A Beginner’s Guide to Reflection Papers

One of the most common types of papers among college students is a reflection paper. No matter which college you are in, be it a local college or a recognized university like Stanford, you will need to write a reflection. Also, irrespective of your subject, you will require to write reflection papers to express your points of view on certain matters.

Here in this article, you will be getting an overview of reflection papers along with reflection paper examples.

More About Reflection Paper

“What is a reflection paper?” this is a very common question that college and university students come across. So, clarifying the same, reflection papers need to have an academic tone, no matter if they are personal or subjective. Creating a reflection paper, you need to jot down your analysis and reflection on how a lecture, an article, an academic task, or an experience has shaped your idea and perception on a particular matter or subject.

Reflection Papers

Reflection Paper Definition

A reflection paper is your scope to express your thoughts and breakdown to what you have experienced or perused. In this paper, you have to write down your view on a particular matter, followed by your observations and personal examples that support your opinion.

As you will be writing down your own opinion, you need to write them in a comprehensible manner with ample clarity. This will help your readers to apprehend your point of view.

Reflection paper examples are endless. Some of them are, your favourite TV show, what do you think about the outcome of WWII, what is your opinion about the existence of aliens. It can be pretty much anything.

Moreover, there are 3 types of reflection papers. Your tone of writing should change, depending on the type of reflection paper you deal with.

  • Educational Reflection Paper – Here you need to write your feedback about a particular book that you have read, a movie that you have watched, or a seminar that you have attended.
  • Professional Reflection Paper – This is usually created by people who work in the educational sector. Here you have to write about the behaviour of a particular person.
  • Personal Reflection Paper – This type of reflection paper demands you to write about your thoughts and how you feel about a personal subject.

Reflection Paper Format

There is no specific format for reflection papers. As here you require writing your opinion, you are usually asked to write the way you wish to. In this way, your opinion will get expressed completely without any constraints.

Although, if your professor has assigned you a particular topic for your reflection, the format might vary on the set criteria. Reflection essays or college reflection papers are usually written between 400-800 words.

How to Write a Reflection on An Article?

Before starting to write your reflection paper, you need to go through the article thoroughly. Take notes while your professor is demonstrating the article. And, when you start to create it, focus on the key concepts and ideas, and highlight them in your reflection.

Start your essay with a brief summary of the main points and key concepts of the article that your essay is on. Also, keep in mind to add charts, lists, and diagrams to deliver your points with adequate clarity.

Now, as you have finished going through your article, you need to start with brainstorming. Answering these easy questions will make it easier for you:

  • What impact has this article made on your mind?
  • How does it grab the attention of your readers?
  • Has this article changed your mind? If yes, explain how.
  • Did you miss out on any of the important aspects of the article?

Do not skip this step of brainstorming. That hampers the flow and organization of your reflection essay.


Reflection Paper Outline

The Introduction

Specify what you are writing on in the introduction itself. Try to make sure that it tells your readers about your opinion of the article.

  • Tell what you are going to analyse in your reflection paper
  • Summarize the article
  • Express ow the article which your essay is on has made an impact on your mind

The Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your paper should tell about the experience you have had in context to the topic you are writing on. Start the body paragraph with a topic sentence.

If your topic is an academic article or a book, then you can also include quotes and some passages from the topic itself. That will help your readers get a clearer understanding of your opinion.

Feel free to express what you read, what you understood, and how you felt about it.


Brief about what you have learned from the article. Express how your understanding of the subject has made an impact on your decisions. Explain a bit about the lesson that you have learned from perusing the article.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you write in your reflection paper, it should have a flow and should make your perception clear to your readers.

For the rest, you can just follow the blog, and that will help you in jotting down a perfect reflective essay.