Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
Reflection papers allow students the chance to reinforce what they have learned through coursework, lectures and personal experience. Although reflection papers focus on the writer's personal feelings and experiences, they often require multiple sources and frequent use of concrete examples. Often, students involved in experiential classes or capstones such as internships or practicums find reflection papers invaluable for synthesizing their theoretical knowledge with their applied experience. Learning how to write a reflection paper helps you organize your thoughts methodically and gain more from practical experience.