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Reflective Essay Outline - Samples & Template

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Published on: Oct 3, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

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The best essay starts with the perfect essay outline. An essay outline helps to get everything in order. It is the layout of one’s thoughts and ideas related to the specific topic. With an outline, you can easily structure it properly.

Here is a guide that helps you in creating the perfect reflective essay outline.

Creating the essay outline for a reflective essay is like getting your thoughts in order. It works as an essay bone structure. An essay outline is a way of organizing thoughts and ideas in one place.

Writing the outline is the first step of a well-written essay. An outline helps in your entire essay, and you don’t forget the essay’s main points.

An outline gives you a clear roadmap and saves your writing time. With the outline’s help, you won’t struggle to remember the important points of the essay.

An outline helps from the start to the end of the essay, and you can easily finish the essay before the deadline. Collect all information and create a well-structured essay outline. Without a perfect outline, you would never create a good college essay and make it difficult for you.

The structure of the college essay depends on the topic and purpose of the essay. A properly structured outline will help you to present the necessary information in the essay easily. When writing the reflective essay outline, keep some key points in mind, and create the perfect essay.

  • Describe the significance of the essay
  • Identify personal intentions and link them with previous experiences.
  • Think about future options
  • Recognize your own beliefs
  • Organize information in a sensible manner.
  • Categorize the main points

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How to Write a Reflective Essay Outline?

Writing a reflective essay is a way of describing your personal experience and explain how those life experiences influenced and how they changed your lives.

When writing the outline, one thing to keep in mind is the chronological order. Explain all the events in logical order. Creating a good outline will make your essay writing phase easy and quicker.

When you start creating the college essay outline, make sure you include three sections i.e., introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • Introduction
    • Attention-grabbing hook
    • Overview of the topic
    • Thesis statement
  • Body Paragraphs
    • Paragraph 1 with a detailed description of the event, person, or place
    • Paragraph 2 with a description of thoughts and feelings
    • Paragraph 3 with analysis and evaluation of the experience
  • Conclusion
    • Summary of the essay
    • Restate the thesis statement

Reflective Essay Structure -

Let’s discuss them in detail.

  1. Reflective Essay Introduction

    The essay introduction is based on your experiences, feelings, and situations. When you start writing the reflective paper introduction, focus on the main parts that make your introduction a good one.

    • Attention-Grabbing Hook

      The introduction part of the essay should start with an attention-grabbing hook statement. It is a statement that grabs the reader’s attention. A great hook statement makes the readers want to read more.

      It is the first statement that the reader read and decide to read the entire essay or not. The hook statement should start with a quote or an interesting question.

    • Overview of the Topic

      The introduction is a small overview of the reflection essay topic. Briefly mention the main points related to the topic. In this section, you need to communicate directly with the purpose of the essay. The first few sentences give a glimpse of the big picture that you reveal in the body paragraphs.

    • Thesis Statement

      The thesis statement describes what the essay is all about. It is your entire essay’s core statement, and it is called “reflective essay thesis.” The thesis statement is all about places, events, experiences, and thoughts described further in the essay.

  2. Reflective Essay Body Paragraphs

    The body paragraph is the next section after the introduction. Writing the body paragraphs is sometimes time-consuming if you have not prepared the perfect outline.

    Start the body paragraph with a topic sentence and explain the main idea. The reflective essay body paragraph is categorized into three paragraphs, like other essays.

    • First Paragraph

      In the first body paragraph, describe the event, person, or place. But describe all the events in chronological order so the reader easily understands. Not define the events in the body paragraphs without any order.

    • Second Paragraph

      Describe the main issues related to the topic. Use quotations and cite sources related to the literature. Include precise examples of the events that occurred during this period.

    • Third Paragraph

      The third part will be related to your personal reflections about the event. You need to add supporting details about the event and make a successful essay. In this paragraph, you describe what lessons you have learned after experiencing the event.

  3. Reflective Essay Conclusion

    The essay’s conclusion paragraph should be the finishing touch that brings the complete piece of the writing together. It contains two parts that make the essay successful.

    • Summary of the Essay

      The conclusion wraps the entire essay but does not add irrelevant details. Only add important points in the essay. It is the final part that the reader reads, so make it strong and powerful. In this part, encourage the reader to do further research.

    • Restate the Thesis Statement

      In conclusion, restate the thesis statement and rewrite the main points. It is the closing part of the essay, and it must be concise. Inform the reader of your final opinion about the topic.

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Reflective Essay Outline Format

The reflective essay format is different from other essays. It is a type of writing in which an essay writer uses the MLA format or APA style.

In APA style, you should consider a few points:

  • Use Time New Roman
  • The font size is 12, and all text should be double-spaced.
  • The page number is located at the top right corner of the page.
  • The title page, abstract, main body, and references are the main parts of the essay.

Similarly APA format, you should consider a few points in MLA format:

  • Use Time New Roman
  • The font size is 12.
  • All the titles of the essay should be centered.
  • Your paper’s header should have your name, course number, professor's name, and date.
  • On the last page of the essay, include the cited work.

Reflective Essay Outline Template

Creating a good outline is necessary for all essays. Without an outline, you will not complete your essay on time. Here is a template that will help you in creating a good reflective essay.

Reflective Essay Outline Examples

If you write the reflective essay for the first time, get help from these examples and craft a good essay. These examples will help in your writing the perfect reflective essay.

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Tips on Writing the Reflective Essay

The outline is the backbone of the essay. For writing the perfect essay, you have to create the outline. Here are some tips that you should follow when writing a reflective essay.

  • Use the outline for your daily entries.
  • Avoid repetitive sentences in the essay.
  • State your own opinion in the essay.
  • Make sure that you have supported every moment that seemed unclear to you before.
  • Use transition words between paragraphs.
  • Include all the key points in the outline.
  • Don’t use complex words in the essay and present your point of view.
  • Know the strong points that you need to showcase in the essay.
  • Proofread and edit the essay before submitting or publishing it.

Reflective essay writing might be tough, but you can easily write the essay with the right outline. Some students have too little time, and they are overloaded with essay writing tasks. They cannot give appropriate time to essay writing.

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Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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