Reflective Research Paper

Connect Service-to-Learning

Reflecting on your experiences is the key learning strategy for the Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper.

Service-Learning, when connected to the course in which you are enrolled, provides deeper learning of important concepts, theories and ideas. Your instructor will identify course connections and you will be encouraged to share your experiences in class as they relate to course topics.

Service-Learning Contacts

Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper

1. Keep A Journal

The first step is for students to keep a journal during your experience. This is a popular technique for stimulating the reflective process. However, journals can turn into diaries – a list of “what I did today.”  Use the guidelines below for specific reflection questions and assignments that can inspire deeper reflection and promote enhanced learning.

Sample Journal Guidelines:* Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper will be a more formal example of your journal entries.

*Remember to ask your Instructor about their expectations for the Reflective Research Paper. Each instructor will provide specific Service-Learning requirements to dove-tail with their course.

2. Map: This Will Help You Organize Your Thoughts


Sample of Mind Mapping Technique

One useful way to link service to course concepts is to map concepts and applications to your course topics.

Review your journal. Then start with an element of your service such as a student you are mentoring, an individual you are interviewing, a client you are serving in some way. Write this element in the middle of a page and circle it. Think about the connections. Draw arrows to show other people, places, events, conditions that impact the initial element.

For Example:
A cultural anthropology student may be mentoring a child. The student might observe connections between the child’s ethnic, sociocultural and economic challenges and then reflect how those differences may be impacting the child’s school performance.

3. Write Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper*

The essay questions provided at the beginning of the project (in Journal Guidelines) and your journal entries  will be used to create your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper. Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper will be a more formal example of your journal entries. Your reflective paper should focus on personal development, academic connections, ideas and recommendations for future action.

*Get Help At The Writing Center

Do you need help getting started with your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper?

The Writing Center can help you at any stage:

  • brainstorming content
  • organizing
  • fine-tuning word choices

Visit the Writing Center’s website: