Reflection Paper, Tips for Writing

Tips for Writing a Reflection Paper


A reflection paper is intended to citing your reactions to a subject, article, movie, in a personal way instead of writing a more formal research or analytical essay. A reflection paper focuses on your reactions, reactions, feelings and analysis of a piece or experience in a personal way more than formal research or analytical essay would require. Check with your instructor for verification, but in general first person writing (using personal pronouns like I, me, my, our) is appropriate for this type of assignment.

Include your thoughts and reactions to the reading or experience. You can present your feelings upon reading what you read and why. You can also use a reflection paper to analyze what you have read. Maintain good organization of your thoughts and cite specific passages, if appropriate. Personal experiences are OK to include but don’t rely solely on your experiences.

Don’t use a reflection paper to simply summarize what you have read or done. It is not simply a free flow of ideas/thoughts. The idea of a reflection paper is to write an essay describing your reactions and analysis to a reading or other experience; it’s more formal than a journal and less formal than a research essay.

Organizing your Reflection Paper


Organize it like any other essay (consider jotting down an informal outline and working from it). Include

  1. An introduction – great place to present the expectations you had for the article based on the title, before you read it.
  2. Body - explain the conclusions you arrived at and your rationale. Base your conclusions on concrete details from your reading and experience. Separate paragraphs for each conclusion (you should have more than one).
  3. Conclusion/Summary - End the paper by summing up what you got from the reading. Put your critical thinking skills to the test here.

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