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Reflective Essay Examples and Samples

Reflecting on a chosen topic requires deep insight, making reflective essays difficult to write. Read our samples of reflective essays to gain a greater understanding of how to write one on your own.

Introduction to Reflective Essay: An Exploration of Self

A reflective essay is a type of personal writing that allows you to explore and document your thoughts, feelings, and insights about a particular subject or experience. Unlike other forms of academic writing, a reflective essay is more subjective and focuses more on your personal perspectives and interpretations. Writing a reflective essay can be a powerful way to articulate your growth and discoveries, making it an essential tool for creative and personal writing.

The Importance of Personal Experiences in Reflective Writing

Reflective writing revolves around personal experiences. It’s through such experiences that we learn, grow, and evolve. As such, personal experience plays a crucial role in reflective essays. A well-written reflective essay should vividly describe the experience, delve into the feelings it evoked, and critically analyze the impact it had on you. Reflective essays are not just a recounting of events, but a deep exploration of how those events influenced your outlook on life, reshaped your beliefs, or contributed to your personal growth.

Creative Expression: The Heart of a Reflective Essay

Creative writing goes hand in hand with reflective essays. The very nature of reflective essays – introspective, personal, and subjective – calls for creative expression. The creative door is wide open when writing a reflective essay, allowing you to experiment with different writing styles, narrative structures, and descriptive techniques. The goal here is to create an engaging and compelling narrative that captures your personal insights and emotional journey in the most authentic way possible.

Examining Growth Through Reflective Essays: A Journey of Self-Discovery

Reflective essays often serve as a mirror, reflecting your journey of growth. Whether it’s overcoming a personal challenge, learning a new skill, or undergoing a transformative life experience, these growth narratives form the backbone of reflective essays. When writing a reflective essay, it’s essential to not only describe the event or experience but also to delve into how it contributed to your growth as a person. How did it change you? What did you learn about yourself? How have you evolved as a result? Answering these questions can lead to profound insights and self-discovery.

Using Books and Literature as a Catalyst for Reflection

Books and literature often serve as a catalyst for reflection. A classic novel, a thought-provoking non-fiction book, or a compelling piece of poetry can provoke deep reflection and become the subject of a reflective essay. Whether it’s a book that changed your perspective, a character you deeply resonated with, or a theme that made you rethink your beliefs, reflective essays about literature can be a powerful way to explore your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the written word.

Emotional Intelligence: Exploring Your Emotions in a Reflective Essay

Exploring your emotions forms an essential part of the reflective writing process. In fact, reflecting on our feelings and emotions is an exercise in emotional intelligence. A reflective essay offers a safe space to navigate complex emotions, understand emotional responses, and articulate emotional growth. Whether reflecting on a life-changing event or exploring your reactions to a particular book, it’s crucial to delve into your emotional journey. By understanding your feelings, you can gain deeper insights into your emotional patterns, personal triggers, and coping mechanisms.

  • Understanding Emotional Responses: When writing a reflective essay, it’s crucial to delve deep into the emotions experienced during a particular event or circumstance. This could range from joy and excitement to confusion, disappointment, or even grief.
  • Navigating Complex Emotions: Sometimes, experiences can elicit complex emotions that are hard to navigate. Reflective writing offers a safe space to untangle these emotions and gain a clearer understanding of your emotional state.
  • Articulating Emotional Growth: A reflective essay allows you to document your emotional growth. Overcoming a difficult situation, managing negative emotions, or discovering a new perspective all signify emotional growth that can be articulated through reflective writing.
  • Identifying Emotional Patterns: By consistently writing reflective essays, you can identify patterns in your emotional responses. This can help you better understand your reactions to similar situations in the future.
  • Recognizing Personal Triggers: Reflective writing can help you identify personal triggers that prompt specific emotional responses. This awareness can equip you to manage these triggers more effectively.
  • Developing Coping Mechanisms: Understanding your emotions through reflective writing can lead to the development of effective coping mechanisms. Whether it’s mindfulness, meditation, or simply taking a walk, recognizing what helps you manage your emotions is a significant step towards emotional intelligence.

Reflecting on College Class Experiences

College classes offer rich experiences that can provide plenty of material for a reflective essay. Perhaps it’s a creative writing class that opened up a new world of expression for you, or a challenging science class that pushed you to your limits. Reflecting on these experiences can help you understand your academic journey, recognize your learning style, and appreciate the knowledge you’ve gained. Discuss the skills you’ve acquired, the challenges you’ve faced, the friendships you’ve made, and how these experiences have contributed to your growth and development.

Time Management Reflections: Overcoming Procrastination

Reflecting on time management can lead to valuable insights about your work habits and productivity. Have you struggled with procrastination? Have you discovered effective time management skills? A reflective essay on this topic can discuss your past struggles, the strategies you’ve employed to overcome them, and the progress you’ve made. By examining your relationship with time, you can uncover patterns, identify areas for improvement, and devise strategies to enhance your productivity.

Reflective Essay Examples: Lessons and Insights

One of the best ways to understand reflective essays is by reading and analyzing examples. These examples can serve as a guide, offering insights into the structure, tone, and style of reflective writing. Whether it’s an essay reflecting on personal growth, a transformative travel experience, or a powerful book that left an impression, reflective essay examples can provide inspiration for your own writing. Using a paraphraser can also help you rephrase and improve your writing, ensuring your reflections are expressed clearly and effectively.

In conclusion, reflective essays are a powerful form of personal and creative writing. They allow you to explore your experiences, emotions, and growth in a deeply personal way. Through reflective writing, you can gain valuable insights about yourself and your journey, making it a rewarding and transformative process.

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Guide on How to Write a Reflection Paper with Free Tips and Example

reflective essay examples free

A reflection paper is a very common type of paper among college students. Almost any subject you enroll in requires you to express your opinion on certain matters. In this article, we will explain how to write a reflection paper and provide examples and useful tips to make the essay writing process easier.

Reflection papers should have an academic tone yet be personal and subjective. In this paper, you should analyze and reflect upon how an experience, academic task, article, or lecture shaped your perception and thoughts on a subject.

Here is what you need to know about writing an effective critical reflection paper. Stick around until the end of our guide to get some useful writing tips from the writing team at EssayPro — a research paper writing service

What Is a Reflection Paper

A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to write your opinion on a topic, supporting it with your observations and personal experiences. As opposed to presenting your reader with the views of other academics and writers, in this essay, you get an opportunity to write your point of view—and the best part is that there is no wrong answer. It is YOUR opinion, and it is your job to express your thoughts in a manner that will be understandable and clear for all readers that will read your paper. The topic range is endless. Here are some examples: whether or not you think aliens exist, your favorite TV show, or your opinion on the outcome of WWII. You can write about pretty much anything.

There are three types of reflection paper; depending on which one you end up with, the tone you write with can be slightly different. The first type is the educational reflective paper. Here your job is to write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended—in a manner that teaches the reader about it. The second is the professional paper. Usually, it is written by people who study or work in education or psychology. For example, it can be a reflection of someone’s behavior. And the last is the personal type, which explores your thoughts and feelings about an individual subject.

However, reflection paper writing will stop eventually with one very important final paper to write - your resume. This is where you will need to reflect on your entire life leading up to that moment. To learn how to list education on resume perfectly, follow the link on our dissertation writing services .

Unlock the potential of your thoughts with EssayPro . Order a reflection paper and explore a range of other academic services tailored to your needs. Dive deep into your experiences, analyze them with expert guidance, and turn your insights into an impactful reflection paper.

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Free Reflection Paper Example

Now that we went over all of the essentials about a reflection paper and how to approach it, we would like to show you some examples that will definitely help you with getting started on your paper.

Reflection Paper Format

Reflection papers typically do not follow any specific format. Since it is your opinion, professors usually let you handle them in any comfortable way. It is best to write your thoughts freely, without guideline constraints. If a personal reflection paper was assigned to you, the format of your paper might depend on the criteria set by your professor. College reflection papers (also known as reflection essays) can typically range from about 400-800 words in length.

Here’s how we can suggest you format your reflection paper:

common reflection paper format

How to Start a Reflection Paper

The first thing to do when beginning to work on a reflection essay is to read your article thoroughly while taking notes. Whether you are reflecting on, for example, an activity, book/newspaper, or academic essay, you want to highlight key ideas and concepts.

You can start writing your reflection paper by summarizing the main concept of your notes to see if your essay includes all the information needed for your readers. It is helpful to add charts, diagrams, and lists to deliver your ideas to the audience in a better fashion.

After you have finished reading your article, it’s time to brainstorm. We’ve got a simple brainstorming technique for writing reflection papers. Just answer some of the basic questions below:

  • How did the article affect you?
  • How does this article catch the reader’s attention (or does it all)?
  • Has the article changed your mind about something? If so, explain how.
  • Has the article left you with any questions?
  • Were there any unaddressed critical issues that didn’t appear in the article?
  • Does the article relate to anything from your past reading experiences?
  • Does the article agree with any of your past reading experiences?

Here are some reflection paper topic examples for you to keep in mind before preparing to write your own:

  • How my views on rap music have changed over time
  • My reflection and interpretation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Why my theory about the size of the universe has changed over time
  • How my observations for clinical psychological studies have developed in the last year

The result of your brainstorming should be a written outline of the contents of your future paper. Do not skip this step, as it will ensure that your essay will have a proper flow and appropriate organization.

Another good way to organize your ideas is to write them down in a 3-column chart or table.

how to write a reflection paper

Do you want your task look awesome?

If you would like your reflection paper to look professional, feel free to check out one of our articles on how to format MLA, APA or Chicago style

Writing a Reflection Paper Outline

Reflection paper should contain few key elements:


Your introduction should specify what you’re reflecting upon. Make sure that your thesis informs your reader about your general position, or opinion, toward your subject.

  • State what you are analyzing: a passage, a lecture, an academic article, an experience, etc...)
  • Briefly summarize the work.
  • Write a thesis statement stating how your subject has affected you.

One way you can start your thesis is to write:

Example: “After reading/experiencing (your chosen topic), I gained the knowledge of…”

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs should examine your ideas and experiences in context to your topic. Make sure each new body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.

Your reflection may include quotes and passages if you are writing about a book or an academic paper. They give your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback. Feel free to describe what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt.

Example: “I saw many people participating in our weight experiment. The atmosphere felt nervous yet inspiring. I was amazed by the excitement of the event.”

As with any conclusion, you should summarize what you’ve learned from the experience. Next, tell the reader how your newfound knowledge has affected your understanding of the subject in general. Finally, describe the feeling and overall lesson you had from the reading or experience.

There are a few good ways to conclude a reflection paper:

  • Tie all the ideas from your body paragraphs together, and generalize the major insights you’ve experienced.
  • Restate your thesis and summarize the content of your paper.

We have a separate blog post dedicated to writing a great conclusion. Be sure to check it out for an in-depth look at how to make a good final impression on your reader.

Need a hand? Get help from our writers. Edit, proofread or buy essay .

How to Write a Reflection Paper: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: create a main theme.

After you choose your topic, write a short summary about what you have learned about your experience with that topic. Then, let readers know how you feel about your case — and be honest. Chances are that your readers will likely be able to relate to your opinion or at least the way you form your perspective, which will help them better understand your reflection.

For example: After watching a TEDx episode on Wim Hof, I was able to reevaluate my preconceived notions about the negative effects of cold exposure.

Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas and Experiences You’ve Had Related to Your Topic

You can write down specific quotes, predispositions you have, things that influenced you, or anything memorable. Be personal and explain, in simple words, how you felt.

For example: • A lot of people think that even a small amount of carbohydrates will make people gain weight • A specific moment when I struggled with an excess weight where I avoided carbohydrates entirely • The consequences of my actions that gave rise to my research • The evidence and studies of nutritional science that claim carbohydrates alone are to blame for making people obese • My new experience with having a healthy diet with a well-balanced intake of nutrients • The influence of other people’s perceptions on the harm of carbohydrates, and the role their influence has had on me • New ideas I’ve created as a result of my shift in perspective

Step 3: Analyze How and Why These Ideas and Experiences Have Affected Your Interpretation of Your Theme

Pick an idea or experience you had from the last step, and analyze it further. Then, write your reasoning for agreeing or disagreeing with it.

For example, Idea: I was raised to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight.

Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of research to overcome my beliefs finally. Afterward, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key to a healthy lifestyle.

For example: Idea: I was brought up to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight. Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of my own research to finally overcome my beliefs. After, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key for having a healthy lifestyle.

Step 4: Make Connections Between Your Observations, Experiences, and Opinions

Try to connect your ideas and insights to form a cohesive picture for your theme. You can also try to recognize and break down your assumptions, which you may challenge in the future.

