Writing a Reflective Essay – An Ultimate Guide for Students

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How difficult is it for me to reflect back on my experiences and write about them? It is what you think until you sit down and start writing this essay. Suddenly when you sit down, you get a rude shock because this essay is not as easy as it seems. This essay requires you to reflect on your experiences, especially those that have impacted your life greatly. A reflective essay requires you to describe and analyse your life experiences.

As you are here reading this article, it means you do not have enough ideas to write this essay. Therefore, in today’s post, we will unpack all the writing guidelines for university students to write this essay. First, let’s define this essay.

What Is Reflective Essay Writing?

Reflective writings relate to some events and experiences that happened to you in your life. To write this essay, you need to analyse the experience or event, know its meaning, and learn the lessons which you have learned from that event. It is an essay that allows you to open up about your ideas and thoughts about a particular event. Although a reflective essay is very personal and subjective, you should maintain a formal tone throughout the essay.

Top Guidelines For Writing A Good Reflective Essay

Writing a reflective essay is a challenging task. The reason is that you need to brainstorm the key events that happened in your life and discuss the lessons you have learned from those events. However, with proper guidelines for writing this essay, you can write a good reflection essay quite easily. Hence, a brief description of the guidelines is as follows:

Choose A Topic To Reflect On

The first and most important to write this essay is to have a topic to reflect on. How can you write the essay if you do not have a topic? So, drown yourself in the sea of thoughts and choose a topic that sounds interesting to you. It could be an experience that has changed your life completely, the story of your interaction with someone whom you admire the most or a movie character that you like. Whatever the case is, choose your topic first.

Create The Mind Map for Reflective Essay

After performing the step mentioned above, it is time for you to create the mind map of the event that you decided to write about. A mind map is necessary because it allows you to approach your essay in an organised way. While creating the mind map, you must ask yourself questions about the event which you have chosen. Those questions could be:

  • What did you learn from that particular experience?
  • Would you want to alter anything about that experience? If yes, why?

Be Honest About Your Feelings

It is clear from the definition of a reflective essay that it is about sharing your feelings and thoughts about an event or experience. In order to write a good essay, you must not play with the feelings of your inner self. As the writer, you must be honest with your feelings and write what you feel about the event or experience. Also, when you describe your original feelings, the essay looks more original, authentic, and appealing.

Practice Freewriting for Reflective Essay

Before writing the actual essay, it is always helpful to write freely. Freewriting helps you to get going and gives you an idea of how much you can write. When you practice freewriting, do not stop to think and edit the essay. Just go with the flow and write what comes to your mind on the spot. The benefit of doing this is that the ideas get streamlined in your mind.

Start The Essay In Actuality

Once you have performed all the things mentioned above, it is time to start writing the reflective essay. In your essay, you first need to describe the event or experience that you are going to talk about. After the introduction comes the body paragraphs of the essay. In the body paragraphs, mention all the impacts and effects of that particular event on your life. Lastly, conclude the essay with an overall impression. However, if you still feel any difficulty in writing this essay, you can hire one of the best essay writing services to buy essay online.

Proofread, Proofread, And Proofread

Do not make the mistake of turning in your reflective essay without proofreading. The reason is that there are still many mistakes that need to be rectified in your first draft. So, you must go through the whole essay before submitting it and correct any spelling, contextual, and grammatical mistakes you see.


Conclusively, a reflective essay is one in which you reflect on the important events and experiences that happened to you in your life. The interesting thing about this essay is that there is nothing right or wrong in this essay. It is all related to your interpretation of the experiences. However, in order to write a good essay, following the above tips is a must.

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