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2023 Easy Guide on How to Write a Reflective Essay

What is a Reflective Essay?

In a reflective essay, you reveal your mentality, personality, character traits, and background by revealing your thoughts and emotions. Presence is fundamental to mindfulness and meditation. You’ve likely heard that living in the present helps you appreciate your circumstances, connects you to people and nature, and allows you to experience your emotions without anxiety. While this is useful advice for becoming more focused and avoiding getting lost in thought, how can you truly appreciate the present without reflecting on the past experiences that have led up to it?

We are not suggesting that you dwell on the past and engage in a continuous thought process, but hear us out – exercise reflective thinking! Consider your past life experiences, paint an accurate picture of history, and draw connections to your current self. This requires some analytical and imaginative thought. You should therefore record your critical reflection on paper and provide direction for your personal observations. This is when reflective essays become necessary!

In a reflective essay, you reveal your mentality, personality, character traits, and background by revealing your thoughts and emotions. Your reflective essay should contain a description of the experience/work of literature as well as explanations of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions. In this article, our essay writing service will provide a comprehensive guide on how to write a reflective essay, complete with a clear format and reflective essay samples that will serve as inspiration.

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How to Write a Reflective Essay Using the Appropriate Outline

To give you a clear idea of how to structure a template for a reflective essay, we have outlined the essential steps below. The organization of a reflective essay is comparable to that of other categories of papers. To facilitate the writing process, our custom-written reflective essay outline is now more specific.


Introduction for Reflective Essay


When considering how to begin a reflective essay, it should come as no surprise that you should commence with an introductory paragraph. So, what is new and distinct about the introduction of a reflection essay? Let’s dissect:


  • Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing topic that compels your audience to engage in reflective thought with you. It could be something like: “As I sat on my bed with my notebook on my shaky lap, awaiting the acceptance letter, I couldn’t help but wonder if enrolling in college was the path I wished to follow in the future.”
  • Provide context by providing a concise overview of the topic of the reflective essay. Avoid discouraging your audience from continuing to read by withholding too much information at the outset.
  • Make a claim with a solid thesis statement for your reflective essay. It should be a concise explication of the essay’s central argument, in this case, a significant event in your life.
  • Essay Reflection Body Paragraphs
  • The next stage is to compose the essay’s body. This section of the paper may be the most difficult because it is easy to digress and repeat yourself in both the outline and the body. Planning the body requires a significant amount of time and effort, and the following tips will assist you in doing so effectively:
  • Consider employing a sequential approach. This involves examining everything you want to discuss in chronological order. This procedure guarantees that your work is organized and cohesive.
  • Ensure that the body paragraph is well-rounded and contains sufficient analysis. The body should discuss the event’s impact on your life and the lessons you’ve learned as a result.
  • Prioritize reflection over summarizing your arguments. In addition to providing readers with insight into your personal experience, a reflective stance reveals your personality and demonstrates your ability to overcome certain obstacles.


Conclusion to an Essay on Reflection


The purpose of the conclusion of your reflective essay should be to tie everything together by summarizing the main ideas and lessons you were able to learn throughout the essay.

  • Include the explanations for and methods used to improve your beliefs and actions. Consider how your personality and abilities have evolved as well.
  • What can you conclude about your behavior under specific conditions? What would you do differently if the same circumstances occurred in the future?

Keep in mind that your instructor will be looking for obvious evidence of reflection.

Understanding the Format of a Reflection Paper


The structure of a reflective essay differs significantly from that of an argumentative or research paper. A reflective essay resembles a well-structured narrative or a reflective diary entry. You may be required to format your essay according to APA or MLA guidelines.

And the average length of a reflection paper ranges from 300 to 700 words, but if your instructor has specified a specific word count, you should inquire about it. Even though this essay is about you, you should avoid excessive informality.

If your instructor requests you to format your reflective essay in APA or MLA style, here are a few shortcuts:


Reflective Essay Formatted in MLA

  • Times New Roman font 12-point type, double-spaced;
  • 1″ margins;
  • The last name and page number appear in the upper right corner of every page;
  • Titles are in the center;
  • Include your name, your professor’s name, the course number, and the date (dd/mm/yyyy) in the header;
  • The final page contains a Works Cited list.

Essay Reflective in APA Format


  • Times New Roman font 12-point type, double-spaced;
  • 1″ margins;
  • Include a page header on each page’s top;
  • Insert the page number on the right side of the page;
  • Your reflective essay should consist of four sections: Cover Page,

Abstract, Main Body, and Bibliography.

Writing Reflective Essay Hints


You may believe we’ve provided you with sufficient ideas and guidelines for reflective writing, but we’re not done yet. Following are some expert-recommended guidelines for writing uncontested reflection papers.


  • Be as specific as feasible in your writing. To bring your reflective essay to life, you should employ various techniques, such as symbolism and sentence patterns.
  • Consider your audience. The reader will become frustrated if you continue to write in the first person without pausing to convey something more significant, even if you are likely to speak from your own perspective.
  • Make an effort to enable the reader to experience the situation or emotion you’re attempting to describe.
  • Demonstrate rather than pontificate. Instead of simply reporting what occurred, appropriately describe the event or sensation to paint a vivid picture.
  • Organize the language and structure of your reflective essay around a central feeling or topic, such as happiness, dread, pleasure, or sorrow.
  • Refrain from including uninteresting elements that can diminish the impact of your work. Why include it if it does not contribute to the desired emotion or comprehension?
  • There must always be a sense of advancement. Consider how the event has impacted you and others.

Remember to conduct a thorough review of your grammar, syntax, and punctuation.

Ideas for Reflective Essay Topics


As a reflective essay should be about your own thoughts and experiences, it is generally inappropriate to use the ideas of others. However, to help you get begun, here are some writing topic suggestions:

  • An experience that cannot be forgotten.
  • The instant you conquered a phobia.
  • The most challenging decision you had to make.
  • A time when your beliefs were questioned.
  • A moment when something altered your existence.
  • The greatest or most terrifying experience of your life to date.
  • Suggestions for how you or others can make the world a better place.
  • A time you felt disoriented.
  • An introspective examination of your choices or a time when you made a poor decision.
  • A moment in your life that you wish you could relive.
  • In the first column, list your most significant experiences or main points. You can arrange them from most to least significant.
  • List your responses to the arguments you made in the first column in the second column.
  • In the third column, indicate what information from your response you wish to include in the essay.


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Sample Reflective Essay


Examples of reflective essays can be extremely helpful. A sample reflective essay can provide valuable insight into how your own essay should be written. You can also purchase an essay online if you need one that is tailored to your specifications.

Conclusions for Reflective Essays


As the article draws to a close, it is only natural to consider the major points discussed previously. You should now have a clear understanding of what a reflective essay is and that the key to writing one is to demonstrate what lessons you have learned from your experiences and why and how they have influenced you. It should also have a distinct reflective essay format, including an introduction, idea development, and conclusion.

Now that you have the tools to create an exhaustive and accurate reflective paper, you may want to delegate other tasks to our experienced writers, such as writing definition essay examples. In this case, feel free to purchase an essay on our website so that you can reflect on past events without fretting about upcoming assignments.



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