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How To Critically Reflect In Essay Writing?

March 30, 2022
John Caius
Critically Reflect

Essay writing is a creative work that becomes more interesting with critical reflection. Critical reflection allows you to use your critiquing abilities to explore a situation in your way. At first, it doesn’t seem easy, but you will consider it the most interesting academic task with time. Thus, in this article, to know how to reflect on essay writing critically, the first part will describe the criteria for a good critical reflection. Section two will discuss ways to write a reflection paper, while section three will describe the three basic parts of the reflective essay. Finally, the discussion will end after suggesting the suitable length of a reflective essay.

What Makes A Good Critical Reflection?

Critical reflection in essay writing is a method of identifying, reasoning and accessing our assumptions to take a stance on an event and issue. In essay writing, when you are asked to reflect critically, you have to examine the biases, compare and contrast theories with current findings and search for the causes and effects of a problem in the light of source material. Critical reflection summarises an activity, which is nothing more than a common misconception. In reality, it is changing your thinking pattern or typical perception about a subject. Thus, in critical reflection, you first need to take a position by identifying and accessing all necessary information. The critical reflections aid new researchers in putting a step forward on a particular situation by critiquing present knowledge.

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In the light of what critical reflection in academic writing is, you can focus on these two aspects to make the reflection look good. First, analyse the issues and think about your role in a particular event. Search engines, databases, and mind-maps are good ways to clear your stance on an issue. Next are the questions to perform better in the analysis phase of essay writing. Besides, use the rough drafts and mind-maps to develop a clear argument and organise them for your readers. A good thesis statement, effective outlines, writing, and revision are steps of the articulation phase of essay writing. Thus, analysing and articulating facts make your critical reflection in essay writing good.

How To Write A Reflection Paper?

By definition, a reflection paper is an academic paper that expects an essay writer to write his conclusion on a topic and further support it with his personal experiences and perceptions. Unlike other academic writing tasks, you do not need to talk about what other researchers said about a point. It gives you the liberty to tell your point of view. The best thing about the reflection paper is your answer or analysis can never go wrong. Furthermore, for writing a reflection paper, you can review some important writing tips:

  1. As a reflection paper explains a writer’s personal experience, its tone and voice should also be personal- the first person point of view.
  2. The structure of a reflective paper is quite similar to the other essay types. It also starts with a strong hook. The body of the paragraph contains information to explain the topic based on personal experiences. It ends with a strong conclusion to wind up the paper.

Thus, a reflective paper aims to describe things in light of somebody’s personal experiences. The reader discovers and observes a lot of information by reading the reflective paper. Also, around half a dozen reflective models (like Gibbs’ reflective cycle) provide a framework to write a reflection.

Basic Parts Of The Reflection Paper

As cited above, the reflection paper, like other essays, has three main parts; introduction, body and conclusion. The following is a brief description of each of these basic parts of reflection papers:


The very first part of a reflective essay is an introduction. It aims to grab the attention of your reader. Thus, more persuasive skills are required to draft this part in reflective essay writing. It sets the stage for readers by telling the background of a topic. It also previews the upcoming content in the essay in the form of a well-developed thesis statement.


The body describes everything in detail. It is the right platform for stating all information you researched and planned to explain in the light of your personal experience. The body often contains more than three body paragraphs. But depending on the writing requirements, you can increase the body paragraphs. Moreover, each body paragraph must start with a relevant topic sentence. It further includes conceptualising activities, formulating research questions, and its fusion to critically reflect on a paper.

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The conclusion is the last part of the essay writing. Due to persistent hard work, irritation or even the excitement to submit an essay quickly, students often pay less attention to the last part- the conclusion. Remember, the conclusion is last but the least in any essay writing. It must be strong enough to wrap up the whole discussion without leaving any ambiguity. It must explain what you learn from your experience so others can thoroughly understand your point.

Besides these basic three parts, you can also use different reflective models to structure your reflective essay properly. For example, according to Gibbs’s reflective cycle, you can divide the body of your essay into experience, description, feeling, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan.

How Long Is A Reflection Paper?

An ideal reflection paper must range between 300 to 500 words long. But there is no hard and fast rule about the length of the reflection paper. Even in some cases, it exceeds 2000 words. It is your tutor’s instruction, the nature of the topic, and research questions that decide the exact length of a reflective paper. No matter the length of your essay, it must report your thought and experiences thoroughly.

Conclusively, in critical reflection paper writing, the proper drafting, ordering and structuring guidelines are important. The best part of critical reflection in essay writing is it gives you the confidence to see the world from your perspective. If you still need more descriptions of reflective writing, you can read some online reflective essay writing samples for better understanding.

If you still have any confusion or are unable to reflect on your own critically, you can get help from us by clicking here.

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