How to Write a Reflection Paper: Instructions and Tips

How to Write a Reflection Paper: Instructions and Tips

Writing is a task that is assigned to students in their school life. In most cases, students are required to write down their assignment before handing them over to their lectures. College or university students, at some point, are needed to develop a reflection paper. Before one begins to engage in the writing process, they would have first to understand it because that could be a valuable consideration.

So, reflective papers are types of articles whereby the writers show their experience in the sectors and aspects which influence their lives through a thoughtful process and then communicating their thoughts via an article. This can be derived from the books they read, the people they meet, their classroom experiences, plus even the programs one watches, and their influences.

Mostly, reflection papers are subjective and particular. The fact that these kinds of documents are writable and straightforward as compared with some categories of articles, it must be prepared plus its presentation in such a way that is academic plus professional. It requires research work just as many articles do. However, the level of research is not as intense as comparative essays, argumentative essays, or Vis a Vis the expository dissertation. The underlying datum is that its quality ought to reflect an educational mood.

In essence, how to write a reflection paper entails an understanding of some basic principles besides appreciating that such articles fulfill an essential academic role. Lecturers use the paper to communicate some important messages as they explore more about their students via these essays. The articles enable the student to tell more about themselves to their lecturers.

To the student, reflection papers are essential and beneficial in the sense that they allow the students to tell their assessors the details about some specific articles, lessons, and class sections. Components making up reflection papers are essential because they help in creating an interactive platform whereby lecturers identify the particular needs of the students and address them effectively. Among the reasons why it is imperative to articulate the points so logically and vividly is informed by such interactivity aspect of the task. Also, you must come up with a good organization that will visually present your points so well besides having a reflection paper thesis.

When these guiding principles are put into consideration, then the creation of papers becomes generally attractive to writers. However, creating an essay comes with rules writers need to apply in making reflection papers attractive in addition to interesting; otherwise, chances of attracting the readers are considerably diminished.

Process of Drafting Reflection Papers

Creation of reflection papers as earlier stated may either become fun and tasking at the same time. Mastering how to write a reflection paper, the following concepts apply:

Identify the Sources of Inspiration or Materials that are Important

There is some information or material that we consider as very significant or most influential. Given that you will use these materials or sources to create a reflection paper thesis in addition to the article eventually, sorting out the sources as well as listing them becomes imperative.

  • Where a requirement is that students do a presentation in their class or tasked to compose specific quotations, what they need to remember is that they will have to summarize the essential points they'll need to draft the reflection paper.
  • For experiences, make a note of particular portions of your knowledge before putting them down on paper for your readers.

Considerable Points about Reflective Papers

Clarity and Conciseness

Whereas this paper remains to be subjective and dispenses more personal information, it is essential to present it in a more precise and concise manner. Logically, the article can only be useful when it gives the readers your thoughts in succinctly without circumventing the most critical points. Unless the paper is well written, your readers will not be able to get your ideas in a way you want them to.

Have a Thematic Concept

Reflective papers must present an idea that is based on some theme. Consider a theme and let it drive the general concept as contained in the article to the very end. A more simplest and relaxed means of generating a decent theme for the reflection paper hinges on reflecting on the thoughts first and writing them all in the form of a sentence or two sentences. The sentences with the ideas gathered will become a portion of the focal points you will be communicating. Also, decide with regards to the reason why the feelings kept on crossing the mind; probably they are what you need to write the reflective essay and the reflection paper thesis. Remember that how you organize your thoughts will substantially influence the outcome of your paper, so try as much as possible to have them well listed.

Questioning for Getting Details for the Reflection Paper

Self-probing as an aspect of seeking clarification from within oneself is essential when writing a reflection paper. Set aside some quality time and ask within yourself some of the pertinent questions about how certain events have played out in your life and how they have influenced everything that is yourself. The exercise will help you generate more details with regards to your thoughts. What are some of the issues that cropped up in your mind, and how do they connect with your personality? An answer to such questions will help you further, especially when you are thinking of writing not just articles but also books.

There are some things that you liked the most and repeatedly participated in certain activities. You could be emotionally attached to some experiences, or you could be having a stronger cultural affinity to some life's events. What specifically are things to remember for as long as it takes and what do you want to rid off the memory. These among other questions will help the writer to organize his or her thought and eventually have a well-designed reflection paper thesis.

