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How to Write a Self-Reflective Essay?
October 07, 2022
Author : Kristy

'Reflection', when you come across this word, how does your brain interpret it? Many of us will think back to our reflections in the mirror. You're close; the word 'reflection' is derived from the Latin word reflector, which means 'to bend something. When we perceive our reflection in the mirror, it is just an after-effect that our eyes perceive due to light rays bending and reflecting from the mirror's surface.

Reflection turns one's experiences into insights. Quote by John C. Maxwell

Additionally, you might know reflection as something that grown-ups asked you to do when you fought your siblings or didn't behave at school. It is a trait that children are taught at a young age. Parents teach children words like "thank you" and "sorry" to build character. But, what does reflection mean in academic terms? Does it mean writing a reflection note that you'd not do something again? 

Let's learn all about a reflective essay; who writes it? Why do they write it? Also, you'll see some self-reflective essay examples to decipher all the technical requirements. Yes, it is an essay, yet it is composed for a whole different reason, and no, it is not a sorry note. Read forth to know more.

Academic reflective writing

What's the purpose of reflective writing?

A reflection letter helps the writer go back to all the necessary points of a journey, lecture, or project they might be writing about. The feedback points can be positive or negative, depending on the need for reflection. Students are asked to compose a self-reflective essay to help them reflect on their learning, list their queries and even give personal input on the theme of the project or lecture. Here are a few other purposes behind writing a reflection essay:

  • Reflective writing helps pursue your progress and revise all that you have learned.

  • It will help you seek areas for improvement and methods that can help you improve.

  • It allows you to write about ideas that are not yet in implementation and ideas or procedures that you'd like to use.

  • Enables you to reflect on the course of your study (for a dissertation or thesis) and if it is how you planned for it to go.
  • It will help you reiterate the purpose of pursuing the field of your choice and reason out the chances of continuing or switching to another course. 

  • Lastly, reflection suggests a leeway to list down all the good and bad experiences; you can give positive or negative feedback for a given situation or study.

Meditations written by Marcus Aulius, a Roman emperor from 121 to 180, are the earliest reflective writing pieces to be discovered.

Reflective writing is not a part of every university student's curriculum, yet you will encounter it for the most generic or specific reasons. Various instances like a change of program, lab progress, thesis progress or when you opt to volunteer will require you to write a reflective essay. Let's learn through self-reflective essay examples and a few tips to heed before you start writing.

Essay writing is a form of writing that students write throughout their academic careers, yet university essays are more technical and complex to grasp. Turning your high school essay into university-level papers will require a little assistance. You can get essay writing help in the UK at affordable prices; our experts will help you compose technically correct and intriguing papers. Sign up through the form on our homepage to get started today!

Types of reflective writing

Who writes a reflective essay?

Throughout your academia, you'll be asked to write various types of reflective essays. Students are required to write various essays, but how to decipher that a situation requires reflective writing? I know the answer might be 'when the professor asked for one, yes, but various programs will require you to write a reflection essay such as:

A person only exists for others if they lack time for self-reflection. Quote by Albert Einstein

  • Students pursuing a post-graduate or doctoral degree submit a thesis to conclude their studies. Before starting with the dissertation composition, students must submit a self-reflective essay regarding their thesis/dissertation topic. Why do they pose such a question? What course do they plan to pursue through their research? 

  • Professors often ask students to write a reflective essay about the lecture or lab they attended. Students write about how they prepared for the lecture, their learnings, and any group activities and practical examinations they performed.

  • Volunteering is a task that students often participate in, and yes, it also involves writing a reflection paper. Reason for volunteering, outlook on the campaign you volunteered at, and the learning from the whole experience.

  • In the health and social care sector, reflective writing is necessary as it enables students or practitioners to describe their experiences and reflection on certain incidents of their careers. The purpose is to let the writer define the challenges they faced and their methods to overcome them. What do they learn, and how is it helpful for their career?

  • A job application or an academic journal also requires reflective writing as it summarises your skills, achievements, and future goals. Students or individuals write a reflective essay to let the reader know about their abilities and what they can offer to their field of study or the company they applied to.

  • A reflective journal is a form of reflective writing that is completely personalised and does not have as many technical requirements. Patients under psychiatric observation keep a self-reflection journal that helps the doctor decipher the patient's condition.

Various types of reflective writing are relevant for various academic purposes or personalised use. You might need to write one as a part of your academia or when you're accessing employment opportunities. It doesn't end just there; the requirement of self-reflection is as extensive as the use of the word reflection. So you might refer to these self-reflective essay examples before you get writing.

Assesment reflective essay reflective essay self-reflective essay

How to format a self-reflective essay?

The beauty of an essay is that the format remains the same regardless of the theme of the essay. It comprises the introduction, the body, and the conclusion, yet you will have to write in a format that matches the piece's requirements.

Add a hook or an impact statement to the introduction of your reflective essay to captivate the reader and keep them reading forward. The introduction section includes a brief description of whatever your essay is about. 

Did you know that in 1960, reflective writing in physiatric therapy by psychologist Ira Progoff?

For the body section, using a chronological approach might help the reader follow the incident or your study. A reflective essay may not be written in a specific order, but you must make it easier to understand for the reader to follow.

Lastly, keep in mind that the conclusion is the sum of all you wrote in the previous sections. The conclusion must also include your pov on the instance and future discussions that the reader will contemplate. Refer to self-reflective essay examples from your university website, or find them in our website's resource section.

Final tips before you start writing a self-reflective essay

Writing is something that many feel underconfident about, and academic writing is a form that challenges even the most dextrous. The format and the number of requirements associated with academic writing are many, and one must heed them. 

Reflective writing is a form of semi-formal and emotive writing; you can write in the first person to keep the reader engaged. Keep the use of slang or unrelated words (to your field of study or the theme) minimal to avoid straying from the topic.

Even though it is a personalised writing form, it still doesn't get too descriptive. When describing an incident, keep the content of your essay relevant to the theme and write enough to let the reader decipher the whole event, including your perspective.

Now that you've learnt the 123s for reflective essay writing, we also saw a few examples of self-reflective essays examples. Hope all this helps you compose the most intriguing and moving self-reflective essay that speaks to the reader and lets them know your opinions on the same. So now you can compose.

Transforming a high school essay into a university-level academic paper requires a lot of effort, especially for students who are in their university life. Need assistance with academic writing? Essay writing help in the UK is available at pocket-friendly prices; just fill out the enrolment form to get in contact with our experts.

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About the Author


Hi! I am a passionate writer with 3 years of experience in Essay writing and over 2 years of experience as a professional Writer. I aim to provide academic solutions which add to the grades of the students as well as to their learning. I’m working with My Assignment Services since 3 years, during which I have always worked for the benefit of the students by providing them quality work.


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