How to Write a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay tends to describe an experience or event, then analyze the same and what can get learned from it. The writer analyzing a past even in the present is what makes the essay reflective.

Writers are required to give their thoughts and emotions to mimic accurate history, traits, or personalities. A vivid description of experiences also makes the reader feel like they have been in the same space before.

What you can write about

  • An experience
  • A place or object
  • An imagination

Topic Ideas for a Reflective Essay

Places that you have gone to

  • Someone’s home
  • The beach, mountains, desert
  • Old house

Life-Bending events

  • New experiences
  • Vital memories
  • Special dates/occasions
  • A conversation

Recurring thoughts

  • A dream
  • A great emotion
  • Embarrassing moments

Impactful Experiences

  • Concert
  • Vacation
  • Post on social media
  • Book, movie, TV

Important People

  • Best friend
  • Teacher/coach
  • Grandparent

Organization of a Reflective Paper

How the paper is structured is pretty much the same as other texts.

Introductory Paragraph

You should identify the subject in this paragraph and present the reader with a vivid impression it had you see. Be sure to have a thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs

  1. In the first paragraph of the body, note down at least one reason that the object or subject made the above impression and then write the why factor. You can speculate as there are no right or wrong answers in a reflective essay.
  2. In the second paragraph, write the second reason here and write about the why factor in it.
  3. In the third paragraph, mention the third reason and also mention the why factor.


Have a recap of your thesis statement and the arguments or reasons you provide in the body. Have a summary of your thoughts and give your opinion.

How to Write a Reflection Paper

  1. Choose a topic/ idea

The first step in writing an essay is choosing the right topic. Make sure you have a great one.

  1. Study your subject

You may need to imagine your character through reading, watching, or listening.

  1. Brainstorm

Jot everything you can think about the topic. You can think of a character or subject in terms of taste, noises, and so on. Write down corresponding adjectives to help you in describing.

  1. Pick Reflection Questions
  2. What might I have differently?
  3. How is this related to my life?
  4. How has this changed me?
  5. How can I apply this kind of experience to my studies?
  6. How can this help me in my career?
  7. Would I want this experience again?
  8. What did I learn in terms of skills?
  9. How has this changed the way I think?
  10. How and why did this affect me?
  11. Did this expand the understanding of my culture? How ao?
  12. How can I pin this experience to my studies?
  13. Does someone have the same experience I had?
  14. Is this experience that I had good or bad?
  15. Why did that experience make me feel this way?
  16. How is this similar to an experience I recently had?
  1. Answer the Selected Questions

Study the questions that you have written and answer them. You don’t have to be formal in doing this as you want to get as many ideas as you can.

  1. Identify the meaning of your experience.

Before you start writing, make sure you decide on what is the most vital lesson you have derived from the experience.

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