How to Write a Reflective Essay — A Powerful Guide

How to Write a Reflective Essay — A Powerful Guide

If you’re looking for tips on how to write a reflective essay, then this article was written with you in mind. We are going to talk about some basic things that you should know before starting your reflective essay. By the time you have finished reading this article, you’ll be ready to start writing a reflective essay. Let’s go over some important tips that will help you with this project.

What is a Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is a literary composition in which the writer examines their experiences in everyday life. They may be short stories, essays, or personal journal articles. Occasionally these writings are autobiographical in nature; where the writer shares personal information about a significant person, situation, or event. Regardless of the theme of your reflective writing, there are some basic guidelines you should follow to ensure your success as a writer.

As with any form of writing, a reflective essay requires structure. The most successful writers follow a logical sequence of ideas and experiences. You should make sure that your reflective essay flows well, from one paragraph to the next. Some writers tend to ramble, using one sentence to explain their experience and ending with the next. To prevent this, set up each paragraph from beginning to end with a thesis statement, using appropriate words to describe your topic.

What is a Reflective Essay Outline?

Reflective essay writing mind map

A reflective essay outline is basically a planned layout of one’s ideas and thoughts on a certain subject. This kind of writing usually revolves around a particular response to an issue in the form of an essay. This style of essay is all about revealing and discovering yourself to the readers. Your thoughts are the things that you think and how you think it is related to other people, things, and situations. You should base a reflective essay around an observation of self.

The reflective essay outline helps the writer to build his argument and support his position. Usually, the writer of such an essay will start by giving his views on a particular issue. Then he will proceed to the next part, which is building his case by proving his point of view. He will use his argumentative statement as a springboard to support his main statement of his views and thoughts.

Many students find this type of essay writing very challenging and even if they have previously prepared their first piece of a reflective paper, it proves too challenging for them when they have to write an outline as well. There are many students who find it difficult to write their own outlines. Some of them give up in frustration because they find it difficult to write a reflective paper. Then they have to revise and re-write the same piece of paper from scratch. That is why many students prefer to buy a copy of many reflective essay examples before they start writing their own. A reflective paper outline can prove to be a great help in gaining more knowledge and tips on how to write reflective papers.

Writing in The Reflective Essay Format

Reflective essay formats are usually very different from each other. Most students will write their first one using the AP US History form, which is one of the easier ones to work with. For instance, start writing your essay by opening your essay with an introduction. Then start working on your body paragraphs, and include a brief thesis statement at the end. If needed, you can also include a conclusion, but typically the entire essay is a debate of either a thesis statement or opposing views.

The good news about a reflective essay format isn’t that it is not radically different from the normal format of many other essays you have written. You still just need to have:

  • an introduction,
  • body sentences,
  • and an end.


However, since this is no arguing or research-heavy, you get more freedom in your style, presentation, and even the support for your arguments. If you are having problems writing this type of essay, then I would suggest that you go and look for some examples. There are many books and manuals that can help you learn how to write this kind of essay. Also, I would recommend you do some research on how to do reflective essay exercises so that you can practice your writing and get better ideas on how to approach this topic.


One of the most important things that you must remember when doing this type of essay is to start out with a strong introduction and then build your argument based on your initial points. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to accomplish, a reflective essay can be quite difficult and should be done carefully. This can be one of the few topics that can cause arguments and heated debate between students, especially if you don’t pay attention to the specific topic or the homework. Always remember to have fun with your reflections, and you will have a better-written piece.