There are some subjects for reflection papers that are most commonly written about. They include:

  • Book – Start by writing some information about the author’s biography and summarize the plot—without revealing the ending to keep your readers interested. Make sure to include the names of the characters, the main themes, and any issues mentioned in the book. Finally, express your thoughts and reflect on the book itself.
  • Course – Including the course name and description is a good place to start. Then, you can write about the course flow, explain why you took this course, and tell readers what you learned from it. Since it is a reflection paper, express your opinion, supporting it with examples from the course.
  • Project – The structure for a reflection paper about a project has identical guidelines to that of a course. One of the things you might want to add would be the pros and cons of the course. Also, mention some changes you might want to see, and evaluate how relevant the skills you acquired are to real life.
  • Interview – First, introduce the person and briefly mention the discussion. Touch on the main points, controversies, and your opinion of that person.

Writing Tips

Everyone has their style of writing a reflective essay – and that's the beauty of it; you have plenty of leeway with this type of paper – but there are still a few tips everyone should incorporate.

Before you start your piece, read some examples of other papers; they will likely help you better understand what they are and how to approach yours. When picking your subject, try to write about something unusual and memorable — it is more likely to capture your readers' attention. Never write the whole essay at once. Space out the time slots when you work on your reflection paper to at least a day apart. This will allow your brain to generate new thoughts and reflections.

  • Short and Sweet – Most reflection papers are between 250 and 750 words. Don't go off on tangents. Only include relevant information.
  • Clear and Concise – Make your paper as clear and concise as possible. Use a strong thesis statement so your essay can follow it with the same strength.
  • Maintain the Right Tone – Use a professional and academic tone—even though the writing is personal.
  • Cite Your Sources – Try to cite authoritative sources and experts to back up your personal opinions.
  • Proofreading – Not only should you proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, but you should proofread to focus on your organization as well. Answer the question presented in the introduction.

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Reflective Essay Examples

Sometimes, it is our experiences that startled and challenged our own voyage that strengthens and improves us to be the best versions of ourselves. If your life experience greatly moved you, there is a certain essay that allows you to compose your own endeavor. In this article, read through because we will be discussing the fundamentals of writing a reflective essay.

They say that being wise is better than being knowledgeable. Wisdom is acquired through reflection of one’s experience as well as of the environment. The more we reflect the more we become aware of ourselves. We become mindful of our existence as well as the meaning of life and all the things that surround us. Here we present different formats of essays like  essays in doc .

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What Is a Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is a written piece of literature that focuses on presenting and narrating a person’s experience and how it becomes an instrument towards a change of perception in life.

It is a way for a writer to share an important event in his/her life and how it affected him/her so that others may learn something from it. Reflective writing root on life-changing events. The writer shares a specific experience, provides a narration of the incident including the material elements. It offers a realization so that others who may have had the same experience can draw out a shared mutual lesson from it.

How to Write a Reflective Essay

To write a reflective short essay , you need to have the right disposition as well as the momentum. Remember that you are not just writing to say something but to share an important lesson in life.

1. Think of an important event.  What you will be writing on your reflective essay is something that is rooted in your own personal experience or encounter of something. Think deep and concentrate. You may also see personal essay examples & samples.

2. Introduce your topic. In your introduction, write the concrete event or experience that you want to share. Pattern it in a story form.

3. Develop your point. Write the main content of your essay with at least three to five paragraphs supporting your main topic.

Final Reflective Essay

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Research Reflective Example

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Tips on Writing a Reflective Essay

Writing a reflective essay is not persuasive writing where you have to convince your readers to accept your opinion. You simply have to share an experience.

1. Write a draft. Do not jump hastily onto formal writing . Write a draft where you can create a bulleted list of the things that  you want to share.

2. Think logically. When presenting a story, do it in a chronological manner so that your readers can understand the plot. Do this as well when presenting your ideas.

3. Create a summary. Use a summary writing to briefly state your insights and to give your final thoughts of the topic.

Importance of a Reflective Essay

In this era that we currently live in, personal reflection can be considered a thing of the past. Because of the gradual change and development of the things around us, we find it difficult to pause and reflect on the things that happen to our lives. You may also see academic essay examples .

The importance of  writing an essay is to present to us the things that we rarely encounter in our day-to-day activities. In this time when material things are all that mattered, we have become unappreciative of the abstract things like love, compassion, and mercy. We cannot learn these things from those electronic gadgets that keep us busy.

How to Start a Reflective Essay Correctly

As mentioned above, a reflective essay presents and narrates the experience of a writer and how it changes the way he/she perceives life. In a simpler sense, it talks about how the author reflected on a certain adventure. As an essayist, since it’s you who bears the story and lessons, you are the one who is responsible for expressing it.

Just like any other composition, it’s your introduction that catches the attention of the reader. Thus, in order for your essay to be fully read, it is important to start your essay remarkably. If you find writing an introduction for your reflective essay challenging, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In this section, we are going to slowly tackle the ways to compose a compelling introduction.

1. Being catchy is the key.

In writing your reflective essay, you must start with something that would captivate the readers right away. Since the purpose of the introduction is to grab some attention, you may include some unique and interesting facts or beliefs. In this part, showcase your creativity by adding an introduction that is written in a bizarre manner and not those that depict cliché experience. You may also utilize a highly moving quotation or a dialogue that would also be appropriate for your reader.

2. Write the thesis statement in one sentence.

A thesis statement refers to the sentence that carries the topic being discussed in the whole essay. Therefore, it bears the central idea in which your essay revolves around. In writing your own essay, construct this statement in a clear and concise sentence. In this way, the reader will have a better grasp of your topic and would be clearly oriented on what you want to convey. In most cases, thesis statements are written at the end of the introduction.

3. Stick to the first person POV.

Remembering that this essay is subjective and depends on the author’s interpretation, it is important to use the first person point of view. By using this POV, it would be easier for you to convey your thoughts and opinions, and it would engage you to the readers like you’re telling a story in person. The first person involves the pronouns I , me , my , and mine .

4. Keep it brief.

When it comes to writing your own essay, you must perceive what your readers feel or see in reading your composition. Always put into mind that readers also have their own time to spend, and without a mark in the writing industry, people won’t invest much time on reading your essay. Thus, it is important to keep your composition concise. You can utilize a paragraph of five to ten sentences in your introduction. Using this number of sentences, you must already express a complete and clear thought of an essay that is worth reading.

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A reflective essay is a type of writing where you explore how an event, experience, or concept has influenced your development or perspective. It involves deep thinking, self-analysis, and personal reflection. In a reflective essay, you explai what you learned and how you changed as a result of that experience.

In this article, you will learn how to write a reflective essay, and how to highlight impactful experiences. A reflection essay seems easy as you don’t have to defend one’s point of view or convince the reader of something. But it has its challenges, so we recommend to keep on reading and find out everything you need to know about this type of essay. More complex examples are available down below.

What Is a Reflective Essay: Definition

A good question to start with is, “What is a reflective essay?” A reflective essay is a type of academic writing, in which the student has to test personal life experience/position towards a particular topic. Unlike in argumentative writing, the student does not have to defend the personal position. It does not require a complicated, professional language with some terminology. Do not define something - focus on sharing personal life experience, skills, development, and the most vivid examples to illustrate the topic.

Reflective Essay Format

A reflection essay student writes to meet the college writing standards has a different format from the one a magazine writer should present to reach the issue’s audience. However, each reflective paper has a similar outline. Reflective essay format depends on the general requirements your teacher provides. Some of them can ask for a specific format for your essay. APA writing style , MLA, and Chicago are the basic formats you can use. But if you don’t know exactly which formatting to use, you can use reflective essay apa format. This is the most common college essay format, so knowing its requirements is critical: Font:  Times New Roman, 12 points Interval:  Double interval Margins:  1 inch all round Page Numbers:  Insert a title in the upper left corner of each page.  

Reflective Essay Outline and Structure

Knowing how to write a reflective essay is essential. Even if you feel confident about your thoughts and knowledge, don’t start your writing without a clear and well-designed plan. Without logical essay structure , your essay will likely achieve lower marks. To avoid this situation, follow 10 easy steps we provided below. The first thing every student needs to understand how to write a good reflective essay is an effective, detailed outline. It has 3 typical sections: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Writing a reflective essay does not require any references – the only person to refer is the student who decides to share his thoughts & ideas. Let’s look at 4 main reasons to include an outline of reflective essays.  

  • An outline assists in laying out the details the student wants to leave after narrowing down the draft before working on the final paper. It prevents them from concluding the essay by realizing something is missing.
  • An outline provides a clear, concise roadmap, which prevents the writer from taking curvy paths and facing dead ends. It shows the way like a compass in the woods.
  • An outline helps to save a lot of time.
  • An outline helps the potential readers, including teachers & classmates, to avoid falling off the main point when reading the essay partially.

Reflective essay outline is not much different from other types of essays. Use this reflective essay template in creating your perfect reflective essay:

Reflective essay outline

How to Start a Reflective Essay: Creating an Introduction

Let’s figure out how to write a reflective essay introduction. Start with stating the primary focus of the personal reflection. Avoid being indirect and covering a range of topics; stay direct and concise by underlining the basic purpose of sharing a life experience. Professional Opinion:

Another way to attract attention in the introductory paragraph is to come up with the intriguing hook for essay sentences like statistics, fact, quote, metaphor, rhetorical question, or joke. It depends on the mood of your reflective narrative.

Working on Reflective Essay Thesis

Some people may say that a reflective essay does not need a thesis. However, the example shared in the previous section talking about introduction is an example of the inspiring thesis statement. Include at least a reflective summary of the primary idea. The best idea would be to focus on previewing the peak of the plot development or highlighting the most valuable lesson learned. Let’s take a look at this little reflective essay thesis sample.

“Now I realize the value of sports in the life of every student. The swimming courses I have attended since I was 13 are a great example of the way to support positive thinking and a healthy body.”

If you find it challenging, rely on our  professional essay writing service  and have your reflective essay done with academic standards in mind. 

Writing a Reflection Essay Body Paragraph

What is the purpose of a body paragraph ? The body paragraphs of the reflective analysis interpret the way the author evolved or what he/she has absorbed from a particular life lesson (mention 3 different lessons). When writing your reflective essay you should mention the circumstances that forced you to pass a certain way. If you study a subject like English Literature or Arts, the paper’s prompt may ask you to describe how you changed as a field professional during the course of study. It is important to choose a specific interval of time to list the improvements. Compare & contrast the initial skills to the knowledge you have today. It is a great idea to tell the audience the ways various tasks, challenges, and lessons made the author grow since the beginning of his education. There is no need to conduct research to collect the supporting evidence. The author alone is responsible for defending every stated claim with the help of vivid samples that describe the topic the best. Example: In case the student has become more professional in the field of writing, he should list the causes of those changes (new English teacher, more practice at home, part-time job related to the field of writing). Who knows – some of the ideas may be used by other students to succeed!  

How to Write a Reflective Essay Conclusion

The question of how to end a reflection paper is not less important. The last challenge is to prepare an impressive, inspiring, and powerful conclusion, which will make the target readers want to develop the same positive way. Write a reflective summary regarding the way you have changed over a given period of time. Share some forecast by looking ahead: how the experiences listed in the essay would influence further personal development. By looking at the past events, decide which of them was the most important. The good idea is to compare & contrast past and future events to stress the gaps between the obtained skills and experience, possibly gained in the future. Don't want to bother with writing any conclusions? Use a summary maker to generate e reflective essay conlusion in seconds.

How to Write a Reflective Essay: 10 Easy Steps

Writing personal reflection helps students to stress their individuality by highlighting various skills, knowledge, behavior, feelings, and even mood. The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to show how the person changed over time and what factors played an important role in those metamorphoses. Keep on reading this section to learn steps that will make your reflective writing perfect. Step 1:  Think of the questions that interest you the most. It may be your experience, feelings, or an event in life. Make sure you analyzed the question well. Check credible sources and collect relevant information. Step 2:  Decide what you want to write about. Make sure you know how to title an essay . Identify the topic. Step 3:  After you decided on a topic, create an appealing title that will entice readers. Make sure your title is clear and to the point. Step 4:  Create an outline of your essay. Step 5:  Create an attention-grabbing hook for reflective essay. It should be some intriguing sentence or phrase that will arouse the interest of your readers. Step 6:  Create an introduction of your reflection paper. Step 7:  Think what you will include in the main body of your text. Start writing your body paragraphs. Step 8:  Diversify your text with all the necessary details to make your readers see a clear picture of the environment in your story. It can be some place, people, atmosphere, etc. Step 9:  After the reader is already familiar with the setting and characters, you should tell about yourself. What were your feelings? How has the situation affected you? What did you learn from this situation? Step 10:  Conclude your reflective essay. Briefly summarize all the points that were mentioned in your text and provide a short moral with recommendations. You can use these steps as a checklist for your writing process. In case you need another step-by-step guide on response essays  or any other type of writing, we've got you covered.

>> Read more: How to Write Essays

Reflective Essays Sample From Successful College Students

No recommendations, tips & tricks help the students to understand the way a particular assignment should look like in the end as effectively as the examples. The article contains one of the up-to-date reflective essay examples from a college student.

