Best trusted tips on how to write a reflection paper 2021

Best trusted tips on how to write a reflection paper 2021

Few things measure up to the fulfillment of expressing your thoughts and feelings. In your course of study, certain subjects will require you to express your opinion on certain areas. In this article, we will discuss how to write a reflection paper and its significance.

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A reflection paper should be personal and subjective yet maintain an academic tone. It does not follow the strict constraints of academic writing. This type of paper allows you to communicate how an article, academic task, lecture, or experience influenced your thoughts on a certain subject. Here are a few tips on how to write a reflection paper.

What is a reflection paper?

You would define reflection as a criticism of a subject, idea, or purpose. Reflective learning is a technique that allows learners to use their critical thinking skills by evaluating what they have learned. It merges the role of social setting and experience in learning.

A reflection paper requires you to write your thoughts and opinions on a certain subject through your observation, analysis, and experience. This type of paper gives you a chance to write from your point of view rather than that of other scholars or writers.

There are a few types of reflection papers; educational, personal, professional, self-reflection, etc. each varying from the other by their tone.

  • an educational paper comprises an overview of literature, lecture, or film;
  • a personal reflection paper helps students evaluate their life experiences by communicating their thoughts and feelings;
  • a professional paper is common for those working or studying in education and social work;
  • a self-reflection essay paper usually describes experiences that have contributed most to an individual’s growth; these could range from academic projects to real-life experiences.


The format of a reflection paper

You might be curious about the reflection paper format to use. Reflection papers don’t usually follow a specific format. Most tutors recommend the use of Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting. This is because it is the easiest format usable to express views and opinions casually without any constraint. The word count required for a reflective essay usually ranges between 300-800 words long.

Writing a reflective paper outline


Your introduction should capture the subject of your reflection. You must create attention and interest in your introduction to keep your audience captivated from the beginning.

Display the most interesting aspects of your essay therein to encourage the reader to read more. Be sure to express your general position and view within your thesis statement.


The body should explore the thesis and ensure the discussion remains relevant to the topic. Avoid circling the same themes or repetition of ideas.

An easy approach would be to chronologically address events. The memory of your experiences will be orderly and clear rather than haphazard.

Do not focus too much on the summation of your experiences. Rather, critique and demonstrate the influence that experience has had on your life as well as the lesson learned. Do not shy away from expressing what you saw, heard, or felt.

how to write a reflection paper fast


In the conclusion of your reflective essay, summarize all the points put across within the essay and your key takeaways. You may include any change in perception or opinions as well as newly found insight. Remember not to introduce any new information in the conclusion of your reflection paper.

Some good ways to write your conclusion would be to blend in all major points from the body together and simplify all the insights gathered. As well, you may restate the thesis statement and recap all you have written in your paper.

Tips on how to write a reflection paper

The most valuable point on how to write a reflective essay is to always remember to be reflective rather than descriptive. Here is what a simple writing plan looks like;

Step 1

Choose your topic. If you haven’t been assigned a topic by your tutor choose one that most relates to you and your experiences. You may choose to write a summary of the lessons derived from your topic of choice.

Be honest about your feelings about your chosen topic. That way, your readers will relate to your views and understand your reflection better. 

Step 2

Illustrate ideas and experiences relevant to your chosen or assigned topic. Choose a suitable point of view and include any influences, memories, or attitudes.

At this point, you may choose to do a reflective essay outline. Come up with introductory and conclusive points for all the parts of your essay. This will ensure a great flow of ideas while writing your reflective essay.

Step 3

Analyze how your ideas and experiences have affected your reasoning. Add supportive themes as well as those that disagree with your views.

In case you feel stuck, use reflective questions. Do not be afraid to question you feelings, opinion and assumptions.

Step 4

Join the links between your observations, thoughts, and experiences. Identify any assumptions and biases you may have had as well as newly found perception.

Make your essay unforgettable and extraordinary by use of vivid detail. Keep it clear and concise through strong arguments throughout your essay. Refrain from including irrelevant information since reflection papers require a low word count. As much as the writing is personal remember to keep the tone of the reflection paper academic and professional.

tips how to write a reflection paper

Reflection paper example

Since we have the basics on how to write a reflection paper, check out our reflective essay example that may offer some useful insight on how to write one on your own.

In summary

As we have seen from the article above it is clear that it’s very easy to learn how to write a reflection paper. It is important to keep your work critical, logical, and depicting a reflective position as much as there may be some descriptive elements.

Merge your experience and the lessons you have learned from it while still focusing on your most basic thoughts and feelings towards the subject. Remember to make your essay memorable, short, and concise while maintaining a reflective but proficient tone.

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