What is a Reflective Essay and How to Write it?

Home » What is a Reflective Essay and How to Write it?

In your scholastic life, you will be often asked to write various types of essay writing assignments. One such common type is a reflective essay. Have your instructor asked you to submit a reflective essay? Well, you can easily compose content for an essay, if you have good knowledge of that particular essay type. In case, you find it difficult to handle your assignment writing on reflective essay topics, continue reading this blog post. Here, we have explained in detail about reflective essays and the effective ways to write them. Also, from here, you can get tips for writing a reflective essay.

Let’s get started.

What is a Reflective Essay?

An essay that focuses on your identity or personal development is called a reflective essay or a reflection essay. Simply put, a reflective essay requires you to express your feelings and thoughts about particular experiences, phenomena, or events.

You can’t be casual just because you have to talk about your own experiences. As per the writing guidelines, reflective essays should be written in an academic setting. The personal changes you’ve experienced and the reasons behind them should be explained in your essay. In addition, you can concentrate on revealing your personality and the source of your transformation.

Besides the general writing strategies, you must employ narrative and psychological approaches to present your content engagingly when writing a reflective essay.

Reflective Essay

The Purpose of Writing a Reflective Essay

The purpose of a reflective essay is to convey the author’s own experience with a particular thing, experience, or event. In general, the writer of a reflective essay will have the opportunity to reflect deeply on a topic and share personal experiences related to that topic.

This essay type comprises the analytical part. It is the section of a reflective essay where fascinating facts about a chosen subject are described. Reflective essays enable authors to convey their perspectives, feelings, and attitudes to readers. A lot of reflective essays are used to tell the story of the author’s long-term thoughts. Most importantly, readers can be inspired by the concepts shared in this essay.

Types of Reflective Essays

There are different types of reflective essays and they are the following:-

Events-Events are occurring at every passing moment. How we react to different events depends on us. A reflective essay may contain how individuals are reacting to an event. The individuals can narrate their feelings and sentiments about an event after the occurrence of the event.

Book or Movie-We often engage in reading books or watching movies. If the book or movie is inspirational then we can reflect on that. Reading books or watching movies helps in creating reflective essays.

College Courses– It is a type of reflective essay where the writers can write what they has gained or experienced in a class. This essay helps the writers to examine their respective performances in a class.

The need for Writing a Reflective Essay

Format of a Reflective Essay

The writer explains his or her experiences in a reflective essay. For students, this type of essay holds special significance as they can use this type of essay to explore the things that they have learned in class. Such types of essays can be written in a wide number of formats. The common format of a reflective essay is that of a diary entry.

The reflective essay format is based on the targeted audience. Such types of essays can be academic. For a student writing a reflective essay, the format of writing the essay varies, however, the purpose of writing the essay remains the same. To write a reflective essay the students are required to use the APA or the Harvard format.

Steps for Writing a Reflective Essay

Wondering how to write a reflective essay? Follow the steps mentioned below.


Outlines of Reflective Essay


Topic Selection

Select a topic so that you have good knowledge of that topic. Select the topic from the perspective of the readers.

Collect the Information

After you have chosen the topic, it’s time that you collect information on the chosen topic. You as the essay writer can use the collected information to write the reflective essay.

Analyze the information

Analyze the collected information and unless you do that you won’t be able to write the assignment.

Create an Outline

After analyzing the information, organize the gathered ideas and prepare a well-structured essay outline.

Write the Essay

Following that, prepare a detailed reflective essay by including essential components such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. Remember to draft your essay as per your university guidelines.

Make References

Use references and mention the source from where you have taken the notion for the content.


Finally, proofread the essay and improve its quality by rectifying all the errors in it. The final version that is ready for submission should be flawless and non-plagiarized.

Structure of the Reflective Essay Outline

Following is the structure for the reflective essay outline.

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

While writing a reflective essay you as the writer of the essay are required to recognize as well as examine your thoughts along with specific experiences. While writing a reflective essay don’t forget to analyze your thoughts, attitudes, assumptions as well as values. In the context of reflective essays, it can be said that such types of essays are hugely beneficial as it helps to examine your strengths. Such type of essays helps to improve your writing skills. In a reflective essay, try to include the experiences from the lessons of life that you have learned.

Related post: Thought-Provoking Argumentative Essay Topics for You to Explore

Tips for Writing a Reflective Essay

If you are desirous of writing a reflective essay then understand that you need the plan to write the essay. A good plan for writing a reflective essay is the outline for writing. The outline for writing the essay should be step-by-step and it should provide a lucid view of the essay. If you are writing a reflective essay for the very first time then you need to do it slowly and steadily. This helps you to avoid errors. This process of writing the essay makes the assignment simple.


We hope you now understand the fundamentals of reflective essays. Usually, it will not be difficult for you to write about yourself. Since you need to write this essay in an academic setting, you will have to be more cautious. Whenever you compose a reflective essay, try to follow the significant tips for writing a reflective essay as suggested in this blog. Try to use a creative writing style to share your personal experiences in a way that connects with your readers to stand out from the crowd and receive high grades.

Jacob Smith Essay Topics Reading Time: 6 minutes

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