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Sample reflection paper on special education

Reflection Paper Guidelines

Reflection and application are two critical components of the experiential learning cycle. The reflection paper is designed to encourage both of these processes while helping you move your understanding of various topics from theory to practice. Complete this assignment after you’ve finished your workshop, course, or conference and, ideally, after you’ve incorporated some of the content into your professional environment.

There’s some freedom to develop your reflection paper in the way that you want; however, there are guidelines and recommendations. The paper should be an original work between 3 and 5 pages (double-spaced) in which you:

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the workshop content
  • Reflect on its significance
  • Discuss its application in a specific professional environment

A typical paper might demonstrate the experiential reflection questions of What?, So What? and Now What? Summarizing the workshop (What?) should only be a preface to the real work of the paper. Discussing the significance of the workshop content (So What?) and the actual or hypothetical application of the workshop content into your professional activities (Now What?) are the core of the reflection. A paper might discuss the main themes, new information, and theories that you encountered and then discuss the use of the specific content from this workshop, conference, or course in the setting where you work. You can relay what you did (or intend to do), and then consider what worked well (or might work well), what was difficult, and what you would change or do differently next time around. While it’s appropriate to discuss the usefulness of the workshop content in your professional setting, an evaluation of the workshop itself or the presenter isn’t specifically part of this assignment.

Since the paper is expected to be original work if you incorporate quotations or material from other sources, it must be cited as such. The preferred style is the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For more information about APA style, visit the Lamson Library and Learning Commons Web site.

Generally, papers will be graded on the depth of reflection, the way that you incorporate both theory and experience, and the effectiveness of the written communication. The rubric for this assignment clarifies specific expectations for both reflection content and writing effectiveness.

Rubric for Reflection Paper

Download Rubric for Reflection Paper assignment after Project Adventure, High5 and other approved adventure learning experiences.

Examples of a Reflection Paper


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