Critical essay outline & structure

Outline for Critical essay: Structure (Introduction, body, conclusion paragraphs)

    A reflective essay is a unique type of written work as it deals with the subjective reflections of the author. Most often it is a description of some real or imaginary situation, a scene from the past which is accompanied by a deep reflection of the author’s emotional response to it. In the majority of cases the reflective essay provides the emotional feedback on the real experiences of the author. The fact that the author has outlived the situation himself helps making the reflection more clear and vivid.

Reflective Essay Outline  

As the majority of the essays the reflective essay has the classical structure, nevertheless due to the subjectivity of the paper it may have variations depending on the author himself.



  • Paragraph 1- Details (objective and subjective details of the reflected scene).
  • Paragraph 2-Impact (the influence of the experience on the personality of the author).
  • Paragraph 3-The might-have-been’s (The possible variations of the outcome in case of changing the response of the author).

    Conclusion  (The goal of the conclusion is to reveal how did the reflected experience influence the personal development of the author)

Reflective Essay Structure

    Introduction (The introduction may start with a quote that reflects the essence of the depicted scene. At the end of the introduction the author makes a thesis statement which may be a statement reflecting his emotional reaction on the situation).


  • Paragraph 1- Details (The author analyzes the scene with the smallest details. If necessary he reveals the meaning of this or that detail for the situation of for his emotional condition).
  • Paragraph 2-Impact (Here the author analyzes the impact the experience has had on him as a personality or his life in general. The meaning of the experienced scene is profoundly revealed).
  • Paragraph 3-The might-have-been’s. (Presents the author’s evaluation of what could have gone differently. The author reflects on his reacting to the scene and the possible variations on his behavior back in the situation).

    Conclusion (The author of the reflective essay concentrates on how a certain situation or experience has affected his present life or what was needed to be changed back then. It supports and proves the thesis statement).

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