How to Write a Reflection Paper

06/06/2018 | George Orwell | 1046

At some point in time during your academic life, you have to deal with the reflection paper. It is a kind of essay assigned to the students in their academics, but not as formal as other college essays. Reflection paper allows the students to express their understanding and thoughts about how a particular matter, book, event, lecture, or something else shapes their personality.

Students have to go through various assignments, essay writings, projects in their academic life, which involve typical research activities. Unlike these paper writings, through reflection paper, learners get the chance to speak up their mind openly but by adequately maintaining the academic tone. It inspires you to bring out your own point of view on any matter. This paper proved beneficial for both subjective headway and personalized way of understanding things.

Reflection paper gives way to the students to communicate with their professors about their understanding of the matters related to the lecture, lesson, article, etc. Though it is less formal than other academic essays or paper writings, you can’t take it for the grant. You must need to get a complete reflection paper writing guide to acquire special skills to bring out your thoughts on paper.

What is a reflective paper?

A reflection paper is a paper that encourages you to constitute your personal point of view on a particular topic. It’s not about providing the facts at all but your experience of getting knowledge in any specific matter.

You can compare it with the diary entry, but here you are not the only reader of it. So it is necessary to write the reflection paper in a proper academic tone, and its structure must be organized cohesively and rigorously. From your favorite film story or your visit to any place to your involvement in learning a specific theory, reflective paper covers discussion on almost every subject matter.

It can be professional, educational, or personal. The purpose of a professional reflective paper is to analyze the attitude of the employees. An educational reflective essay could be on the lectures delivered in the class, any book, article, or subject. You can express your feelings on personal reflective paper. The tone of writing a reflection is completely based on the type of reflective paper you are writing.  Below is the description of different types of reflective paper.

What are the different types of reflective paper?

There are basically three types of reflection paper these are educational, personal, and professional. In the context of an educational reflective paper, you need to write feedback about a particular book, seminar, or movie. In the context of professional reflection,  students pursuing studies in the field of psychology generally write such kind of paper. You can write professional reflection ion behavior of particular person.  The third is a personal reflection, which provides students with an opportunity to explore their own thoughts and feelings about a particular subject.

What is a reflective paper outline?

Reflective paper writing does not require much high research as it is necessary for the other academic papers. Its main aim is to communicate the right opinion and to provide the influencing reflection on the audience. Giving a useful outline to the reflective essay can help the students in making their writing straightforward.

A perfect reflection paper outline will allow the students to arrange everything incomplete order, that is, from the practical ideas and thoughts ideas to the feelings experienced by them during those times. When the students are attempting the reflective papers, then they have first to learn how they can write a reflective essay and what they need to prepare it with the sentimental feelings and learning experiences.

Structure and format of a reflective paper

The format of the reflective essay may change slightly depending upon the type of audience. It is generally suggested to follow APA format, but the changes are allowed according to the convenience of readers.

In this paper, you have to share your experience of acquiring knowledge on any subject. The subject matter could be from either of the category – personal, professional, or educational. After examining your audience and the issue, you can make appropriate changes in your paper to enhance its accuracy and readability.

While exploring the steps to write a reflection paper, one must be well acquainted with its basic structure i.e., Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.


In the introductory part of a reflective paper, you need to include the following :

  • Write an analysis of a passage or an academic article.
  • Provide a detail summary of work.
  • Draft thesis statement by stating that how a particular subject influences you.

Example of thesis statement for reflective paper

After reading about digitalization,  I develop an understanding about “

Main body

In this section of a reflective paper, you need to do the following:

  • Do examination of ideas
  • Write about your experience or view about a particular topic.
  • Start each body paragraph with a Topic sentence.

Note: In case if you are writing about any specific book or an article then you can include Quotes. It will provide the reader with point of reference and will help them in developing understanding about your feedback.


I saw many people participating in the quiz. Before starting of quiz I felt quite nervous. But at the same time, I also have an excitement about the event.


  • Provide summary of hat you have understood or learned from a particular event.
  • Give an explanation about the way the specific event has an effect on your understanding of the subject in general.
  • Provide a description of your feeling and the overall lesson you had as a result of the reading or experience.

Note: You can use two techniques for writing the concluding part of reflective paper. These two  ways are:

  1. Integrate all ideas from main body paragraphs. Then provide a general overview of your experience.
  2.  Rewrite your thesis statement and provide a summary of the main content.

How to start a Reflective paper?

Before starting to write a reflective paper Try to find out the themes and motifs of the reflection topic.

Students can start their search for the themes and motifs of their reflection topic once they are done with the briefing of their experiences. This step requires some sort of research to maintain the academic tone of this paper.

