How to Write a Reflective Essay

The reflective paper aims to discuss the facts that created an event or experience. Thus, it evaluates the experience itself. A reflective event is a piece of study that you are researching.  Reflective thinking is a process of analysis that involves a detailed consideration of the event that has happened. 

The most common forms of reflective writing are PDP, diary, log., reflective journal etc. An academic reflective essay is the analysis of theory or a concept. It is written in a more formal academic style and its purpose is to synthesise and evaluate the work of others before any conclusion. 

The reflective essay should present a real experience, something an individual has imagined, a place or special subject and something read, watched, smelled or heard.  For example, a writer may share his/her story about the beach, island, the house he bought or lived in, a special date, a new course lesson etc. Additionally, a paper may be about certain people who are important in our lives such as a mother, influencer, best friend or a teacher. 

Quick tips to write a reflective essay

First, choose a topic idea and study the subject.  In regards to the selected topic write everything you have found in the literature or corresponding databases. 

In the process of structuring the essay, examine the essay question, read the corresponding criteria and identify the event or experience in which you reflect. Try to ensure and maintain the most important answers (where, when, who, how, why etc.).  Try to relate to the insights from the literature and jot down how to discuss the personal and professional learning objectives.  

The draft

In the introduction, outline what the essay is about and on what topics it is focused on. Further, explain why it is important to analyse this thesis and how it will be further developed. Try to use definitions and reflective models especially. 

In the conclusion, provide a summary of the explored issues and highlight the purpose of the essay. The most popular essays are” ‘’Goodbye to All That’’ by Joan Didion, ‘’Once More to the Lake’’ by E.B. White, ‘’Ticket to the Fair’’ by David Foster Wallace, ‘’Self-Reliance’’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘’The Death of a Moth’’ by Virginia Woolf. 

In reflective writing, it is necessary to describe an event and place your opinion. Analyse the pros and cons of each event and interconnect the described events or situations. Propose further steps and actions to aim deeper into the topic. 

Some questions may be answered in a reflective essay such as; what did I learn?, How did this change me? What would I do differently? What do I regret? etc.  

The structure of a reflective essay

The reflective essay must have an introduction as well as an academic paper. In the introduction, a writer shares his/her thoughts and impressions in regards to a  certain topic. The body of the essay must explain what has the writer learned or changed. In conclusion, most commonly a writer compares past and future personal development.