Writing a Reflective Essay: Bottom Line

Congratulations, we have learned how to write a reflective essay. We really do hope that our guidelines, tips, and examples were useful to you. Now, you can definitely work on your reflection assignment with a clear understanding of its structure and main points. So start your writing, and the sky's the limit! 

In case you need more writing tips, feel free to browse our Blog. Be it a diagnostic essay , a synthesis essay  or a response paper , we have tutorials for any type of writing. 


Consider  buying essay papers  in case you've got other plans for the evening. Submit your details to StudyCrumb and get an astounding paper written in line with your requirements. Your assigned writer will handle any assignment with a blink of an eye!


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


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“Giving a preview of the most exciting part of the story is a clue. The target reader may lack time to read the full piece from cover to cover. “There are many things I have learned from Marketing class. The most valuable lesson I have obtained is checking the effectiveness of 2 different approaches or services through utilizing so-called A/B testing.” It will make the reader think about what is special about this specific method. The reader will go on reading the body paragraphs to find out!” Professor Hemsworth, History & Anthropology teacher and academic writer at StudyCrumb


Frequently Asked Questions about Writing a Reflective Essay

1. what is a common mistake when writing a reflective essay.

A common mistake when writing a reflective essay is to drift away from the subject you're writing about. It usually happens when you don’t stick to your initial plan. So plan your writing well and if you feel that you go a bit off topic, be sure that you return to the same topic you originally discussed.

2. What is the purpose of writing a reflective essay?

The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to make a student write about their personal experience, explore it, reflect on it and find positive and negative aspects. The goal is to analyze how a student changed due to this experience and what made them change. What lesson a student learned is an essential point in persuasive writing.

3. How to write a reflective essay on a book?

If you are writing a reflective essay on a book, the main task is to show your teacher how you reflect on a chosen book, how you understand the problem presented by an author. To create a good essay, start with brief information about the author. Then, without spoilers, briefly summarize the main points of a book. After that explain the main conflicts, share your impressions. Ask questions like: “What are the peculiarities of the main characters?”, “What did an author want to say by indicating the main issues?”

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8 Tips For Writing A Great Reflective Essay (With Examples)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

Memories, hopes, disappointments, and curiosity run through your life.

By writing a reflective essay, you can capture some of these ephemeral emotions and make sense of who you are. Below, I share eight tips (and a few examples) that will help you do it in a better way. You may have to write a reflective essay as a part of an academic assignment or a college paper. Or perhaps you want to create it for yourself and never show it to anyone. Regardless of the reason, after reading this article, you will hopefully become better at it. They helped a lot of students over the years, so you may check them out.

Here’s how to write a great reflective essay:

1. first, what is a reflective essay.

A reflective essay is a piece of writing in which you analyze your personal experience, reflect on how it changed your life, and what conclusions for the future can you draw from what you’ve learned. It’s a “know thyself” type of essay. The goal here is getting self-knowledge, by stopping to think about your memories, your values, and where you want to go from the present moment onward. By writing your thoughts down, you pursue some kind of deeper truth, about yourself and the world.

a book laying on the bed

2. The power of writing introspectively

Many great men and women (like Charles Darwin or Frida Kahlo ) had a habit of keeping a journal. This seems to be forgotten these days as we record everything through our mobile devices. But the habit of introspective writing and journaling helps you get in touch with your inner self and even improves your mental health. The reflective essay serves a similar purpose. It lets you search for meaning in your life and lets you discover the underlying causes of your actions.

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

3. How do you start your essay?

You may start with an introduction of experience, an event, or a memory on which you’ll reflect. If your topic is “a life-changing incident you had when you were a child,” you could start with: I used to live on a sunny farm with my parents and grandparents when I was young. A few days after I turned six, something happened that would alter the course of my life forever. I’m fifty-two as I’m writing this…

This beginning has certain elements that make it effective:

  • Introducing the setting and putting the experience in context.
  • Hooking the reader by building curiosity and a story.

Here’s another way to start (this excerpt is taken from Didion’s “ On self-respect ”): Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one has stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. In reflective writing, you don’t have to follow any strict guidelines or rules. Follow your heart, put some emotion into it, and you’ll create something of value for yourself and others. Start at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end – as long as it’s coherent, you’ll be fine.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” – Ralph Ellison

a personal book on a table with coffee

4. Learn how to structure your essay

In terms of length, it all depends on your assignment, but usually, the reflective essay has between 300 and 700 words . It has a rather informal structure and the use of language. After all, you’re drilling into your personal experiences, and often, this requires a poetic turn of the phrase. You’re more than welcome to use a wide range of advanced vocabulary .


In this part, you set the tone for your reflection. You implicitly or explicitly say what will you reflect on, and what prompted you to do that. If you’re writing an academic paper , you’ll have to be more direct and for example, say: “What follows, are my reflections on what I’ve learned about life during the first year of college”.

In this part, you talk about your actual experiences, memories, and important events in your life. But the purpose is not just to say what happened – that’s a descriptive essay’s job. The true goal here is to ponder the significance of your experiences and think about how they changed you and what you’ve learned from them. Here you can share concrete examples of changes that took place in your life.

Here, you sum up your essay and leave your audience with a final thought. Look ahead into the future and write about how your experiences are going to affect your life from now on. What’s the direction you’re going to take? What is there to look ahead to? You may also look backward and see how different you were in the past, compared to now. “I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It allows them to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone.” – Amy Sedaris

5. Create an outline for your essay

As with most writing assignments , the work begins with ideation and then creating some sort of outline . Here’s a simple process you can use to get everything ready before you start writing: a) Scan your mind in search of powerful experiences, meaningful memories, and thoughts about your past. This will serve as a raw material from which you’ll sculpt a piece of prose. b) Consider the attractiveness of your topic from the reader’s point of view. You certainly don’t want to bore anyone, so pick something interesting, but important. c) Organize your essay and divide it into a couple of paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one important idea. d) Decide in which sequence you would like to share your ideas. Put some logic and chronology behind it. e) Jot down any side notes included in the essay. It’s always better to have an overabundance of material.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – C.G. Jung

6. The essay-writing process

The best piece of advice on that is to avoid cliches. It might be hard to do this at first, but decide to speak your truth. Talk about things and feelings unique to you and your life. It’s easy to regurgitate what someone else had said before because it’s a safe territory. Your goal is to open doors to which only you have the keys.

Once you have the idea, you can follow a simple process:

  • Write the first draft as quickly as you can (no editing or looking back here)
  • Reorganize the first draft if necessary
  • Edit for clarity (throw out everything unnecessary)
  • Accept that it will not be perfect, and publish it (or keep it to yourself)

leather bound journal in the street

7. How to pick the right topic for your essay

If you’re writing an assignment, you’ll probably receive the prompt from your professor. If that’s the case, follow it diligently. This may be something like: a) Reflect on what you learned during your first year of high school. b) Think about your favorite book and how it changed your life . c) How did your writing skills change over the years? And why? Or it might be something really specific like Write a two-page reflection paper on the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Here, it’s not only about your personal experience, but about your interaction with a specific text, event, play, or movie and the effect it had on you. But what if you want to write an essay on your own? Which topic would you choose then? First, pick something meaningful to you. Second, pick something that you know well. Third, pick something that you want to explore and get deep into.

Here’s some more inspiration in the area of topics:

Personal reflection:.

  • What was the hardest thing you’ve ever done and how did it change you?
  • How has your relationship with your parents changed over the years?
  • What did you use to do a lot in the past, but aren’t doing now?
  • What was the most creative act you’ve ever done?
  • What was your favorite game or toy when you were a child?
  • What did you want to become when you were small?
  • How did you overcome your limits?
  • What was your biggest failure and how did you come back on your feet?
  • What are the things from the past that are still haunting you?
  • What gives you the biggest sense of joy in life?
  • What is your passion and how has it shaped your life?

Reflection on life and meaning:

  • What is the meaning of friendship?
  • What is to be done with the time you have in your life?
  • What are the values that make up a good life?
  • Is it possible to find the ultimate truth about anything?
  • Can you know thyself?
  • What should every human do during their lifetime?

Reflection on events:

  • What was your most exciting trip and why?
  • Have you ever had a mystical or psychedelic experience?
  • How did World War 2 change the collective psyche of humanity?
  • What was your favorite musical concert and why?
  • Was there any rite of passage you went through? What was the meaning of it?

You may also consider other great essay topics submitted by the users of Quora.

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

person writing with a magnyfing glass

8. Learn from the masters

Montaigne was the father of the essay as a literary form. He was the first writer to use informal tone, colloquial language, and rather prosaic themes to get to the deeper truth about human nature.

I recommend you check his essays for inspiration, along with other masterworks:

  • The Essays – by Montaigne
  • Shooting an Elephant – by George Orwell
  • On Self Respect – by Joan Didion
  • Meditations – by Marcus Aurelius (it’s a philosophical work, rather than an essay, but the quality of “Meditations” is too high to be overlooked).
  • Once more to the lake – EB White

And here are a few books filled with great reflective essays:

  • A room of one’s own – Virginia Woolf
  • Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  • A collection of essays – George Orwell
  • Arguably – Christopher Hitchens
  • Consider the Lobster and Other Essays  – David Foster Wallace

And here you may find a huge list of 450+ essay books on Goodreads.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” – Albert Einstein

personal reflections in a notebook

Example #1 of a reflective essay:

The misgivings about the high school football.

Football (soccer) was on the pedestal during my high school years in Poland. You were not judged by the color of your skin (because everyone was roughly the same color) nor by the contents of your character. The worth of a human being is measured by the ability to score goals. Each player had to find their niche in the dominant hierarchy of the pitch. It all started with the selection of players. The gym master would choose two captains at the beginning of the match, and they would choose their teammates. One by one, the best players got picked, and as we went down the line, we were left with the wretched souls, the worst, the smallest guys, or the fat ones, whose self-esteem was shattered from the beginning, simply because they were picked last. But there was a ladder within a ladder. Some players, perhaps in the lower echelons would be defenders, some would be proud midfielders, pushing the ball forward and creating “situations”. Some were the goalkeepers who were chosen for the job because they couldn’t play ball, or because they were specialists, sporting keeper gloves, and getting admired for their technical skills. But the true apex of the hierarchy was occupied by the attackers. The guys who could push through others and ram the ball through the goalkeeper were the true heroes of the field. This self-generated order of youthful self-worth and self-concept was brutal, as it was instructive. Each football match was a psychology class and a lesson in the ways of the world that outweighed math, history, or geography by orders of magnitude. We could witness the natural constellation of humanity based on their genetic makeup and their willingness to face their fears.

Here’s a second, shorter sample of a reflective essay:

The sources of love for instrumental music..

There’s a question I can’t quite answer. Why do I love instrumental music so much? And why, and I’m especially enamored with the music of the East? The Persian, the Indian, the Afghan, the Japanese, the Turkish, the Kurdish, the Arabic? Since I first discovered these musical notes, my life was never been the same. Recently I watched a great documentary about Quincy Jones where he said he touched his first piano at twelve, and these first few taps of fingers defined the rest of his life. Isn’t that strange, that in reality, we don’t choose things? The things choose us. Where do these natural inclinations come from? It must be our environment, our personality, our natural talent. But the other part seems mysterious, like some sort of cosmic accident. I first heard about the Oud when reading “My Name is Red” by Orhan Pamuk. I instantly went online to hear this instrument and from there on, I discovered dozens of beautiful instruments such as tar, setar, sitar, buzuq, sarod, tabla, rebab, shakuhachi, quin, biwa, to the goddamn gamelan drums. Hearing the esraj in a tower of the ancient Indian fort in Jodhpur melted my heart. It was as if this melody was constructed just for me like I’d heard it before. Perhaps in another life.

Looking backward, moving forward

There are certain milestones in your life: finishing high school, falling in love for the first time, your first journey abroad, the first kiss, the first psychedelic trip, graduating from the university, getting your first job, getting married, having children… Each of these brings something new and unexpected and makes you grow as an individual. But you can run through life and never reflect on how it all changed , how silly and incompetent you were just a few years ago. And how you’ll think the same thing about the present in a few years. Perhaps you should compose a reflective essay and think about all of this, and about what’s coming. Next up, you may want to explore a list of the best essays of all time .

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Reflective Essay: Introduction, Structure, Topics, Examples For University

Table of Contents

If you’re not quite sure how to go about writing reflective essays, they can be a real stumbling block. Reflective essays are essentially a critical examination of a life experience, and with the right guidance, they don’t have to be too difficult to write. As with other essays, a reflective essay needs to be well structured and easily understood, but its content is more like a diary entry.

This guide discusses how to write a successful reflective essay, including what makes a great structure and some tips on the writing process. To make this guide the ultimate guide for anyone who needs help with reflective essays, we’ve included an example reflective essay as well.

Reflective Essay

Reflective essays require students to examine their life experiences, especially those which left an impact.

