How to Write a Reflection Paper [2022 Step-by-Step Guide]

How to Write a Reflection Paper [2022 Step-by-Step Guide]

This guide will teach you how to write a reflection paper in a single sitting.

Writing a reflection paper can seem daunting, but this guide will give you a step-by-step explanation of how to come up with the best form that will also earn you good grades.

What is a Reflection Paper?

A reflection paper allows you to express your opinion and thoughts about a given subject. It can be of two different types: educational or personal.

  • Educational- this can be a response to a film, book, or lecture
  • Personal- express your feelings about a subject

There are no wrong answers in a reflection paper as it is a piece that expresses your thoughts. To elaborate more on your points, you could even provide real-time examples explaining your opinions in detail. The secret is to provide in-depth information and create a good impression straight from the introduction.

Format for a Reflection Paper


From the get-go, express your feelings and opinions about the subject matter. However, do not be too emotional but aim at remaining professional. The thoughts and ideas should be expressed in a reasonable way while sticking to the academic style. Also, tell the reader what the following paragraphs will contain and summarize the introductory part with a claim or a thought that will be central to the whole paper.

  • It should be brief and informative
  • Please do not start with the thesis but come back to it later


This is where you put down your thoughts after reading or watching the primary material. You can examine each point in a separate paragraph. Remember to always start every paragraph with a topic sentence explaining what the section is about. The topic sentence acts as an introduction to every paragraph. Also, remember to add direct quotes and cite the sources. It is important to note that a reflection paper should not dwell on the summary of the primary material; it should involve expressing thoughts or emotions towards the subject matter.


This section provides a summary of the lessons in the body. It should also reflect on what you have learned and the key takeaways from the primary reading material. Finally, tie all the discussed points together and summarize them into one insight.  

  • Highlight the main points
  • Make it compelling and answer the question in the intro

Keep in mind that there is a word limit of around 400 to 800 words. It is also essential to stick to your professor’s instructions on the paper formats, whether it is Chicago, MLA, APA, Turabian, or Harvard style.

How to start writing a Reflection Paper?

Firstly, it is essential to review the topic and the question to understand them better. Read the content as many times as possible while noting down the vital concepts and ideas presented by the author. Next, summarize the major concepts and ideas and include images or diagrams to help explain your views and opinions. After translating the essential concepts, you should then provide your statement and thoughts about the ideas.


You can use these formatting methods when the professor has not provided the formatting requirements.

  • 1-inch margins
  • 12-point text size.
  • Font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Calibri, etc.)
  • Double spaces
  • Citation according to APA, MLA, etc. (defined by a professor).

This is everything regarding the paper’s organization you need always to remember.

Examples of different Reflection Papers and their Formats

Critical reflection paper

This is a challenging task given by instructors to assess your ability to observe and evaluate the application of personal experiences and interpretation of a subject. Here’s the format for writing a critical reflection paper.

  • Describe an experience and provide relevant details
  • Examine the experience while integrating academic and personal concepts
  • Provide a detailed analysis of the experiences
  • Explain what you have learned
  • Describe how the subject is essential and useful
  • Give an indication of what other people might feel about the subject

Book Reflection Paper

This type of essay requires the readers to express their opinions, feelings, and thoughts about a book while integrating core concepts learned from class.

  • Provide brief information about the author
  • Give a summary while having minimum spoilers
  • Highlight the main characters and their roles
  • Explain the main issues
  • Discuss the influences
  • Share your impressions

Course Reflection Paper

This reflective essay is a personal reflection of how a course affected a student. These essays analyze the instructor’s theories, core concepts, and teachings and summarize the student’s feelings about the course material and their general experience.

  • Indicate the name of the course and provide a short description
  • Summarize the discussed materials
  • State the course flow and the instructions
  • State why you chose this course
  • Define the core concepts and the main theories
  • Interpret the theories
  • Convey your opinion and use examples
  • Evaluate the relevance of the course

Reflection on a project

As the name suggests, this reflects a project that is common practice in project-based learning. It follows the same above format.

  • Talk about the advantages and disadvantages and offer recommendations
  • Evaluate the relevance and the level of difficulty

Reflection paper on an interview

This can be a reflection of an interview taking place between two people

  • Introduce the interviewer and interviewee
  • Discuss noteworthy viewpoints
  • Highlight the controversies
  • Express an opinion on the person; what you do or don’t like

That’s all you need to know about writing a reflection paper; if you would like any assistance with writing this paper, click here to get a quality reflection paper done in the least amount of time before your deadline.

14 thoughts on “How to Write a Reflection Paper [2022 Step-by-Step Guide]”

  1. I have read your article carefully and I agree with you very much. This has provided a great help for my thesis writing, and I will seriously improve it. However, I don’t know much about a certain place. Can you help me?

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