Reflection Paper on a Book APA Complete Guide & Sample

Reflection Paper on a Book APA Complete Guide & Sample

A reflection paper on a book in APA format entails the writer giving a summary of thoughts and opinions on their book’s reading experience.

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Whether you attend a local college or university, you will need to write a reflection paper on a book at some point in your academic life. A written assignment on a reflection paper is the perfect chance for a writer to express their thoughts on an issue. This is a rare opportunity for a student to express their thoughts as most academic assignments have strict rules that a writer should adhere to.

reflection paper on a book APA

Reflection paper assignments offer students the chance to focus on things in their perspective and then share the perspective with other people. Also, reflection papers are a good way to analyze student progress on the part of the instructor. Students, on the other hand, can use reflection papers as a way to understand more about themselves. So, here is more that you need to know about writing a reflection paper:

Reflection Paper Definition And Examples Of Reflection Papers

A reflection paper refers to a discussion on a particular subject. Instead of one giving facts in a subject, they give their thoughts and opinions on the subject topic. Therefore, one can write a reflection paper on different subjects such as a movie, book, or concept. A reflection paper can take three main angles namely;

Personal Reflection Paper: In this reflection paper, the writer expresses their feelings on a personal subject. The personal subject could be a person close to them or an experience they had.

Educational Reflection Paper: This is the kind of reflection paper that a student would write in the course of their studies. This reflection paper requires a student to give their response to a class lecture, film, or book. Education reflection papers are common at different levels of education.

Professional Reflection Paper: This type of reflection paper is common among professionals, such as social workers and instructors. Such a reflection paper looks into analyzing a particular person’s behavior and reactions to come up with a meaningful conclusion.

The Outline of a Reflection Paper

There are two main approaches that one can take when writing a reflection paper:

  1. First, you can start a discussion on a particular topic and give a hint on the conclusion. In this approach, you should give an idea of where you are headed with your discussion but leave room for doubts. After that, you will then go ahead and give a critical analysis in the body section of the paper. Finally, you should give a conclusion that is different than what was expected at first
  2. Come up with a strong thesis statement which is a summary of the main idea of your paper. Develop your paper’s body using arguments that support the thesis statement. Lastly, give a conclusion of the facts by summarizing the facts.

The Introduction

When starting your reflection paper, you want to capture the attention of a reader. Since you will be expressing your feelings and experiences, give a reader an insight into what to expect in your paper. First, come up with a thesis statement which summarizes the purpose of the reflection paper in one sentence. The introduction of a reflection paper should be catchy, brief, and informative.

The Body

This section of a reflection paper gives you the opportunity to explore your thesis. One should expound on the thesis in multiple paragraphs. Usually, most reflection papers have a structure of three paragraphs. The first paragraph is an introduction to the experience and the influence it had. The next two paragraphs should be a comparison of experiences. In every paragraph, you should dig into the details of the experience, and you should indicate examples and sources.

The Conclusion

This forms the bottom line of your paper and should demonstrate the full formation of your ideas. The conclusion of a reflection paper should be solid, and you can ensure that by placing strong accents when wrapping up the discussion you have had in the body. Finally, to fulfill the purpose of a reflection paper, leave readers with an image of your experience.

General Formatting for a Reflection Paper

Like any other academic paper, one should format a reflection paper before they can deem it complete. The common formatting guidelines for a reflection paper are:

  • The use of a readable font
  • The text size of 12-point
  • Double spacing between lines
  • Adequate word count
  • Margin size of 1 inch on both sides
  • Standard A4 paper size
  • Proper citation

When formatting an educational reflection paper, the instructor always gives students formatting guidelines. These guidelines give finer details on the assignment, such as the citation style a student should use, word count, and even subject topic. A student should follow the formatting guidelines that the instructor issues alongside other instructions.

reflection paper on a book APA

Types of Reflection Papers

Reflection Paper on an Interview

In such a reflection paper, always introduce the interviewer at the beginning. Consequently, you should then discuss viewpoints from the interview, paying extra attention to the controversies. Also, discuss the elements you dislike in the person.

Reflection Paper on a Project

This reflection paper uses a similar structure to the one you would use in a research paper. You will be talking about the advantages and disadvantages of the project and offer recommendations. Further, expound on the difficulty and relevance of the project in real life.

Reflection Paper on a Course

This task calls for a reflection on a particular course. You will need to give the reader the name of the course with a short description of the same. Also, give the reader a summary of the course flow, instructions, and material. After that, explain to the reader the major theories and concepts in the course and your interpretation of the same. Lastly, wrap up your reflection by explaining the relevance of the course.