Reflective Essay

The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to challenge students to think deeply and to learn from their experiences. This is done by describing their thoughts and feelings regarding a certain experience and analyzing its impact.

Reflective essays are a unique form of academic writing that encourages introspection and self-analysis. They provide an opportunity for individuals to reflect upon their experiences, thoughts, and emotions, and effectively communicate their insights. In this article, we will explore the essential components of a reflective essay, discuss popular topics, provide guidance on how to start and structure the essay, and offer examples to inspire your writing.

I. Understanding Reflective Essays:

  • Definition and purpose of reflective essays
  • Key characteristics that distinguish them from other types of essays
  • Benefits of writing reflective essays for personal growth and development

II. Choosing a Reflective Essay Topic:

  • Exploring personal experiences and their impact
  • Analyzing significant life events or milestones
  • Examining challenges, successes, or failures and lessons learned
  • Reflecting on personal growth and transformation
  • Discussing the impact of specific books, movies, or artworks
  • Analyzing the influence of cultural or social experiences
  • Reflecting on internships, volunteer work, or professional experiences

III. Starting a Reflective Essay:

  • Engage the reader with a captivating hook or anecdote
  • Introduce the topic and provide context
  • Clearly state the purpose and objectives of the reflection
  • Include a thesis statement that highlights the main insights to be discussed

IV. Writing a Reflective Essay on a Class:

  • Assessing the overall learning experience and objectives of the class
  • Analyzing personal growth and development throughout the course
  • Reflecting on challenges, achievements, and lessons learned
  • Discussing the impact of specific assignments, projects, or discussions
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of teaching methods and materials

V. Common Mistakes to Avoid in Reflective Essay Writing:

  • Superficial reflection without deep analysis
  • Overuse of personal opinions without supporting evidence
  • Lack of organization and coherence in presenting ideas
  • Neglecting to connect personal experiences to broader concepts or theories
  • Failing to provide specific examples to illustrate key points

VI. Why “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell is Classified as a Reflective Essay:

  • Briefly summarize the essay’s content and context
  • Analyze the introspective and self-analytical elements in Orwell’s narrative
  • Discuss the themes of moral conflict, imperialism, and personal conscience
  • Highlight Orwell’s reflections on the psychological and emotional impact of his actions

VII. Reflective Essay Structure:

  • Engaging opening statement or anecdote
  • Background information and context
  • Clear thesis statement
  • Present and analyze personal experiences, thoughts, and emotions
  • Reflect on the significance and impact of those experiences
  • Connect personal reflections to broader concepts or theories
  • Provide supporting evidence and specific examples
  • Summarize key insights and reflections
  • Emphasize the personal growth or lessons learned
  • Conclude with a thought-provoking statement or call to action

VIII. Reflective Essay Examples:

  • Example 1: Reflecting on a life-changing travel experience
  • Example 2: Analyzing personal growth during a challenging academic year
  • Example 3: Reflecting on the impact of volunteering at a local shelter

During a reflective essay, the writer examines his or her own experiences, hence the term ‘reflection’. The purpose of a reflective essay is to allow the author to recount a particular life experience. However, it should also explore how he or she has changed or grown as a result of the experience.

The format of reflective writing can vary, but you’ll most likely see it in the form of a learning log or diary entry. The author’s diary entries demonstrate how the author’s thoughts have developed and evolved over the course of a particular period of time.

The format of a reflective essay can vary depending on the intended audience. A reflective essay might be academic or part of a broader piece of writing for a magazine, for example.

While the format for class assignments may vary, the purpose generally remains the same: tutors want students to think deeply and critically about a particular learning experience. Here are some examples of reflective essay formats you may need to write:

Focusing on personal growth:

Tutors often use this type of paper to help students develop their ability to analyze their personal life experiences so that they can grow and develop emotionally. As a result of the essay, the student gains a better understanding of themselves and their behaviors.

Taking a closer look at the literature:

The purpose of this type of essay is for students to summarize the literature, after which it is applied to their own experiences.

What am I supposed to write about?

When deciding on the content of your reflective essay, you need to keep in mind that it is highly personal and is intended to engage the reader. Reflective essays are much more than just recounting a story. As you reflect on your experience (more on this later), you will need to demonstrate how it influenced your subsequent behavior and how your life has consequently changed.

Start by thinking about some important experiences in your life that have had a profound impact on you, either positively or negatively. A reflection essay topic could be a real-life experience, an imagined experience, a special object or place, a person who influenced you, or something you’ve seen or read.

If you are asked to write a reflective essay for an academic assignment, it is likely that you will be asked to focus on a particular episode – such as a time when you had to make an influential decision – and explain the results. In a reflective essay, the aftermath of the experience is especially significant; miss this out and you will simply be telling a story.

Is Remote Learning a Genuine Alternative to More Traditional Methods?


In this type of essay, the reflective process is at the core, so it’s important that you get it right from the beginning. Think deeply about how the experience you have chosen to focus on impacted or changed you. Consider the implications for you on a personal level based on your memories and feelings.

Once you have chosen the topic of your essay, it is imperative that you spend a lot of time thinking about it and studying it thoroughly. Write down everything you remember about it, describing it as clearly and completely as you can. Use your five senses to describe your experience, and be sure to use adjectives. During this stage, you can simply take notes using short phrases, but make sure to record your reactions, perceptions, and experiences.

As soon as you’ve emptied your memory, you should begin reflecting. Choosing some reflection questions that will help you think deeply about the impact and lasting effects of your experience is a helpful way to do this. Here are some suggestions:

  • As a result of the experience, what have you learned about yourself?
  • What have you developed as a result? How?
  • Has it had a positive or negative impact on your life?
  • Looking back, what would you do differently?
  • If you could go back, what would you do differently? Did you make the right decisions?
  • How would you describe the experience in general? What did you learn from the experience? What skills or perspectives did you acquire?

You can use these signpost questions to kick-start your reflective process. Remember that asking yourself lots of questions is crucial to ensuring that you think deeply and critically about your experiences – a skill at the heart of a great reflective essay.

Use models of reflection (like the Gibbs or Kolb cycles) before, during, and after the learning process to ensure that you maintain a high standard of analysis. Before you get to the nitty-gritty of the process, consider questions such as: what might happen (in regards to the experience)?

Will there be any challenges? What knowledge will be needed to best prepare? When you are planning and writing, these questions may be helpful: what is happening within the learning process? Has everything worked according to plan? How am I handling the challenges that come with it?

Do you need to do anything else to ensure that the learning process is successful? Is there anything I can learn from this? Using a framework like this will enable you to keep track of the reflective process that should guide your work.

Here’s a useful tip: no matter how well prepared you feel with all that time spent reflecting in your arsenal, don’t start writing your essay until you have developed a comprehensive, well-rounded plan. There will be so much more coherence in what you write, your ideas will be expressed with structure and clarity, and your essay will probably receive higher marks as a result.

It’s especially important when writing a reflective essay as it’s possible for people to get a little ‘lost’ or disorganized as they recount their own experiences in an erratic and often unsystematic manner since it’s an incredibly personal topic. But if you outline thoroughly (this is the same thing as a ‘plan’) and adhere to it like Christopher Columbus adhered to a map, you should be fine as you embark on the ultimate step of writing your essay. We’ve summarized the benefits of creating a detailed essay outline below if you’re still not convinced of the value of planning:

An outline can help you identify all the details you plan to include in your essay, allowing you to remove all superfluous details so that your essay is concise and to the point.

Think of the outline as a map – you plan in advance which points you will navigate through and discuss in your writing. You will more likely have a clear line of thought, making your work easier to understand. You’ll be less likely to miss out on any pertinent details, and you won’t have to go back at the end and try to fit them in.

This is a real-time-saver! When you use the outline as an essay’s skeleton, you’ll save a tremendous amount of time when writing because you’ll know exactly what you want to say. Due to this, you will be able to devote more time to editing the paper and ensuring it meets high standards.

As you now know the advantages of using an outline for your reflective essay, it is important that you know how to create one. There can be significant differences between it and other typical essay outlines, mostly due to the varying topics. As always, you need to begin your outline by drafting the introduction, body, and conclusion. We will discuss this in more detail below.


Your reflective essay must begin with an introduction that contains both a hook and a thesis statement. The goal of a ‘hook’ is to capture the attention of your audience or reader from the very beginning. In the first paragraph of your story, you should convey the exciting aspects of your story so that you can succeed in

If you think about the opening quote of this article, did it grab your attention and make you want to read more? This thesis statement summarizes the essay’s focus, which in this case is a particular experience that left a lasting impression on you. Give a quick overview of your experience – don’t give too much information away or you’ll lose readers’ interest.

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Reflection Essay Structure

A reflective essay differs greatly from an argumentative or research paper in its format. Reflective essays are more like well-structured stories or diary entries that are rife with insights and reflections. Your essay may need to be formatted according to the APA style or MLA style.

In general, the length of a reflection paper varies between 300 and 700 words, but it is a good idea to check with your instructor or employer about the word count. Even though this is an essay about you, you should try to avoid using too much informal language.

The following shortcuts can help you format your paper according to APA or MLA style if your instructor asks:

MLA Format for Reflective Essay

  • Times New Roman 12 pt font double spaced;
  • 1” margins;
  • The top right includes the last name and page number on every page;
  • Titles are centered;
  • The header should include your name, your professor’s name, course number, and the date (dd/mm/yy);
  • The last page contains a Works Cited list.

Reflective Essay in APA Style

  • Include a page header on the top of every page;
  • Insert page number on the right;
  • Your reflective essay should be divided into four parts: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

Reflective Essay Outline

Look at your brainstorming table to start organizing your reflective essay. ‘Past experience’ and ‘description’ should make up less than 10% of your essay.

You should include the following in your introduction:

  • Grab the reader’s attention with a short preview of what you’ll be writing about.

Example:  We found Buffy head-to-toe covered in tar, starved and fur in patches, under an abandoned garbage truck.

  • It is important to include ‘past experiences’ in a reflective essay thesis statement; a brief description of what the essay is about.

Example:  My summer volunteering experience at the animal shelter inspired me to pursue this type of work in the future.

Chronological events are the best way to explain the structure of body paragraphs. Respond to the bold questions in the ‘reflection’ section of the table to create a linear storyline.

Here’s an example of what the body paragraph outline should look like:

  • Explicit expectations about the shelter

Example:  I thought it was going to be boring and mundane.

  • The first impression
  • Experience at the shelter

Example:  Finding and rescuing Buffy.

  • Other experiences with rescuing animals
  • Discoveries

Example:  Newly found passion and feelings toward the work.

  • A newly developed mindset

Example:  How your thoughts about animal treatment have changed.

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Here’s How You Can Submit a Well-Written Reflective Essay for University

Even though writing a reflective essay may seem difficult at first, once you have a clear idea of what you will write and more importantly, how to write, it often gets easier as you go along. Here are five key writing tips to keep in mind when writing a reflective essay.

Choosing a Topic for Reflection

As a busy student, when was the last time you drowned yourself in thoughts and reflected on past experiences? Here is an assignment that intentionally puts you in that position.

Think about all of the experiences which have shaped you – a life-changing event, an interaction with someone you admire, a movie character that appealed to you, a book that gave you perspective, or any other experience which contributed to your character or thought process.

You should choose a topic that will help you reflect on your growth as an individual. Start brainstorming and record every idea that comes to mind.

Organize your thoughts in a mind map

The next step is to create a mind map to help you organize your essay once you have a rough idea of what you want to write.

You can use your mind map to quiz yourself by asking questions of relevance and putting together perspectives for your essay.

The purpose of this exercise is to give you an idea of what you want your essay to be about. It is important to keep pushing yourself to think more deeply and find meaning in your experiences in order to create a successful reflective essay.

From becoming a Writer Today, here are some tips on using mind maps to write better and faster

Start Freewriting

Sometimes, all you have to do is start writing. Essentially, that’s what freewriting is all about.

After brainstorming, creating a mind map, and organizing your thoughts, open a blank document and start writing. Do not stop to think or to edit – just write as your thoughts come to you.

The best part of freewriting is that it results in a steady flow of ideas you may not have thought of otherwise.

In other words, whether or not you’re motivated to write or are constantly second-guessing your ideas, it helps to let your ideas guide you and put them down on paper.

Structure the Essay

It’s time to put your ideas and thoughts into words and give them a proper structure. A reflective essay should have the following parts:

You should begin your essay with a hook to grab the reader’s attention. While setting the tone for the rest of the essay, your thesis statement should introduce the past experience you will be reflecting on;

In this section, you will elaborate on the experience and its significance, as well as its impact on your life. Avoid rambling on and on about the experience for readers to want to read more of your essay, you need to use your storytelling skills. If you can, use examples to strengthen your narrative;

A summary of your reflections is provided in the concluding paragraph. In your essay, you should describe how the experience shaped your life and how you intend to take your learnings and apply them.

