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Learn how to write a reflective essay in 5 easy steps


Reflective essays help create new thoughts to the reader by interweaving personal ideas, objections, and experiences into the topic at hand. These are actually considered reflections and this allows you to explore your topic based on things around you, current events, or whatever subject matter you want to explore. The topic may be something that has changed your life or how you perceive something.

You may need to disclose some personal information about yourself, but the essay is not meant to be a confessional piece. You are reflecting on something that has happened on an intellectual level. While it may actually take more than 5 steps to write your essay, the following can give a general idea on what to expect during the writing process.


  1. The topic of your essay would be an event or something that happened to you to reflect on. You may begin analyzing this event further by exploring the feelings, emotions, and thoughts you experienced. This helps pave the way for your thesis.
  2. Your thesis statement can be the central idea for your brainstorming session. Also known as creating a road map, you can write down your thesis on a piece of paper, draw lines from it from different directions, and start writing thoughts that come to mind about it. These will become your supporting evidence for the essay. Select main talking points to further discuss that will become body paragraphs for your essay.
  3. Create your introduction paragraph. This should include your thesis statement, but you want to make this part of the essay strong and eye-catching while inviting the reader.
  4. Your following paragraphs should include supporting evidence or arguments about your topic. Each paragraph may detail an experience while you reflect on it.
  5. Your conclusion paragraph should summarize what you reflected on. You may present what you have learned or what you think others will get from it. You may even end the paragraph with a rhetorical question based on the subject matter to help the reader think more about the topic.

Other Details to Remember When Writing the Reflective Essay

The topic you select is likely anything you want to share that may have had a profound effect on you. The idea behind this type of essay writing is to exercise critical thinking skills. Give yourself time to think about your topic and remember to edit and proofread your final draft.

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