Reflection Essay Topics & Ideas

Topics and ideas
Posted on March 6, 2019

A piece of academic writing that is called a reflective essay implies a depiction and analysis of the author’s personal experience. When composing such writing, remember that you should concentrate more on your inward feelings instead of the occasion itself. The readers ought to imagine a picture of your identity and understand what circumstances have led to such a formation of your personality.

The following topics do not need much research but are rather aimed at developing your introspection capabilities. In this manner, your ideas and opinions should form the largest part of the reflective essay. Keep in mind, however, that although this kind of writing gives you almost unlimited creative freedom, it must also be logical so that the readers are able to understand the sequence of actions, thoughts, and feelings that led to a particular conclusion.


  1. The Moment of Great Pain
    Pain performs a significant role in the development of any person. It may become a good mentor and catalysis of inner changes of your individuality. Try to recollect the moment when you experienced severe pain, and then tell a story about it. Describe what you felt and how it affected your later life. Consider if there was a lesson that you learned through this experience.
  2. First Experience of Racism or Inequality
    Think about a moment from your past when you understood that you experienced inequality. Even if it was not your personal experience, maybe some of your friends or family members encountered it, or you noticed it in the streets, at school, or even on television. Explain your opinion concerning injustice and describe your emotions when you see it.
  3. A Visit to a Museum
    A reflection essay about a visit to a museum is a common assignment among educational institutions. Your paper is supposed to show the knowledge you have gained after the tour and the feelings you have experienced during it. Ensure to incorporate as many details as possible so that your readers could experience this event by themselves.
  4. The Experience of Failure
    Try to recollect the first or the most heartbreaking experience of failure that ever happened in your life. Focus on your emotions when you understood that you failed. What conclusion have you made from that event? Was this experience helpful in your later life? Do not be afraid to be emotional since it is even essential for such a topic. Besides, try to make your story logical.
  5. The Role of Education in Your Life
    Being a student is a matter of choice. So first, you can explain why you decided to get a degree. Was it your personal decision? Did your parents or friends impose it? You either can write about how vital education is in your present or how essential it is going to be in the future life, or even both. Besides, consider not only practical but also emotional aspect of education: how do you feel while studying, and how challenging it is for you?
  6. Your Ideas about the Essence of Love
    Although millions of people did it millions of times, try to give your own definition of love. Provide examples from your life: think if you have ever experienced love and how it felt. If you never experienced it, then explain how you would know if you were in love. You can also write about your attitude towards the role of love in human life.
  7. The Role of Religion in Your Life
    The topic of religion is rather broad and is often controversial, but what you have to do is to focus on your attitude towards religion. Remember to put tolerance in the first place, since even if you are an atheist, it does not mean that religion doesn’t play a particular role in your life. Describe how religion intertwines your life (though parents, school, or yourself) and how you feel about it.
  8. What Was the Biggest Challenge in Your Life?
    Life is challenging in all its manifestations, so it would not be that hard for you just to pick one of them. Write about it using descriptive language and tell the reader how you feel when you pass or fail that challenge. You have to make your readers understand how your personality changed after this event.
  9. Unfair Punishment from Your Parents
    Our understanding of justice forms in early childhood and develops in later life. The most common example of an unjust punishment is when there are two children of the same gender with a small age gap between them. The older child is often unjustly punished since he or she should be more mature than the sibling is and behave better. There are many other examples and moments that you might come up with, but remember that it is essential to focus on your inner self and your feelings. How has it changed your personality, affected your later life, and changed your definition of justice?
  10. Your Happiest Memory from the Childhood
    For most people all over the globe, childhood is the happiest time in their life since it is so naive and carefree. Think about your childhood and describe it from the perspective of the person you are at present. Tell whether it was happy and carefree, or maybe it was tough and challenging. Then, recollect the most joyful moment you have experienced being a child, and retell it. Provide some background that has led to this moment, explain why you felt happy back then, and describe your feelings from the perspective of the kid you were.
  11. Moving to a New Place
    Relocation always causes particular emotional feedback, be it a new country or city, or even an apartment or school. Tell a story from your life when you have to move to another place and express your attitude towards it as well as emotions caused by relocations. For instance, it often seems like the previous place was much better than the new one, but over time, a person gets used to changes.
  12. Getting Married
    It is not essential to be married in order to compose a reflective essay on this topic. You can write about your attitude towards marriage, your plans for future connected with it, or your expectations concerning the spouse and wedding. You may also ask your parents or friends who are married about their experience and convey it into your essay, accompanied by your own opinions.
  13. Your Most Memorable Dream or Nightmare
    By their very essence, dreams are the uncontrollable act of reflection. They show up our hidden desires, fears, or sometimes the voice of conscience. Many people have one or few dreams or nightmares that they remember for a long time. In this manner, try to recall one of them and describe, paying attention to details. Then, strive to analyze it and reflect on your life. Was there a reason why a certain dream occurred?
  14. First Dating Experience
    Describe your experience of the first date with the person you liked. Write about how it all started; whether it was you, who made the first step or was it your partner. Was the date successful or was it a failure? Tell about your expectations toward it and then compare them to reality. Keep in mind the most critical thing – focus more on your emotions and inner experience rather than on the event itself.
  15. Your First Job Experience
    This topic can be correlated to the previously discussed topic concerning your biggest challenge. Recall your first day at work and describe how you felt back then. People always tend to stress too much the first time they are given a responsible task. Share your experience of overcoming inner obstacles that appeared in your mind during that first time.
  16. The Role of Social Platforms in Your Life
    The modern world is based on and heavily dependent on technologies, and that is why it is essential to give due attention to the things we use, whether they are necessary for us at all. In this manner, describe the role of some social platforms like Facebook in your life. How do you use them and how important are they for you? Would you be able not to use them anymore? Ask yourself a bunch of questions, and it is likely that you will understand something new during writing.
  17. Your Favorite Book
    Pick one of the books you have read that made a lasting impression. Provide a short description of the reading: name author, title, date of publishing, and brief annotation of the work. Then, tell what is so special about this book for you mainly. Did it push you to some revelation and inner changes? Try to explain the impact of this book on your later life and behavior.
  18. Have You Ever Isolated Yourself from Society?
    Describe your solitary experience if such ever happened in your life. Maybe you went wandering in dense woods, high mountains, or even isolated yourself from the world in your room. Explain the reason for your decision and tell whether there was something that you understood from that period of complete solitude.
  19. Observations of Nature
    For this topic try to spend some time observing nature and writing down notes of your thoughts. For instance, when you watch how birds build their nest, thinking about how similar that is to a young couple decorating their apartment would be good. Alternatively, while observing how ants are almost aimlessly running around their anthill, you can link it to people from big cities who hurry up to their work. Try to give the things you observe some deeper meaning through reflection.
  20. Extreme Kinds of Sport
    Have you ever participated in an extreme kind of sport? Or, would you like to do it sometime in the future? Describe one or several sporting activities that you find dangerous. Try to explain why people tend to engage in extreme practices that might lead to fatality. Write about your attitude towards participating in an activity that carries a risk, and reflect on whether you would do it and why.


The topics mentioned above ought to help you understand the essence of reflective essay. In fact, you can change and paraphrase the topic titles according to your desires and preferences. Keep in mind that reflective essay is not only aimed to tell a story about yourself, but also to identify your personality and beliefs through reflection. In such type of writing, you are able to show that you are indeed a unique person.

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