Sharing your story in a reflective essay is not easy as it seems especially if you do not know how to go about it. A reflection essay consists of a critical analysis of a life experience, and with the right instructions, there will not be a stumbling block.

Reflective essays are a unique form of writing wthere you evaluate an experience and reflect on your own life. Strong evidence of your story is required to explain the scenes in your essay in an interesting manner. Below, we look into what is a reflective essay, its guide, format, and examples.

What is a reflective essay?

A reflection essay is an essay which lets you describe an experience or event, then examine the meaning of that event, and what you learned from it. It is not different from other essays, meaning, it has to be well structured and easily understood. The only contrast is that its content is something personal that occurred.

Writers need to open up about their feelings and thoughts when putting down a reflective essay. This is to show the reader a true picture of the author’s traits, history, and personality. Self-reflection essays must have a vivid description that the reader feels he has also experienced just by reading the author’s work. Even though reflective essays are personal and subjective, they must still be well organized and maintain a formal tone.

Reflective essay format

When writing an essay, the best way is to start with an outline that assists to get everything in order. Since a reflective essay describes your personal experience, you must first keep in mind the chronological order of events. Like any essay, the reflective articles must have:

  • An introduction
  • A body
  • A conclusion


The reflection essays rely on your feelings and experiences. When you begin to write, concentrate on the main parts of your story that will make your introduction a good one. It should be able to grab the reader’s attention. The reader decides if he wants to continue reading your essay or not in the introduction part.

When you want to provide a small overview of the reflection essay, you can briefly mention our essay’s main point related to your topic. Remember the introduction is supposed to give the reader a glimpse of the big picture in the body paragraph.


It is the heart of your essay and it is normally time-consuming if you are not well prepared. Normally on the body, you will have three paragraphs, with the first one beginning with a topic sentence. Here you will explain your idea while starting to describe the events in chronological order so that the reader easily understands.

The second paragraph will describe the main issues connected to the topic. Describe the events that have occurred in these parts vividly and you can use quotations related to the essay. In the last paragraph, describe your reflections about that event and the lesson you learned from that experience.


This is the summary of your story, and no irrelevant details should be added. It is the final piece that the reader reads, so it has to be strong it leaves him touched. You could also encourage the reader to do further on the topic.

Structure of reflective essay

When it comes to structuring, the reflective essay is different from the other essays. It will either use the MLA format or APA style.

When using the APA style, consider the following points:

  • Use Time New Roman
  • The font size should be 12, with all texts double-spaced
  • The page number should be inserted at the top right corner of the page

Also, in MLA format consider the following:

  • Use Time New Roman
  • The font size should be 12
  • All the titles of the essay are centred
  • On the last page, the essay should have the cited work

Otherwise, you are expected to customize your assignments based on the work requirements given by your lecturers.

Examples of reflective essay

Many writers have used the reflective essay style to share their experiences or the lessons they have learned through the personal event. Therefore, getting an example of a reflective essay is easy. You can either search for them on the internet or walk into a library and inquire from the librarian.

Find the perfect reflective essay topics

Before you go about deciding on the topic of your essay, keep in mind the definition of a reflective essay. Remember it is personal, and it reflects on your experiences by showing how they affected your life. For starters, you can think about an important event in your life that affected you, either positively, negatively, or both.

The most common reflective essay topics include a real experience, something you imagined, read, watched, or heard. You can also write about a place you have been like the mountains, countryside, desert or city.

Writing your reflection essay

In a reflective essay, your thoughts, ideas, and feelings should be well organized. When you scrutinize an example of a reflective essay, you realize all the events in the story are arranged logically so they are readily easily understood. Do not forget to state the strengths and weaknesses that you experienced.

Some of the steps you need to follow when writing a reflection essay are:

  • Choose a good topic that will make your writing phase interesting.
  • Research your selected topic.
  • Chart things out to keep track of all your information
  • Recognize your experience and state your lessons
  • Ask yourself some questions about your experience that relate to your topic
  • Follow the structure of the essay
  • Finish your essay, proofread and edit your essay

By now, writing a reflective essay can be tough, but with the right outline, you can easily write a good piece. Crafting a reflective essay has a personal aspect that comes with it. Even the tone and voice of the writing are also personal. Reflection essays take the reader through the author’s life and experiences. The format of a reflective essay is not rigid, it can change depending on who your audience is. Also, you can hire a paper writing services for excellent reflection essays.

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