Reflection Paper on a Book in APA

When writing a reflection paper on a book, give the reader information about the title of the book and the author. Go ahead and give a brief summary of the book giving more focus to the characters in the book. Give an explanation of the issues that the author has addresses and the influences of the issues. Lastly, you should explain to the reader your reaction after reading the book and the lasting impressions you have had from the book.

Writing a Reflection Paper on a Book in APA

It is essential that you learn how to write a reflection paper on a book as your instructor might require you to write one at a point in your coursework. Such a task will be an essay roughly 2-3 pages long, and it allows you to share your thoughts and experiences after reading a book.

The Importance of Writing a Reflection Paper on a Book

Writing a reflection paper on a book is critical as it helps students analyze their experience after reading a book. A reflection paper is not a summary of experiences and thoughts. Instead, the writing process is majorly analysis and deconstruction. The instructor requires a student to dig deep into the events while expressing thoughts on certain elements. The analysis, discussion, and reflections are purely on personal opinion basis.

In addition, reflective writing helps one engage and connect with reading. When writing a reflection paper on a book, you can opt to focus on a particular passage in the book or the theme of the book.

However, although the thoughts in the reflection paper are personal, you should use an academic tone. You need to use an informal approach in expressing your ideas while keeping the right paper structure. In short, a reflection paper on a book is a dialogue between a reader and the writer, and in this case, the writer is the one who has read the book they are reflecting on.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Reflection Paper on a Book?

No matter the book you are reading, there are some characteristics that a good reflection paper on a book should possess. It is important for one to understand these characteristics before writing so that the final product has each of them. These characteristics include:


A reflection paper on a book is different than a story-telling essay. The paper should indicate the critical thinking skills of the writer. A reader should notice that you are giving a book analysis carefully analyzing the content of the book. Similarly, the deeper evaluation of the book helps a reader determine the writer’s perception of the book. The main purpose of reflective writing is for the writer to express his reasons and thoughts on the book in a certain way.


The reflection paper on a book should be concise, clear, precise, and correct. Before you label your reflection paper polished, see to it that you revise your reflection paper on a book numerous times. Specifically, a thorough editing process after writing your reflective essay in a graphic organizer will help you scrutinize the paper and eliminate any errors it might have to so it meets the quality standards of a quality reflection paper.


You are required to write down your thoughts on a book from your reading experience. That, however, does not mean that the reflection paper should be like a diary. The reflection paper should follow the structure and format of reflective writing. There should be a goal that reflective writing seeks to accomplish—to make a reader understand your thoughts and opinions on a book.


The reflection on the book should express personal opinions and thoughts on a book. As a result, it would be wrong to give the opinions of another reader. The paper should demonstrate your position in the book.

Guide to Writing a Reflection Paper

Writing a reflection paper on a book will entail five different steps. Each step is significant on its own, and one step connects to the subsequent step. These steps follow consequentially and are as follows:


If you have handled any type of assignment before, you acknowledge that preparation is a step that any student must undertake when they have an assignment. In the event that the instructor gave you a prompt for your task on writing a reflection on a book; you should take time to understand the writing prompt. First, think about the writing prompt throughout your process of reading the book that your reflection paper will be on. That will help you create a reflection paper that will meet all the specific requirements from your instructor.

Moreover, an analysis of your writing prompt will help you come up with ideas for your reflection paper. You should then organize your ideas in a way that you get an outline for your paper. The right outline will include the points that you want to be in your paper. In addition, the points in your paper should flow logically so that you come up with a perfect paper.


Just because you should give your personal view on a book in a reflection paper on a book, you should not just include write down your thoughts. The paper is an academic assignment and should have an introduction. Thus, the introduction should have a clear thesis statement. Like other sections of your paper, the introduction should have a central theme. The thesis statement should reflect your reading experience while not missing out on the acquired knowledge after completing reading the book.

One way of writing a good introduction is letting the reader know the expectations you have of the book you want to read and the attitude you have when reading the book. At the same time, give your first impression of the book and the experience you had after reading the book.

