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Often, students who face the task of writing an academic paper find themselves feeling confused, stressed, and lost. They struggle to grasp the specifics of the essay type they are assigned to do. They also feel lost when it comes to the actual writing process. Many don’t know what the first step in this process must be. Others hardly can resist the urge to postpone their work till the very last moment. Overall, the work on a written assignment is not something that every college student can appreciate or accept without hesitance. For the most part, young people feel reluctant to start this kind of project, especially if the work’s specifics are new to them. This is why it is important to understand each paper type with unique goals, rules, and norms. This guide will show the nuances of writing a reflective essay. Let’s start. 

What Is a Reflective Essay?

Many students who are assigned to write their very first reflective essay think they are lucky to receive such an easy job. More often than not, they end up being rather wrong for thinking that. Indeed this type of paper requires a lot of skills, research, and experience from young writers. Yes, it may look like a page from a personal diary. Yet, this paper is not some type of an ordinary personal essay where you just ponder about your personal experience. It is still a form of academic writing that should be constructed in a much more professional way.

While writing this paper, you have to show your analytical abilities and critical thinking. You are not only reflecting on things. You should also describe certain events and your opinions on them in a coherent flow of thoughts. This task is already quite a challenge for many young people. Overall, a reflective essay is similar to any other work when it comes to structure or formatting. However, there are still some nuances you should know about before you start your work. 

Reflective Essay Writing Tips

Let’s make it clear. This assignment doesn’t mean that you simply have to meditate about your own life and create a text based on your thoughts. It should be much more serious than that. You have to draw the connections between things you have been through and the effects it may have caused on your life.

Thus, it is similar to the cause and effect chain so commonly presented in most academic writing. However, this time, you have to analyze nothing else (or almost always nothing else) but your personal life, history, and some events that had a long-lasting effect on you. Overall, such paper has to answer questions like:

  • What events made you grow?
  • How did they influence your change?
  • Did they have a positive or negative effect on you?
  • When did you notice the change?
  • Would you do anything differently? 


These questions should serve you as the starting point in your work. 

How to Do It?

The hardest part of any writing job is to come up with the topic you want to write about. Any writer knows what a torturing time it can be. Still, once you have picked a topic, your work only starts. Now you need to apply the questions from above to the moment in your life that you want to describe. You need to explain to your readers why this particular moment is so important to your growth as a person. 

Next, you will find the part that can be the hardest for many young people. You need to give yourself a critical look and be honest about the answers you put down. Such work often puts students in a vulnerable position, which may be very far from the comfort zone. The best way to approach it is by allowing your thought to unravel naturally. You can always edit later, but you need the text on your pages first.  

Next, you should create an outline where you map out how to present your topic. You can easily follow the traditional five-paragraph structure here. Not many changes in this department, to be frank. Thus drafting should not be a problem. Just be sure you have proper transitions in between each paragraph to help your readers follow your thoughts. 

Beyond that, a reflective essay can come in two different forms. One of them focuses only on your life, and the other centers on external materials. Let’s see both of them. 

Personal Growth

One way to write a reflective essay is by focusing on your personal growth. You need to reflect on the areas you feel most confident about and have definitely grown in recent years. It is not as easy to do as it may sound at first. Such a task requires a good amount of mindfulness and self-awareness, which is not so common among young people. However, this is exactly the reason educators love giving such an assignment to their students. It is one of the best ways to make them reflect on their own lives and achievements. 

Literature Review

Another version of this paper may require you to focus on literature first. Still, it doesn’t mean that your future work won’t be about you. It only means that you will have to use examples from literature in your own life. It can be a great exercise for developing strong analytical skills, although it will take more time and effort to complete this version of the essay. After all, you need to complete the research, pinpoint the moments similar to your life, and then explain them to the readers. 

Professional Help With Writing a Reflective Essay

Those students who don’t feel comfortable writing such a complex and deeply personal paper can always count on help online. These days, it’s rather easy to find affordable professional assistance by using custom writing services. All you need to do is to choose a service you need from your writers and buy it from the site. Their work is cheap, fast, accurate, and always on time. Why not give it a try? 

Many young people may feel insecure or fearful about asking for help from such services. They may fear poor results, missed deadlines, or even plagiarism. Of course, some services may disappoint. However, in most cases, academic services like this act professionally and supportive. They know the scale of the responsibility they were entrusted with, and they sincerely want to help. 

When it comes to writing a reflective essay, you can set the general tone for the work you want to receive at the end. You can describe the events that should be mentioned in the text if you want. On the other hand, you can give your writer full freedom of choice. Overall, you can always ask for a free revision if anything will be not the way you want it.