What Is a Reflective Narrative?
In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin reflects on different formative periods throughout his life. The literary work is divided into four parts: his childhood; his apprenticeship; his career and accomplishments as a printer, writer, and scientist; and a brief section about his civic involvements in Pennsylvania.
Franklin’s Autobiography is a historical example of a reflective narrative. A reflective narrative is a type of personal writing that allows writers to look back at incidents and changes in their lives. Writing a reflective narrative enables writers to not only recount experiences but also analyze how they’ve changed or learned lessons.
Reflective Narrative Essay Example
A reflective narrative essay consists of a beginning, middle, and ending. The beginning, or introduction, provides background and introduces the topic. The middle paragraphs provide details and events leading up to the change. Finally, the ending, or conclusion, sums up the writer’s reflection about the change.
The following is an excerpt from a reflective narrative essay written by a student entitled “Not Taken for Granted” (read the full essay in our “Reflective Narrative Guide”). In the writing piece, the writer reflects on his changing relationship with his little brother:
I guess I was spoiled. At first, I was an only child, cuddled and cooed over by parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Up until I was eight years old, life was sweet. Then along came Grant, and everything changed.
Grant is my little brother. I don’t remember all the details, but he was born a month prematurely, so he needed a lot of extra attention, especially from Mom. My mom and dad didn’t ignore me, but I was no longer the center of their universe, and I resented the change in dynamics. And at first, I also resented Grant.
Fortunately, Grant’s early birth didn’t cause any real problems in his growth, and he crawled, toddled, and talked pretty much on schedule. My parents were still somewhat protective of him, but as he got older, he developed the obnoxious habit of attaching himself to me, following my every move. My parents warned me to be nice to him, but I found him totally annoying. By the time I became a teenager, he was, at five, my shadow, following me around, copying my every move, asking questions, and generally being a pest.
Be the first to read the latest from Shaped.