Want to Write Good Reflective Essays? Use Our Tips to Cut It

Tips for Writing Decent Reflective Essays

Reflective essays are a unique type of academic writing. Why is that? Because when crafting a reflective essay a student should do something that is not common for the rest of college and university papers. One should provide their own thoughts, reactions to certain events or readings, as well as feelings, and emotions. It is a mistake to think that this type of essay is easy to write since it doesn’t require critical thinking and analytical skills. Vice versa – these skills are essential for crafting a neatly written work.  Also, the paper should be formatted properly and an adequate structure should be followed.

Since this type of writing has its peculiarities, many students google: how to write a reflection paper, trying to find the answer on the Internet. That’s why our team of professional writers has compiled a clear guide that outlines reflective essay structure and key aspects to consider while completing this assignment.


How to Write a Reflection Paper? A Simple Manual

It is always hard to start writing. You may simply not know where to start and what to do first. Check the first part of our outline to lay a solid foundation for your future masterpiece.

Part 1. Brainstorming

  • When writing a reflection essay, brainstorming is the inevitable procedure. It is the process that allows the author to reflect on previous experiences and lessons learned.
  • When brainstorming, try to write down everything that comes to your mind regarding the topic. Think about what makes these ideas better than others and why they are worth to be mentioned.
  • Keep in mind that these statements should be both descriptive and straight to the point. 
  • In addition, it is recommended to use your course readings and other materials that can be helpful. When using these sources, write down specific quotations, which can help you develop your topic.
  • If you want to mention specific personal experiences in your essay, feel free to make some notes or write down the short summaries of these experiences in order not to miss the important details. When writing about your experiences or feelings, feel free to describe images, sounds, and smells; everything that can help the reader imagine him/herself as the part of your story. 
  • Create an outline. Indeed, a good outline greatly simplifies the writing process. Therefore, smart writers always strive to write an outline first, in which all ideas and thoughts will be organized in the correct order. Having a good reflective essay plan will enable the writer to thoroughly outline the main points paying attention to meaningful details.
  • When writing a critical response to some book or movie, feel free to create a chart. This chart will be helpful for writing a rough draft of your essay. In the first column, write down all the important points discussed. Their number depends on the length of your essay. In the second column, write down your first reaction to these events. When writing your responses, do not hesitate to mention your personal opinions, beliefs, and experiences that are relevant to the topic discussed. 
  • To make the paper clearer and more coherent, ask yourself some questions that will help you shape your response. These questions can be as follows:
  1. Does this book or movie challenge you culturally, socially, emotionally? What are the aspects that catch the attention of your audience?
  2. Has this particular book/movie the power to change the way of thinking? Can it conflict with the beliefs that were established initially?
  3. Does this movie/book leave the audience with some questions? Is it thought-provoking?
  4. Does the author address some controversial issue? What is his/her position on this issue? Does it coincide with your own position?
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See also: “What is a descriptive essay?”

Part 2. Organize Your Reflection Paper Properly

The common reflective essay structure coincides with the structure of the classic 5-paragraph essay that requires writing an introduction, main body, and a conclusion.

  • Read the prompt several times paying special attention to word count. Usually, a reflection paper / reflective essay requires writing 300-700 words. If your assignment is different, be sure to follow your professor’s instructions since word count is an important part of the grading rubric. 
  • The primary stage of reflection paper writing is writing an introduction. In your introduction, you have to explain the choice of the topic and give a brief overview of it. Some students prefer to include a short summary of the book or movie that will be discussed in the essay.
  • If you are writing about your personal experience, be sure to write some hook that could engage your reader. You have to invent an effective instrument that would help you make your essay interesting for your target audience.
  • At the end of the introductory part, there should be a thesis statement. Usually, it is the main idea of the essay that will be developed throughout the whole paper. 
  • A thesis is the inevitable part of the paper since it provides the author’s writing with the focus. 
  • Thanks to the brainstorming stage you have a list with several meaningful ideas. When writing the body section, you need to select the most interesting ones and develop them in separate paragraphs. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence. 
  • Finally, come up with a concrete reflective essay conclusion that will restate the key ideas discussed in the body paragraphs. In other words, your conclusion should describe the overall lesson, feeling, or acknowledgment you got as a result of reading the book or watching the movie.

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Part 3. The Writing Process

Below you will find effective rules that will help you understand how to write reflective essays rather effortlessly.

  • Keep in mind that any reflection paper is always an objective expression of personal beliefs, ideas, and opinions. Undoubtedly, you are not a book/movie critic, but your attitude matters. 
  • When writing a reflective essay about yourself, think about the experiences or situations you would not like to mention in your essay. If there are any, make sure not to mention them in your document to avoid unpleasant questions.
  • Maintain an academic tone. Although a reflective essay requires expressing your thoughts, you need to keep them clear and concise.
  • Avoid mentioning the thoughts and ideas of other people. It means that if you tell about the personal experience of your friend, you have to tell how his/her experience can be relevant to your own life.
  • Perhaps, a reflection paper is only one academic task, in which the use of the first person is not only allowed but also required.
  • Avoid slang, clichés, and jargon since it significantly undermines the overall quality of the essay. 
  • Correct grammar and punctuation are also an important part of the grading rubric so you should not ignore these aspects. 
  • Use transition words. When writing your reflection paper, do not jump from one idea to another. Move smoothly utilizing the transition words such as: moreover, in addition, what is more, alternatively, nevertheless, and many others. 
  • It is a great idea to include information from your class readings in your essay. Your professor will be impressed by such a professional approach and evaluate your paper with a high grade.

See also: “Custom essay service”

Thus, it should be said that reflective essay writing requires much practice. The more reflective essays you write – the better writer you become. Do not treat this essay as a problem or challenge, but instead, try to treat it as an instrument for the improvement of your writing and critical thinking skills. We do hope that our effective tips helped you understand how to write a reflection paper. If you still find it difficult to understand the peculiarities of this task, feel free to download some good reflection paper templates from the web. Although these papers were already written and submitted by other students, they can serve as the source of your inspiration. Using them as examples, you will be able to create wonderful reflective essays from scratch.

Why Students Buy Reflective Essays Online

A reflective essay assignment may seem a relatively easy task compared to a case study or an annotated bibliography. So, why do students come online to buy a reflective essay from a professional writer? The reasons are simple and logical:

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  • Next, you get a sample of a perfectly written academic paper that can be further used for reference.
  • Finally, a student, who is only gaining some writing skills and the ability to write good essays, simply cannot get the highest grades that are expected of him or her. In this case, it makes sense to order papers online while you are still learning how to write good reflection papers and other academic texts.

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