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Reflective Essay | Step by Step Ultimate Guide 2021 | RMH

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Reflective Essay | Step by Step Ultimate Guide 2021 | RMH

We know you have difficulty in writing a reflective essay.

Therefore, Ride My Homework will be leading you to teach “how to write a great reflective essay”

In this page, you are going to learn,

-what reflective essay is

-reflective essay template

-how to write a reflective essay for university

-reflective essay thesis

There are many informative subheadings and 30+ reflective essay topics below!

Let's Learn! What is the Best Definiton of Reflective Essay

It will be hard to write a great academic essay without knowing what the type of it. The question, what is a reflective essay, should be answered clearly.

A reflective essay is a writing process that conveys the personal opinions of the writer about a particular object.

There are 3 main features of a reflective essay

  1. Description
  2. The explanation of the event
  3. The context (interpretation)

Here is the model of the reflection by Graham Gibbs, experts in research, teaching and learning methods.

The usage of the first-person statement says the reader “this is the writer’s perspective; it is not a fact.

HOWEVER, you cannot use slang or informal language in your essay. Your voice should be sincere and official.

Of course! The reflective essay is the personal essay which conveys the personal point of view of the writer. Therefore, the first subjective statement used frequently.

You can be a novice writer so you may have difficulty in writing the first-person statement by using formal language.

In this case, there are 3 critic options

  1. Imitate a well-written reflective essay until you can find your style.
  2. Send your reflective essay to us for editing.
  3. Say us “write my reflective essay for me.”


The audience has no idea about the event, object or statement that will be explained. Therefore, the author, firstly, should describe what he or she will tell. Nonetheless, this description is not romantic. The writer should revisit the scene by giving details to reflect the hidden meaning.


A reflective essay’s subject can be

-a real experience

-something that is imagined

-a particular place or a special object

-something which is tasted, smelled, watched, heard or seen

Now, you have an idea of what the reflective essay is. Let’s learn how do you write a reflective essay.

Firstly Learn the Reflective Essay Outline & Structure

There is no doubt that a well prepared reflective essay structure will be the best guideline of student for reflective essay on writing.

There is excellent reflective essay format below!

 Hook, it is the attention grabber.

No one wants to read a tedious essay. Catch the readers’ attention.

A hook can be a quotation, anecdote or rhetorical question.

Thesis statement, it is the main idea of the paper. 

Explain what will you explain in the body paragraphs.

Description of the particular person, event or place.

You should describe the thing that has an effect on you. It can be an event, place, person, movie, book or music.

The effects of person, event or place on the author at the time.

You can talk about your feelings, ideas, assumptions. Also, the negative or positive sides of the statement are worth explaining in this part.

The lesson that you learned should be clarified.

In the last paragraph of the reflective essay, you ought to explain how has the place, event or person changed you.

Besides, you can look through and analyse whether you could do something different or add something more.  

Restate main points of the writing.

Clarify the overall impact of your experience.

Don’t summarize of the whole paper!

Avoid repeating your words!


Reflective Essay Writing Guide for University

Just before learning how to write a reflective essay, students should know what the purpose of writing a reflective essay is.

A reflective essay is not a storytelling or retelling a story: it is more than that. The essential aim of the reflective essay is to analyse experience, reflect its positive and negative sides and clarify its effects on the author.

Here is point by point reflective essay writing tips for you!

A reflective essay topic can be a real experience that one has had, something which is imagined or conceived for the future; a place or an object which is influential for the writer.

 It will reveal the self-awareness of the author. Hence, the writer should think what kind of topic will make my reflective essay exciting and how can I express it adequately.

As known, opinions come and go. Thus, it is easy to forget what you have thought of earlier, so taking notes makes things easier. Write your ideas down!

Moreover, you can also take notes of relevant questions. Asking a question is one of the best ways of learning.

The reflective essay reflects personal experience. Your experience should worth reading, so you have to catch the reader’s attention.

The introduction of the reflective essay is a big picture of the impression the statement has made on the author.

Writing is different from speaking. While speaking, you can express yourself not only words but also gestures BUT while writing, you ought to order ideas, feelings and comments; furthermore, you should tie them up together because the reader doesn’t see you. You must be clear and understandable in writing to be read.