Proofread, Proofread and Proofread

Be sure to proofread your reflective essay before submitting it. Before finalizing it, you need to do thorough proofreading. You will be surprised to see how many silly mistakes are made in the first draft.

Be on the lookout for grammatical, spelling, and sentence formation mistakes. Make sure your essay flows well and avoids plagiarism. If you want a fresh set of eyes on your essay, have a family member or friend read it too.

Reflective Essay Topics

Many students find choosing the right topic for a reflective essay difficult. Writing a reflective essay requires creativity and strong writing skills to express your emotions.

Reflective essays can be inspired by nature, places, relationships, and events. Here are some tips that will help you choose the right essay topic.

  • Decide on a topic idea for your reflective essay that you are familiar with. You will find it easier to write an essay about a topic you are interested in. Never choose a topic that is new to you. This makes the writing phase difficult.
  • Research your topic: Try to recollect minor details about it. Remember all the things that are related to your topic, and include them in your essay. Take notes about your topic.
  • Pick a topic that you can explain from a unique viewpoint: Choose a topic that you can explain from a different perspective. Writing something unique that demonstrates your personality in an interesting way is a good technique. Share a memorable and meaningful experience from your life.

Topics for Reflective Essays for Middle School Students

Essay topics can be difficult to choose for some students. The following list of topics can be classified according to grade level. Pick from them and make topic selection easier.

Topics for Reflective Essays in Grade 7

  • Taking a trip
  • To go scuba diving
  • Within your hometown
  • Was something you were proud of
  • Even when you were lost
  • To your favorite cartoon
  • During that time you lied
  • When you were hunting
  • Did your family play an important role in your life?
  • Spending time outdoors

Topics for Reflective Essays in Grade 8

  • Running in the outdoors
  • While picking berries
  • Will be your biggest loss
  • Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • What is your greatest fear?
  • Tell me about your most exciting moment.
  • What is your least favorite course?
  • When you go on a date
  • To a birthday party
  • Which is your favorite online space?

Topics for Reflective Essays in Grade 9

  • A new school
  • Makes me think about the future.
  • You participated in or watched a sporting event.
  • You moved to a new city.
  • You had an unforgettable dream.
  • You were running and hunting.
  • You cannot forget that dream.
  • It was your childhood home.
  • Watching the sunrise
  • An award ceremony

Topics for Reflective Essays in Grade 10

  • Defending someone in a situation
  • While playing with friends
  • It was a memorable dream
  • About lying and hiding
  • The most recent meal
  • While getting lost in the dark
  • As an intern at a hospital
  • Or when someone’s life inspired you to change your own
  • Challenges as a college freshman
  • By participating in sports

Topics for Reflective Essays for College Students

For college students, the most difficult part of writing a reflective essay is choosing a topic. Some students are better at choosing the essay topic than others, but some will get stuck in this phase.

Here are some excellent reflective essay topics for college students for your convenience. Choose one and write a well-written essay.

  • First time writing a thesis statement
  • Your favorite video game
  • The impact of social media on students
  • A place you always try to avoid
  • What was the best birthday memory you had?
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
  • The moment when you were proud of yourself
  • The bravest moment of your life
  • The most beautiful thing you have ever seen
  • A time you were embarrassed

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Topics for Reflective Essays for High School Students

The choice of a topic for a reflective essay can be confusing for high school students. Your topic should be engaging and you should be able to explain your personal experience easily. Here is a list of good topics for high school students; choose something from the list for your essay.

  • Shop at your favorite outlet store
  • To relive your favorite childhood memory
  • Of the most memorable holiday
  • That scared you?
  • That’s when you met your best friend
  • And what you love about yourself
  • Is playing with friends.
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • I loved playing in the mud as a kid.
  • Having to move to a new town or city

Topics for Reflective Essays about Places

Reflective essays should be based on strong emotions and memories. You could write an essay about a day spent at your favorite café, favorite restaurant, etc.

It is easy to write a reflective essay about a place where you have really good memories. Here are some topic ideas that you can use and write an essay on.

  • Your grandparents’ house
  • A skating rink
  • A place where you feel safe
  • A favorite vacation spot
  • A popular lunch spot
  • On your first day at the circus
  • The mall or your favorite store
  • Your first trip abroad
  • Best park in your town
  • Your most memorable adventure

Topics for Reflective Essays about Events

A good way to grab the reader’s attention is to write about any event. Your essay can be about a birthday party, a farewell, or any other event that you have enough information about.

If you are writing a reflective essay about an event, include vivid details. Here are some interesting topics for reflection essays, choose one and write a good essay.

  • Unexpected gift
  • To travel on vacation
  • While you were lost
  • The first time you voted
  • On your trip to the zoo
  • When you got a new job
  • It was one of your most memorable trips
  • During the holiday season
  • When you moved to a new city
  • Or when you swam fishing

Topics for Reflective Essays on Nature

A reflective essay should provide the reader with a deeper and more meaningful experience. In addition to making your writing process more interesting, writing about nature also stimulates your imagination.

The following are some good reflective essay topics about nature:

  • Mountain climbing
  • Ocean diving
  • Hiking in the woods
  • Climbing rocks
  • And watching the sunset
  • While running in the forest.
  • Spending quality time with your pet.
  • Taking a hike in the woods
  • And going swimming
  • While watching animals at a zoo

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Topics for reflection on relationships

As relationships are filled with strong emotions, writing a reflective essay about them means expressing those emotions. The following are some good reflective essay topics about relationships:

  • A wonderful family reunion
  • When you spoke publicly for the first time
  • What friendship means to me
  • When you were punished by your parents
  • During a family reunion
  • When you apologized
  • For a time you spent with friends without parental supervision
  • Tell me about your relationship with a family member
  • An angry conversation
  • Or a genuinely funny laugh

Some reflective essay topics are the same as some of the questions you may ask in a job interview.

Examples of Reflective Essay

Check out some examples for inspiration now that you know what it takes to write a reflective essay.

An Example of a Reflective Essay on “My Little Brother”

Essay example reflecting on the arrival of a younger sibling, written at a middle or high school level.

“There have been many life-changing experiences in my short life. Every new experience has been the first experience at one point in time. For good or for bad, each event altered the course of my life. But, the most transformative event was the birth of my youngest brother.”.

Joel is someone my parents often refer to as a happy accident. My mother became pregnant when I was 13 and my other brother, Jake, was 10. We were what you would call a well-rounded family of four. In almost every way, we fit the ideal classification. My youngest brother’s striking blue eyes were the moment when we realized what we were missing.

Honestly, I resented having another sibling. It wasn’t necessary to add to our family, and my mother, already 38 at the time, was considered high risk because of her age. A pregnancy full of complications sent my life on a rollercoaster-like ride that my 13-year-old mind could not comprehend. Now I can see how forging through those loops helped me cope with the unforeseen challenges of life.

Reflective Essay Example

My mother took me to the hospital instead of my father on the day Joel was born. I was the next best alternative because Jake and my father were both feverish; it wasn’t a planned move. With each contraction, I gained a new appreciation for just how strong and powerful a woman could be at her weakest. Through holding her hand and feeding her ice chips, I gained a connection with my mother that I didn’t realize we lacked.

Almost simultaneously, my new baby brother entered this world. One doesn’t realize how much you need something until it’s sitting in your lap. Secondly, my life after this moment would never be the same the moment he curled his chubby little finger around mine, I understood the meaning of the words “happy accident.”.y.

Life has given me many experiences that have shaped me as a person. But, nothing so profoundly changed my views and outlook on life as the birth of my youngest brother. Joel’s arrival was a life-altering event that caused me to see the world through new eyes.”

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Reflective Essay Example for “ Reading My Favorite Book”

This reflective essay example about a favorite book is something you might find at the middle or high school level.

When it comes to books, I don’t understand the appeal. Every time I was given an assignment, I would read one after another, not understanding what all the fuss was about. Nevertheless, the moment I read Pride and Prejudice, it was as if my literary eyes were opened for the first time. It stirred love within me for classics I didn’t realize could exist.

When I was first given the assignment of reading Pride and Prejudice, like many of my friends, I scoffed. With an eye roll, I internally calculated how much time I would have to read the book and write a report. I sighed at the loss of time with my friends for a stupid classic.

Cracking open the cover, I was determined to hate it before even reading the first words. By the time I reached page 3, I nearly stopped reading. But there was something about Elizabeth Bennet that quietly piqued my interest. I can’t say where, but somewhere along the way, my eyes devoured the pages instead of trudging along.

The moment I reached the end, I was ecstatic and disappointed at the same time. Their ending had been perfect, but I realized I would miss them. Not just them, but I would also miss being a part of their world.

It was the first time the characters of a story had affected me this way, so I tried to shake it off. However, after several days, that sadness carried me to the classics section of the school library. The moment I cracked open my next classic, my soul instantly felt more at ease, and I’ve never looked back.

I never thought I’d say a book changed me, but in this case, it’s true. The love I found in Pride and Prejudice introduced me to a beautiful world of classic literature I can’t imagine living without. Despite not reading Pride and Prejudice for a while, it will always be my favorite book.

In the conclusion of your reflective essay, you should focus on bringing your piece together. This will include providing a summary of both the points made throughout and what you have learned as a result. Try to include a few points on why and how your attitudes and behaviors have been changed.

Consider also how your character and skills have been affected, for example: what conclusions can be drawn about your problem-solving skills? What can be concluded about your approach to specific situations? What might you do differently in similar situations in the future? What steps have you taken to consolidate everything that you have learned from your experience?

Keep in mind that your tutor will be looking out for evidence of reflection at a very high standard.

Congratulations – you now have the tools to create a thorough and accurate plan which should put you in good stead for the ultimate phase indeed of any essay, the writing process.

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How do you start off a reflective essay?

As is the case with all essays, your reflective essay must begin with an introduction that contains both a hook and a thesis statement. The point of having a ‘hook’ is to grab the attention of your audience or reader from the very beginning.

Can you say I in a reflective essay?

In your reflective essay, you should use the first person with terms like I, me, my, and mine. The essay is an account of something that actually happened to you as well as your thoughts on the event.

What is an example of a reflection?

Common examples include the reflection of light, sound, and water waves. The law of reflection says that for specular reflection the angle at which the wave is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected. Mirrors exhibit specular reflection.

How do you start the first paragraph of a reflective essay?

Describe the subject matter of the paper in more detail. Include one or two sentences after the first sentence in which you describe the basic features of whatever topic you will be discussing in your essay. Describe them in terms of your feelings, and how you felt and experienced whatever you are discussing.

How many paragraphs should a reflective essay have?

The number of paragraphs depends on the requested essay length. However, it is recommended to write at least three paragraphs in this part. In the body, present your main points, arguments, and examples. This is the part of an essay where you express all your main ideas, develop them, and express your feelings and emotions.

What are the three parts of a reflective essay?

However, some major elements go into a typical reflective essay: introduction, body, and conclusion.

How Do You Write A Reflective Essay?

To write a reflective essay, follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic: Select a specific event, experience, or concept that you want to reflect upon.
  • Brainstorm and outline: Reflect on your chosen topic and jot down key points, thoughts, and emotions associated with it. Create an outline to organize your ideas.
  • Introduction: Begin with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. Provide background information and context related to the topic. End the introduction with a clear thesis statement that expresses the main insights or lessons you will discuss.
  • Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or experience related to your topic. Reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and observations, and support them with specific examples or evidence. Analyze the significance and impact of these experiences.
  • Use reflection techniques: Incorporate reflection techniques such as asking yourself questions, exploring the “why” behind your thoughts and emotions, and connecting your experiences to broader concepts or theories.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your key insights and reflections from the essay. Emphasize personal growth, lessons learned, or changes in perspective. Leave the reader with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action.

Which Of These Best Describes A Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is best described as a type of academic or personal writing that allows individuals to examine and reflect upon their experiences, thoughts, and emotions. It involves introspection, self-analysis, and the exploration of lessons learned or personal growth. Reflective essays provide a platform for individuals to communicate their insights and understanding of a particular event, concept, or life experience.

What Is A Reflective Essay And Examples?

A reflective essay is a form of writing where individuals express their thoughts, feelings, and observations about a specific experience, event, or topic. It goes beyond simply describing the experience and delves into analyzing the impact, significance, and lessons learned. Reflective essays encourage self-reflection and introspection, allowing writers to gain deeper understanding and insight.

Examples of reflective essay topics include:

  • Reflecting on a life-changing travel experience and its impact on personal growth.
  • Analyzing the challenges and successes encountered during a group project and the lessons learned.
  • Reflecting on the influence of a particular book, film, or artwork and its effect on personal perspectives.
  • Examining the role of personal values and beliefs in decision-making processes.

What Are The Parts Of A Typical Reflective Essay?

