How to Write A Reflective Essay

Writing a reflective essay becomes a considerable burden on the students’ minds. Particularly, if it is your first essay of this sort, you may sit numb with your laptop. Thereby, below are given a complete guide to reflective essays to make your writing outstandingly perfect.

What Is A Reflective Essay?

Before you begin the project, you have to understand, “what is a reflective essay?” By definition, a reflective essay is from the creative writing category, which reveals the writer’s approach to personal life experiences. These experiences may belong to either a person, event, or situation. The writer has to give an account of this experience with a reflective point of you. Also, he/she has to describe the change, growth, and development of attitude or personality through this experience.

The reader looks for insights and enlightenment while reading this content. In simple words, reflective essays are similar to personal diary writing because they are all about the author’s experiences. You have to go quite coherent and comprehensive because your essay will be a source of information for others.

You have to write an essay without plagiarism because copied content goes into the trash, whether it is your school assignment or an effort to join a magazine. So, you have to understand how to write a good reflective essay. Below are given an insightful way to start and structure your difficult task in the most appropriate way.

Starting a Reflective Essay

There are various ways to start a reflective essay, depending on the audience. For example, the essay format may vary when you write for a college course from the format of a magazine. However, there are a few identical elements, which you need to remember when outlining a reflective essay necessarily. Below is given a tip to write a professional outline for this task with an example.

Outline writing

The first thing, which grabs the audience’s attention is the opening’ hook’. You can give a thought-provoking question or a short, important statement as your hook when you begin a reflective essay. The introduction paragraph ends with a thesis statement or your claim, which is the most important part of the essay. The other paragraphs open with an introductory line supporting the claim in your thesis. Moreover, finally, you sum up your reflection in a few words at the end. Below is given the example outline to remove confusion.

Example Outline

  • Hook: “were your parents kind to you when you were a child?”
  • Thesis: parenting has a great impact on human growth from childhood to adulthood.
    • Reason 1: because they set educational and career goals for their children.
      • Add evidence
      • Analyze the point
    • Reason 2: because they develop the psychological health of their children.
      • Add evidence
      • Analyze the point
    • Reason 3: because they determine children’s ethical, theological and social approach in childhood.
      • Add evidence
      • Analyze the point
    • Reason 4: because they make them learn to live and behave in a particular culture.
      • Add evidence
      • Analyze the point
  • Sum up: restate your statement and reasons in the essay on short notice.

Tips Concerning Writing A Reflective Essay Introduction

While writing a reflective essay, you must remember that introduction is the most important part of the essay. This is what hits your reader at first sight. Also, it comprises the opening hook and thesis, which are the most important parts of an essay. So, it is important to make it effective and attractive.

For this, work hard when developing your hook and thesis statement. Besides, use first-person while expressing your ideas and introduce the topic in a few sentences. Use the thesis statement as the last, only one line of the introductory paragraph. Finally, use short sentences to keep things clear and readable for the reader.

Structure of A Reflective Paper

When you write a reflective essay, you have to understand its proper structure as well. Usually, the essay has three essential parts:


It is the first paragraph where you mention what you are going to discuss in the entire essay. You can use either a direct or indirect approach to provide your reflection and the topic’s introduction for the reader. If you are writing the essay as your college assignment, it is better to take a direct style to point out the experiences under discussion in the body.


In the body section, a writer explores the experience with proper evidence and analysis while supporting the thesis in the first part of the essay. He/she analyze the course and degree of development, change, or growth by a specific experience given in the writing. You can share the impacts of life experiences regarding your educational career as an example. Besides, it is suggested to discuss only optimistic changes and progress of your personality through the experience. It will make writing easier and more impactful as a student.

How to Write a Conclusion for A Reflective Essay

Usually, people learning how to write a reflective essay are more concerned about the introduction and body. It is as important to consider the importance of the conclusion as any other part of the essay. If your conclusion is weak, it impacts the entire impression of the task. So, work hard to develop a comprehensive conclusion. Restate your thesis, important points, and reflection with even more emphasis using appropriate words. Also, go deeper when providing results of your experiences as your personality grows. Besides, do not make your conclusion larger than the 10% of the total word count; you can go even shorter. Be more focused on the last sentence of the conclusion, and it must set a controversy among the readers.

Follow the Next Tips While Writing Your Reflective Essay

After getting on reflective essay definition, outlining, and structure, below are given a few practical tips to make things even easier and more excellent.

  • Please pick up an event you remember in full length with how it impacted your life.
  • Structure your arguments during brainstorming as a rough draft in your mind.
  • Make sure you have personal limits while sharing the incidents from your personal life.
  • Do not try to insert all relevant data to an event into the short length of the reflective essay instead of focusing on only what is important and worth mentioning.
  • Use proper examples to clarify your point of view.
  • Do not hesitate while stating your personal opinion and personality growth, as it is reflective writing.
  • When you have selected your topic, research and see what other people have shared about a similar experience.
  • You can also pick up a story as the topic of your reflective essay.
  • Begin the task as soon as possible, lest you feel too pressed for time and compromise on writing.
  • Use online software to check the quality of your paper.

Some Good Examples of Topics for A Reflective Essay

Below are given a few reflective essay topics to take you on the next step of your understanding.

  • A time when you helped a needy person.
  • A meeting with an old friend.
  • The death of a strict school teacher.
  • A family reunification.
  • A trip to the world’s most beautiful places.
  • The birth of a new baby in your family.
  • The time when you fell in love for the first time.
  • The day when you received a prize at the annual college function.
  • The time when you saw a dreadful road accident.
  • An earthquake with great destructions in your life.

To conclude, a reflection essay is not a cup of tea. However, it is not as difficult as considered by many students. With a little learning and understanding with examples given in this essay, you can be a professional reflective essay writer.


The conclusion is the last part of the reflective or any other essay. It is the section where you finally sum up the ideas discussed in the body. You can also repeat what you have said in the introduction with a more persuasive style as you have proved your claim by evidence and analysis in the body. Also, you can present a comparison of the past and present to your reader to accentuate the difference made by the underlined experience. Finally, keep your conclusion short, ending it with a thought-provoking sentence.

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