The research involved with reflection paper is much more comfortable and exciting than other paper writings as in this students just have to explore their understanding of the selected topic. Finding out the themes and motifs for the assigned topic is as simple as a reflection topic on your favorite movie. It is necessary to use appropriate motifs and themes in your paper to enhance its readability and understanding for the readers.

How to write a reflection paper? 

Reflection paper must be compulsory in every academia as it helps the students to make a habit of putting down their thoughts on every subject matter. Its benefits couldn’t be seen at the early phase, but this habit can brighten up your future.

It seems more natural to write this paper, but in reality, it is quite complicated. You have to share the experiences for your changed personality.

You can follow the step by step guide on reflection paper writing.

Step 1: Write Introduction

In an introduction section of your reflection paper, you need to clearly specify the topic on which you are reflecting. While writing the introduction section for a reflection paper, you need to make sure that your thesis statement provides the reader with an idea about your position to the reader. In the introductory part, you need to write the following 3 things these are:

A) Summarize the reflection paper topic in the first step

Students need to summarize their reflection topic in the very first step briefly. You are not allowed to give any facts, examples, or proofs in this paper. You should precisely share your experience to prevent its natural essence from vanishing.

The content should not be repeated, and it is necessary to brief down the experience for your every change and how these changes helped you in shaping your personality. Your primary purpose must be to inspire the audience with your transition.

The most critical thing for writing a reflection paper is to express the feelings on the selected topic. However, there is no necessity to become highly emotional. College students have to express their ideas reasonably rather than getting sentimental.

A good introduction part should identify the topic chosen by indicating the actual motive of the essay. It can make the readers interested to read at the end of the article.

Give a clear view to the readers who help them to know what they are going to get from the essay. Students can build a big idea by summarizing the central claim in one sentence to attract attention.

  • The introduction part must be brief and catchy, along with the informative content.
  • It is good to ask a reflective question at the beginning of the text.
  • Don’t start from the argumentative statement instead continue it for later.

B) Give a thesis statement

It is vital to give the thesis statement in every research paper. You can use the thesis statements either in the introduction section or conclusion. It can be defined in the body section as well if there is any need to summarize your idea.

The thesis statement simply focuses on your ideas in a short statement. It mainly offers a precise summary of your fundamental idea or claim of the research paper. It is necessary to give thesis statements in the research papers either within the introduction or at the end of the introductory part.

C) Use valuable points to explain and develop your thesis statement

After setting the thesis statement for the reflective paper, the next colleges’ students have to develop this throughout while the reflective paper. Graduate or PG students can do it by putting specific examples that relate your paperwork along with the arguments. This is a challenging and tough task for the students, but students can write and create the supreme quality reflective paper by doing little effort and hard work.  So, students in colleges or universities should make sure that they are not writing up scrap in the paper while developing the thesis statement only by giving the general statement over the thesis statement.

Step 2: Body part

It is the central part of the paper where students have to explore the thesis. There are several paragraphs to explain the case positively. Students can use a three-paragraph structure. In the first part, try to introduce the experience that had influenced you the most.

In the next paragraph, students can compare their experiences with the other ones. Then explain how you had learned from that experience.

  • Startup with the reasons which had made you curious to choose that topic.
  • Dig into research resources to explain everything in a well-formatted way.
  • Explain by giving logical reasons.
  • It could be efficient to involve solid examples and quotes.
  • Show effectively how the subject has an impact on you.

Step 3: Write a supportive and effective conclusion for the reflective paper

The conclusion should include striking points that can make the readers exciting. Though it is the bottom line of the reflective paper, it actively demonstrates that whether your ideas have been fully formed or not. Wrap up the complete discussion by placing the influencing vital points. At the end of the paper, leave the impressive image of your experience so that many of the readers can get some food for reflection.

Framing a conclusion of the reflective paper, in the end, is the penultimate and final step in writing a reflection paper. College students can conclude the paper from the entire content of the reflection paper by observing and understanding the success of the writer in order to meet the solutions of the issue and problems stated in the document. Also, by describing the importance of the part of the work done upon which the students have written a reflection paper.

Basic Practical tips for writing a perfect reflective paper

Every college student has their skills and capability to compose a reflective essay. Some of them get influenced by their busy schedule, and some of them take it as a cup of tea. It is not easy for everyone to write a reflection paper. However, by taking some of the proper guidelines from the different resources, students can make appropriate reflective paper.

