“To my mind, the character of Thor from “Thor: The Movie” reflects my personality. He is brave and honest compared to his greedy and selfish brother, so I adore the God of Thunder most of all!”
It is an extract from a reflective essay of an 8th-grade schoolboy. More complex reflective essay examples are available. In this article, students who wish to learn how to highlight their personality will discover effective writing tips and top reflective essay topics.
BUY A CUSTOM ESSAY HERE
A reflection essay seems easy as you don’t have to defend one’s point of view or convince the reader of something. It has its challenges, so we recommend finding quick online help with academic assignments in the shape of professional writers & editors!
What Is a Reflective Essay Assignment?
A good question to start with is, “What is a reflective essay?” A reflective essay is a type of academic writing, in which the student has to test personal life experience/position towards a particular topic. Unlike in argumentative writing, the student does not have to defend the personal position. It does not require a complicated, professional language with some terminology. Do not define something - focus on sharing personal life experience, skills, development, and the most vivid examples to illustrate the topic.
The format of this essay depends on the target audience. A reflection essay student writes to meet the college writing standards has a different structure from the one a magazine writer should preset to reach the issue’s audience. Each reflective paper has a similar outline.
How to Write a Reflective Essay: Critical Elements
Personal writing helps students to stress their individuality by highlighting various skills, knowledge, behavior, feelings, and even mood. A reflective essay shows how the person changed over time and what factors played an important role in those metamorphoses.
Keep on reading this section to learn how to write different parts of the paper about yourself.
Preparing Reflective Essay Outline
The first thing every student needs to understand how to write a reflective essay is an effective, detailed outline. It has 3 typical sections:
- Body Paragraphs
The assignment of this type does not require any references – the only person to refer is the student who decides to share his thoughts & ideas.
Find 3 main reasons to include an outline of this type of writing!
- An outline assists in laying out the details the student wants to leave after narrowing down the draft before working on the final paper. It prevents from concluding the essay by realizing something is missing.
- An outline provides a clear, concise roadmap, which prevents the writer from taking curvy paths and facing dead ends. It shows the way like a compass in the woods.
- An outline helps to save a plenty of time.
- An outline helps the potential readers, including teachers & classmates, to avoid falling off the main point when reading the essay partially.
Things to Discuss in Introduction to Reflective Essay!
Start with stating the primary focus of the personal reflection. Avoid being indirect and covering a range of topics; stay direct and concise by underlining the basic purpose of sharing a life experience.
“Giving a preview of the most exciting part of the story is a clue. The target reader may lack time to read the full piece from cover to cover. “There are many things I have learned from Marketing class. The most valuable lesson I have obtained is checking the effectiveness of 2 different approaches or services through utilizing a so-called A/B testing.” It will make the reader think what is special about this specific method. The reader will go on reading the body paragraphs to find out!”
Professor Hemsworth, History & Anthropology teacher and academic writer at NerdyMates
Another way to attract attention in the introductory paragraph is to come up with the intriguing hook sentence like statistics, fact, quote, metaphor, rhetorical question, or joke. It depends on the mood of the reflective essay.
Working on Reflective Essay Thesis
Some people may say that a reflective essay does not need a thesis. However, the example shared in the previous section talking about introduction is an example of the inspiring thesis statement. Include at least a summary of the primary idea. The best idea would be to focus on previewing the peak of the plot development or highlighting the most valuable lesson learned.
“Now I realize the value of sports in the life of every student. The swimming courses I visit since 13 are the great example of the way to support positive thinking and healthy body.”
How to Write a Conclusion for a Reflective Essay?
The body paragraphs interpret the way the author evolved or what he/she has absorbed from a particular life lesson (mention 3 different lessons). The student should mention the circumstances that forced him to pass a certain way. If you study a subject like English Literature or Arts, the paper’s prompt may ask you to describe how you changed as a field professional during the course of study. It is important to choose a specific interval of time to list the improvements. Compare & contrast the initial skills to the knowledge you have today. It is a great idea to tell the audience the ways various tasks, challenges, and lessons made the author grow since the beginning of his education.
Check this awesome example of a reflective essay:
There is no need to conduct research to collect the supporting evidence. The author alone is responsible for defending every stated claim with the help of vivid examples that describe the topic the best. Example: In case the student has become more professional in the field of writing, he should list the causes of those changes (new English teacher, more practice at home, part-time job related to the field of writing). Who knows – some of the ideas may be used by other students to succeed!
