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Home > English > Folio > Personal reflective essay


Personal reflective essay


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Writing a Personal Reflective Essay

In this type of writing, your purpose is to engage your reader with more than just a re-telling of a story. You must reflect on your experience and really outline how you have changed as a person and how your life has been affected or impacted.

Personal Writing

This is writing about something that has happened in your life and has really impacted on you for good or bad.

For example:

  • Something that has changed your life – birth, death, illness or an issue.
  • Something that really annoys you – racism, bigotry or social inequalities.
  • You will be writing about your memories of an event or experience which you had significant feelings about before, during and afterwards.
  • You are not re-telling the story.


This is perhaps the more difficult segment. When reflecting you really need to think about yourself and how the personal experience changed you.

  • You are reflecting on memories of your feelings, expressing them, reflecting on them with thoughts and opinions, and considering them with the power of hindsight (looking back).
  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • How have you grown? Developed? Changed?
  • Statements such as: “Looking back”, “I can see now” can all start the reflective thinking process.

A reflective essay:

  • Explores some aspect of the world.
  • Presents your thoughts and feelings on it
  • Discusses how you think it has affected the person you are today.
  • Describes the person you are/your opinions of yourself.
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Write reflective essay

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How to Write a Reflective Essay: Expert Tips, 50 Topics & Examples

How to Write Any Kind of Essay

Table of Contents

How to Write a Reflective Essay: Expert Tips, 50 Topics & Examples
What Is a Reflective Essay Assignment?
How to Write a Reflective Essay: Critical Elements
Preparing Reflective Essay Outline
Things to Discuss in Introduction to Reflective Essay!
Professional Opinion:
Working on Reflective Essay Thesis
How to Write a Conclusion for a Reflective Essay?
30 Exciting Reflective Essay Topics to Explore Yourself!
Good Reflective Essay Topics
Topics about Events
Personal Reflective Essay Ideas
Topics about Places
Reflective Essay on English Class
Reflective Essay Examples from Successful College Students
Where to Get Premium-Quality Help with High School & College Reflection Essay

How to Write a Reflective Essay: Expert Tips, 50 Topics & Examples

“To my mind, the character of Thor from “Thor: The Movie” reflects my personality. He is brave and honest compared to his greedy and selfish brother, so I adore the God of Thunder most of all!”

It is an extract from a reflective essay of an 8th-grade schoolboy. More complex reflective essay examples are available. In this article, students who wish to learn how to highlight their personality will discover effective writing tips and top reflective essay topics.


A reflection essay seems easy as you don’t have to defend one’s point of view or convince the reader of something. It has its challenges, so we recommend finding quick online help with academic assignments in the shape of professional writers & editors!

What Is a Reflective Essay Assignment?

A good question to start with is, “What is a reflective essay?” A reflective essay is a type of academic writing, in which the student has to test personal life experience/position towards a particular topic. Unlike in argumentative writing, the student does not have to defend the personal position. It does not require a complicated, professional language with some terminology. Do not define something – focus on sharing personal life experience, skills, development, and the most vivid examples to illustrate the topic.

The format of this essay depends on the target audience. A reflection essay student writes to meet the college writing standards has a different structure from the one a magazine writer should preset to reach the issue’s audience. Each reflective paper has a similar outline.

How to Write a Reflective Essay: Critical Elements

Personal writing helps students to stress their individuality by highlighting various skills, knowledge, behavior, feelings, and even mood. A reflective essay shows how the person changed over time and what factors played an important role in those metamorphoses.

Keep on reading this section to learn how to write different parts of the paper about yourself.

Preparing Reflective Essay Outline

The first thing every student needs to understand how to write a reflective essay is an effective, detailed outline. It has 3 typical sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraphs
  3. Conclusion

The assignment of this type does not require any references – the only person to refer is the student who decides to share his thoughts & ideas.

Find 3 main reasons to include an outline of this type of writing!

  1. An outline assists in laying out the details the student wants to leave after narrowing down the draft before working on the final paper. It prevents from concluding the essay by realizing something is missing.
  2. An outline provides a clear, concise roadmap, which prevents the writer from taking curvy paths and facing dead ends. It shows the way like a compass in the woods.
  3. An outline helps to save a plenty of time.
  4. An outline helps the potential readers , including teachers & classmates, to avoid falling off the main point when reading the essay partially.

Things to Discuss in Introduction to Reflective Essay!

Start with stating the primary focus of the personal reflection. Avoid being indirect and covering a range of topics; stay direct and concise by underlining the basic purpose of sharing a life experience.

Professional Opinion:

“Giving a preview of the most exciting part of the story is a clue. The target reader may lack time to read the full piece from cover to cover. “There are many things I have learned from Marketing class. The most valuable lesson I have obtained is checking the effectiveness of 2 different approaches or services through utilizing a so-called A/B testing.” It will make the reader think what is special about this specific method. The reader will go on reading the body paragraphs to find out!”

