, the finishing, or conclusion, sums up the writer’s reflection around the readjust.

The adhering to is an excerpt from a reflective narrative essay written by a student entitled “Not Taken for Granted” (check out the complete essay in our “Reflective Narrative Guide”). In the creating piece, the writer reflects on his altering relationship through his little brother:

I guess I was spoiled. At first, I was an only kid, cuddled and cooed over by paleas, grandpaleas, aunts, and also uncles. Up until I was eight years old, life was sweet. Then along came Grant, and everything adjusted.Grant is my little bit brvarious other. I don’t remember all the details, yet he was born a month prematudepend, so he needed a lot of added attention, particularly from Mom. My mom and also dad didn’t neglect me, yet I was no much longer the facility of their world, and I resented the adjust in dynamics. And at first, I also resented Grant.Fortunately, Grant’s early birth didn’t cause any type of real problems in his development, and he crawled, toddled, and talked pretty a lot on schedule. My paleas were still rather protective of him, but as he obtained older, he arisen the obnoxious halittle bit of attaching himself to me, following my eincredibly relocate. My parents warned me to be nice to him, yet I uncovered him totally annoying. By the moment I ended up being a teenager, he was, at five, my shadow, following me approximately, copying my eexceptionally relocate, asking questions, and also mainly being a pest.

Steps to Writing a Reflective Narrative Essay

How can Grades 3 and up students create a reflective narrative essay consisting of an engaging introduction, sustaining body paragraphs, and a conclusion that sums up the essay? Have your students follow these seven steps:

1. Select a Topic

The initially action in prewriting is for students to choose a topic. Tbelow is plenty for them to pick from, including life-altering occasions (such as a new endure or failing or prospering at a new task or activity) or people or moments that made an impact and also caused a adjust in your students’ stays (a teacher or a pilgrimage to a new city or country). Another method students have the right to choose their topics is to think of methods they have actually changed and also discover the factors for those changes.

A Then/Now Chart have the right to assist students brainstorm alters in their stays. In this chart, they must list just how points supplied to be and exactly how they are currently. Afterward, they’ll compose why they readjusted. After brainstorming miscellaneous transforms, students can mark the one adjust they wish to write about. See listed below for an example of this form of chart:

ThenNowReaboy for Change

2. Gather Relevant Details

After your students choose their topic, they must gather details that’ll help them outline their essay. A T-Chart is a tool that deserve to aid collect those details about their lives prior to and also after the readjust took place.

3. Organize Details

The last action in precreating consists of your students organizing the details of their essays. A reflective narrative might cover an extensive duration, so students should pick details that demonstrate their resides prior to, in the time of, and after the adjust. A 3rd tool students deserve to use to assist plot the narrative is a Time Line, where they emphasis on the background (before the change), realization (in the time of the change), and ultimately, reflection (after the change).

4. Write the First Draft

Now, it’s time for your students to create their initially drafts. The tools they used to brainstorm will certainly come in handy! However, though their notes should overview them, they should remain open up to any type of brand-new ideas they might have actually throughout this writing step. Their esstates should consist of a start, middle, and also finishing. The start, or advent paragraph, provides background details and events that help construct the narrative and cause the adjust.

The middle, or body paragraphs, need to encompass an anecdote that helps show the adjust. Your students have to remember to show readers what is happening and usage dialogue. Finally, the finishing, or conclusion paragraph, should reflect on occasions after the change.

Allow your students to create freely—they shouldn’t issue also a lot about spelling and grammar. Freewriting consists of 5–10 minutes of writing as much as possible. For even more information on freewriting, inspect out our lesson!


Try Writable to support your ELA curriculum, district benchmarks, and also state requirements via even more than 600 totally customizable composing assignments and also rubrics for students in Grades 3–12.

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