How To Write a Reflective Essay: Format, Tips

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  2. Study and research support
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  5. Reflective writing

Reflective writing

Reflective writing is one of the most common methods used to assess work-based learning. An increasing number of students across all disciplines are assessed on the quality of their reflective writing.

You may be asked to write a reflective essay, learning log or portfolio to reflect upon your experiences and assess what you have learned.

Reflective writing has a different style to the academic writing you would use in other essays at university.

  • You can write about your personal experiences, framing them in relation to your module learning outcome
  • It is written in the first person and may use more informal language
  • It tracks how you have developed over a period of time
  • It can be more emotive and less objective
  • It is less prescriptive about form and structure
  • It requires less academic literature as evidence, although you may still use some to help explain why and how things happened.

Reflective writing is an opportunity to express what you know and how it relates to your experience. It helps you to think about the process of learning and make it more useful to you.

It is important to be critical and not just descriptive. You should make links between actions and performance and suggest ways in which you will do things differently in the future.

Reflective writing is not a jumble of ideas and thoughts. Most assessed reflective writing assignments expect you to summarise your learning log or diaries based on the learning outcomes, and present your thoughts in an organised and structured way.

How reflective writing is assessed

Reflective writing is often assessed through learning logs or portfolios, which act as a diary or record of your experience.

You may be asked to:

  • write an individual reflective commentary or essay
  • use a group wiki page to make reflective comments about collaborative learning
  • create an online blog that can be shared with other students or your tutor.

Here is an example of a learning log task.

The assessment criteria for your module should make it clear what learning outcomes you should be able to demonstrate and how your tutor will judge your achievement of those outcomes.

Different levels of reflective writing

There are many models that describe different levels or stages of reflective writing. You may be asked to structure your reflection according to a theoretical model. You should check your assignment brief and marking criteria carefully to find out if this is required.

This model, devised by Hatton and Smith (1995), identifies three levels of reflective writing:

  • descriptive writing about events
  • dialogic reflection
  • critical reflection.

Descriptive writing will describe events in ordinary language.

For example: “My team leader often got annoyed because the rota system was poorly thought out. It didn’t work very well and so Team 2 could never get back from their shift on time.”

Dialogic reflection steps back from events to explore your own role in events and actions.

For example: “The team leader complained about the rota system, which didn’t work very well. I suggested that they reversed the schedule so Team 2 could get back on time.”

Critical reflection is more analytical and shows an awareness of the connections between actions and events and other knowledge. You should aim for this level of reflection in your writing.

For example: “I realised the problem with the rota system was that it had been introduced before a change in shift times. At a weekly team meeting I suggested that they reversed the schedule, which allowed Team 2 to return five minutes earlier. By making this simple but effective change to the rota system I helped increase team productivity by 10%.”

Hatton, N. and Smith, D. 1995. Reflection in teacher education: towards definition and implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education. [Online]. 11(1), pp.33-49. [Accessed 2 May 2017]. Available from:


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Writing a Good Reflective Essay: from Introduction to Conclusion

Table of Contents

Writing a Good Reflective Essay: from Introduction to Conclusion
What is a Reflection Essay?
How to Start a Reflective Essay Correctly?
Reflective Essay Outline
Reflective Essay Structure
How to Make an Introduction to a Reflective Essay?
How to Make a Good Reflective Essay Thesis?
How to Write a Logical Conclusion for a Reflective Essay?
Useful tips to Create a Professional Work
How to Write a Reflection Paper: Example of a Good Formatting
How to Choose Bright Reflective Essay Topics?
Good Reflective Essay Topics
Personal Reflective Essay Ideas
Reflective Essay on English Class
How to Proofread the Work and Correct Mistakes?
How to Get Professional Help in Writing a Reflective Paper?

Writing a Good Reflective Essay: from Introduction to Conclusion

The reflective essay is used in a range of different academic courses. When writing this work, students have to look back at what they learned and reflect this on paper. All internship students are required to write an internship reflection essay to make their conclusions about that experience. If you want to know what is a reflection essay and how to write it correctly, read our detailed guide that will help you to create an impressing work easily and fast.

We recommend choosing a reflective essay title before writing it itself. In fact, writing a reflective essay does not differ from any other type of paper ; the only difference that it should be a reflection of yourself. And here we are going to tell you all nuances and share tips on how to write a reflective essay, just keep reading our detailed instructions.

What is a Reflection Essay?

One of the most important things you should consider it to define what a reflective essay actually is: this is a reflection of yourself; you will have a definite topic, which concentrates on you. Your reader is expecting the evaluation of your life during some period of time. Your teachers and/or professors may ask you to reflect on different memories, feelings, and emotions of your past. They are supposed to be exciting and interesting. This is a critical key, and we hope you understand that your potential audience wouldn’t want to read a boring author.

