In a reflection paper, you write about your own personal experiences and analyze them.
For example, in a sociology course, you may be studying the problems faced by newcomers to Canada. If you are a newcomer, you may discuss your own experiences as a newcomer and relate these experiences to problems that you studied in the course. Other topics include, but are not limited to, emotional labour, gender bias, entering the workforce, role of the union, etc.,
This type of paper will require some research. You may need to learn about the subject by reading books and articles, etc., and then use your own experiences as examples. (The paper for SOCI 2026 requires a minimum of two scholarly articles).
Since this type of paper is also structured as an essay, be sure that you are comfortable with the format for an essay.
The structure of a reflection paper usually follows this format:
- After the introduction, give a brief discussion of the topic, theory, model, etc. that you are applying to your personal experience. This should be detailed and specific but not exceed roughly one quarter of the length of the paper. Mention only the main points
that you will be discussing in your essay.
- Next, briefly explain the method you are using to gather data. For example, did you keep
a journal? Did you keep records? Did you interview someone? Did you reflect on your past experiences? Etc.,
- Then summarize the situation you experienced and relate it to your research
- Finally, comment on what you have learned from this experience and generalize your
findings to a broader set of circumstances.
A comment paper requires analysis. It is not enough to summarize a topic or to narrate an
event from your life. You need to analyze the meaning of the topic, or the event and explain its significance. A large part of your paper should contain analysis.
A brief summary of your key points. Do not introduce any new information in this section.
h. Your topic proposal should explain your topic and provide a brief description of how you will link your topic to your experiences. It must also include a reference to ONE scholarly journal article. Approximate length 250 words.