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How to Write a Good Reflective Essay Outline: Tips and Templates

How to Write a Good Reflective Essay Outline: Tips and Templates

Published by on 2021-04-12 09:20:08

A professional outline is the main aspect of an excellent writing assignment. It helps arrange all the information before writing a paper. Having a reflective paper outline, students get a detailed plan to follow. Writing a reflective paper, they follow it and get their assignment completed step-by-step. This post will help you discover how to create a good reflective essay outline that will lead to a brilliant paper.

What is a Reflective Essay?

Let's begin by defining what a reflective essay is. The reflection essay format is very simple and straightforward. In short, it is a paper about personal life events that a writer experienced. The writer needs to showcase a particular period or event that happened in their life. Besides, the writer needs to analyze that experience in life. Students are free to write about their feelings, professional growth, and skills learned through those experiences.

A reflective essay shows a story of growth from the first-person point of view. The tone in a reflective essay should be formal and personal at the same time. Even though a reflective paper format may vary, it is still to be written by following detailed guidance. It's vital to develop a professional outline if you want to create a top-grade paper. In case you have zero experience in paper writing, it's recommended to surf the internet to discover how to write a self-reflection essay first.

Importance of a Reflective Essay Outline

A self-reflective essay outline is a plan of your ideas that will be expanded into a full-length paper. An outline provides a lot of benefits for students.

For starters, it helps create a paper structure that simplifies the process of essay writing significantly. As a consequence, students write faster and without distractions from the subject. Besides, it helps make smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs. A detailed outline helps batch a text on small pieces that can be completed fast. It helps make writing more concise.

Helpful Tips on Reflective Essay Outline Writing

First of all, you need to develop a reflective essay topic. It's the starting point for creating an essay outline. There are no limitations for undergraduates. Students are free to choose any topic that covers a particular period in their lives.

Develop Thesis Statement

It's important to start a self-reflective essay on writing a thesis statement that presents a paper's main idea. Remember, the thesis statement isn't the same as a paper's topic. It should consist of a few sentences briefly describing the event and its impact on a writer.

Even though the thesis statement can be changed at any time, some students experience a lot of problems at this stage. They reach paper writing companies or use online tools for generating a thesis statement to get it developed with no hassle.

Create a Catchy Introduction

The introduction needs to take one paragraph only. A lot of learners waste their time because they don't know how to start a reflective essay introduction. Well, a good introduction should begin with a hook. It is a small piece of text that captivates readers' attention and drives them to read the following text. The hook may have different types:

  • engaging question;
  • strong declaration;
  • interesting statistics;
  • quotation;
  • hilarious fact.


After writing an essay hook, a writer must specify the paper's central details and add the thesis statement.

Be Concise Writing the Essay Body

It is the main part of a reflective essay that should imply three paragraphs. If the question, "What is a reflective paragraph?" arises in your mind, there is a simple answer. A paragraph is a short piece of content that consists of sentences. As usual, a paragraph includes up to five sentences and aims to deliver a finished thought that doesn't need to be explained in a new paragraph.

Since the essay body is the largest part, it foresees the opportunity to write about life-changing events. Nevertheless, students are limited by three paragraphs of the essay body, so they need to be concise. The best way to write the paper body is to use an outline that helps create a whole text's structure.

A good outline helps batch ideas and create a smooth flow of thoughts. An essay body's main parts in a reflective essay are a subject sentence, confirmation, details, and outcomes.

Don't Underestimate the Conclusion

What should the conclusion do in a reflective essay? It is the final part that wraps up a reflection essay. In mere words, it is the last paragraph that should summarize your paper. 

It has to start with a summary of your paper. Students need to highlight the key details and rephrase the thesis statement. Then, they need to share their perspectives on the event in their lives and write what they learned.

Reflective Essay Outline Templates

It's always easy to do something new by using a template. A reflective essay outline template helps not to miss crucial points. Don't hesitate to use a reflective paper template if you want to save your time. Remember, all the templates can be customized according to your needs and story. However, it's vital to keep a reflective essay construction that consists of the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Brief Reflective Essay Outline Template

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook (story preview)
    2. Thesis Statement (the impact of the story and outcomes)
  2. Body Paragraph 1 (detailed description of an event)
  3. Body Paragraph 2 (main idea, key elements, supporting sentences)
  4. Body Paragraph 3 (lessons learned, a summary of the experience)
  5. Conclusion
    1. Concluding Words (thesis statement repeat, key points)
    2. Closing Sentence (overall impact, possible resulting)

Detailed Reflective Essay Outline Template

  1. Introduction
    1. Catch readers' attention with a few sentences of engaging content like a joke, statistics, controversial statements, quotes, etc.
    2. Provide background information to showcase the reviewed event.
    3. Share the main purposes of a reflective essay.
    4. Write the thesis statement.
  2. Body
    1. Paragraph 1
      1. Write a few sentences about the approach to the issue and provide valuable information to understand the event.
      2. Specify the circumstances that caused a particular event or drove you in a particular direction.
    2. Paragraph 2
      1. Take a deep dive and present the situation in more detail.
      2. Provide supporting arguments to justify it and strengthen the main idea.
    3. Paragraph 3
      1. Tell about the impact of the situation.
      2. Specify the lessons learned.
  3. Conclusion
    1. Summarise the reflective essay, share key points.
    2. Restate thesis statement.
    3. Write the conclusion sentence.

Final Words

There is nothing complicated creating a brilliant reflective essay outline, especially when you have professional templates and expert tips. Nevertheless, when writing your reflective essay you should keep it concise. Try to formulate your thoughts simply and avoid useless information. It will fill your essay but won't make it look great. Also, don't forget to focus on your feelings and personal experience when you write a reflective paper.

When your paper is finished, revise it thoroughly to avoid any possible mistakes. Also, perform a plagiarism check before delivering your paper. Remember, tutors have zero tolerance to matched content and will reject any assignment containing plagiarised pieces of content.