Professor Hemsworth, History & Anthropology teacher and academic writer at NerdyMates

Another way to attract attention in the introductory paragraph is to come up with the intriguing hook sentence like statistics, fact, quote, metaphor, rhetorical question, or joke. It depends on the mood of the reflective essay.

Working on Reflective Essay Thesis

Some people may say that a reflective essay does not need a thesis. However, the example shared in the previous section talking about introduction is an example of the inspiring thesis statement . Include at least a summary of the primary idea. The best idea would be to focus on previewing the peak of the plot development or highlighting the most valuable lesson learned.

“Now I realize the value of sports in the life of every student. The swimming courses I visit since 13 are the great example of the way to support positive thinking and healthy body.”

How to Write a Conclusion for a Reflective Essay?

The body paragraphs interpret the way the author evolved or what he/she has absorbed from a particular life lesson (mention 3 different lessons). The student should mention the circumstances that forced him to pass a certain way. If you study a subject like English Literature or Arts, the paper’s prompt may ask you to describe how you changed as a field professional during the course of study. It is important to choose a specific interval of time to list the improvements. Compare & contrast the initial skills to the knowledge you have today. It is a great idea to tell the audience the ways various tasks, challenges, and lessons made the author grow since the beginning of his education.

Check this awesome example of a reflective essay:

There is no need to conduct research to collect the supporting evidence. The author alone is responsible for defending every stated claim with the help of vivid examples that describe the topic the best. Example: In case the student has become more professional in the field of writing, he should list the causes of those changes (new English teacher, more practice at home, part-time job related to the field of writing). Who knows – some of the ideas may be used by other students to succeed!

The last challenge is to prepare an impressive, inspiring, and powerful conclusion, which will make the target readers want to develop the same positive way! Write a conclusion regarding the way you have changed over a given period of time. Share some forecast by looking ahead: how the experiences listed in the essay would influence further personal development. By looking at the past events, decide which of them was the most important. The good idea is to compare & contrast past and future events to stress the gaps between the obtained skills and experience, possibly gained in the future.


30 Exciting Reflective Essay Topics to Explore Yourself!

It is time to cover the list of reflective essay topics. The top students and their college professors recommend personalized, interesting ideas that could give a hint to other adolescents.

Good Reflective Essay Topics

  1. Personal trait the author likes most about himself
  2. Greatest phobia the student has faced
  3. Ways to overcome adversity
  4. Methods to do homework fast
  5. Biggest strength of the author
  6. Student’s greatest achievement to date
  7. Most vivid holiday memory
  8. Lessons learned from the first official date
  9. Describing the situation, in which the student faced a complex moral dilemma
  10. Discussing the biggest ethical issue in life

Topics about Events

  1. Describe some unforgettable events from your school years
  2. Tell about the moment you have realized something bad had happened
  3. Wildest party you were at
  4. Moment that divided your live on two periods
  5. Very first time you were at home alone
  6. Most dangerous natural disaster you have witnessed
  7. Day you have moved to another city
  8. Your most successful sports experience
  9. Day you met your pet
  10. Day you have realized how huge is our planet

Personal Reflective Essay Ideas

  1. Surviving blindness of the example of close friend
  2. Staying alone for the first time in a life
  3. Sharing room on campus with another student
  4. Living under one roof with parents
  5. Previous summer job experience (ice-cream seller, waiter, etc.)
  6. What was the best winter location to celebrate Christmas?
  7. Who does the student admire out of the female celebrities?
  8. What kind of relationships does the author have with his/her mom?
  9. Traits to look for when choosing a partner
  10. The most helpful thing an old man told me

Topics about Places

  1. Your room in parents house
  2. A special place in your previous office
  3. The city of your childhood
  4. Your father’s garage
  5. Your middle school
  6. A railway station in some unknown city
  7. A concert hall before a show
  8. The woods near your house
  9. A parking lot
  10. Your favorite cinema

Reflective Essay on English Class

  1. The most hurtful thing the student heard in his life
  2. Describing the period of deep, personal depression
  3. Things that make the author laugh
  4. Discussing the loudest & most exciting gig
  5. Attending guitar lessons
  6. Launching personal small business
  7. The process of studying foreign languages
  8. The impact of technology on the personal development
  9. The tastiest food based on personal investigation
  10. Favorite book/movie/author/band (do not confuse such type of reflective essay with the movie review )

Reflective Essay Examples from Successful College Students

No recommendations, tips & tricks help the students to understand the way a particular assignment should look like in the end as effectively as the examples. The article contains one of the up-to-date reflective essay examples from a college student.

Where to Get Premium-Quality Help with High School & College Reflection Essay

The person explains personal progress with the help of Facebook experience. It may sound a bit commercial. The writer has a right to promote what he likes in the reflective essay. Do not forget to combine the description of the tools that helped you to develop with the personal experience & real-life examples.

Are you aware of the places to look for other great reflective essay examples ? The best idea is to download free examples of reflective essays from the professional academic writing team, which posts only checked papers online.

Students can buy a custom reflection essay to get rid of their homework problems at once – move to the academic writing website to fill out the order form now! Your assigned writer will handle any homework assignment with a blink of an eye!