Senior Reflective Essay Outline

In a reflective essay, a writer primarily examines his or her life experiences, hence the term ‘reflective’. The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to provide a platform for the author to not only recount a particular life experience but also explore how he or she has changed or learned from those experiences. Reflective writing can be presented in various formats, but you’ll most often see it in a learning log format or diary entry. Diary entries in particular are used to convey how the author’s thoughts have developed and evolved over the course of a particular period.

A. Your Personal Reflection—Explain what you have always known about yourself.

What have you been interested in or involved in since you were a small child?

 Example—Future Chef: Ever since I was a young child I’ve been interested in cooking. When I was little, I loved helping in the kitchen and watching my grandmother cook. I especially loved to help bake cookies and cakes. As I got older I learned to cook meals and enjoyed trying new recipes and cooking for my family.
B. Displays knowledge of your learning style, personality, interests, skills, and values 

Learning Style Example—Future Chef: I have a Tactile Learning Style, this means that I learn best when I can use my hands. I do well in classes where I’ve gotten to learn by doing. I love cooking because the only way you can learn to cook is by actually getting in the kitchen and doing it. At the Skills Center this year I learned how to prepare meals in a professional kitchen setting which is a lot different from cooking at home. It can be hard work, but I enjoy moving around in a fast-paced environment.

Personality Example—According to the Humanmetrics Assessment, I am an extrovert and I enjoy being around other people in social situations. I like to make sure everyone is having a good time.

Skills Example—I have always had good people skills. I like meeting new people and getting to know them. I get along well with others and this is important when you are working in a restaurant.  Interests Example—I am interested in French cooking, music and art. Everyone says cooking is an art, I like creating fancy meals and making the food look as good as it tastes. 

Values Example—I value my family, friends, and being creative. I love cooking for holidays and special events. When I feel sad, I like to make a batch of cupcakes and decorate them in fun ways. I share the cupcakes with my friends and it cheers me up. Sharing what I love is an important value of mine.
C. Discuss your “Road to Graduation”: 

Example: My road to graduation was rough. When I was in elementary school my family moved four times and I had to change schools. It was hard always being the “new kid” in class. It seemed like I was always behind. By the time I got to high school I was more interested in my friends than in school. I had a great time skipping school and fooling around. That was until I woke up and realized I was failing all of my classes. I always thought I could get caught up, but I found out I was so far behind that the only way I could graduate was to leave Bay and start going to Lewis and Clark H.S. At first I didn’t know if I would like it or not, but it has been a good choice. I am actually going to graduate this year and that makes me happy and my family proud.

Section 2: Where I am Going/My Career and Life Goals:

Life Goals: Describe the kind of lifestyle you would like to have in the future.
 How would you like to live?
 Would you like to have a family of your own?
 What is important to you?
Career Pathway/Goal:
 Use the information about your future career from Career Cruising or WOIS assessments.
 Briefly discuss three careers you have considered.
 Focus on the career or career pathway you plan to go into after high school.
 Describe the duties, salary, and advancement opportunities.
Answer the Question: “Will my career goals support my desired future lifestyle?”

Section 3: How I’m Going to Get There:

High School and Beyond Plan: (Create a realistic plan for achieving your career and life goals.)
 Outline your education or training plan
 Discuss your current resources, savings and financial need.
Budget: Explain how you are going to support yourself after high school.
 Are you going to live with your parents or move out on your own?
 Are you going to get a job or continue working at your current job?
 Have you applied for financial aid or scholarships?

Section 4: Community Experience—What I have learned about myself and others:

 What did you do for your Community Experience hours.
 What motivated you to make this choice?
 How does your Community Experience align with your interests, skills, or future career goals?
 In-depth, describe your Community Experience. What exactly did you do?
 Why was it a challenge?
 What did you learn?

Section 5: Summing Up/My Final Thoughts:

 Be clear about the significance of the lessons learned from completing your senior project/high school education.
NOTE: Use MLA Formatting, if you have a question about Formatting ask your English Teacher for extra help. Your Essay must be double spaced with your name and page number on the top right corner. See Nancy if you need help setting your document up on the computer.
Turn your paper into an English teacher to be corrected. When you have completed your final draft, have your English teacher sign off on it and make four copies—one for your PDP binder and one for each of the people evaluating your presentation.