A typical reflective essay consists of the following parts:

  • Introduction: It provides an engaging hook, background information, and context for the topic. The introduction ends with a clear thesis statement that states the main insights or lessons to be discussed.
  • Body paragraphs: Each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect or experience related to the topic. Writers reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and observations, supporting them with examples or evidence. They analyze the significance and impact of these experiences and connect them to broader concepts or theories.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the key insights and reflections from the essay. It emphasizes personal growth, lessons learned, or changes in perspective. A thought-provoking statement or a call to action is often included to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

What Is A Goal Of The Introduction In A Reflective Essay?

The goal of the introduction in a reflective essay is to capture the reader’s attention and provide them with the necessary background information and context related to the topic. It should set the stage for the reflective journey that follows. The introduction concludes with a clear thesis statement that outlines the main insights or lessons the writer will discuss in the essay. It acts as a roadmap, guiding the reader through the writer’s reflections.

What Idea Would Most Likely Make The Best Reflective Essay?

The best idea for a reflective essay is a topic that holds personal significance and offers opportunities for introspection and deep reflection. An idea that involves a transformative experience, a significant life event, or a challenging situation often makes for a compelling reflective essay. It should be something that evokes strong emotions, prompts critical thinking, and allows for self-analysis. The best reflective essays are those that offer meaningful insights, growth, or lessons learned.

What Makes A Good Reflective Essay?

A good reflective essay possesses several key qualities:

  • Authenticity: It reflects the writer’s genuine thoughts, emotions, and observations.
  • Depth of reflection: It goes beyond surface-level descriptions and delves into meaningful analysis, exploring the “why” behind the experiences.
  • Coherence and organization: The essay is well-structured, with clear paragraphs and logical flow of ideas.
  • Use of specific examples: It supports reflections with specific examples, evidence, or anecdotes to enhance understanding and engagement.
  • Connection to broader concepts or theories: It links personal experiences to broader concepts, theories, or societal issues to demonstrate critical thinking and understanding.
  • Insight and personal growth: The essay offers meaningful insights, lessons learned, or personal growth as a result of the reflection.

By incorporating these elements, a good reflective essay effectively communicates the writer’s introspection and provides a thought-provoking reading experience.

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Digging Deep into Purpose and Importance of Reflective Essay

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Reflection writing is a powerful tool for students and professionals as they offer a unique opportunity for self-exploration, growth, and understanding. This guide on the importance and purpose of  reflective essays  aims to change your perception of writing and shed light on the many benefits of incorporating reflection into your life. With our amazing  paper help  resources and expert guidance, you can master the art of reflective essay writing and unlock your full potential.

Table of Contents

What is a Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is a type of writing that allows the author to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a structured and analytical manner. This form of writing encourages critical thinking and personal growth by examining the author’s experiences, thoughts, actions, and reactions. 

Reflective essays often focus on personal development, learning experiences, or the impact of specific events on the author’s life. However, reflection writing is also used for  college essays  or other forms of academic writing.

Types of Reflection Writing

Reflection essays come in various forms, each with its unique focus and purpose. In this note, we will delve into five types of reflective writing;

Personal Reflective Writing

Professional reflection, academic reflective essay, creative reflection.

  • Social or Cultural Reflection Writing

Understanding these different approaches will enable you to choose the most suitable reflection essay type for your needs and make your writing more coherent, insightful and trustworthy.

Journaling, manifestation dairies, and written meditations are common ideas. But would you believe these are all forms and branches of personal reflection writing?

Personal reflection essays explore what you’re going through, emotionally, mentally, and provide insights. These could be about their learning, inner conflicts, resolutions and growth.

This type of reflective writing allows individuals to examine their values, beliefs, and actions, fostering self-awareness and personal development. 

Personal reflection essays may focus on topics such as significant life events, personal challenges, or the impact of relationships on one’s identity and growth.

Professional reflection writing is common in academic or workplace settings. They involve analyzing personal and professional skills and challenges and identifying areas for improvement. 

This reflection essay encourages individuals to examine their professional experiences, decisions, and outcomes, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Professional reflection essays may focus on workplace conflicts, leadership experiences, or developing specific professional competencies.

As a  college paper writing service  platform, we know that most students are intimidated by reflective essay writing. In an academic setting, the reflection essay blurs the lines between informal and formal writing. 

You might be assigned an essay account of your experience with an event, but you’ll still need to follow strict rules of academic writing, i.e., formatting or  organizing a paper . 

Academic reflective writing involves analyzing and evaluating academic materials, such as readings, lectures, or research projects, and connecting them to personal experiences or broader concepts. 

It encourages students to engage with course content on a deeper level, fostering a better understanding of the material and its relevance to their lives and future careers.

For example:

You can be assigned to write a reflection essay on  modernism in literature . You’d have to write your thoughts and observations about this era. Still, you must follow the rules like citation, proper referencing, and contextual analysis of the ideas presented in that era. 

Creative reflection essays are often utilized in artistic or creative fields, allowing individuals to examine their creative process, inspirations, and outcomes. 

This reflective writing fosters self-awareness, critical thinking, and artistic growth, enabling individuals to explore their creative motivations, challenges, and successes. 

Creative reflection essays may focus on topics such as the development of a specific artistic project, the influence of personal experiences on one’s creative work, or the role of collaboration in the creative process.

Social or Cultural Reflection

These reflection essays focus on exploring and understanding social or cultural phenomena. It involves analyzing personal experiences, observations, or interactions with others and reflecting on their significance and broader societal implications. 

Social or cultural reflection essays encourage individuals to engage with the world around them, fostering empathy, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of social and cultural issues. 

These essays may focus on topics such as the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships, the role of cultural identity in shaping one’s worldview, or the challenges of navigating diverse social environments.

Students must grasp all of these forms of reflective essay writing. Understanding the different types of reflective writing and their unique purposes is required for crafting effective reflection essays.

By selecting the most appropriate reflection essay type for your needs, you can create a coherent, understandable, and persuasive piece of writing that fosters personal and professional growth.

Reflective writing offers a valuable opportunity for self-exploration, critical thinking, and meaningful learning, whether you are exploring your personal experiences, professional challenges, academic materials, creative endeavors, or social and cultural phenomena.

 What is the Purpose of Reflective Essay Writing?

The amazing thing about reflective essay writing is that, although we have discussed its few meaningful purposes, there’s still a long list to cover. 

These numerous goals are particularly for students dealing with academic stress and professionals experiencing work-related challenges. Here are 8 key purposes of reflective paper writing. 

  • Self-awareness : Reflective essays help individuals develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their values, beliefs, and emotions.
  • Critical thinking : It encourages the examination of one’s thoughts and experiences, fostering the development of critical thinking skills.
  • Personal growth : Reflection writing enables individuals to learn from their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for personal development.
  • Problem-solving : Reflection essay writing can help identify the root causes of problems and generate potential solutions.
  • Emotional processing : Writing about emotional experiences can help individuals process and cope with their feelings.
  • Learning from mistakes : Reflection writing encourages individuals to examine their failures, learn from them, and develop resilience.
  • Enhancing communication skills : Reflective writing helps improve written communication skills and promotes effective self-expression.
  • Empathy development:  The reflective essays can foster empathy by encouraging individuals to consider the perspectives and experiences of others.

Why Is Reflection Essay Important for Students?

Reflection writing is a crucial aspect of a student’s academic journey. Here are several reasons why reflection writing is essential for students:

Promotes Self-Awareness

Self-awareness in a student involves recognizing their academic learning style, studying habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Reflective Writing plays a crucial role in building self-awareness in students. 

Most students struggle with consulting adults or peers with issues like processing information, retaining knowledge, and solving problems effectively. They have a hard time coming to terms with certain values, beliefs, goals, and emotions. 

And an even harder time in exploring and creating their identities. Practicing reflective thought writing enables students to make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and develop healthy relationships. 

Self-aware students take ownership of their learning and personal development, seeking feedback, reflecting on experiences, and adapting their approaches. Thus, reflective essay writing contributes to effective communication, collaboration, and navigating challenges.

Develops Critical Thinking Skills

Reflective writing develops critical thinking skills in students by prompting them to analyze and evaluate their thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. 

It encourages questioning assumptions, considering alternative viewpoints, and making informed judgments. Students practice higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation through reflection. 

They learn to articulate their ideas clearly and support them with evidence. Overall, reflective writing plays a crucial role in fostering critical thinking by promoting deep thinking, evaluation of evidence, and effective communication of thoughts.

Practical Academic Stress Dealing

Reflective writing induces practical academic stress dealing in students by improving self-expression, facilitating self-composition, promoting goal-setting and problem-solving, enhancing writing skills, and fulfilling academic requirements. These benefits empower students to navigate their academic challenges more effectively and succeed in their studies.

  • Improves self-expression : Reflection writing helps students enhance their written communication skills and promotes effective self-expression, which is vital for academic success and personal growth.
  • Self-composition:  Reflective writing allows students to compose their thoughts and ideas in a structured and coherent manner. It encourages them to organize their reflections, leading to clearer and more articulate writing.
  • Setting better goals:  Engaging in reflective writing prompts students to set better academic goals. It helps them assess their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and establish realistic objectives for their studies.
  • Problem-solving : Reflective writing encourages students to analyze academic challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. It fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, enabling students to tackle obstacles and find effective solutions.
  • Organized and better-polished writing skills : Regular practice of reflective writing hones students’ writing skills. It enhances their ability to structure their thoughts, use appropriate language, and present coherent arguments, leading to more organized and polished writing.
  • Fulfills academic requirements : Reflective essays are often assigned as part of the coursework, and students need to write them to meet academic requirements. Developing reflection writing skills ensures students can effectively complete these assignments while meeting the expectations of their instructors.

Navigating Life Transitions 

Students often face significant life transitions, such as moving away from home or choosing a career path. Reflection essay writing can help them process these changes, identify their goals, and make informed decisions. 

By engaging in reflective writing, students can explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences related to the transitions they are facing. This process allows them to gain clarity, understand their values and aspirations, and evaluate different options. 

Reflective writing is a valuable tool for self-reflection and self-discovery, empowering students to navigate life’s transitions with a deeper understanding of themselves and their desired path forward.

Addresses Emotional and Mental Conflicts 

Students may experience emotional or  mental conflicts  due to various factors, such as relationships, academic pressure, or personal issues. Reflection writing provides an opportunity to explore and resolve these conflicts, promoting mental well-being. 

By engaging in reflective writing, students can express and process their emotions, gain insights into their turmoil’s underlying causes, and develop coping and problem-solving strategies. It offers a safe and therapeutic outlet for self-expression, self-reflection, and self-care. 

Reflective essay writing empowers students to navigate their emotional and mental challenges, fostering resilience, self-awareness, and overall psychological well-being.

Balancing Work and Studies 

Many students juggle work and studies simultaneously. Reflection writing can help them assess their time management and prioritization skills, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to maintain a healthy work-study balance.

Encourages Empathy Development

Reflective essays can foster empathy by encouraging students to consider the perspectives and experiences of others, an essential skill for building strong relationships and navigating diverse social environments.

Reflection Essay Writing Format

Reflection essays require a structured approach to ensure coherence and clarity in presenting one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This detailed tutorial will provide an overview of the reflection essay writing format and offer instructions on how to apply APA and  MLA formatting to your reflection essay.

A well-structured reflection essay typically includes the following elements:

  • Introduction : Provide an overview of the topic or experience you will be reflecting on and briefly explain its significance.
  • Description : Describe the experience or event in detail, including relevant facts, feelings, and observations.
  • Analysis : Examine your thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the experience, and consider the factors that influenced your response.
  • Evaluation : Assess the impact of the experience on your personal growth, learning, or development and discuss any lessons learned.
  • Conclusion : Summarize your reflections, reiterate the significance of the experience, and discuss any future implications or goals.

APA Formatting for Reflection Essays

The American Psychological Association ( APA ) formatting style is commonly used in social sciences and education. Here are the key formatting instructions for a reflection essay in  APA  style:

  • Title Page : Include a title page with the title of your essay, your name, and the name of your institution, all centered and double-spaced.
  • Running Head : Include a running head on the top-left corner of each page, consisting of a shortened version of your essay title (in capital letters) and the page number.
  • Font and Spacing : Use a 12-point, Times New Roman font with double-spacing throughout the essay.
  • Margins : Set 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Headings : Use headings to organize your essay, with level one headings centered and bold, level two headings flush left and bold, and level three headings flush left, bold, and italicized.
  • Citations :  If you refer to any external sources, use in-text citations with the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses.
  • Reference List : Include a reference list at the end of your essay, with a centered and bold “References” heading, and list all cited sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

MLA Formatting for Reflection Essays

The Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting style is commonly used in humanities and liberal arts. Here are the key formatting instructions for a reflection essay in MLA style:

  • Header :  Include a header on the top-right corner of each page, consisting of your last name and the page number.
  • Title :  Center the title of your essay at the top of the first page, using standard capitalization. Do not underline, italicize, or place the title in quotation marks.
  • Indentation : Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches.
  • Citations :  If you refer to any external sources, use in-text citations with the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses.
  • Works Cited : Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay, with a centered “Works Cited” heading, and list all cited sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

Topics for Reflection Essays

Reflective essay topics can vary widely, depending on the individual’s experiences, interests, and goals. Some examples of reflective essay topics include:

  • A significant personal experience and its impact on your life.
  • A challenging academic or professional situation and the lessons learned.
  • A personal or professional failure and how it has shaped your development.
  • A meaningful relationship or encounter with someone who has influenced your perspective.
  • A volunteer or community service experience and its effect on your values or beliefs.
  • A time when you faced a moral or ethical dilemma and how you resolved it.
  • A personal or professional goal and the steps taken to achieve it.
  • A cultural or travel experience that broadened your understanding of the world.

