How to Write a Reflection Paper in Economics

Writing guide
Posted on February 24, 2020

Reflection papers are common assignments in economics classes. The purpose of writing a reflection paper in economics is to help you apply the material you have learned during lectures and when reading independently and learn to recognize how economics course content directly relates to your daily life. You need to reflect on what new things you have learned and map your progress and certain changes in your thinking and your views on a specific subject or topic.

Think this is too challenging for you? Read this easy step-by-step guide where we discuss different aspects of writing a successful reflection paper in economics. You will learn how reflective writing differs from other types of academic writing, how to structure your reflective paper, and how to write and edit your draft. You’ll also find 15 great topics for writing reflection papers in economics. If you struggle with any other type of college assignment, at our website, you can find a lot of full guides to all writing assignments out there.

What Is Reflection Paper in Economics?

Reflection papers are typically assigned in a variety of disciplines, including economics, where relatively complex and practical tasks are concerned. Reflecting writing is based on reflective thinking that involves looking back and evaluating your personal experiences and certain actions from the perspective of relevant literature on a specific topic with an objective of improving your analysis and practice.

The purpose of writing a reflection paper in economics is to critically engage with different economics theories and important concepts by making connections between your personal experiences, observations, and opinions.

  • You should demonstrate that you are familiar with the relevant economics literature on the subject.
  • You need to explain and analyze economics concepts from your own point of view and show your ability to think critically, evaluating scholarly sources.
  • You need to make connections between economics concepts and ideas and your own experience.
  • You need to show how you learned from experience and make useful recommendations for your future actions.

Keep in mind that reflective writing style differs from traditional academic writing.

  • Although a reflection paper in economics is a formal assignment, it concerns your thoughts and your personal experiences so it is mostly subjective.
  • Your essay has to be reflective and logical but you can also write about your personal experiences, make assumptions and hypotheses, and be creative with the content and structure.
  • Your task is not to present evidence from academic sources but to comment on it and your personal experiences.
  • You can use more informal language and be conversational. You can write from the first person when you tell about your thoughts, opinions, and experiences but you should avoid using colloquial words and phrases.
  • You can tell about your emotions and feelings.
  • You don’t need to do a thorough research and use a lot of academic literature as evidence but you can still include some expert opinions and quotes to support your explanations.

How to Choose a Powerful Topic for a Reflection Paper in Economics?

Typically, students are assigned topics to write about in their reflection papers. But sometimes, you may be given an opportunity to choose reflective essay topics according to your preferences. We recommend that you should select an economics topic or a problem that interest you most of all and then consider how it is relevant to your experience. Economics is a complex subjects and there are plenty of interesting topics to choose from so you may need a lot of time to make a choice. To help you get started with your reflective writing, we created a short list of amazing topic ideas for writing a reflection paper in economics. Feel free to use them for your own projects.

  • How Can We Make Economics Principles Personal;
  • Discuss Positive and Negative Impact of Globalization on the World’s Economics;
  • Speak about Economic Impact of Climate Change;
  • What Is the Difference between Capitalism and Socialism?
  • Mixed Economy: Features, Pros, Cons, and Examples;
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Market Economy;
  • What Are the Main Characteristics of the Traditional Economy?
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution and the Future of Economics;
  • Why Is Behavioral Economics on the Rise?
  • Is Economics Only about Money?
  • Why Is Economics Important for Everyone?
  • What Is the Relationship between Inflation and Unemployment?
  • How Can We Define Money by Its Functions?
  • How Can We Measure Economic Progress?
  • Major Factors That Affect the Economic Growth

How to Structure of a Reflection Paper in Economics

Reflective thinking is almost always free and unstructured but your reflection paper should be carefully structured and logical in order to convey your ideas clearly. There different models for organizing ideas in reflection papers. You can use the basic one and break down the content of your essay into 3 parts:

  • description – describe the idea, experience, situation or event in specific terms and try to be as precise as possible
  • interpretation – explain and evaluate the situation, idea or experience from your perspective; tell about the new insights, connections with your prior knowledge, your conclusions and hypothesis
  • outcome/action – tell about what you have learned and reflect how this new information can be useful for you and why it matters for your future

How to Organize the Writing Process

You can easily write your reflection paper in economics if you follow these simple steps.

1. Review the Assignment

Before you start working on your reflective writing assignment in economics, you need to read it carefully to get a clear understanding of what exactly you are expected to do. You need to identify the key words that will help you see your direction. For example, your instructor may ask you to write a reflective commentary on a certain economic theory or to give a reflective account of a lecture in economics that you have attended. So your reflection paper should be all about you, your own thoughts about some economics idea or concept, and the development of your academic skills.

