Formatting Your Reflection Paper

If you are writing a reflection paper for the first time, most likely you will encounter difficulties. Of course, you do not have a single idea of how a top-notch reflective essay should look. In most cases, reflective essays are based on personal experiences. Students write about the lessons they have learned from their successes and failures. Reflective essays are always personal. They describe personal thoughts and feelings. Now you can produce an ideally formatted reflective paper, if you follow our guidance.

Reflection Paper Format

Begin with an Introduction: What Is Your Idea?

Your reflective essay must always begin with an introductory paragraph. In your introduction, be sure to specify the issue you are going to describe and the lesson you think you have learned from it. Your introduction must set the context for understanding your reflection. It must capture your readers’ attention. The last sentence will actually become your thesis statement. Keep it simple and up to the point.

Reflective Essay Body

In the body of your paper, you will describe the experience and the lesson you have learned from it. There is no specific format for this aspect of your paper. However, you want to be as specific as possible when describing the details of the event. How long ago did it happen? Why did it happen? What preceded the event? Could you anticipate it?

You will also need to review the effects the experience has had on you. For example, you may explore how it has changed your personality, your perceptions of the world, your relationships with family and friends, etc. Be systematic describing and analyzing these changes.

Now you are ready to write a reflection. Try to reflect on your experiences and the lessons learned. You do not need to do any outside research. Your reflective essay is based solely on your opinions, beliefs, and considerations. Your feelings and responses to the situation make up the biggest part of your paper. Try to analyze the goodness or badness of the consequences the experience has had for you and your significant others. Are there any lessons you have not learned but you wish you could learn at that time? Discuss the advantages of your reflection and provide recommendations for your audience.


Although you do not have to follow any specific rules, you are still expected to include a comprehensive conclusion, which will restate your thesis statement and revisit the key points you have described in the body of your work. Your conclusion is actually a summary of your life event and its consequences. Do not limit yourself to facts. Share your thoughts, feelings, and observations with the reader. Make your paper sound vivid and interesting to your readers.


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