Examples of Reflective Essay

Our writers have written numerous examples of reflective essays here are some of them. 

Reflection Essay Example 1

A Poetic Turnaround: How an Online Assignment Platform Reshaped My Perception

Reflection Paper Example 2 

A Day Among Colors and Canvas: Art Exhibition at School 

Reflection Writing Example 3 

Spinning the Semester Around: Witnessing a Friend Succeeding in Their Academic Battles 

Reflective essay writing can polish your being in many ways. By understanding the purpose and importance of reflective essays, as well as mastering the format and selecting meaningful topics, you can transform your writing and unlock the full potential of self-reflection. For additional help, you can avail of our top-of-the-line writing service and confidently pursue your goals, knowing you have the best support for securing impressive grades.

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Writing a Reflective Essay: Definition, Format & Free Example


In this blog, you will read about how to write a reflective essay and give samples and helpful hints to make the process go more smoothly.

A Reflective Essay is a sort of paper that many college students write. Almost every course you take requires you to express your opinions on specific issues.

The tone of reflection articles should be scholarly, but they should also be personal and subjective. In this type of writing, you should examine and analyze how an event, academic task, article, or lecture influenced your perspective and opinions on a topic. 

How do you write a good reflective essay? 

A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to present your point of view on a topic and support it with personal examples and observations..

Rather than giving your reader the viewpoints of other academics and writers, this essay allows you to express yourself—and the best thing is that there is no wrong answer.

It is YOUR viewpoint, and it is your job to deliver this in an understandable way and obvious to all readers. The possibilities are infinite.

Some instances are as follows:

Consider whether or not you believe aliens exist, what your favorite television show is, or how you feel about WWII's end. Almost everything can be written about.

There are three main sorts of reflective essays , and the tone you use will vary based on which one you choose.

The first type is a reflective educational paper. Your goal is to educate the reader by writing critiques about a book, movie, or seminar you attended.

The second is a professional paper. It is mainly written by students or professionals in the disciplines of education or psychology. It could, for example, be a reaction to someone's actions.

Finally, there's the personality type, which delves into your ideas and feelings on a personal topic. 

What is the structure of a reflective essay?

Reflective essays aren't usually formatted in any particular way. professors usually allow you to handle things any way you want because it is your view..

It is usually advised to put down your thoughts authentically. If your professor has assigned you to write a reflection paper, the format of your work may be dictated by your professor's criteria.

A college reflection paper (also known as a reflection essay) normally has a word count of 400 to 800 words. 

Have a look at the structure of a reflective essay .

How to Start a Reflective Essay?

When starting with a reflective essay the very first question that comes is how to start a sentence with a reflective essay.

  • Reading the article thoroughly while taking notes is the first step in creating a reflection essay. If you're reflecting on an activity, a book/newspaper, or an academic article, you'll want to underline key ideas and concepts.
  • Start writing your reflection paper by summarising the key idea from your notes to ensure that your paper contains all of the information your readers require.
  • Adding charts, diagrams, and lists to your presentation can help you communicate your ideas more effectively to your audience.
  • It's time to brainstorm when you've completed reading your article. For creating reflection papers, we have an easy brainstorming process.

Simply respond to the following questions:

  • What impact did the article have on you?
  • How does this piece (or does it all) grab the reader's attention?
  • Has anything in the article persuaded you to change your mind? Clarify how if this is the case, please explain how.
  • Have you come away with any questions as a result of reading this article?
  • Were there any major concerns that went neglected in the article?
  • Is there anything in the article that reminds you of something you've read before?
  • Is there anything in the article that you've read before that you agree with?

Here are some ideas for reflection paper topics to consider before you start writing your own:

How my attitudes toward rap music have evolved over time

Herman Melville's Moby Dick is the subject of my reflection and interpretation.

Why has my theory regarding the universe's size evolved throughout time?

  • How my clinical psychological research observations have progressed over the last year

Your brainstorming should culminate in a written outline of the contents of your upcoming paper. This phase should not be skipped because it will ensure that your essay has a correct flow and arrangement. 

You may like to see an example of a reflection paper .

Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing a Reflective Essay 

Create a main theme in the first step-

After you've decided on a topic, write a brief summary of what you've learned from your experience with it.

Let your readers know how you feel about the subject—and be honest about it. Your readers will most likely be able to relate to your viewpoint, or at least the process through which you get at it, which will aid their comprehension of your reflection.

  • Make a collection of thoughts and experiences about your topic -  You might include specific phrases, predispositions, things that affected you, or anything else that comes to mind. Be honest about how you felt and explain it in simple terms.

For example,  many people believe that even a small amount of carbohydrates will cause weight gain.  A specific time when I was struggling with excess weight and completely avoided carbohydrates.  The consequences of my actions prompted my research.  The evidence and studies of nutritional science claim carbohydrates alone are to blame for obesity.

  • Make links between your observations, experiences, and viewpoints –   To create a consistent image of your theme, link your thoughts and observations. You might also strive to identify and deconstruct your assumptions so that you can challenge them in the future.

There are a few topics that are frequently discussed in reflection papers:

Book - To keep your readers engaged, begin by writing some information about the author's life and a summary of the plot—without revealing the ending. Include the names of the characters, the major themes, and any issues raised in the work. Finally, write down your ideas and reflections about the book.

  • Course - Including the course name and description is an excellent place to start. Then you can describe the course's flow, explain why you decided to take it, and tell readers what you learned from it. Because this is a reflection paper, convey your thoughts and back them up with examples from the course.
  • Project - The structure of a project reflection paper follows the same criteria as a course reflection paper. One item you might want to include in the course's benefits and drawbacks. Also, express any modifications you'd want to see, and assess how applicable the skills you learned are in real life.
  • Interview - Begin by introducing the person and briefly describing the nature of the interview. Discuss the important topics, any disagreements, and your feelings on that person. 

Sample of a reflective essay or example of a reflective essay  

When you write a reflective paper example, you write about your personal experiences and examine how those events have changed, evolved, or developed you. this essay has no set format because it may vary based on the intended audience..

If you've already read reflective essay examples, you're aware that these forms of written works focus on the author's own experiences. 

Here are some pointers to help you write your reflective essay example:

Reflection -

The reflective approach is the most significant aspect of composing your reflective essay. Consider the personal experience you'd like to share. Concentrate on what happened, how it made you feel, and how it impacted your life. For this step, you'll need to go deep into your memories and emotions.

Take copious notes as you recall and reflect on your life experiences. Make a list of all the information you recall, and try to be as specific and thorough as possible. Allow yourself as much time as you require for reflection. You can even close your eyes and try to recall those events in detail.

It's time to start planning your essay after you've thought about your life experiences. Even if you've done a lot of reflection, you could feel unprepared when it's time to start. This is a natural reaction, especially if you want to write something that people will like reading.

Create a well-rounded and complete approach to alleviate your fear and doubt. An outline is the most effective method for accomplishing this. With an outline to assist you through the writing process, you can produce a more cohesive and well-structured essay.

For reflective essays, a framework or plan is essential.

Reflective Essay Example

Following is an example of a reflective essay that one could use for reference -.

“Story of my First Job”

“I got my graduation in a month, put it on the shelf, and got a job as an assistant in the human resources department of a huge IT firm. After watching far too many TV shows, I became interested in this field.

It's finally here – my first day. The air of importance and complex corporate processes was thick enough that I believed I could reach out and touch it.

Strangers, most of whom were older than I, appeared to be all-knowing and experienced. I was giddy to the top of my head with anticipation. It was difficult to maintain a serious expression while my mind was screaming, "I did it! I did it!" "I'm a high-ranking HR executive!" Finally, I have my own office space. It has everything a young environmental management needs.

Finally, I have my own office space. It had everything a young green manager could desire, including a comfortable chair, office supplies, and a computer screen that took up half of the desk. The nave spirit is engulfed in pure ecstasy and bliss. Everyone wants to show off their best qualities while starting a new career. You are ready to jump out of your skin to impress your boss and coworkers when it is your first job. This method puts the new employee under a lot of stress.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly at first. My new boss assigned me rather basic work, which I completed in a few hours. It should have been my first success, in my opinion. I was crossing the street when

As I walked across the room to present my employer the results of my job, I imagined Mr. Smith (my boss) shaking my hand and telling me that I was a capable manager, and so on. Is it necessary for me to inform you that nothing of the such occurred at that time?

Mr. Smith was not enthusiastic about the presentation I gave. To cut a long tale short, instead of the expected applause, it was met with a barrage of criticism, and I sobbed my way back to my desk. And at first, I didn't know what to do.

Tina, a young HR manager from our department, approached me and offered to help me get some fresh air. It was both a delightful surprise and a genuine shock.

It was both a delightful surprise and a genuine shock. She was pleasant and stated that our supervisor was very busy planning new recruitment plans for an upcoming meeting with the CEO and that my presentation was part of that endeavor. She admitted that it did contain the errors that Mr. Smith had pointed out, but that there was nothing to be upset about. She later assisted me in repairing it, and it was then that I learned that justified criticism may be a catalyst for growth.

I learned to take criticism and use it to develop new skills. From that day on, I noticed a distinct difference between top- and middle-management attitudes to work. “

Conclusion - 

To summarise, the key to writing a reflective essay is explaining what lessons you've learned from your experiences, as well as why and how these teachings have shaped you..

You must intentionally make an attempt to recognize and analyze your own thoughts in response to a particular experience to begin the reflective thinking process.

Don't be afraid to look into any prior information or experience you have with the issue, as this will help you figure out why you have certain viewpoints on the subject.

Remember that the assessment of your attitudes, assumptions, and values is at the heart of reflective essay writing, so be honest about how you feel.

Reflective writing may be quite therapeutic, as it can assist you in identifying and clarifying your strengths and flaws, especially in terms of communication.

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Free Reflective Essay Examples & Samples [MS Word]

Home / Education Templates / Free Reflective Essay Examples & Samples [MS Word]

Reflective essay examples are the types of written works that examine the writer’s life experience. During writing a reflective essay, you can share your own experiences, state how you have changed, and established because of those experiences. The format of this type of essay depends on the target audience.

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is a reflective essay?
  • 2 The purpose of reflective writing:
  • 3.1 Pay attention to your personal growth:
  • 3.2 Pay attention to literature:
  • 4 How to create outline of reflective essay examples?
  • 5 How to write a reflection paper?
  • 6.1 Reflection:
  • 6.2 Planning:
  • 7 The significance of a reflective essay:
  • 8 Conclusion:
  • 9 Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a reflective essay?

A reflective essay is a type of essay that reflects your own life experience. So, you already have a topic to write about because it’s about yourself. Readers expect you to elaborate a specific part of your life. Thus, you have to reflect on emotions, memories, and feelings that you have experienced at that time. Since you are writing about yourself, it should be interesting and exciting. This is crucial to engage your readers with what you’ve written. This type of essay is very special and personal. During writing, you need to reflect, think, and demonstrate.

In this essay, you can explain your feelings and emotions that you have left in the past. These statements make your easy more attractive for the readers. In this way, readers start visualizing what you have written in their minds. These essays contain your painful experiences and are very honest, personal, and emotional. You should also check Essay Outline Templates .

The purpose of reflective writing:

It is an academic writing assignment that includes details regarding your identity. The main purpose of reflective writing is to analyze and conclude what you have heard and seen. It makes you able to build connections between the text and yourself. The reflective writing is written according to your point of view. Also, it assists you in identifying your interest.

Format of reflective essay:

Reflective essay examples don’t have standard format. As aforementioned, their format depends on the target audience. Besides the format, you have to think first about the life experience you want to share. Keep in mind that it is not a personal journal or diary. But it should be written with good structure and coherence.

You should examine your own life experiences during writing a reflective essay. The main objective of this essay is to provide your most meaningful life experiences with other people. Furthermore, you have to state that how your experiences have changed you as a person.

However, you can write it in different formats. Usually, people use a learning log or a diary entry format. You can also use other formats but you have to ensure that your essay has a good flow and easily understand by the readers. You can make an academic, a general, or an informal reflective essay. In order to write the essay for a class assignment follows the format given by your teacher. You can write an essay which;

Pay attention to your personal growth:

This type of essay teaches you how to assess and identify the experiences you have had in your personal life. It assists in promoting emotional development and growth. You can also understand yourself and your behaviors better by writing such an essay.

