Dorothy M.
Dorothy M.

A Complete Writing Guide to a Reflective Essay

6 min read

Published on: Feb 23, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 20, 2023

Reflective essay

On This Page On This Page

A reflective essay is also known as a reflection essay. In a reflective essay, you write about your life experiences and do not need extensive research.

The primary purpose of writing the reflection paper is to share the personal experience and analyze its impact on the author’s life.

The essay can be from any time in your life but usually takes place after you have been given some time to reflect on the situation. This blog post will help you learn how to write a reflective essay that engages your reader.

What should I include in my reflective essay? What form should it take? How do I start off my essay? These are all questions we'll be going over in this blog post so make sure to read through everything!

What is a Reflective Essay?

In a reflective essay, the writer expresses their own experience about a particular place, person, or event. This type of essay reflects the writer’s point of view about his/her experiences in life, and its aim is to encourage the reader to experience it in the same way.

A reflective paper is similar to an argumentative essay, but it requires that the writer express different thoughts or emotions they have felt in the past. The writer should also include an explanation of their thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Write those statements that bring life into your essay, and the audience starts picturing what you have written.

Writing a good reflection essay requires solid critical thinking skills and the ability to express your opinions on a specific topic. The essay should be interesting so that the reader does not get bored or leave it without reading it.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job

Moreover, reflective papers are honest, personal, subjective, and emotional. You need to reflect and explain your past life events and their effects on your personal growth. However, it must be well-organized and maintain a formal tone.

How to Write a Reflective Essay?

Follow the below-given steps to write a successful reflective essay.

Have a look at each point in detail.

1. Choose a Topic

Selecting a good essay topic is the primary task. Sometimes, you may be given a topic by your professor, but in most cases, you are free to select the topic of your choice. Brainstorm the topic ideas, write them down on the paper, and then pick the one that you find interesting.

2. Create the Reflective Essay Outline

An essay outline helps you to organize your ideas and thoughts. With the help of an outline, you can easily write a great essay. It will save your time and give a clear direction to your writing.

Similarly, a good essay outline will give you an idea of how your essay will flow from the introduction to the conclusion. Let’s discuss the major sections of an outline.

3. Write the Reflective Essay Introduction

A reflection paper begins with an introduction that includes both hook and the thesis statement. Through a hook statement, you can grab the audience’s attention from the beginning of the essay.

Include the thesis statement at the end of the introduction, which tells the reader what the essay is about. Don’t add too much information in the thesis statement, as you will explain in the body paragraphs.

4. Write Effective Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs contain all the main details about the essay. Discuss all the main events chronologically.

Start each body paragraph essay with a topic sentence and stick to one idea in each paragraph. When you add too many ideas in one body paragraph, the reader may get confused and not understand your point.

5. Write Compelling Conclusion

In this part, summarize the entire essay. Restate the thesis statement and give a summary of all the points of your essay. However, do not add new ideas or information in this section.

Reflective Essay Format

A reflective paper is not like a personal diary or journal. Therefore, you must write it in a proper format. However, it depends on your target audience and the purpose of the essay. The reflection essay usually follows the same structure as a scholarship essay.

A good reflective essay is different from an illustration essay. But it can be written in academic style and have a broader format if you have written it for a magazine or newspaper. When you start writing the essay, make sure that you follow the format given by your teacher.

Below are commonly used formats that you can use to arrange your essay.

Order Essay

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Reflective Essay MLA Format

Here are some points that you need to consider in MLA format.

  • All the text in Times New Roman font
  • Titles are centered
  • Use 1’’ margins
  • 12 pt font double spaced
  • The header includes your name, lecturer name, course name, and date
  • On the top right of every page, includes the last name and page number
  • Include cited work on the last page

Reflective Essay APA Format

The following are the things you should keep in mind when writing the essay in APA format.

  • Add page number on the right
  • All the text in Times New Roman font
  • Use 1’’ margins and 12 pt font double spaced
  • Add page header at the top of every page

Reflective Essay Chicago Style

Chicago format guidelines are given below:

  • Use 12 pt font double spaced and 1’’ margins
  • All the text in Times New Roman font
  • At the top right or bottom center of the page, place the page numbers

No matter what essay format you use, write a reflection essay in a way that evaluates and analyzes your personal life experiences. Have a look at the following document to get a better idea of the essay's structure.

Reflective Essay Examples

The following are some examples to give you an idea of writing the perfect reflective essay.

Reflective Essay Topics

Most students think that topic-selection is a daunting task, and they get help from their teachers or professional essay writers.

Here are some good essay topics for your ease.

  • Your first speech in public.
  • A vacation spot that you remember in particular.
  • Have your parents ever punished you unfairly?
  • Standing on a bridge looking down at the water.
  • What role has family played in your life?
  • When someone made you laugh.
  • A person that changed my life.
  • Your favorite room in the house.
  • The mall or your favorite store.
  • Watching your favorite movie in the cinema.
  • Your opinion about women in the novel Pride and Prejudice.

Writing Tips for a Reflective Essay

A reflection essay is a personal type of writing that includes the writer’s thoughts and emotions. Reflect on your experiences in the essay to engage the readers.

We have compiled some expert tips that will help you in your writing phase.

  • Keep it professional and avoid using slang words
  • Make it more meaningful and add important details about your life
  • Use correct grammar and spellings
  • Keep your sentences to the point
  • Use transition words within and between the paragraphs
  • Proofread your essay before submitting or publishing the essay

So, follow these tips and create a great essay on time without any mistakes.

However, writing a reflective essay is a challenging task for some students, and thus, they hire a professional essay writing service. Therefore, if you are in search of a reliable essay writer, consult

So, place your order now and get a well-written essay on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you say ‘I’ in a reflective essay?

Use the first-person pronoun in your sentence, like I or me. This means that you are thinking about yourself and what you know. A reflective essay must be written using ‘I’.

What is the purpose of a reflective essay?

The purpose of a reflective essay is to talk about your life experience. You can reflect on how you changed or learned from the experience.

How long is a reflective essay?

A reflection paper needs to be at least 300 - 500 words long. It should talk about the reading and the author's thoughts. It may include questions, arguments, and points that were not in the reading.

What are the characteristics of a reflective essay?

Reflective writing is like academic writing. It needs the same use of formal language and arguments supported by evidence. You need to show how your reflection on what happened in the past will help you with your future practice.

Dorothy M.


Dorothy M. (Literature, Arts)

Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

Keep reading

Free Essays About Blog

If you have any queries please write to us

Invalid Email Address!
Thank you for joining our mailing list

Please note that some of the content on our website is generated using AI and it is thoroughly reviewed and verified by our team of experienced editors. The essays and papers we provide are intended for learning purposes only and should not be submitted as original work.