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How To Write A Reflective Essay? – Step By Step Guide

We all wrote essays on different topics as it is one of the most common academic writing in school, college, and university.


Have you heard about the reflective essay? or did you ever write a reflective essay?

If yes, then it was a great chance you got to show your creative writing skills, and if no, well then you don’t need to worry because, in this blog, you are going to explore how to write a reflective essay.


What A Reflective Essay Is?

In a reflective essay, you write about your opinion and share your thoughts about a certain topic, event, and experience. The purpose of writing a reflective essay is to make students able to think intensely and learn the lesson from experiences.

This is the ultimate skill that will go to help you later in your life. So, let’s jump on the format and guide about how to write a perfect reflective essay.

The Ultimate Guide


The first thing that you need to know about is the format. It is quite similar to how we write a simple essay which includes an introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

An Introduction:

Here you are telling your audience what is the main focus of your essay is. This is the part where you need to grab the reader’s attention.

It also includes the thesis statement which serves as the principal point of your essay. Don’t overthrow the information, keep it precise and exciting that leads the reader to the end.

Example: “Why I was so scared while going towards the stage for my presentation? It’s because I am a shy person and have a fear of public speaking.

The Body:

Plan the body of your reflective essay. The focus should be the main event, your own experience, and thoughts. What lessons you learned from this event.

The main questions which should be answered are who? What? Where? When? And why? You can also share the images, quotes, and other descriptions that you experienced.

Example:I felt so nervous, several questions were coming to my mind. Can I do this? At one point I felt like I am going to faint any minute”

The conclusion:

It’s time for you to wrap up your essay. Summarize what you have learned from that event. How it shaped your life or how it helped you to overcome a certain thing. How you are going to carry it in terms of learning and the real world.

Example:I have learned that with the time passing by I can overcome this issue. I just need to focus on my weaknesses and learn few things which I have experienced throughout this and it will be all good at the end”

Now you all know how to start it. You should now know the steps of your reflective essay writing.

The Major Steps

1. First, choose your topic:

Gone through a lot of experiences right? But some of them are not interesting? Choose the one that you think is worth reflecting on, an experience that changed your life, or taught you a lesson for a lifetime. Paint a picture for your audience in a dramatic way.

2. Prepare Notes For The Topic:

Make notes as this will help you to organize the major points of your topic in your essay that you want to write about. This is the time where you can recall the experience and gather your thoughts for your reflective essay.

3. Read:

There are lots of sources and samples available to guide you about reflective essay writing. Read them before sharing your experience. It will help you to understand the tone, mood, and writing style. It will also help you to create an outline for your essay.

4. Choose Reflective Questions:

It’s not a descriptive essay, it’s a reflective essay in which you are going to highlight what u feel about the experience and what impact it put on you. Your whole essay will revolve around the reflective questions you choose. E.g. Why I felt like this? Was that bad or a good thing? How it helped me? and so on.

5. Follow the Format:

You don’t want your reader to leave the essay in the middle right? No one wants that. Follow the format mentioned above to ensure the flow of your essay in the right direction. Make sure to answer all the reflection questions that you choose to answer.

Types of Reflective Writing:

There are multiple kinds of reflective essay writing which mean there are multiple ways to write your reflective essay effectively, some of which are as follows;

Critical reflection essay:

Critical reflection essay is mainly written for professional practitioner courses like reflective essay for nursing students. It challenges an individual to take a hard look at one particular instance from his own practice that he has identified as difficult in some way. The goal of this form of essay is to;

Reflective report writing:

The focus and rules of reflective report writing are less strict than those of the critical incident report. An individual may decide to concentrate on one or several events over time, focusing on a particular component of his practice or new themes. The incident that an individual chooses need not be difficult ones; something that would be interesting and useful.

Case study writing:

If the situation is taken from your own experience rather than someone else’s, case studies can be reflective. The aim of this study is to;

Reflective journal log:

If the situation is taken from your own experience rather than someone else’s, case studies can be reflective. The aim of this study is to;

Reflecting professional attributes:

This kind of reflection focuses on identification and pieces of evidence of your development, unlike a critical reflection essay which is more about assessment. This form of writing helps the writer in finding the opportunities and structured upon the attributes of reflection rather than any set model.

Importance of Reflective Writing:

Even though most students like to take critical essay writing assistance to ease their academic pressure while some people don’t give enough importance to this form of writing; so, the following points will help the readers in understanding the importance of reflective writing:

Reflective Writing Techniques:

As long as reflective writing for academic purposes is concerned; you have a specific method to follow, a format to stick by, and a Plagiarism Checker Tool to detect plagiarism. However; there are certain techniques for writing reflective essays that you will only be able to learn from a few professionals posts like this one;

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Reflective Writing:

In order to write something effectively; it is not only essential to be acknowledged with the do’s of writing but also one must be aware of dons so as to avoid making mistakes. The commons mistakes that must be avoided in reflective writing are;