  1. Before starting the paper writing task, students can take sufficient knowledge from the examples. It can help them in drafting the unique and original paper.
  2. Instead of worrying about the deadlines, college students have to focus mainly on the reflective paper writing topic and statements that can make it more effective.
  3. Students can think about the efficient materials and readings related to their chosen subject. After that, they can decide which of the topic is more memorable.
  4. Don’t stay focus to complete an entire essay in one day. It can be beneficial to start with an outline on a day and then add your ideas, mainly every day.
  5. Write an inspirational introduction paragraph. Try to make the beginning of the paper clear and concise, which can attract the reader’s attention towards the article.
  6. Getting personal or taking things heartily cannot work every time. So first consider the facts and then think about the effects and attitude.
  7. Using slang or something like a colloquial word cannot make the reflection paper useful. Try to use the first person singular.

Important tips for writing  different types of reflective paper

Perfect reflective paper on a book

  • Give specific and brief information about the author.
  • Avoid the spoilers and give a summary.
  • Mainly focus on essential characters.
  • Explain what can be the practical issues that the writer touches upon.
  • Explain the existing influences and allusions.
  • Share the actual impressions by reading it.

Course reflection paper

  • Give a short description of any specific course.
  • Write a summary of fresh and discussed materials.
  • Tell about the flow of the course and the required instructions.
  • Give a particular reason why you have decided to take this course.
  • Define the primary statements and theories learned from any critical course.
  • Interpret necessary arguments on their own.
  • Use real-life examples to explain your opinions.
  • Evaluate the relevance course.

Reflection on a project

  • Can one use the same structure as they had applied for the previous paper?
  • Try to talk about the pros and cons of the task performed plus the changes in the offer.
  • What are the difficulties faced by anyone while facing real-life conditions?
  • How to deal with urgent and challenging projects efficiently?

Reflection paper on an interview

  • Give a hint about the conclusion in the intro paragraph.
  • Introduce the main person in the starting.
  • Discuss the necessary viewpoints in the text.
  • Highly focus on the argumentative points.
  • Express what the most liking and disliking points in your opinion about the person are.

Reflective Paper on an article

  • What not to summarise in the article paper?
  • In the starting, explain the expectations in writing.
  • Describe the thoughts and reactions that had given you a great experience.
  • Analyze what you have read.
  • Try to make people happy by pointing the best inside them.

Reflective paper on a template

  • Explain the common goal which one wants to accomplish in their life.
  • Name the strengths and weaknesses which call help people to achieve their goals quickly.
  • Effect of personal experience on the life of others.
  • How to give life suggestions to a serious person?
  • Can one think positively for other’s success?

Sample of reflective paper

This sample is written for middle or high school people. The topic of a reflective paper is My little brother. The main purpose of writing reflective paper is to demonstrate the feeling of the arrival of a younger brother.

Within a short span of my life, I have gained many experiences that have influenced my life. Few experiences were quite good and others were quite bad. But the most memorable and good experience was birth of my younger brother.

Joy is someone my parents call an as happy accident. I was 14 years of age when my mother became pregnant. We were p[erfect family of three. I resented the fact that I would be having another sibling. Nothing needed to be added to our family, and my mother, already 38 at the time, was considered high risk because of her age. The pregnancy itself was full of complications that sent the straight course of my life into a rollercoaster. The moment my new baby brother came into this world, I realized two things nearly simultaneously. First, you don’t realize how much you need something until it’s sitting in your lap. Second, my life after this moment would never be the same. The moment he curled his chubby little finger around mine, I understood the words “happy accident” completely.

What can be the topics for making reflective paper inspiring?

If the students want to make a well-structured reflective paper, then it is necessary to choose a good topic, something like familiar or bothers you. Telling about the subject that stimulates you can be beneficial. However, students are not always allowed to select the topic on their own. If they get a chance, then they had to explore their skills for selecting only the best one.  Their students can find some of the great ideas for making reflective paper.

  1. Name about the things that have inspired you ever.
  2. How to deal firmly with frustration?
  3. Can one feel alone in the space or getting suspended?
  4. Describe your favorite place across the world. Give the reason.
  5. How can you admit the mistake made by you? Is there anything wrong to accept it on time?
  6. What do you feel after telling a lie to your closed ones?
  7. What is your opinion is the biggest challenge for life?
  8. Explain the top ten and essential qualities that make people actual human being?
  9. Is there any unusual place where you had visited at least once in your life? If it is not, then would you like to go there?
  10. What is the role of the school or college or university in the professional life of people?


Students of the college have to think about the facts behind choosing the correct topic for a reflective essay. It is not mandatory to connect every item with a personal issue; however, writing about the experienced subject can make a perfect reflective essay. If in any case, college students find it difficult to write up reflective papers can contact

Get Support Instantly
Quick Connect