Read some classics to write a better reflective essay.

Here are two great examples of reflective writing

  1. “Why I Write” by George Orwell
  2. “Against Joide de Vivre” by Philip Lopate
  1. Event
  2. Book or movie
  3. College courses

Event: In this type, the author has to narrate feelings and ideas in a detailed way. For instance, everybody can experience a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or storm, but everybody reacts differently. Thus, making generalizations would not be proper for the reflective essay.

Book or movie: Books and movies are always inspirational for people. Therefore, talking about a movie or a book will help the author in making reflection.

College courses: a student spends time, mostly in classes. Hence, what a student has experienced or gained in a class is worth considering and writing. Class experience can be the greatest topic for a reflective essay.



We are going to explain how to write a reflective essay introduction example step by step below!

The introduction will be your first impression. If you cannot hold readers’ attention, they don’t want to continue to read.

Remember! No one wants to read a tedious topic, a long description and irrelevant or unnecessary information.

The hook will be your saviour.

The author ought to explain what will be told in the following paragraphs.

The thesis statement gives the reader the main idea of the paper.

After reading the thesis statement, readers should say “well, this point will be clarified and proved in the body paragraphs. If I lose my focus or if I confuse, the thesis statement would enlighten me about the key points.”


The thesis statement is the most crucial part of the reflective essay. It is going to reveal the primary purpose of the writing.

Don’t forget! The thesis includes the main points of your essay. It is a declaration of what will you explain and prove in your body paragraphs. Therefore, it cannot take place in the body or conclusion paragraph.

Thesis ought not to explain details or background information. It just gives the reader subheadings of the body paragraphs.

For instance,

If someone’s first job experience is taken into consideration in America and its advantages and disadvantages, the thesis statement should be as follows:

The first day in the office helped me to see Chicago more than just a city: My biggest challenge was surviving.

Then, you have to explain in your body paragraphs you have to explain the difficulties of going to work at an early hour and turning back late or difficulties in living alone in Chicago.

Or anything else that makes you upset but strong. What had you learned?


The last paragraph of the reflective essay reflects on the story that has been told in the whole paper.

Think of the thesis statement and details that you gave in your body paragraphs. Thus, you can highlight the critical points in the conclusion.  

In the conclusion paragraph, you HAVE TO make connections between the events and what have you learned from them.

There are many dull and stereotype conclusion expressions such as ‘in conclusion, to sum up, all in all, and briefly’

HOWEVER, this is your personal experience and you must reflect your individual viewpoints. Besides, the conclusion will be you’re the last and the most remarkable paragraph. Therefore, you have to prove what have you learned from past to present.

You can end your words some vivid expressions such as ‘I think how lucky I am to have survived’ or ‘As I look back that terrible (or wonderful) day …, I can see now that…’

Remember! The conclusion of the reflection essay is not universal them so don’t making generalizations.


We assume that many students have no idea what a self-reflective essay is. Therefore, Ride My Homework will assist you in learning what a self-reflective essay is and how to write it.   

 Reflection is a long mental process. Thoughts, opinions, feelings and questions that come to the author while he is reflecting are called reflection.

Be careful!

Reflective writing is not a reflection of in a mirror! It is a connection between learning and thinking; reflective writing is an interpretation of what is going on from the perspective of the author.

  1. Looking back at an event, idea, object and place
  2. Analyzing the event or the opinion
  3. Thinking about what event or the thought means for you, and what is your ongoing progress as a learner

Therefore, it consists of three parts

  1. Description

The explanation of what happened

The clarification of the what was being examined

  1. Interpretation

What is the most interesting or challenging thing about the event, object or idea?

How can you explain it? For instance, with a theory?

What are its similarities and differences from the others?

  1. Outcomes

What does this mean for you?

What do you learn from it?

Here are some crucial tips for writing a great sample of the self-reflective essay!

What reflective essay should provide?

A self-reflective essay is an indicator of personal growth. The writer can open a new path for the reader by sharing personal experience and emotions, ideas and perspective.


Ride My Homework offers great topics for a reflective essay according to the education level of students! Follow the lines and tips for choosing an impressive reflective essay topic.

