How to write a reflective essay

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One of the frequently asked questions on the internet by the students belonging to different educational backgrounds is how to go about writing a reflective essay. Like other genres of essays, the demands of this kind of essay are quite different from others. Before we go into the details of writing a reflective essay, it would be a good idea to talk about what actually a reflective essay is about and what are some of the common topic which a student should expect in getting assigned for writing this sort of essay.
The unique aspect about a reflective essay is that it could be about anything. More often than not students are asked to write a reflection essay on a documentary or a film related to the course. If you are aspiring to become a sociologist then you should be prepared for doing such sorts of assignments.

Progression in your thoughts

This been said, the basic thing which you are required to do when you are asked to write a reflective essay is to write about your own experience about the topic given. You have to state how you perceive this topic. In this regard, the progression of your ideas and personality should be very vivid in the essay. Students often can discuss the future goals if the topic permits. In addition to documentaries and experiences, reflective essay is also commonly written regarding academic portfolios.

The development in your ideas should be very clearly stated in the reflective essay. For this purpose, you should be writing ideas in a descriptive manner so that the readers follow clearly what you are trying to say in the essay. When we talk about other genres, writing subjectively is extremely discouraged. More specifically, students are not supposed to use “I” in the essay.

You can write in a subjective manner

However, things are a bit different when we look at writing a reflective essay. Since, you are asked to express your own opinion so you can afford to use “I” or me in the essay. This been said, you should always try to be formal in your essay. You can also afford to be as much creative in writing such essays as you desire.

If you are asked to write a reflection paper on a given topic such as a personal experience or some sort of a social situation then these tips can definitely help you in stating your thoughts and ideas effectively. Before you start writing the essay, make sure you have all the ideas on the paper and you know how to format the essay. So, what are you waiting for? Prepare the outline of your essay today to meet the deadline.

How to make a draft of a reflective essay

Whenever you are assigned the task of writing some sort of essay or term paper or any other writing assignment, it is extremely important for you to first make a draft for it before writing the actual thing. It might seem wastage of time initially but you will realize the full benefits of it later. For the sake of simplicity and better understanding, we shall limit our focus to the making of draft of a reflective essay.

The assignment of reflective essay is very common at an undergraduate level. You could be asked to write a reflective essay on a wide array of topics. Students often are assigned the task of writing a reflective essay on a documentary. Now would be a good point to understand what you are supposed to write in a reflective essay. As the name suggest, you basically have to reflect on the topic or past event. When thinking about the topic, you come up with various perspectives. Your job is to write those perspectives in an effective and logical manner.

Brainstorm and note down ideas

The best way to go about writing a draft of a reflective essay is to do brainstorming first and jot down whatever comes to your mind on a piece of paper. After sometime you will notice that you have a bunch of ideas on the piece of paper. Once you have brainstormed enough, now is the time to actually connect things and downplay the aspects which you seem are digressive or irrelevant. When writing a reflective essay, the idea is to also express how a certain event or social situation has impacted your personality.

State your reflections instead of just giving information

The next step in making the draft is to come up with all sorts of information related to the reflective essay. It is important for you to make sure that the event or situation which you are describing in your reflective essay does not sound as if you are writing an informative essay. The informative essay, as the name suggests, is about informing the readers about the facts while reflective essay demands that you present your reflections about the topic or situation. The next part in the draft of the reflective essay is to prepare the outline of it.

Some ideas for writing an excellent introduction of a reflective essay

When we talk about writing different genres of essays and papers it is imperative for students to know that a killer introduction is very necessary for not only earning marks in the assignment but also for the sake of improvement of writing skills. In other words, a gripping start basically provides a solid foundation for the upcoming arguments and information of your essay. This been said, we shall limit our focus only to the introduction of reflective essay in order to make things easy and simple. The next section of the article will reveal important tips for writing an excellent introduction of reflective essay. So, keep reading.

No right way of starting

It is also important to address another question at this point; is there any one right way of starting an introduction? The fact of the matter is that there is no right way. The whole point of the introduction is to make it interesting and attention-grabbing and therefore there is a lot of room for creativity. You are free to express about the topic in whatever manner you like. It is always a good idea to introduce your topic in a flamboyant way that grips the readers.

Start by telling a personal experience

Many experts are of the view that by starting the introduction of an essay by recounting a personal experience is a great way and it grips the readers. The purpose of doing this is to lead the readers into the very core of your ideas and set the stage for later analysis of the topic. Of course, sometime you will have to come up with an experience or to make it more interesting by adding few things. Make sure, the tail you are telling the readers actually correspond to the main topic of the reflective essay.

Quotation that addresses everything

In addition to recounting an eye-opening experience, the usage quotations are also very common in the introduction of different genres of essay. This is indeed a great way to start an essay but you should consult your instructor first before using quotations in the essay because sometimes instructors oppose this practice. In this regard, It is always better to stay at a safer side.
The importance of writing a good introduction in any genre of essay or any writing assignment cannot be overemphasized. The introduction, as the name suggests, serve as the foundation for your upcoming ideas and arguments. Therefore, the foundation of the essay must be very strong and logically sound. The article discusses numerous tips and advices which students must heed to when writing a reflective essay. So, what are you waiting for? Make sure there are no spelling mistakes in your essay.

Reflective essay – know the structure

Writing a reflection essay could certainly prove to be very tough and challenging but if you know the format and structure and few tips the task could be a piece of cake for you even if you are not blessed with extraordinary writing skills. The objective of this article is to enable students belonging to different backgrounds to write a good and effective reflection essay on any topic assigned by their instructors. In this regard, we will discuss about different sections of the essay and how you should write them.

Make the readers aware of the big picture

The first thing to do when writing the essay is to decide about the introduction. There is a very simple tip for students if they want to write a good introduction. It is always advised to start with the introduction with a situation or any event that relates to the topic of essay and then guide the readers and make them realize the big picture you are trying to address in your essay. The introductory part of the essay usually varies from student to student depending on your writing and imaginative skills.

Which tense should you use in different sections?

This been said, it is imperative for all the students to incorporate the basic thesis statement which generalizes the complete topic and your take on it in the introductory section of the essay. Another worth mentioning point here is that it is better to use present tense when writing introduction.

When you are describing an event or the situation in your essay, you should know that the event or the social situation matters but what matters more is how you describe them. In a reflection essay, it is better to stick with the natural structure of a normal essay. In this regard, when you are using a descriptive language for explaining the event you should use past tense. So far as the conclusion of the essay is concerned, it should again be in the present tense.


Another aspect which you should always have in mind is that just like people make judgments about others when they meet similar is the case with writing. The reader instantly tries to judge the reader.

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How to write a reflective essay
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