Guidelines and Tips on Writing a Best Reflective Essay

Writing a Reflective Essay

What is a reflective essay? What does it mean to do a personal reflection? And what is a reflective summary? How do you write a personal essay? Thousands of personal are making queries on a daily basis. These people want to get guidance and information for reflection essays. The current article aims at providing answers to all such queries. This article aims to provide a complete guideline on how to write a reflective essay

What is a Reflective Essay?

In a reflective essay, the writer explores an aspect of the world. Later on, the writer describes how it has affected him/her personally. The purpose of reflective writing is more than engaging your reader. You have to tell the reader how an incident has affected you what changes it brought to you personally. It is a type of telling a story, but the story itself is a part of the essay while the remaining essay is a discussion. You can also say that it is a description of your own thoughts or feelings. For example, how the death of your dear one impacted you? What difficulties you faced during your school life being a black student due to racism? You are a migrant living in the U.S. How do you feel about new immigration orders signed by the president? In brief, we can say that:

  • In a reflective essay, you write about something that brought change to your life. It can be an accident, a death of someone, an illness or any issue related to your personal life.
  • In your personal reflection, you may write about something very annoying in your life. It can be racism, social inequalities, discrimination or minority etc
  • You do a personal reflection about an event that occurred in your life. You can describe how you feel about it during, before and after the occurrence.
  • Remember that there is a difference between writing a story and a reflection essay.

What is the Purpose of Writing a Reflective Essay or a Personal Reflection?

After assigning a reflective essay, the teachers aim to check the following learning outcomes;

  1. The student will gain a deep knowledge about the world aspect he/she is writing about.
  2. The student will learn to write an effective method of writing. It will help them to write the introduction, main body and conclusion of the essay.
  3. The student will learn to express his/her own thoughts on any issue in an appropriate manner.
  4. The student will learn about the style of reflective writing.

Tips On Writing the Reflection Part of the Essay?

Reflection is the most important and difficult part of a reflective essay. While writing this part of the essay, you first need to think deeply about yourself. Make an outline of the impacts and changes any particular aspect of the world had on you. Remember that you are writing about your memories of a personal experience. You need to express your feelings and reflect on these feelings using your own thoughts. You can make your expressions powerful through hindsight.

Further, you will tell the reader what you have learned through the particular experience. Make sure this experience is personal. Apart from this, you can tell how it helped you grow or how you have developed. In the reflection part of the writing, you will be using phrases like; “looking back, I can remember that…”, “now I know ….”

Points to Consider Before You Start Writing Your Essay:

In the first step of writing a reflective essay, you need to do some analysis, research and outline of the essay.

  1. In the first step, you need to make an assessment of the essay question given to you.
  2. Read carefully the marking criteria as it will help you stick to the important points. You will follow the right direction while writing your reflective essay.
  3. Make sure to maintain the confidentiality and anonymity of the person involved. A reflective essay is always based on a real-life incident. So, it will involve many people besides you.
  4. In the description, describe the whole scene by answering what, when, how, who and why like a question.
  5. Note down the main issues or points you have identified related to your experience.
  6. Find relative literature that may support your opinion. It will also help you to make your essay authentic.

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The Reflective Essay Plan:

Write Introduction of the Reflective Essay:

In the introduction part, clearly state what your essay is about? What is the essay question? What is the main focus of the essay? Why is it important to write about this topic or question? How is the essay going to answer, i.e. reflective mode?

Main Body:

In the main body, you need to describe the event or experience of your life. Write an evaluation of the event, like what was good or bad and how did you feel about it. Analyze the event using cause and effect or compare and contrast method.


Start the conclusion of the essay by writing a summary of the event you have explored. You can reinstate the purpose of the essay. You can also offer your suggestion related to the needs you have identified in the essay.

Author: Albert Barkley

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