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How to Write a Reflective Essay: A Definite Guide

by Mashum Mollah

In this day and age, the essay writing styles are drastically changing from standard essays to reflective essays. You should not be shy to share what you are thinking. Don’t be scared to be laughed at. Imagine that you are talking to your loved one and speaking out your mind. In this article, I will guide you on how to write a reflective essay. 

A reflection is a form of self-analysis. It’s what people do when they are alone and analyze their past actions and events, things that are very personal to them. Wait! Let me simplify this a bit for you. Reflection in its most basic form means a person who is covering himself/herself. The word reflection originates from the Latin word ‘reflection.’ 

So What Is A Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is an essay that you write solely from your point of view. Keep the formal tone and the structure of the essay intact. There is a certain number of guidelines that need to be followed while writing a reflective essay.    

To put it, merely a reflective essay is a written essay by you in which you talk about something that has happened to or with you. 

You can also write about something that was a part of and which affected you. You already have written several essays back in your school days. To write a reflective essay, you need to simply share the premise of the story and give sufficient details about your reaction to that incident. 

Ensure that your conclusion, body, and introduction are in line with what you said at the start of writing your reflective essays. It’s better to learn how to write a reflective essay than to start without knowing anything about it. It is creative work that will involve a ton of personal thoughts and illustrations. 

However, you should note that it’s not like academic writing. They carry a very informal tone. Reflective essays demand an informal tone, as they showcase your perspective on something, which is not typical of academic essays. Honesty and self-awareness are the keys to writing an engaging, reflective essay.

This Guide Will Surely Help You Learn How To Write A Reflective Essay. 

Learn How To Write A Reflective Essay



You need to keep in mind before writing a reflective essay and things while writing a reflective essay. First, I will talk about the things you need to keep in mind before writing a reflective essay. 

Step 1. Make A Detailed Analysis Of The Assignment 

First, be sure that your teacher wants you to write a reflective essay. Read the topic of your assignment twice and make a detailed analysis of what your teacher is asking.

Step 2: Select The Event Or Experience

Select the experience that you are going to talk about in your reflective essays. It’s not mandatory to write everything that has solely happened with you or is in your head, it’s more about showing the events from an individual perspective. If your teacher has already assigned you a topic, then skip this step and be ready with your notebook and pen and learn how to write a reflective essay.

Step 3: Write It Down

Write down the essential things that you feel will go in your essay. Also, make questions and think of the answers. All these things that you write down will help you while writing a reflective essay. Not only will it help you to summarise your experience but also it will create a strong foundation for your essay. In addition to all these, do not forget to make notes of certain evidence that you think will help you to learn how to write a reflective essay 

Step 4: Know Your Readers 

You must know who you are writing for, their age group, and mentality. For example, in this case, you are writing it as an assignment for your teacher. Still, you remember that your parents and friends might also read your reflective essay, so your audience might be broader, which means that you should use simple words and good English to learn how to write a reflective essay. 

Step 5: Manage Your Time Accordingly

Every student must know how to use their time wisely. Time Management is a vital lesson for every student. While writing a reflective essay, the importance of this step doubles because you have many things in mind that you want to write on. It will help if you consider creating a timetable for this purpose; in that time table, you can divide the time into research, preparation, writing, and proofreading. Make the timetable so that it looks doable so that you will be able to complete your reflective essay on time. 

When reflecting on a movie or a book, it’s better to keep watching or reading it respectively. It would further help you if you took notes of your feelings and thoughts while reading that particular book or watching that particular movie.

Step 6: Make A Reflective Essay Outline 

Creating an outline saves you a lot of time as you will be able to put all your thoughts in the order you want the story to be told. It will also help you while writing reflective essays in the future, but you must learn how to write a reflective essay with ease before that. 

To finish your reflective essay before the deadline, you need a reflective essay outline. A reflective essay that is properly structured will mention the crucial moments.   

Steps To Follow When You Write A Reflective Essay

Write A Reflective Essay

Step 1: Introduction 

You should start the introduction in such a way that grabs the attention of your audience in no time. You can start it with a question or a quote by any prominent personality. But if you ask me, I’d suggest the former one as it is more successful in grabbing the audience’s attention. Your reflective essay’s thesis statement would be about events, people, experiences, places, and thoughts that you’re going to further describe in the body. To learn how to be reflective, make sure you do as I instruct. Do not make it boring as reading anything, let alone reflective essays, is no fun when they are boring. Making it not dull is one of the essential parts of learning how to write a reflective essay.    

Step 2: Body 

I would suggest you begin the paragraph of the body with a sentence from the topic that resonates with the final points that you created in the statement of the thesis. As you learn how to write a reflective essay, you should focus on the incidents, your reaction to those incidents, and what you learned from the incident. Make sure you follow the 5Ws and 1H format while answering the questions.   

You must make sure that you are writing so that the final sentence of every paragraph finishes the idea you introduced while starting the paragraph.   

You need to highlight the main issues you have found out regarding your experience in the second part. 

Your reflection about the event will come in the third part, which is the most crucial part of your essay. You also need to make sure you clearly state what that particular event means to you that’s how you will learn how to write a reflective essay   

Step 3: Conclusion 

The conclusion is the end of your reflective essay. You should make sure that you have written the conclusion so that it seems believable, as it is the product of your reasoning. It is similar to the thesis, but it takes it to another level because of your thoughts and ideas. Your conclusion must validate the points you had made in each paragraph.   

Keep in mind that the reference to the topic and your thesis statement is the conclusion and a very important part of your whole reflective essay. It is your last day on the topic, and therefore it has to be written accordingly. Don’t forget to mention how you have changed because of the occurrence of this event. Be specific while mentioning this point. If you follow these guidelines, then you will learn how to write a reflective essay.

Final Thoughts!

It might be a little tough to learn how to write a reflective essay initially, but with practice, you will get better. You should be considerate about your audience and use gender-neutrals wherever possible. The key is to write a reflective essay and not to be repetitive. Your conclusion should summarize everything that you wanted to write. 

Reflective essays are all about you and your take or rather your perspective on certain incidents. Don’t shy away from speaking out about what you feel if it is against the majority view.

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