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25 Best Reflective Essay Topics

Updated: Nov 28, 2016
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Reflective Essay Topics


Since the Reflective Essay has the student-writer examining a life-changing personal experience, the assignment ultimately has them sharing this particular experience and what they learned from it with their reader. In this case, the student-writer is to think reflectively in their essay, to obtain and sort through information, to communicate one’s thoughts and insights gained from this experience to others, to either to enlighten them or to demonstrate what has been learned through this experience.


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Since Reflective Essays are based on something that occurred personally to the student, it is generally encouraged, accepted and even expected that they write about their own ideas and opinions – and proving to their reader how they have grown as a person, student, writer, etc.




See also:


     Reflective Essay Sample

     Academic Writing

     Essay Writing

     Essay Types



Topics/Ideas for a Reflective Essay


The student assigned to complete this kind of assignment may wish to write about:


  • Their earliest memory, perhaps one that has had a lasting impression on their development as an adult


  • The first time they remember someone close to them dying or getting terminally ill


  • The first time they felt affectionate love or adoration for another person


  • When they first experienced racism or prejudice


  • What happened during their very first job interview, and what they learned from the experience


  • A time when they received an unnecessary amount of adversity from someone


  • A time when they wished they were someone else or somewhere else


  • How they came to accept that childhood had run its course


  • A time when they felt like giving up – but persevered to find untapped strength to go on and achieve their goals


  • How they felt after graduating from high school (or college) and how this influenced their feelings about growing up and being an adult


  • An experience that somehow pushed or urged them toward their vocation in life


  • A significant trip they once took and how their feelings changed during and after the trip. For example, discuss something they discovered about themselves on the trip, how their feelings about a particular culture changed, or how you grew closer to their travelling companions


  • A seemingly insignificant event that led to a major change in their life


  • The moment they realized they wanted to study a particular subject, or something that influenced their spirituality, maturity, ethics or morality


  • The first time they experienced failure and how they coped with it


  • The first time they found success in something and how it felt and what it meant to them


  • They had no choice but to finish a very difficult task, one they felt could be not accomplished; as well as what methods or tactics (even mental ones) they used to do it


  • How they came to choose the college or university they ended up attending, along with all the challenges they faced and decisions they had to make along the way


  • A burden they had – or have – and what they have done (are doing) to lessen it and use it to their advantage


  • A time when they had an immense dislike for someone or something and how it affected them, as well as what they ultimately learned about themselves during so


  • A book, film or piece of art that left a lasting impression on them


  • A time when they were accused of something that was not their fault


  • A time when something truly tragic happened and how they dealt with it


  • A moment when they discovered something about themselves that they didn’t like


  • How they have grown throughout their college experience


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