The reflection essay is personal. Even though people experience the same thing, they give different reactions because feeling and ideas are unique. Therefore, they can vary from person to person.

Ride My Homework has prepared 30+ excellent reflective essay topics according to your education level!

Reflective EssayTopic Ideas Examples for Middle School

1.What is your the most exciting childhood memory?

  1. Describe your favorite book to read and explain what are the effects of it on you
  2. Is there any place where you feel safe except for your home?
  3. Define the best park in your town
  4. What about your favorite holiday?
  5. how do you feel on your first day in the school?
  6. Explain the best Christmas that you have ever had

Reflective Essay Topic Ideas for College

A college student should good at formal writing. Even though reflective essay doesn’t need to supported by theories, facts or evidence, it doesn’t mean one can use slang, the short form of words or conventional expressions. A college student ought to be using the language efficiently while expressing feelings and opinions.

  1. Explain the moment when you proud of yourself, and why?
  2. What was your worst day that you need help?
  3. Describe your favorite adventure that you have experienced in a foreign country
  4. What about your first date and first kiss?
  5. What will happen if you are orphan?
  6. Describe the moment that you realized you are in love
  7. Have you ever spoke in public? How was it?
  8. What will happen if you cannot cry?
  9. Explain the moment when you feel destroyed
  10. Have you ever watch childbirth?

Reflective Essay Topic Ideas on Cultural Identity

While writing a reflective essay, cultural identity, DO NOT FORGET!

The primary purpose of writing a cultural identity essay is to express the feeling of belonging to a particular nation, language, gender, history or religion. Also, cultural identity reflective essay is an indicator of how a particular culture contributes to growing up and becoming a separate person.

  1. How can you express the cultural codes of American people?
  2. How have your country’s traditions shaped your personality?
  3. What are the effects of your native language in your thinking progress?
  4. Explain the impacts of religion on traditions
  5. What is the relationship between eating order and culture?
  6. Do you want to belong to a different nation?
  7. What is the relationship between language and emotions?

Reflective EssayTopic Ideas on Leadership

Being a leader is challenging for all people. You are a student now, but you can be a leader in the future. Besides, being leader doesn’t mean only administer a country; a class president also is a leader.

Who can be called as a leader?

-the manager of a company

-mothers and fathers

-team manager

-president of a country

-coordinator of a magazine

 Talking about difficulties in controlling people would be useful for writing a reflective essay on leadership.

  1. Do you believe every leader has to good at multitasking?
  2. Explain 3 crucial qualities of leaders
  3. Can a dangerous criminal be a leader?
  4. What do you think “leaders should live alone to work hard”?
  5. Do you believe you can be a leader?

Reflective Essay Topic Ideas Examples Elementary

  1. Explain the first day that you meet your first teacher
  2. What is your unforgettable memory?
  3. What is the meaning of friendship for you? Describe your best friend
  4. Have you ever lied to your family? If so, why?
  5. What is the best gift your best friend ever gave to you?
  6. Explain the movie that makes you upset
  7. Describe a time when you feel so excited

Reflective Essay Topic Ideas Examples High School

  1. Describe the moment when you cry a lot and cannot stop yourself
  2. What is your biggest dream, and why?
  3. How do you feel when you watch a coming storm or hurricane?
  4. Have you ever experience a natural disaster?
  5. What is your favorite book store?
  6. Have you ever attended an award ceremony? How was it?
  7. What is your memorable nightmare? What are the effects of it on you?
  8. Have you ever said, “I could have done it differently”?
  9. How has your native language changed the way you think?
  10. What is the role of the family in your life?

Reflective Essay Topic Ideas

Here are some bonus reflective essay topics for all students!

  1. How do you feel when you go to any house of worship?
  2. Which book has left a great impression on you?
  3. How do you feel when you move to a new city or country?
  4. What is the worst day of in your life?
  5. Do you have any funny story with your pet?
  6. What is the biggest challenge of your life, and why?
  7. Describe the person who has influenced your life
  8. How do you feel when you swim in the ocean?
  9. Is there something that you want to do to change the world, to make it better?
  10. Which song makes your day better?