Pay attention to literature:

Here you have to provide references to literature and then apply them to your own life experiences. These types of essays are generally given to the students in school.

How to create outline of reflective essay examples?

Firstly, you have to create an outline before writing your essay. By creating outline, you can give structure to your essay to act as a reference for what you want to write about. It doesn’t matter for what you are writing essay for either for school, for a magazine, or for any other person, drafting an outline is the very first step. Your essay will flow from one paragraph to the next all the way to the conclusion with an effective outline.

Additionally, keep the outline of reflective essay organized. Below is some run-down steps involved in the reflective essay process;

  • Select a topic that you want to write about
  • Collect information
  • Create an outline
  • Write a draft
  • Finalize your essay

How to write a reflection paper?

Include your initial emotions and thoughts in case you are writing a reflection on a certain text. If you are creating a reflection paper about yourself or an event in your life then make a table that contains three columns name them as past experiences, descriptions, and reflections. With the help of this table, you can effectively brainstorm and structure the introduction and body of your essay.

How to write a reflective essay?

Follow the below tips for writing a reflective essay;


The reflective process is the most important part of writing your reflective essay. Focus on the personal experience you want to write about. Think about what occurred, how this experience made you feel, and how it affected your life. For this part of the process, explore your memories and emotions. Take a lot of notes during recalling and reflecting on your life experience. Try to write down all the details you remember. You should be as clear and as detailed as you possibly can. Furthermore, close your eyes to remember those experiences. After recalling all of the details of your life experience, write your essay.

When you have reflected on your life experience, let’s start planning your essay. In the beginning, you may think that you are not adequately prepared even after a lot of reflection. Don’t be overwhelmed, this is a normal feeling. To get rid of your anxiety and doubt, make up a well-rounded and comprehensive plan. You can do this effectively via an outline. With the help of an outline, you can draft an essay that’s more coherent and which has a clear structure.

For reflective essay, planning is very important. As you’re writing about an emotionally-charged topic you may seem you are getting “lost” along the way. This is true especially if you are describing a painful experience which still affects you. To keep your thought organized, outline acts as a map. Ensure to develop all of the fundamental details in your outline that you want to include in your essay. By doing this, you can remove any superfluous information so that it becomes easier to read and understand.

In addition, with the help of an outline, you can prevent yourself from missing out any fundamental information. Also, your writing becomes more clearer. The readers can follow your line of thoughts. Hence, you can save a lot of time by planning your essay. You may also like Thesis Statement Templates .

The significance of a reflective essay:

Writing a reflective essay is of great importance as it is a platform where you can present the things that rarely encounter in our day-to-day activities. Nowadays, we have become unappreciative of the abstract things because for us material things are mattered most. We can’t express love, mercy, and compassion by using electronic gadgets that keep us busy.


In conclusion, the content of your reflective essay example must be engaging to readers. For this, you have to share your experiences. Write down your most significant experiences you had in your life. However, these types of essays are very personal, honest, and emotional. You must create an outline for your reflective essay to give structure to your essay.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The three basic parts of a reflective essay are; 1- Introduction 2- Body paragraphs 3- Conclusion

1- State the event, incident, or topic. 2- The event’s description and problematisation. 3- Cause and effect of the critical event.

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How to Write a Reflective Essay: Your Guide to Self-Discovery

reflective essay

moment when you decide to put pen to paper, not just to tell a story, but to explore the layers of your own experiences. Think of it as an inward journey, where each word becomes a stepping stone, uncovering the unique narrative of your thoughts and feelings.

In this comprehensive guide, our online essay writing service experts will unravel the art of writing a reflective essay and explore valuable tips to make your narrative truly shine. From outlining the key elements to understanding the format, we'll equip you with the tools you need. And what better way to solidify your understanding than by delving into practical examples that showcase the beauty of this personal storytelling format? So, grab a cup of coffee, find a cozy corner, and let's embark on this exploration of introspection and storytelling together.

reflective essay examples free

What Is Reflective Essay in Academic Writing

In the realm of academic writing, a definition of reflective essay encompasses a unique and personal piece that goes beyond the conventional boundaries of research papers and essays. It's not about presenting facts or arguing a thesis; instead, it's a canvas where you paint your experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Think of it as a thoughtful conversation with your readers, offering them a glimpse into your personal journey. Unlike traditional academic writing, reflective essay writing doesn't follow a rigid structure; it thrives on your voice, allowing you to share your insights and reflections on a particular topic or experience. Reflective essay meaning also involves storytelling that invites your audience to connect with your narrative on a more personal level, making it a powerful tool for self-expression within the academic landscape.

Reflection Essay Format

Writing a reflective essay involves a flexible format that can adapt to different purposes. Whether you're composing an academic piece or contributing to a magazine, the structure may vary. In academic contexts, the primary objective is consistent: instructors want students to engage in profound and critical thinking about specific learning experiences. Knowing how to write a good reflection essay may follow various formats, and here are a couple of examples from our college admission essay writing service :

  • Exploring Personal Growth : This essay style serves as a tool for self-discovery. Imagine recounting a pivotal life moment, like overcoming a fear of public speaking. By analyzing this experience, you not only gain insights into your personal growth but also offer readers a glimpse into your journey of overcoming challenges.
  • Literary Reflection : Here, you'll delve into the world of literature by reflecting on how a specific character or storyline impacted you personally. Consider writing about a character's resilience in the face of adversity and draw connections to your own life experiences. This reflective essay format allows for a creative blend of personal narrative and literary analysis.

Remember, when you write a reflective essay, the beauty lies in its adaptability. Unlike more rigid academic styles, you have the freedom to let your personal voice shine through, creating a narrative that resonates with your unique experiences.

  • You should use Times New Roman, 12 font, and double-spaced.
  • 1" margins.
  • All of your titles must be centered.
  • The top right of every page includes your last name and the page number.
  • The header on your paper should have your name, the professor's name, the course number, and the date.
  • The last page must include a Works Cited.
  • Have a header on top of every page.
  • Make sure every page is numbered in the top right corner.
  • Your essay must be divided into four parts: title page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

Reflective Essay Outline

Alright, imagine crafting an essay is like going on a road trip. Now, think of the essay outline as your trusty map. It's not about restricting your storytelling—it's more like having a game plan before you hit the road. This outline is your backbone, making sure your essay has a solid structure and flows smoothly. It's there to guide you, not fence you in, as you share your personal journey and reflections.

So, what are the parts of a typical reflective essay?

  • The introduction for reflection paper is where you set the stage for your reflection. Introduce the topic or experience you'll be reflecting upon. Consider a hook in your intro for reflective essay to grab your reader's attention and end with a clear thesis statement that outlines the main points of your reflection.
  • Each paragraph in the body is dedicated to a specific aspect of your reflection. These paragraphs delve into the details of your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. They can follow a chronological order or be organized thematically, depending on your preference and the nature of your reflection.
  • Personal insights are all about digging deep into your thoughts and drawing out meaningful insights. Here, you explore the significance of your experiences and how they've contributed to your personal growth or understanding.
  • The conclusion is for wrapping things up by summarizing the key points of your reflection. Reinforce the significance of your experiences and perhaps suggest how they might influence your future actions or perspectives. It's a moment to leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Remember, the outline is flexible, and these parts are more like guideposts than strict rules. They're there to help you organize your thoughts and present them in a coherent and engaging way.


The reflective essay introduction is like the opening act of a gripping story, designed to captivate your reader's emotions. It's your opportunity to set the stage and provide a glimpse into the core theme of your reflection. Consider an experience that left a profound impact on you, perhaps overcoming a fear or embracing a new perspective. Craft your introduction with vivid details, painting a mental picture for your reader.

For instance, describe the nervous energy before a significant event, the racing heartbeat, or the tension in the air. A powerful introduction should beckon the reader into the heart of your narrative, making them eager to embark on this introspective journey with you.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the narrative chapters, each dedicated to a distinct aspect of your experience. These paragraphs should seamlessly guide your reader through the chronological or thematic evolution of your reflections. Dive deep into sensory details, emotions, and the intricacies of the journey you're recounting.

Consider breaking down your narrative into key moments or revelations, allowing each paragraph to unfold like a scene in a movie. This is where you lay bare the highs, lows, and transformative moments, fostering a connection between your reader and the essence of your reflection.

Lastly, let's touch on how to conclude a reflective essay. It is the resolution of your writing, akin to the closing scene of a movie. It's your chance to leave a lasting impression, wrapping up the narrative with a sense of reflection and insight. Revisit the central theme of your essay, reinforcing its significance in your personal growth or understanding. You might also hint at how this experience will influence your future actions or perspectives. A compelling conclusion should linger in the reader's mind, inviting them to carry the essence of your reflection beyond the final words.

5 Essential Reflective Essay Writing Tips

Now, let our experts, who professionally handle your ' write my essay online ' requests, share 5 essential tips to guide you on this writing journey:

Connect Emotionally: When unsure how to write a good reflective essay, don't shy away from emotions. Readers connect deeply with personal stories infused with genuine feelings. Share your joys, struggles, and moments of realization in a way that makes your readers feel the heartbeat of your experiences.

Be Authentic: Your reflective essays are your personal narratives, so embrace authenticity. Don't try to fit into a mold or adhere to expectations. Speak from the heart, use your voice, and let your unique perspective shine through. Authenticity adds a powerful layer to your storytelling.

Show, Don't Just Tell: Instead of merely stating facts, show the reader your experiences through vivid descriptions. Engage the senses and paint a picture with your words. Take your readers on a sensory journey, allowing them to visualize and immerse themselves in your reflections.

Reflect, Don't Recap: A reflective writing essay isn't just a summary of events; it's an exploration of their impact on you. Instead of merely recounting what happened, delve into why it mattered. Reflect on how these experiences shaped your thoughts, beliefs, or actions, offering deeper insights to your readers.

Organize Your Thoughts: Structure is key when it comes to knowing how to make a reflective essay successfully. Outline your ideas before you start writing, creating a roadmap for your essay. Consider the chronological order of events or organize them thematically. A well-organized essay helps your readers follow the flow of your reflections seamlessly.

how to write a reflective essay

Reflective Essay Examples

Understanding the intricacies of the writing process is challenging without practical examples, regardless of theoretical knowledge. With our existing outline in place, let's delve into the creation of an engaging example of a reflective essay.

Final Thoughts

As you start your reflective essay writing, think of it as a conversation with a friend. Be genuine, share the highs and lows, and don't worry about sounding perfect. The beauty lies in your authenticity. Much like when learning how to write a personal essay , reflect on your experiences with an open heart and let your words flow naturally. This isn't just about writing; it's about discovering more about yourself and inviting others into your world. So, enjoy the ride, be true to yourself, and let the storytelling unfold.

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What Should Be Avoided When Writing a Reflective Essay?

What is the meaning of reflective essay, what is a good reflective essay example.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Growth and Development — Classroom Reflection Report


Classroom Reflection Report

  • Categories: Personal Growth and Development

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Words: 529 |

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Words: 529 | Page: 1 | 3 min read

Table of contents

I. introduction, ii. the role of classroom reflection reports, iii. benefits of classroom reflection reports, c. highlighting the benefits of developing self-awareness and setting goals for improvement through reflection, d. encouraging students to embrace the challenges of reflection and use them as opportunities for growth, e. reiterating the significance of classroom reflection reports as a tool for enhancing understanding, fostering growth, and empowering students to achieve their academic and personal goals. by engaging in the practice of reflection, students can unlock their full potential and make meaningful strides towards success in their academic endeavors and beyond..

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  1. 50 Best Reflective Essay Examples (+Topic Samples)

    A reflective essay is a type of written work which reflects your own self. Since it's about yourself, you already have a topic to write about. For reflective essay examples, readers expect you to evaluate a specific part of your life. To do this, you may reflect on emotions, memories, and feelings you've experienced at that time.

  2. How to Write a Reflective Essay: Format, Tips and Examples

    Reflective Essay in MLA Format. Times New Roman 12pt font double spaced; 1" margins; The top right includes the last name and page number on every page; Titles are centered; The header should include your name, your professor's name, course number, and the date (dd/mm/yy); The last page includes a Works Cited.

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  4. How to Write a Reflection Paper: Guide with Examples

    Never write the whole essay at once. Space out the time slots when you work on your reflection paper to at least a day apart. This will allow your brain to generate new thoughts and reflections. Short and Sweet - Most reflection papers are between 250 and 750 words. Don't go off on tangents.

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    Writing a reflective essay, also known as a reflective paper or reflection paper, is as easy as following the step-by-step instructions below. 1. Choose a Topic Idea. If you haven't been assigned a topic and don't have a topic in mind, check the list of topics above for inspiration. If those aren't enough, take a look at these 100 reflection ...

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