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A Manual for Dummies on How to Come Up with Good Reflective Essay Topics

In simple terms, reflective essays require you to express events or incidents from your past that have had some profound effect on your life. These essays aren’t just writing about yourself but in choosing a topic that speaks to your current personality or beliefs. Since no two people are alike, you are given the opportunity to be unique in every sense of the word. Still some students struggle to pick good topics to write about. So we’ve put together this short manual to help you come up with a good reflective paper topic:

  • Is there a book you have read in the past that has been especially thought provoking?
  • Literature – both fiction and non-fiction – can be tremendously thought provoking and sometimes life changing. The interesting part is that we each have our own piece of literature that has the power to do this and will each have different reasons why the piece was so compelling. Explore this question and brainstorm some titles.

  • Is there a journey or a trip you have taken that has been life changing in some way?
  • Many students have the opportunity to travel on school trips or with their parents at an early age. Some of these trips or journeys can be very life-changing. Say you had the opportunity to travel to a third-world country. Did the experience plant a seed of desire to do humanitarian work? Say you went on a class trip to a technology museum. Did this experience make you interested in engineering or computers? Every experience can be a potentially great topic.

  • Is there a person you have met or have studied recently that has changed your beliefs?
  • There are endless stories of musicians, actors, painters and other professionals who have been inspired to pursue their career because of someone they met or studied early on in their lives. Why not take a look at some people you have had the opportunity to meet or study and consider ways in which your beliefs have been affected. Remember, that reflective essays don’t have to be positive. Perhaps your meeting was negative one and has affected you in ways you never would have thought possible.

  • Are there any events like birthdays, marriages, or deaths that have changed the way you approach life?
  • Lastly, consider some of the more common events that occur in everyone’s life but somehow manage to affect people differently. Birthdays, marriages, and deaths are all major events that can profoundly affect the way you approach life. Take inventory of each instance and brainstorm some thoughts and reactions. This will be a great start towards choosing a great reflective essay topic.

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