How To Write A Reflection Paper

December 31, 2022 support
how to write a reflection paper

Table of Contents

No matter where you study, essay writing is a standard practice among schools and colleges. The quality and quantity bar could be higher when it comes to high schools since students are still learning the ropes. However, in college, students should not expect anything less than extraordinary to write every time they are assigned a task.

There is more than a single popular type of essay that is popular in academia, for its scope and reaches. Among these, reflection paper holds a special place due to its subjectivity and reliance on external sources for validation.

In this blog, we will cover the definition, formatting, and a guide on how to write a good reflection paper. In addition to this, we will also shed ample light on some practical tips to pave a solid path for students.

What Is A Reflection Paper?

If the name is any indication, a reflection paper illuminates the personal approach or stance of the writer regarding a certain subject. Contrary to an expository essay where the writer only needs to convey factual information to the reader with no room for personal opinions and views, a reflection paper revolves all around the latter. The subjects of reflection papers can be diverse, from your favorite movie to the best book and so on. 

There are three significant types of reflection essays. The educational reflection essay deals with the review of a book or a movie whereas the professional one focuses on a person’s behavior from a teacher’s or a social worker’s point of view. In the personal reflection essay, the writer expresses his feelings and opinions on an intimate subject.

Format of A Reflection Paper

Formatting has its place of merit and points when it comes to academic writing. It is not enough to merely blurt out facts or opinions on a paper. It needs to be organized and symmetrical on that paper to ensure it leaves the desired effect. 

When it comes to formatting a reflection paper, these points should be kept in mind and followed:

  • Standard A4 papers
  • One-inch margins (vertical and horizontal)
  • 12-pt text size
  • Standard font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.)
  • Double spacing between lines
  • Citations according to guidelines
  • Ideal word count (250 – 750)

There is no point in dealing with variables yourself when you are assigned a task by the professor. In case of any issue, ask the teacher to help you resolve it.

How To Write A Solid Reflection Paper

Now that we have covered the definition and some guidelines on the reflection paper, it is time to learn how to write a good one. There are many bells and whistles, and many approaches that writers take, to conceive and apply the idea for a reflection paper. But the best one will be the one that will get you to the finish line. On a side note, if you cannot write a reflection paper, Write My Essay can help you with your assignment. All you need to do is place your order and we will deliver a submission-ready reflection paper before the deadline.

Now, to the guide on how to write a reflection paper!

Main Premise

The main premise of a reflection essay can take one of two possible routes. Either you can develop a kernel of the idea, amplify it through a thesis statement, and then build on and around it to complete the essay. On the other side, you can start naturally with no planning and structure. When things start to take shape, you can mold the narrative from there. The second option is a bit risky and can take more time compared to the first one.

Opening Remarks

Opening remarks or introduction is where you need to get the readers’ attention. It can be a relevant hook that can connect them with the subject without much hassle. Many writers make the mistake of taking off right from the beginning. This is not right. Also, after the successful execution of the hook, it is necessary to fill the readers in with some context or background information. The concluding lines of the opening remarks are the best place to state the thesis.

Main Body

The main body is called so because it is the heart and soul of any essay, including a reflection essay. If you don’t know what to do exactly in this section, fret not. Writers need to keep in mind that this section is where they explore and expand the thesis statement. The flow of the contents in the main body includes explaining the reason for choosing that topic, exploring the nuances logically, adding examples and quotes, and highlighting the effects of the subject.

Closing Remarks

Many students make the mistake of not putting much effort into the conclusion or closing remarks. This is a grave mistake as this section of the reflection paper is as effective to capture the imagination of the readers as other parts of the paper. The agenda for a conclusion or a closing section includes reiterating the main highlights of the essay, polishing and refining it to sound more persuasive, and answering the question that was put forward in the opening.

Types of Reflection Papers

There is more than one type of reflection paper, based on the focus, scope, and contents of the essays. We have covered the process to write one, but it is necessary to understand the variations so that students would know what to write and how to write it when they are assigned the task.

In this section, we are taking a hard look at four of the most common types of reflection essays.

Critical Reflection Paper

When it comes to writing a reflection paper, this is the most difficult one. It tests the studying and understanding capabilities of the writer and requires them to be proactive and vigilant in their take on the process. The flow of the process includes observing a subject, developing and testing hypotheses, formulating a theory, and then applying personal experiences to it to explain the subject.

Course Reflection Paper

In colleges, taking classes and passing exams is not very straightforward. Instead, students need to enroll in courses and then they would be able to attend classes. Often in the very course, they are asked to write a reflection paper. In that paper, they need to introduce the course, add a summary, the course flow, and instructions, providing the reason behind choosing that course.

Project Reflection Paper

College students take on projects where they go through the complete scientific process of problem-solving to cover the different aspects of the project. The structure of a project reflection paper is the same as that of a course reflection paper. The writer needs to highlight and showcase the structure and mechanics of the project along with its pros and cons, and the application in real-life.

Interview Reflection Paper

Many students go through the process of writing an interview reflection paper. It is an essay where the main subject is the interaction the writer had with someone. The best way to write this type of reflective essay is to introduce the person and go through the main points of the discussion. The writer can also express what he liked or disliked about the person under consideration.

Exemplary Topics For Reflection Paper

This section is dedicated to covering some of the topics that can help students in writing their reflection papers for college. They can either pick a topic as is or they can modify it to suit their needs.

  • All the things in the world that inspire you
  • Dealing with stress in college
  • The solitude of humans in the universe
  • The best place to be alone in the world
  • The admission of a mistake
  • What do you feel when you deceive someone?
  • The biggest challenge in your life
  • The most important qualities in people


How long should a reflection paper be?

There is no set word count for a reflection paper. The most widespread practice in this regard is somewhere between 300 to 750 words. Since it contains both your personal opinions and scientific backing to prove them, you need to have some space to accommodate that information.

What is the best way to write a reflection paper on a course?

When we say writing a reflection paper on a class, it means students need to write their take on a course. They can highlight the good and bad things, the depth of instructions, their reasons behind choosing that topic, and so on. It is also called a course reflection essay and we have explored it further in the blog.

Describe the major parts of a reflection paper?

The four parts of a reflection paper are as follows:

  • Main premise
  • Introduction
  • Main Body
  • Conclusion

We have taken a hard look at all of the sections of a reflection paper in this blog. Those who want to learn more about them can check out the relevant sections.

Do I have to experience it first before writing a reflection paper?

The main purpose behind writing a reflection paper is to get the unadulterated and original thoughts of the writer. If it is something that they haven’t experienced and faced in the first place, there is no point in indulging in that activity.

What are the 3 basic parts of a reflection paper?

Here is the rundown of the 3 basic parts of a reflection paper:

  • Reading, experiencing or taking note of the main source
  • Forming a preliminary opinion or idea
  • Refining and polishing that idea and strengthening it with citations

How do you write a good reflection paper?

There is no denying that writing a good reflection paper is a challenge, even for a seasoned professional. But, through planning and solid execution, writers can achieve excellence in their tasks. We have gone through the whole process of writing and editing a reflection paper in the blog that will help the writers set on the right course.

Final Thoughts

A reflection paper is the amalgamation of the writer’s personal views on a subject backed by empirical evidence. It is one of those types of writing that are both subjective and objective simultaneously. In addition to being used in colleges, it is also a standard practice in many corporate entities to engage employees and get their thoughts through reflection papers. We have gone through different aspects of reflection papers in this blog. We hope that students will find it useful in completing their tasks.

For those who cannot write the paper on their own, Write My Essay can help with excellent papers with brilliant citations and formatting. Contact us now!

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