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How to Write a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay portrays your thoughts and personal opinion on a particular topic, book, movie, event, or just about anything else. Writing this type of paper is a true exercise for your critical-thinking skills, and a way to express yourself as a person, to share your beliefs and viewpoints. Before you start writing you must clarify what is it that you want to reflect on, and how this topic affects you, how does it make you feel. As a style reflective essay mostly resembles standard book or movie reviews, and here you are only required to present your opinion as an author, without providing special evidences to support it.


Ask yourself personal questions about the topic of your reflective essay to be able to discover and later express your insights and begin writing it. Explore your perceptions to state your opinion. Summarize your answers to these questions into a single sentence - that's your main thesis that will guide your writing throughout the rest of your reflection essay. Present this topic in the first paragraph to introduce your readers into your thesis statement and key idea you'll later support in the following paragraphs.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the main area for you to present your arguments or ideas on the subject matter, to explain why and how you support the thesis statement, or why you don't like it, what is good and what is bad about it, etc. Feel free to express your real thinking and try to include factual statements, like what you've observed, to give substance to your reflections. The recommended count of body paragraphs is three, but if you feel what you have to say on the topic is important and should be shared, you can certainly go over this minimum.


In the conclusion of your reflective essay sum up all thoughts and opinions you've discussed in the body paragraphs, and briefly restate your main insight or thesis. You can finish the paper asking the readers to share their opinion on the matter writing their reflective essays, or you can end with an afterthought sentence that will intrigue the readers' interest into wanting to learn more on your presented topic. However, you must keep in mind that the reflective essay is a form that in general gives a personal assessment of a certain topic which may, but doesn't necessarily affect other people.
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