2. Create an Outline

Now you know what you are supposed to write about so it’s time to gather your ideas. There are different effective brainstorming techniques that can help you in doing that, for example, free-writing and mind mapping.

Freewriting involves writing every thought that comes to your mind for 3-5 minutes. When you do that, you shouldn’t worry about spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Then you need to review your notes and identify the main ideas and key words that can be explored further in your reflection paper. Choose several main themes and include them in your outline.

Mind-mapping is a useful technique that can help you structure ideas for your essay and identify connections between them. You need to write the subject in the centre of a blank page and draw other ideas associated with the subject on branches that are connected to the central subject. Then review what you have created and draw circles round the key points and ideas. Think about connection between the ideas in the circles and map their relationships with arrows and lines of different colors.

Use the key themes that you have identified during brainstorming to create a detailed outline for your reflection paper in economics. Although there is no standard format for a reflection essay, make sure that it includes 3 basic parts: introduction, main body and conclusion. Your reflection should start with descriptive writing, followed by analysis and interpretation, and include your explanation of significance for future actions.

3. Write an Introduction

You introduction may be brief but it should include the statement of purpose for your reflective paper and your thesis statement. Besides, you will need to introduce the main themes that will be addressed in the body paragraphs to support your thesis. You can formulate the thesis in a form of evaluative or interpretive claim. It must show that you fully understand what you have learned and know well how to use that new knowledge in the future. For example, your thesis statement for a reflective paper in economics may look like this one:

In this economics course, I learned that economics is not just all about money; it is all about making choices that can help us achieve our goals and change our lives for the better.

4. Write Body Paragraphs

In the body, you need to use the critical thinking model and develop a deep analysis. The main body of your reflection paper should include as many paragraphs as there are key themes that you are planning to cover. Devote a separate body paragraph to a specific theme. Use the past tense when you write about your experience (I thought) and the present tense when you refer to the existing literature (Brown suggests).

Start every new paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces your theme. Then you need to provide additional explanation and support your theme with personal experiences. Don’t forget to make connections between your experiences and the theme as well as other ideas from economics course material. You can also support your theme with evidence from relevant authoritative literature and quotes. Reflective writing allows you to use different types of non-traditional evidence, for example, speculations, definitions, explanations of logic, and anecdotes. Finish every body paragraph with a concluding sentence that also serves as a transition to the important ideas presented in the next paragraph.

As you write your paragraphs, make sure you use appropriate transition words and phrases to link words, phrases and sentences. Transition words show relationships between ideas and make those relationships clear for your readers. For example, such words phrases like in addition, also, moreover, as well as, in addition, equally important, furthermore reinforce ideas and express agreement with the previous content.

5. Write a Strong Conclusion

In the concluding paragraph, you need to present your final thoughts on the subject of a reflection paper in economics. It can be a brief summary that describes an overall lesson, your feelings and emotions, or explanation of how you understand the value of your experience. You can also provide recommendations for practice in the future.

6. Edit and Proofread Your Reflection Paper in Economics

Successful academic reflection papers in economics require creating several drafts, revising, and editing. You should be ready to revise and rewrite your paper many times to ensure it meets the requirements of your professors. Keep in mind that it’s always better to separate writing and revising. It would be a waste of time to worry about spelling and commas as you write your draft. You will be more productive if you focus on your thoughts, ideas, and the logic. Besides, you may decide to make significant changes in the content so it doesn’t make sense to edit your piece of writing until you are satisfied with your final draft.

It’s better to revise and edit in steps.

  • First, you should address large overall concerns such as content and structure. Make sure that all information is relevant to the purpose of your paper and that all ideas are presented logically.
  • Then you should fix issues on a paragraph and sentence level. Make sure that every paragraph is well-organized and focuses on a single idea and that you use precise words in all sentences.
  • Check your language to ensure that you use the right tone and the style that is appropriate for this type of academic assignment.
  • And finally, you should focus on correcting grammar and punctuation errors. Fix fragments, run-ons, and subject-verb agreement.
  • Don’t forget to check formatting to ensure it is consistent throughout the entire paper.

These are the essential steps you should follow when writing a reflection paper in economics but you can actually use this guide when writing reflectively in other college subjects. We hope that the effective techniques that we discussed in this article will help you prepare for your next reflective writing assignment in economics and improve your reflective writing skills.

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