The last challenge is to prepare an impressive, inspiring, and powerful conclusion, which will make the target readers want to develop the same positive way! Write a conclusion regarding the way you have changed over a given period of time. Share some forecast by looking ahead: how the experiences listed in the essay would influence further personal development. By looking at the past events, decide which of them was the most important. The good idea is to compare & contrast past and future events to stress the gaps between the obtained skills and experience, possibly gained in the future.
ORDER A REFLECTIVE ESSAY NOW
30 Exciting Reflective Essay Topics to Explore Yourself!
It is time to cover the list of reflective essay topics. The top students and their college professors recommend personalized, interesting ideas that could give a hint to other adolescents.
Good Reflective Essay Topics
- Personal trait the author likes most about himself
- The greatest phobia the student has faced
- The ways to overcome adversity
- The methods to do homework fast
- The biggest strength of the author
- Student’s greatest achievement to date
- Most vivid holiday memory
- Lessons learned from the first official date
- Describing the situation, in which the student faced a complex moral dilemma
- Discussing the biggest ethical issue in life
Personal Reflective Essay Ideas
- Surviving blindness of the example of close friend
- Staying alone for the first time in a life
- Sharing room on campus with another student
- Living under one roof with parents
- Previous summer job experience (ice-cream seller, waiter, etc.)
- What was the best winter location to celebrate Christmas?
- Who does the student admire out of the female celebrities?
- What kind of relationships does the author have with his/her mom?
- Traits to look for when choosing a partner
- The most helpful thing an old man told me
Reflective Essay on English Class
- The most hurtful thing the student heard in his life
- Describing the period of deep, personal depression
- Things that make the author laugh
- Discussing the loudest & most exciting gig
- Attending guitar lessons
- Launching personal small business
- The process of studying foreign languages
- The impact of technology on the personal development
- The tastiest food based on personal investigation
- Favorite book/movie/author/band (do not confuse such type of reflective essay with the movie review)
Reflective Essay Examples from Successful College Students
No recommendations, tips & tricks help the students to understand the way a particular assignment should look like in the end as effectively as the examples. The article contains one of the up-to-date reflective essay examples from a college student.
Where to Get Premium-Quality Help with High School & College Reflection Essay
The person explains personal progress with the help of Facebook experience. It may sound a bit commercial. The writer has a right to promote what he likes in the reflective essay. Do not forget to combine the description of the tools that helped you to develop with the personal experience & real-life examples.
Are you aware of the places to look for other great reflective essay examples? The best idea is to download free examples of reflective essays from the professional academic writing team, which posts only checked papers online.
Students can buy a custom reflection essay to get rid of their homework problems at once – move to the academic writing website to fill out the order form now! Your assigned writer will handle any homework assignment with a blink of an eye!
A reflective essay is a piece of writing in which an author goes through their personal life experiences to either teach a lesson or give life advice. The writer usually starts from an initial point and progresses using thorough details from the event(s), eventually bringing out some sort of conclusion to the story. The author's main task in such texts is to explain how those life experiences influenced them as a person, and how it changed their lives. To make things clear, the goal of a reflective essay is to express how the progression of events influenced one’s thoughts and feelings about certain life events and what quality lessons they took away from those events!
Reflective Essay Outline
To help with the reflective essay format, a writer should choose between a topic and sentence outline. The difference between these is fairly simple. The sentence outline can only be stated in complete sentences and usually gives a more narrowed version of the topic. It also presents a glimpse of the theme that will be presented! Your topic outline, on the other hand, can be a phrase that gives a generalized version of your topic.
Examples of topic outlines:
- Family Problems
- Economic Problems
- Peer Problems
- World War 2
- American Revolution
Examples of sentence outlines:
- I haven't spoken with my father in a while…
- My country has a foreign debt that is growing exponentially!
- My friend Rick has been bullying me for years.
- My father’s PTSD from World War 2 showed me a new piece of our unstable society.
- The Battle for Bunker Hill gave the world the first glimpse of American Patriotism!
Choose one or more events that have happened to you at some point in your life, and decide on which ones would be the most interesting to read about. Try to choose the one(s) that taught you the most life lessons and or ones that changed your mindset about that specific field. If you are having troubles choosing between two events, draw a Venn Diagram. This will help you compare and contrast them, and after figuring out which moments are the best ones for this job, it is time to start writing that essay! The main questions your topic should answer are how it affected your life and why.
