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Best Advice on Writing and Reflective Essay Examples for High School

Reflective essay is a form of written assignment that requires the author to describe and evaluate the certain experience or period of your life. While further we will provide you with some great reflective essay examples for high school, let us first discuss the specific characteristics of high school reflection essay.

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First thing you need to remember is that this writing encourages you to explore your feelings and emotions, as well as provide an opinion about specific events. It also allows you to:

  • Make the connection between notions or texts.
  • Think about things you may have learned from certain phenomena.
  • Analyze texts you have read and prepare conclusions.

How to Write a Perfect Reflective Essay?

As a part of a writing assignment, reflective essay are usually given as a part of English, Literature or Social Studies course and give your professor a chance to evaluate your critical thinking and ability to perform analysis of emotional urges and experience. They are your subjective ideas and don't have to be well-cited, however that must be formal and well-structured.

If you have to provide your reflection on the certain book or its chapter, make sure you make notes while reading. It will help you follow the flow of your emotions. If you are supposed to describe your experience, use the spreadsheet that will contain information about experience, basic description, and your personal opinion about it.

Example of a thesis statement: Volunteering for animal shelter was a life-changing experience

Personal Reflective Essay

Being, obviously, closely related to generic reflective essays, personal reflective essay focuses more on experience of an individual. The main purpose is to help your reader to get to know you or help them learn more about your personality. Contrary to other types of writing, this essay does not rely on facts. Moreover, in most cases, application essays are a form of personal reflective essay as well. However, many people do not feel comfortable sharing personal things, so let us help you and provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to write this paper.

How to write a reflective essay?

There is a fine line between a diary and reflective essay, however many students fail to see the difference. So in order to help you strike the balance, consider this:

  1. Degree of revelation. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, but it is closely related to your essay, describe it in more general terms or minimize the description.
  2. Keep it formal. Though you are working on reflective essay, you have to remember that it is an academic piece you are supposed to submit, so avoid slang or offensive language, stick to facts and actions, rather than judgments over someone.
  3. Pay attention to your language. Keep in mind, that transitions are extremely important as they help readers follow the ideas and pay attention to certain details.
  4. Edit. And once more: edit! Do not forget that your essay is a part of your overall score, so don't let silly mistakes, typos or confusing sentences ruin your


If we are talking about overall feeling your essay gives, let us tell you that a great essay:

  1. Paints a bigger picture, explaining not only how you reacted in the situation, but how it all affected your life;
  2. Describes personal and unique experience with the number of details sufficient enough to prove it is your story.
  3. Presents your ability to reflect on events in your life, as well as analyze your feelings and reactions.

While it seems easy, many students submit a bad essay that:

  • is generic and does not provide personal flair;
  • presents collective and generic perspective or point of view;
  • has numerous mistakes and logic fallacies.

Once you received your topic, the first thing you need to do is to write everything that is in your mind related to it. Brainstorming is an essential part of the process as it allows you to go down the memory lane and pick up all the emotions, memories and feelings. Once you have everything on the paper, think of the thesis statement that will best describe your experience. If you cannot come up with something great right away, simply write down an idea and work in it later.

Next thing is to organize your ideas by creating an outline for your reflective essay. To make it easier to understand the paper, let us imagine you have volunteered at one of the local shelters. Here is the structure you can use for your paper:


  • Catchy phrase. You need to begin with a hook that will grab the attention and intrigue. Phrases like 'I could never imagine myself doing... 'or'If someone ever told me... I'd think they are crazy' usually work well.
  • Thesis statement that allows you to share an insight on what experience or event you will be talking about.
  • If the word limit allows, explain your thesis statement or give additional details.

Body Paragraph(s)

The order of body paragraphs should be chronological while describing events and logical when talking about experience in general. Perhaps the following structure could help:

  • Expectations you had before you got to shelter. You may describe any things you believed were true or state any fact you knew.
  • First reaction. Describe what was your impression of the place once you got there.
  • Expectations about the work you were supposed to do. Describe how you believed your day at shelter would go. Do not be afraid to use emotional language (yet, try to keep it as formal as possible).
  • Experience from the first day and work in general.
  • Your discoveries and feelings about the work you have done.


In conclusion, you have to elaborate on how this experience has changed your life or what impact did it have. Present the feelings it had woken up, as well as how may it influence your future.

Reflective Essay Example

This is a sample reflective essay structure that you can adapt to your needs, depending on the topic or length.

Below, you will find reflective essay example for high school that you can use as sample material or source of inspiration while working on your paper. One of the things that differ a high school reflection from other academic levels, is the level formality. You are allowed to be less formal if your experience was emotional or your language provides additional insights. Here are the high school reflective essay examples we promised!

Please note that every reflective essay examples for high school provided in this article is meant to be used for educational purposes only and may not be submitted as an actual assignment under any circumstances. If you need a custom written paper, please, fill an order form so we can write a perfect essay on your behalf.

Read our Reflective Essay Sample
for free and improve your writing skills!

Writing is one of the lucrative fields of study I have endeavored to be part of. It has always been my innate desire to participate in research and writing since they are the corner stone of every academic excellence in the world. Before I joined the writing class, I had a positive approach towards what I was coming to do. Though I knew that the field is quite involving and tactful, I had already developed an innate liking of the field. My coming into this class has been mired by huge expectations. I had my own objectives of developing to be one of the most valuable, reliable, valid, and consistent researchers and writer in the world. I perceive a lot of ambition and desire by joining the university class...

Ideas and Topics

Sometimes, professors will not give you a certain topic, so you will have to come up with one on your own. Here the list of ideas you can use:

  • unforgettable experience that had a great impact on your life.
  • An event that helped you overcome a fear of yours.
  • The moment you have to make a difficult choice.
  • The best or the worst day of your life so far

In order to make your writing easier, create a table with three columns (or simple three-celled row with the following content:

  1. Describe your experience, providing brief information
  2. Write your response (both physical and psychological)
  3. Describe the effect this experience had over your life.

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