Reflective Essay - Definition, Topics & Examples (2023)

A reflective essay is a unique form ofessay writingwhere you examine an experience and reflect on your own self. Use strong evidence and explain the real or imaginary scene in an interesting manner.

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Reflective Essay - Definition, Topics & Examples (1)

What is a Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is a type of writing in which the essay writer describes an experience or event that they observe or examine. The word “reflective” means that you look back to the past and analyze them from the present. The writer analyzes the event of the past from the present point of view.

In a reflective essay, the writer must set the direction of thoughts. This essay is about the personal writer’s opinions concerning certain subjects.

A reflective essay requires that the essay writer investigate his experience and show how their experience helped him develop a good person. It is based on your own experience that what you have learned.

The essay writers follow a logical and well-organized plan. It is the writer’s job to maintain the balance between description and personal feelings.

Write a reflective paper after analyzing the particular event from the outside world and presents it to the audience in a subjective way. It is the best way to describe your own beliefs through essay writing.

Write a good essay; you need to gather and share your personal life experience. It is required to include a detailed description and a summary of the experience. You can also explain your thoughts and emotions in the reflective essay.

A reflective essay contains three types:

  • Theory-based reflective essay
  • A case Study
  • Based on personal experience

The most important thing in a reflective essay is identifying the strong points that you have include in yourcollege essay.

Reflective Essay Format

Here is a format for your ease.


(Video) Steps to Write a Reflective Essay with Examples [From Introduction to Conclusion]

  • Identify the focus
  • Outline scope
  • State thesis statement

Main Body Paragraphs

  • Supporting details
  • Background information


  • Summarize the main essay
  • Restate the thesis statement

How to Write a Reflective Essay?

When writing a reflective essay, your ideas, thoughts, and feelings should be well-organized. A good reflective essay is where you can explain all the events in sequence so the reader easily understands.

In the reflective essay, mention the strengths and weaknesses that you had experienced. Paint a picture in a way so the reader finds it interesting and read the entire essay.

Here are some steps that you need to follow when writing a reflective essay.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

  1. Choose a Good Topic

    The first step in writing a great reflective essay is to choose a good topic. Start selecting the topic by brainstorming and research. A good topic makes your writing phase interesting.

    When selecting the topic, make sure that the chosen topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. When selecting the topic, ask yourself how it affected your life, what you feel about it, is the reader likes this topic? These questions help when you create the thesis statement.

  2. Research your Topic

    When selecting the topic, do the research. Start remembering all the minor details and other information related to the topic. Mind mapping and identifying all the main arguments help the reader follow the evolution of your thoughts and experience.

  3. Chart Things Out

    It is very helpful if you create a chart or table to keep track of all your information. List the main points, specific details that you found to be important.

    List the personal experience and beliefs and mention how your response to being shared in the essay.

  4. Recognize your Experience

    When you start writing the essay, write the most important lesson you have learned from your experience. The most significant moment becomes the thesis statement of your essay.

  5. Ask Yourself Some Questions

    When writing the essay, try selecting your questions about your experience that relate to your topic. Answer the questions one by one and make sure that you answer them correctly.

    The following are the questions, get an idea from them, and write your own questions.

    • What did you notice?
    • What did you feel?
    • What are the effects that you face after the event?

    Despite these questions, you also have to ask yourself about your response and emotions.

  6. Organize the Essay

    A reflective essay is between 300 and 700 words long. Your teacher should verify the length of the essay. If your teacher wants a more word count, then write it according to their requirements.

    (Video) Reflective Essay Example

  7. Follow the Structure

    A reflective essay has the same essay structure as other types of essays. It also includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. For a good essay, a proper structure is important.

  8. Revise your Reflective Paper

    When you finish your essay, proofread and edit your essay before submitting it. Never submit the essay without proofreading. You can also submit the essay online for proofreading. If you have not proofread and edited the essay, you made a big mistake and ruined all your effort.

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Reflective Essay - Definition, Topics & Examples (2)

Reflective Essay Outline

The structure of the reflective essay is the same as other essays. When you start writing the essay, create theessay outline, and organize your thoughts and ideas. A poor outline makes your writing process difficult, so it is important to create a perfect outline.

An outline works in the entire essay, and it is a good way to arrange your ideas. When creating the outline, you have to know how to write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion of the essay.

  • Introduction

    A reflective essay also starts with an introduction, like all other essays. An essay introduction should be brief but relevant to the topic. In this part, you can give a general overview of the topic to the reader.

    Start your essay with a stronghook statement. The hook statement is the first thing that the reader reads in the introduction part.

    In the introduction part, state the thesis statement but don’t give too much information in this statement.

    Remember that in this part, only give a brief overview and don’t write the in-depth information.

  • Body Paragraphs

    Writing the body paragraphs is the hardest part of the reflective essay. Some writers spend a lot of time writing body paragraphs. If the outline is not creating well, then writing the body paragraphs is a time-consuming process.

    It is the most important part of the essay and follows the proper chronological order. Describe the main issues in order related to the described event.

    The body paragraphs are well-focused, and it is not a summary of your experience. Each body paragraph end with a concluding sentence.

    (Video) Reflective writing

  • Conclusion

    The conclusion is the last part of the essay. In this part, you should provide a summary of the entire essay. Moreover, do not repeat the same point again and again.

    Make sure the conclusion of the essay is powerful and encourage the readers to do further research. In this concluding part, restate the thesis statement, and no need to add new ideas.

Reflective Essay Examples

When you write a reflective essay for the first time, you must read the examples. It is a good way to write a well-written essay.

Here are some reflective essay samples that can give you a better understanding of the reflective essay.

Reflective Essay Example for High School
Reflective Essay Example
Reflective Essay Outline

Reflective Essay Topics

In a reflective essay, you write about your personal experience, thoughts, and significant moments of your life. Choosing the right topic for the essay sometimes becomes a challenging task.

Some writers have all the information, but they are stuck on choosing the right and attention-grabbing topic. For your convenience, here is a list of topics for a reflective essay.

  • A surprise that you prepared for someone
  • The first thing you think of in the morning
  • When someone’s words made you cry
  • When you laughed uncontrollably with someone
  • Swimming in a mountain lake
  • The experience of an earthquake or natural disasters
  • A vacation place that you liked in particular
  • Crossing a bridge and looking out over the water.
  • Your favorite persuasive essay topic
  • Place where you feel safe

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Tips for Writing a Reflective Essay

Many professional writers also advise some writing tips and tricks that make your essay a successful one.

When you want to write an effective reflective essay, follow the professional guidelines. We compile a list of tips that makes your writing phase smooth and easy.

(Video) Reflective Writing

  • Choose the right topic for the essay, make sure that you have enough information
  • Properly convey your message through the essay
  • Write the essay with an overall emotion or theme in mind
  • Try to make the essay credible and informative
  • Provide your point of view about the related topic
  • Don’t make any grammatical errors
  • Do not add irrelevant details
  • Support your thesis statement with strong arguments
  • Keep it short and to the point

Every student wants to polish their writing skills and wants good grades, so you can easily get help from professional writers.

If you are stuck from where you can get professional writers to help, It is an excellent essay writing service platform that assists you in all types of academic papers.

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Reflective Essay - Definition, Topics & Examples (4)


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.


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