The Body

After stating your thesis statement in the introduction, your body should focus on expounding on this thesis statement. When expressing your reading experience in the body, you should not be general at all. In other words, the body gives you the opportunity to write all the nitty-gritty of your reading experience. Demonstrate to your reader all how you arrived at the conclusions you have about the book. That means that you should cite certain examples from the book and quote excerpts to validate your observations. Specifically, illustrations and citations from the book will help you approach the topic of the paper in a concise yet clear manner. That will help a reader to understand the reading experience and connect it with the acquired knowledge.

reflection paper on a book APA


Throughout the body of your reflection paper on a book, your sole focus is to support the thesis statement using clear examples from the book in mention. In the conclusion section of your paper, you need to summarize your feelings and thoughts from the reading experience. Therefore, the summary should be within the limits of the stated points in the body and provided evidence. The conclusion should discuss the implication of the main points. A reader should understand the summary of your paper by reading the conclusion alone.

How to Start a Reflection Paper on a Book in APA Format

When writing a reflection paper for a book, and you want to format it using the APA format, here are key formatting elements to put in mind:

Word Format

The words in your paper should use the Times New Roman font with 12-point size. The paper should be double-spaced with a margin of 1-inch on both sides of the paper. The paper should have the word count as per the paper instructions


You should include a header for every page which should have a maximum of 50 letters. The header should be on the left-most part of the page. In the header, you should indicate the title of the reflection paper in capital letters. The paper should have page numbers that appear on the extreme right corner of every page.

Title Page of a Reflection Paper

The title page of a paper serves as the cover of a book. It should include the reflective essay title, the author of the paper and institutional affiliation. The title of the reflection paper will on the extreme left, then followed by the words’ running head’. In addition, the name of the author and the institution should follow at the center and should be single-spaced. The page number will then appear on the right.

reflection paper on a book APA


In the APA format, you need to write an abstract which is a summary of your paper. Often, APA format calls for the use of second-person and third-person voice in writing the abstract. However, Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) accepts the use of first-person voice in the abstract of a reflection paper on a book. The abstract should be in block text form in that it appears as a rectangle of words. The maximum number of words in an abstract is 250 words.

Outline for a Research Paper in APA Format

When writing a research paper and you need to format it in APA, here is the outline that you would want to follow:


The first part of your research paper is always the introduction, and it should grab the attention of the reader. Also, the introduction should clarify the topic and the purpose of your research. An introduction should contain the following parts:

  • A hook—it can be a quote, question, or fact that should entice the reader.
  • A statement that summarizes the main problem in the paper
  • Background: this refers to more information on the problem to help a reader understand what your research work is about.
  • Thesis—this is a short statement on what your work focuses on.

The Body

The body of a research paper can have 3-5 paragraphs whereby each paragraph should tackle a single idea. Every paragraph should contain the following:

  • A topic sentence which expresses the main idea
  • The research concept
  • Extra details to support the idea
  • Transition statement to connect to the next idea


After expounding on different points, you should give your reader a summary of the entire research work.


The last part of the research paper is the conclusion where you should restate the thesis statement. Lastly, you should reflect on the research work you carried out and give suggestions for future research work.

Reference Page

Since you carried out research work, there is no doubt you obtained your results from different sources. You should list every research resource you used in the reference page.

Importance of an Outline for a Research Paper

An outline for a research paper is essential to delivering a high-quality research paper. The main functions that an outline for research paper plays are:

  • Helps one to write the paper in the right structure
  • Ensures that you include all the points and ideas you want to highlight in your paper
  • Assists one in staying focused on the purpose of the paper

The topic of your paper will influence the outline that the APA paper will take; therefore, there is no standard way to structure your plan for an APA research paper. However, some elements will make your writing easier, such as:

The Format of the Outline

There are many outlines that a writer can use when presenting their paper in the APA format. The highlighted format above is the most common. When writing your paper, use the roadmap to showcase the main and sub-points of your work. Other outlines for research papers include the following:

Full-Sentence Outline

This is a detailed plan which helps a writer to describe what is going on in each section of the paper. This, particularly, is important when you are writing your work for another person, and you want them to have a clear understanding of every detail.

Decimal Outline

This plan works best for complex papers that handle different topics and topics. If your research paper has lots of data that you need to present and analyze, this is the best outline to use and stick to.

Consider choosing an outline that suits the kind of research paper you are writing. That way, you will have a sure roadmap that you can use to present your research work properly.

Do you have an English reflective essay assignment that requires you to write a reflection paper on a book in APA? If yes, the above steps will help create the right reflection paper on any given book using the APA format. Also, if you experience any difficulty in writing your reflection paper in APA or you have any questions on any of the above steps, you can always seek professional help from My Homework Writers. The experts at My Homework Writers endeavor to help students with their assignments, so they can get good grades. In addition, you can as well visit Myhomeworkwriters.com to check out more information on My Homework Writers and other writing services that you can get.

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