This is a very special and really personal essay type: you will need a lot of things to consider, reflect and explain. You must demonstrate various feelings you felt previously. For example, you may have to show how you have changed yourself from the childhood or how you used to play with your best friends. Your teacher may ask you to highlight some events which are related to social or political aspects. It’s obviously that you may have such memories, but you may not have all the details to make the story full. Take some time to reflect all necessities.

You will have to go back to your previous life experiences and give a clear account of a certain event, happening or feeling. It is necessary to choose the proper words and phrases during reflecting your thoughts and showing what you feel. Therefore, you should decide on choosing good words to fully describe what you wish. Plus, you should identify your own writing style to make the content clearer, readable and positive; reveal an original manner, try to share with your audience important and happy feelings. Nevertheless, be honest: if you have something negative, mention it as well.

At times, looking at some other essays may come you in handy; it is quite possible that an illustration essay may help you. Take a look if you have time. Needless to say, it can be quite difficult for you to fulfill this assignment and create a good reflective work. But you have a great chance to make an interesting essay – all you need to do is order your work online .


How to Start a Reflective Essay Correctly?

Now, when you already know what is a reflective essay you should figure out how to write a reflective analysis essay. This is a useful information. You should study this matter to have a better understanding of how to connect all reflective paragraphs together. Needless to mention, you will require a decent plan to develop your essay – it gives you lots of benefits. When you create an outline, you will have a clearer view of the further development of your literature work. You have a decent structure, which would reveal how to write your story step by step and page by page. You should be organized and gradually develop your assignment. Thus, the process of writing your essay will become much easier. Make sure you paid enough attention to following points:

Reflective Essay Outline

You should outline each part of your future reflective essay to write it easily and fast. Consider the following steps:

  1. Choosing topic
  2. Gathering information
  3. Refining informative resources
  4. Writing a draft
  5. Writing main parts of the project
  6. Making references

Reflective Essay Structure

In general, your reflective paper’s outline should contain three main points:

  1. Introduction
  2. Main body
  3. Conclusion

How to Make an Introduction to a Reflective Essay?

Any academic assignment should begin with the introduction. It should be:

  • Catchy
  • Informative
  • Brief

You should explain what you are going to describe and what your main ideas are; a proper start sufficiently increases your chances of success.

How to Make a Good Reflective Essay Thesis?

The thesis statement should reveal your main purpose. You should:

  • Describe a definite event, experience or change;
  • Include at least one strong example that makes the picture fuller;
  • Show effects, consequences, how some events affected you in person and what your experience gave you.

How to Write a Logical Conclusion for a Reflective Essay?

The last paragraph is the general overview and the summary of your reflective paper. The good conclusion should:

  • Retell the story in other words
  • Highlight the main points
  • Logically conclude the research

The end of your reflective paper should be effective. If you draw proper conclusions, you will show the high level of understanding what you have depicted in your own story. If you are looking for a deep research on the paragraphs we have mentioned above, you may use this link . With this guide, you may discover some other helpful tips to write an appropriate reflective essay.

Useful tips to Create a Professional Work

Follow these simple but very effective tips to make a successful reflective paper:

  • Don’t drag someone else to your reflective paper. Write about actions, but not people, and formulate your conclusions according to these actions’ influence.
  • In the reflective paper, you are not allowed to write from the first person, though don’t forget to use evidence to support your opinion and feelings.
  • Avoid slang words in your work. This is a serious paper so even in you bring some humor inside it, write the whole text as an essay for your readers, but not turn in into the personal journal.
  • Use transitional phrases to introduce details. Include to your work such phrases as “for example”, “as a result of it”, “the opposite point of view is”, etc.
  • Keep your story bright, but short: usually, this work should be around 300-700 words long. Check out if you have followed the specific requirements to your reflection paper.

How to Write a Reflection Paper: Example of a Good Formatting

In order to compose an effective reflective paper, you should read some reflective essay examples. Read those that are typical for your educational institution and meet your goals. The things could become more complicated than you thought before: except for the main parts of your reflective essay, there are some other essentials to consider. We suggest taken into account the next essentials:

  • Making a draft. Depending on your goals, write the draft to see how the things appear on the paper. Afterward, you may rewrite all weak places and introduce something you might have missed previously.
  • Following the format. You should obligatorily follow a certain format. This may be APA, Chicago, Harvard, etc. Don’t forget to ask your supervisor about this essential moment.
  • Writing the right references. Thinking that you have done the whole work after three main parts of your assignment would be a bad habit. Your informative sources should be properly cited. Name the resources you took to complete your task and organize them in accordance with your academic style.