Writing an Outline for Reflection Paper

Just like any article, the roadmap must be provided through an outline. This is a representation of the discussion well in advance. A framework for a reflective paper highlights some of the ideas that the writer intends to have in the final document. It is arranged in such a manner that it has an introduction with a reflection paper thesis statement, the body, and the conclusion. See the points for considering when creating an outline for your reflection paper:


  • Write the topic
  • Have the topic sentence
  • Have a reflection thesis statement
  • Have a closing statement

The Body

  • Have a topic sentence introducing each paragraph
  • Discuss the points you have reflected on in three sections
  • Use transition between the paragraphs
  • There should be a logical flow and a smooth representation of the thoughts in the article
  • Support the reflection thesis Statement

The Conclusion

  • Summarize your thinking and restate your thesis
  • Remind the readers about the most critical point you want them to remember
  • Take your readers back to their lives by the closing paragraph in the concluding part

How to Write a Reflective Paper

Having created an outline, you are now left with the next step, which is to write the reflective paper. Below is an elaborate procedure of how to write a reflective paper.

Introduce the idea or the concept that you want to discuss. If you're going to talk about your life at the university, tell the readers about the background of that information and let them know why it is vital for you. Remember to hook your readers by providing in the introduction of a revelation or interesting information. For example;

What more would you wish for than life full of new opportunities? Well, my experience in University was characterized by a lot of events, some, influencing the actions I undertake in addition to my relationships. Being a class representative for the entire semester, learned a lesson to the effect that friendship plus kind gestures go beyond university walls, and impacts one's life in the world outside.

While still on the starter, state the reflection paper thesis as the last statement in your opening paragraph. The statement shouldn't stir an argument when telling about one's personal life plus the experiences learned in the course of life. Make it as exciting plus provide a hooking sentence for keeping the readers attracted to the reflection paper. For example;

‘Having virtuous friends with exceptional intention serves as the basis for excellence plus full exploitation of capabilities.'

The claim statement above reflects the personal opinion based on the experience of the author. Reasonably, the development of the subsequent paragraphs in support of the thesis will emanate from the statement.

Additionally, it has an element of inspiration which is relevant for reflection papers. Think about how your reflection paper will help your readers and even in the outline. After you have created the reflection paper thesis? Think about summarizing sentence for the starter. This could be:

Today, I feel encouraged to spill out some important facts about my life and everything that goes through my mind when I think about the four years I spent at the University.

The second step now is to develop the body of the reflection paper in three or more paragraphs depending on the task. The content for each section should be 100 words or less. An expression of one's campus experience borrows from the body.

Conclude by restating the statement of the thesis and provide summary points reflected on and discussed further. Do not introduce a new concept at this point but remember to paint a picture of the whole paper. For example;

I have realized that my time at the campus was well spent. Not only did I learn the valuable lesson that we need others to move on to the next step in our lives but, that life can never be anything without good friends and people who bring out the best out of you. Everything that I am today is attributable to the relationships and the friendship ties formed at a time when one would think the only thought you needed was that of completing assignments plus attending classes to excel academically.

An example given above is just an idea of how to write a reflection paper. Take-home points are that the writer will have to make drafts before writing the final paper, but of course, not forgetting that the reflection paper must have a structure similar to any other essay. In most cases, the professors provide instructions on how they want the student to carry out the task. Ask your professor exactly how he or she wants the job done and his or her preferred arrangement style so that you can save time and resources. Briefly write the reflection paper bearing in mind that you will have to revise it at some point as new ideas come in.

Because you are mostly sharing a feeling you have had after some experience, it is prudent to apply words that do not expose you in the wrong light. Balancing between privacy and putting information out to the court of the public could be a tricky affair. In that case, you need to carefully choose the tone and play around with the words professionally. Avoid fluffy phrases or ambiguous words that add no sense to the reflective essay.


The reflection paper sends a message to the readers about the writer. In that case, it is only advisable that the content of the essay ought to be carefully thought about, and the emotions attached to the article should be controlled to avoid situations whereby the readers of the reflection papers are discouraged. More so, writing a reflection paper requires a reflection paper thesis statement that does not necessarily spark debates or arguments but instead furnishes the readers with only what they need to know with regards to the writers thought.

Whether the reflective pas for academic or for personal purposes, they are critical papers that we write to share with the world what we think and what goes on in our lives; we get to share our experiences too and move the world.