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How to Write a Reflection Paper

Every student, no matter successful or not, has heard about such a term as reflection paper. However, not everyone knows what it means, and how to create it properly, how to focus, and to choose a good topic. Such an assignment is pretty typical for college and raises lots of questions among students. Not everyone can recall the most pleasant experience related to it, and lots of you would love to get some help. So to write such an academic task well, you should be aware of all the rules and peculiarities of the writing process and know for sure what information it may include. Don’t hesitate to use our tips as a personal academic helper. You will definitely find educational assistance below in our text.

What is a Reflection Paper: The Major Definition

It is what it is – just your reflection on a specific topic, for example, a movie, an idea, a book, etc. However, keep it in mind is less formal than any other essay. So to write it, you need to write your opinion on a specific topic and reply to a reflective question.

Step by Step Writing Flow

Before starting to write your reflection paper, you should find out what type of it you need to write. So better pay attention to the following types of these academic papers and follow the main idea of each of them. Remember that editing any work a couple of times is much more complicated than doing everything as it should be from the very beginning. So starting the earliest possible would be helpful, no matter whether you work on an essay or a research paper.

1. Types of Reflection Papers

The way how you write your paper depends on its type. We can point out three main types of reflection essay:

  • Education – your opinion on a lecture you were reading, film, or a book to find out what you’ve learned in the academic process.
  • Personal – your feelings or thoughts on personal themes.
  • Professional – the analysis of your professional behavior, as a rule, among social workers and professors. You should answer the most critical questions.

Every type mentioned above requires some general approach, so find out how to write your essay. This article will guide you step-by-step.

2. Choosing a Topic and Subject

If you have to write and educational or academic reflection paper, you will be assigned a particular topic in your educational establishment. As a rule, you will have to express your opinion on something you studied in class (film, book, lecture experience). But sometimes, you are allowed to choose your topic.

Devote some time to the analysis of the central theme no matter whether you were assigned it or chose it yourself. Your whole essay will depend on its subject, and you will show what kind of author you are. The topic sentence should be eye-catching.

3. Brainstorming and Outline

Work on a summary before you start writing. It will help you organize the flow of your thoughts accurately. Write down all the ideas you have that you think are related to the topic. You can use different lists, charts, or diagrams for brainstorming your essay and join the community of happy students who manage to complete such tasks efficiently. Every stage is essential for every student.

4. Organization is Key

A good outline is vital to your success. So please include a strong introduction to your reflective paper. After that, you can focus on the thesis and work on your body to explain the main idea. The conclusion has to be short but intense, summarizing everything you mentioned before. Essay writing is not the most straightforward task. But this experience will be worthy.

5. Important Tips

You can write your reflective paper in your own style. However, keep it as follows:

  1. Short (250-750 words);
  2. Precise;
  3. Containing only academic tone;
  4. Include citations;
  5. Don’t forget to proofread it.

Reflection Paper Outline

It is not a difficult part. You should write it as any other high school paper, including the following sections:

  • Introduction;
  • Body paragraphs;
  • Conclusion. 


Here you highlight the topic of your essay and its importance.


Describe the subject of your paper and analyze the topic and its assessment. The sentence number depends on your wish, but do not make it too long.


Summarize everything you already said with different words, don’t create your conclusions using the same thoughts or sentences.

A Little Bit of Formatting

As a rule, professors recommend using the MLA format for your reflection papers. What does it mean? It is effortless:

  • A single-inch margin on the top, bottom, and both sides;
  • White 8 ½  x 11” page;
  • The first word in every paragraph is indented;
  • 12 Arial or Times New Roman font;
  • The entire text is double spaced.

When it comes to this kind of paper, write everything with individual attention.

How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book?

Every student should learn it if he or she wants to become a journalist or a reviewer. Even if you plan to work on your blog, this information will be beneficial to you. When working on it, you should include the following information:

  • Title;
  • Information about the author;
  • Plot summary;
  • The analysis of the main characters;
  • Your reaction to the book.

Tips on How to Write a Course Reflection Paper

Criticizing courses is one of the favorite tasks of students. If you want to do it too, follow such a scheme:

  1. Provide the name of the course, summary of the discussed material, and how you received the instructions;
  2. Write about the main theories and concepts with your own words;
  3. Write about your personal feelings regarding everything described, use real-life examples to evaluate them;
  4. Write your conclusion – was it helpful or not?

How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Project?

Here you should use the same tactics as in the cases mentioned earlier. Just write “project” instead of “course.”

How to Write a Reflection Paper on an Interview?

There is one absolute rule for everyone who wants to write a reflection paper on an interview:

  • Record the conversation to hear every single word of it;
  • Provide your reasons for choosing that interview;
  • Write the subject of the discussion;
  • Now share your feelings about the person being interviewed.

10 Reflection Paper Ideas for You to Pick the Topic

Sometimes, the choice of topic is one of the most challenging tasks for students. Here are some interesting themes to think on and who knows, you could get inspired by them or use one of them for your own reflection paper:

  1. How my best friend deeply hurt me.
  2. The worst day of my life.
  3. The most favorite traveling destination of my family.
  4. How I participated in a rugby game.
  5. The event broke my heart.
  6. My last year’s trip to Indonesia.
  7. The situation in which I felt ashamed.
  8. One person who changed my life.
  9. The role of the college for my self-establishment.
  10. My impressions from the book of one of my favorite authors.

Where to Find a Free Example of Reflection Papers and Get Help?

You can always review the internet and find examples of good reflection papers or download them from our site.

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