Reflective Essay Topics
A reflective essay is without a doubt one of the only essays that (Learn about expository essay topics)This essay is all about you and your experiences. Here are some ideas that could potentially help you come up with a few good reflective essay topic examples.
- The emotional rush that came after you had your first kiss.
- The excitement and responsibility that came from getting your first dog.
- The first time you ever attended a high school house party.
- The work ethic you built from joining the varsity soccer team.
- When you overcame one of your deepest fears.
- How somebody changed your beliefs on a certain topic.
Reflective Essay Structure
Just like any other essay, the start of your reflective essay with an intriguing introduction. The intro should explain to the reader what your overall focus is on the paper. Give them a small little treat in the intro that will lead them to the big sweet donut which we call the body part of an essay. The body part of your essay explains to the reader how you changed and what you have learned after that certain life event. The conclusion sums up your findings and gives an overall closing statement!
A great example is “My first college frat party”.
“This weekend my friends invited me to my first college frat party, and the things I saw and experienced were just unbelievable.”
That sentence up top is an amazing example of a captivating reflective essay introduction. In one sentence, you explained to the reader what you would be talking about and made it sound interesting. The first few sentences of your introduction should always contain a small glimpse of the big picture which you shall reveal in the body paragraph of the essay. The final sentence of the intro is the core point of your entire paper and is called the reflective essay thesis. In this sentence, you are clearly stating what effects came from the catalytic event and the overall significance of those changes. The thesis statement will be proven in the body paragraphs!
“After the frat party I went to this weekend, it became evident that almost every other college student can’t handle a drink whatsoever.”
Up top, you will see a good body paragraph intro. The topic sentence of that paragraph already explains what you will be discussing in the paragraph. Just like in the introductory paragraph, the first sentence in your body paragraphs should make the reader excited about reading the entire story. During the body paragraphs, make sure to give vivid detail and examples so as to give the essay real life features. In other words, put the reader into the story by giving relatable examples of situations and meticulously describing minor details. The more creative each sentence is and the more it captivates the reader with its literary style, the higher the excitement and interest level of the reader will be.
“After looking back at that frat party experience, I have come to the conclusion that I will not support underage drinking.”
As you may already know, your conclusion is where you sum up everything you have been speaking about in your essay. Using the information and events described in the body paragraph, bring everything back to a final concluding point in which you briefly reinstate how the experiences regarding this event molded and shaped your body physically and or mentally. Lastly, you should inform the reader of your final opinion on the topic.
Reflective Essay Format
The format of reflective essays drastically differs when compared to other essays. Since a reflective essay is all about you and your personal life experiences, you can think of it as a diary entry. Reflective essay formatting is probably the only essay where you can avoid any normal academic writing style. Of course, not unless your teacher requires you to use MLA or APA format.
- You should use Times New Roman, 12 font and double spaced.
- 1” margins.
- All of your titles must be centered.
- Top right part of every page includes your last name, the page number.
- The header on your paper should have your name, professor's name, course number and the date.
- The last page must include a Works Cited.
- You should use Times New Roman, 12 font and double spaced.
- 1” margins.
- Have a header on top of every page.
- Make sure every page is numbered in the top right corner.
- Your essay must be divided into 4 key parts - Title page, Abstract, Main body and References.
Reflective Essay Rubric
A good reflective essay answers or shows the following:
The essay showed the reader the “big picture” that you as an author tried to show. Focus on showing how your reflection of the event brought about new changes to your mentality or physicality!
Your essay has an overall “Cause and Effect” notion. Something happened to you, and from that experience, you have changed.
You throughout the essay have shown the reader that you are capable of looking at your own actions from an outside perspective.
Preferably have a super interesting reflective essay topic. It should be unique, something you won't read or hear about often.
A bad reflective essay fails to answer or show the following:
The essay has failed to show the reader the author's “big picture”.
Your reflective essay does not have even the slightest hint of a Cause and Effect Essay.
Throughout the essay, you have failed to show the reader that you are capable of looking at your own actions and decisions from another perspective.
Need help with your reflective essay writing?
Did you just read through the text above, and realize that you have written a sad parody of a Reflective Essay? Are you panicking because your deadline Is tomorrow and you do not know who could help you? Fortunately for you, EssayHub is the best essay writing service online, can help you put together a fantastic piece of literary magic with their professional essay writers! Don't have time for questions and just need that essay written? We can do that as well! Order an essay from us today!