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How to Write a Reflective Essay? A Complete Guide with Examples

How to Write a Reflective Essay? A Complete Guide with Examples


Witten By Jacinda Santora

December 21, 2024

    What is a reflective essay?

    Reflective essay is a type of essay writing that depicts writers’ personal experience, emotions or thoughts about a particular event, person or place. The word ‘reflective’ here is showing the point of view of a writer from any past event in today’s timeline. Thus, it is written to encourage readers to experience the same emotions and thoughts as of the writer.

    To achieve the aim of explaining personal events or experiences and its impact on the perception, thoughts and life of a writer to its reader. The writer first of all needs to set the direction of his/her thoughts. Then, follow a well-organized and logical plan. Then they have to make sure that a balance is maintained between their personal feelings and its description. And they have successfully shared their personal experiences to the readers which has helped them grow.

    Reflective essay is mainly of three types: a case study, based on personal experience and theory-based reflective essay.

    Importance of Reflective Essay

    In order to thrive and survive in this dynamic world, you are therefore required to develop versatility and adaptability skills. This is also known as learning power. Learning power is a process, which is there to make us who we are as a whole and not just split off parts.

    Reflective writing is an important step to develop and strengthen this learning power. As it helps to connect our logical thinking with our emotions and cognitive abilities with our actions. So engaging in reflective essay writing can enhance the learning process easily as it brings the outcomes of our brain by rearrangement of learning files, clearing mental pathways and reducing confusion. It reveals our good abilities and how we can improve them along the way. You can also take charge of your learning process this way.

    You might want to reflect for other various reasons as well, for instance, personal blog, novel genre (shum et al.,) or in a diary. As it gives you the opportunity to go deep within yourself and learn from your experiences in the real world versus academic learning. When you pen down your thoughts you need to think and interpret your academic learning versus how you think it should be according to your experience about that thing.

    You can write various things in your reflection essay writing mentioned below:

    How to write a reflective essay?

    There are many students who find it difficult to write a reflective essay and take help from essay writing services , but those who want to improve their essay writing skills can get help from the guidelines that are shared in this blog. in this blog, you can get a complete guide to write it on your own.

    Following are the compilation of steps on how to write a reflective essay effectively:

    Select your topic

    The best way to select a topic for your reflective essay writing is doing some research work on the good and trending topic ideas available online. Then, brainstorm the ideas (masteressaywriters, 2020) based on your understanding of that topic and life experiences which you can reflect through your writing.

    Avoid the mistake of selecting a topic which is either too narrow or broad. You can also find free topics for your reflective essay on any of the essay help canada based websites. Selecting a good topic is the key to writing a good essay.

    Do research on the selected topic

    After selecting your topic, the first step is to do a thorough research work on your topic (bestassignmentwriter, 2021). As reflective essay writing requires your personal experiences but it is important to back up your ideas or claims with some credibility and credible sources for its relevance. Also, make sure that you connect your research work with what you have listened, watched, observed and read on it in your life situations and learnt from your experiences.

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    Choose reflection questions and organize the material

    You can choose reflection questions such as: What did I observe? How do I feel about it? And how can I apply this differently? Etc.

    Next step is to organize all the material you have collected from your research. In your writing, only take the relevant source which is supporting your claims. You also have to choose the most significant lesson learned from your experiences. And this is going to be the thesis statement of your essay.

    Make an outline

    Creating an outline before your writing starts can help your reflective essay to be more structured accordingly. Make sure to add all the details in your outline. Add all the relevant points which you want to write in each paragraph. Only add the main points and ideas in outline, leaving out the details to be written in your essay later. Making an essay outline helps to structure your ideas and thoughts well and maintain your focus.

    Reflective essay comprises of the following format:


    Introduction will introduce your main topic with its background to the audience. Make sure it is brief, providing an overview of the impression taken from the subject to your reader. For this reason, thesis statement is included in the introduction as a focal point of your essay. Make sure to have your introduction interesting and engaging for the readers, as they will decide whether to continue reading your essay or not based on your thesis statement that can have them hooked to it.

    Body paragraph

    After introduction comes the main body paragraph of your essay. It will include all the main ideas and details of your outline. Based on your essay scope and word limit you can have more than usual three paragraphs in the body. Most of the students don’t know what to add in the body paragraph due to which they get stuck and ask others to do my essay canada style accord. That’s not the ultimate solution to the difficulty.

    You have to begin your paragraph with a topic sentence. Make sure to stick with one main idea or share one part of your life experience in each paragraph. Avoid adding multiple ideas or sharing life experiences in the same paragraph.

    For this, it is better to follow a chronological approach. It is not required to write a reflective essay in the linear manner but it is better to share your experiences as they happened in time. This approach will help to prevent the haphazard recollection of your memories and ensure a coherent and systematic work altogether.

    Body paragraphs are also required to be well focused containing all the apt critique and your reflection of it. Which means, it must have detailed information about how your experience has impacted your life, what are the important lessons learned from the outcome and how can you reflect on that? Reflective essay not only provides its readers with the insight of his/her experience but also an insight to their abilities to deal with it and reveals their personality and attitude to its audience.


    This part of your reflective essay is as important as its introduction. When writing a conclusion paragraph, make sure it is concise without having any additional information other than main points mentioned in the body paragraph and thesis statement in introduction. You must bring all these pieces together with what you have learned as an outcome in a summary form.

    Also mention how you have reflected it in your change of skill, behavior and attitude if so. For instance: what can you conclude on your problem-solving skill after that experience? How different will you be in similar situations? And what conclusions can be drawn about your approach to that specific situation? Etc.

    Latest Reflective essay topics

    There are many top and latest reflective essay topics that you can choose to write about such as:

    I hope your question, “what is a reflective essay?” got clarity and you can write it too on any above mentioned topic.