How to write a reflective essay: structure and useful tips 

How to write a reflective essay: structure and useful tips 

The worst nightmare of any student - you’ve got an assignment to write the reflective essay and you have no idea either what it is or how to write it.

Here you have two ways to solve your problem. One is to buy college essay from one of the reliable writing services which will save you from stress and deadline issues. Another way is to give it a shot and try to write it yourself. Well, this article will be useful for both.

So, what is the difference between an essay and a reflective essay? What are the peculiarities of a reflective essay and how to write it correctly? Let's try to understand this and more.

Peculiarity of reflection

To start with, let us understand what is meant by reflection. Different sources give different definitions, so let us try to combine them into one.

Reflection involves a logical and coherent presentation of one's thoughts on a particular issue or problem. In the process of reasoning, evidence and arguments are used, from which certain conclusions are drawn. Arguments and conclusions are part of the structure of reasoning, which I will discuss later.

Your goal is to find and describe the causes of various phenomena, using a thesis (a statement) and arguments (why you think so or not). The thesis is at the beginning and it is what you need to prove using arguments.

The interesting thing is that your paper can be based on an assertion (that the thesis presented is true) or a rebuttal (proving that the thesis is false). You can use direct facts or arguments to the contrary, rely on personal experience or movies, or give examples from life or literature as tools of proof.

What is tested by a reflective essay?

Before you begin your reasoning essay, it's important to think about what your teacher wants you to do. And he or she is testing your skills by asking you to write an essay:

  • perceive and understand unfamiliar information;

  • analyze the author's position;

  • analyze the form of the text and the way it is presented;

  • express one's point of view;

  • use the richness and capacity of language to formulate one's position;

  • work with spelling and syntax norms.

Focus on these requirements as you prepare for your reflective essay: they will help you avoid difficulties and surprises during the essay writing process.

The structure of a reflective essay

A reflective essay is written according to a certain layout. It consists of:

  • introduction. As a rule, it is small and serves to smoothly approach the main problem of the essay (a question or a quote);

  • thesis. Located immediately after the introduction and is the starting point in the reasoning - the statement about which we will argue in the text;

  • arguments. The main thing is that they should be probative and convincing.

You may use as an argument in a reflective essay:

  • historical fact;

  • statistical data;

  • episodes and the plot of a work of literature;

  • statements by people with authority in the field.

More than half of the essay's total length is devoted to the argument. From experience, the optimal number of arguments is three.

The structure is conventionally divided into three parts: the introduction, the main part, and the conclusion.

Introduction to the reflective essay

As it was mentioned before, you can use a question or a quotation for the introduction. They should lead smoothly to the main problem of the essay. If it is difficult to find a suitable quotation or question, write about the relevance of the topic and the importance of talking about it. It is good to make the introduction with an excursus into the history of the problem, examples from various printed and oral sources, etc. Balance is necessary and important in everything. Where there is a right, there must also be left.

The main part of the reflective essay

Here we equip ourselves with arguments and prove our point: the reader must come to believe that your reasoning is correct. How do we do this? Use introductory words and phrases, special sentence-linking structures, and lots of examples.

The main body of the essay is ⅔ of the whole essay.

First, it is worth recalling one of the philosophical laws of the "unity and struggle of opposites. The definitions of "good" and "evil" reveal the essence of the law. Secondly, nothing can be interpreted unambiguously. The good as we understand it is not the same as the good as someone else understands it. Moreover, it can be traced to evil.

Conclusion in a reflective essay

The final section should summarize the above. If necessary, the key ideas can be repeated, but with the addition of some generalization. Alternatively, you can share your impressions of the problem described.


Everyone who reads the novel will make certain discoveries. In particular, the good is always next to the evil. And people in life, like the characters in the novel, are not as simple and straightforward as we think.

What conditions must be met in a reflective essay

Note the four important conditions - the features of a reflective essay - that you must meet in order for it to be rated highly:

  • Relevance of the thesis to the topic of the essay

  • The presence of valid arguments

  • Logically related parts of the paper

  • A competently worded conclusion

  • Check arguments for logicality using the basic laws of logic

Speech Clichés for an Essay Essay

To help you grasp the logic, there are a few examples that all the top essay companies use for each part of the paper:

  • Many people have thought more than once that...

  • The main problem facing society is the...

  • This article examines...

  • The author draws attention to...

  • The author's position is expressed in...

  • The author's main emphasis in the article is on...

  • I agree with the author in...

  • I don't quite understand the author's position...

  • First of all...

  • Secondly...

  • Therefore...

  • Consequently…

7 points to consider

What to consider when working on a reflective essay:

  • Approach the essay as creative work. In the end, you are creating a completely new product, albeit based on other products (original text and other texts);

  • Pay attention to the topic of the essay, especially when you choose it yourself. The topic should make sense to you and set the course of reasoning;

  • Formulate the problem of reasoning intelligently. An original and paradoxical problem is the key to success;

  • Pay attention to the description of the idea. The quality of arguments depends on how accurately it is described;

  • Choose the best arguments. There is no doubt that you can find many arguments, but among them, you must choose the most indisputable and strongest;

  • Work on the structure of your essay. Correct structure is the key to a high score;

  • Develop key sentences and words. This way you can present good and well-reasoned arguments in your argument.

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