The reflective paper is used in a range of different academic courses; when writing this work, students have to look back at what they learned and reflect this on paper. All internship students are required to write an internship reflective paper to make their conclusions about that experience. As all other essays, this work should be written in a specific format. If you are working on the paper for psychology, history, science, and law, you should use the APA format. Here are the main requirements of the APA format reflective paper:

  • margins – 1 inch on all sides;
  • double-spaced (full space between lines);
  • printed on standard paper – 8.5×11 inches;
  • use Times New Roman 12-point font.

These prompts are very helpful. Please don’t forget them. Keep in mind that you might possibly require some other assistance that differs from reflective essay examples. Consequently, we propose to review the following link – to ease your academic duties; later on, those tips might come to you in handy.

How to Choose Bright Reflective Essay Topics?

At times, you may be missing some good ideas for your reflective essay topics. Even if you know how to write the reflective essay, you may not be able to pick up a relevant and interesting topic .

Good Reflective Essay Topics

  1. An experience you’ll never forget
  2. What breaks your heart?
  3. What can inspire you?
  4. Your special qualities
  5. How do you reach your goals?

Personal Reflective Essay Ideas

  1. What do you like about yourself?
  2. Your biggest fears
  3. Your main dreams
  4. What should be your future like?
  5. How do you overcome stress?

Reflective Essay on English Class

Under the condition, you cannot perform a reflective essay on English class make a deeper research. Explore the local libraries and the Internet. This is a good piece of advice, and if we were asked where to find proper topics, we would suggest this web resource . Keep it in memory and take some notes to have the ability to choose a suitable topic and complete your assignment.

How to Proofread the Work and Correct Mistakes?

After finishing your reflective work, it’s important to revise it and fix grammar and logical errors to make it look professional. Don’t be in a rush and take your time. It is more effective to proofread your essay not just after you put the pen on the table. We suggest taking a break for several hours or for a couple of days, it will help you to see your work with refreshed eyes, and it means chances would be less if you’d miss mistakes. Don’t hesitate to use different vocabularies. This will help you to define words’ meaning, and it’s also good to use online services for checking grammar errors in your text.

How to Get Professional Help in Writing a Reflective Paper?

Some people enjoy writing essays and articles, but for others, it could be like the worst nightmare. Different people have different skills and abilities, that’s why we may like and dislike doing various things. Not everyone was born as a writer. If you have to write a reflective paper, but have no idea how to start it, don’t worry about that and let real professionals do this job for you in the shortest terms! Our site collaborates with the most experienced writers that are ready to help you in your work’s writing or proofreading.

Needless to say, you may have some other opinion. Therefore, we encourage you to make a decent analysis of other resources or ask us to assist you in this matter as well. Visit our official webpage and make your order easily. Our service is becoming one of the best in its class and it can be your best assistant!


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How To Write A Self Reflective Essay

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How To Write A Self Reflective Essay

How Do You Write A Reflective Essay Introduction?

Self reflective essay is a personal opinion as the author conveys their own feelings over a certain subject matter. It may be in form of a book movie or artwork. This type of writing applies mostly in creative arts but not limited to elsewhere. We usually come across this type of writing in books or movie review.  Self reflective essay do not require much research like other type of research. It aims at communicating opinion and providing reflection and experience up to conclusion. Self reflective essay do not necessary need writers to make references to support the validity of their opinion in their essay. Talk about new strengths and weaknesses in relation to the experience you have gained.  Paint a picture to the reader on how you have grown morally, emotionally and physically.

Guidelines for writing a self reflective essay

  • When writing self reflective essay always use first person to express your ideas. Statements like ” I prefer ” ” my own point of view is ” this will help the reader understand that you are just expressing your own opinion and not facts.
  • Explain your topic in a five to ten sentence introduction paragraph. Express your own opinion in the introduction part by writing a short synopsis which is only written in the introduction.
  • At the introduction write your thesis statement in one sentence. The rest of your paper should support your thesis statement while giving evidence.
  • After the introduction is the body of your essay which should be about three paragraphs. Each part of your subject matter should discuss in one paragraph. Ensure that whatever content is in the body ties with your thesis statement.
  • Write a recap of your essay in your conclusion highlighting major points as you avoid repeating yourself. At the conclusion express an experience that you had and you have learnt after going through. Let the reader understand your experience clearly and the impact it may have in future. Express how useful is the knowledge and experience gained will be useful in future.

When writing self reflective essay simply just express you own opinion in regard to a particular subject. You must not do research in writing this type of essay as much of the content is derived from your own thought. What majorly entails is going through the subject matter of the paper and understanding it better.

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