Critical Reflection Paper Instructions

Write a critical reflection paper, which considers your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences to determine how they align with the information, perspectives, concepts, and theories presented throughout the course.

  • The paper must be in American Psychological Association (APA) format—a template with instructions is provided for the student
  • The paper must meet a minimum length of four, complete pages (page length does not include title page, abstract or reference list)
  • The paper must include the material used throughout the course—please make sure to cite your work with in-text citation and use of a reference list
  • The paper will be graded upon a rubric

The University Writing Center, Texas A&M University (2020) states the following regarding critical reflection:

Reflective writing looks back at something seen, heard, experienced, or learned and tries to understand it better through writing. Reflections, which are often journals, field or lab notes, or writing that occurs over time, can express beliefs, ideas, ruminations, opinions, or reactions. If you’re asked to “write a reflection” about something, you’re being asked not only to describe the topic, but also to provide a thoughtful analysis of it.

Establish the Topic

One way to begin is by explaining what you saw, heard, experienced, or learned. Describe objects, summarize readings, or narrate events. Don’t assume your reader knows what you do. Provide background that sets the stage for your reflection.

Develop the Topic

Once you have explained your topic, add your opinions or perspective. In other words, make a point or develop a thesis about the topic. Using one or more of the following prompts can help you generate ideas and organize your thoughts.

  • Define: Explain a complex term’s meaning. Select words with disputed definitions or words that lend themselves to extended, thoughtful definition, such as “honor” or “intelligence.”
  • Classify: Explain a topic by categorizing it with like items. Athletes can be placed in the same category as dancers because of their training; plagiarism can be categorized as fraud.
  • Compare/Contrast: Illustrate the similarities or differences between set topics or introduce an outside idea to illuminate a difficult concept. Metaphors can be a powerful tool for exploring or explaining. The circulatory system can be compared to a geographical structure: it is like a river but unlike a lake.
  • Cause: Consider the cause or root of something. Was a car accident due simply to driver error? Or was it caused by fatigue? What about our society causes so many people to fall asleep behind the wheel—do we live in a culture that promotes exhaustion?
  • Effect: Discuss the effects of something. If obesity leads to disease, what does this suggest about policy, laws, or education? How can we avoid bad effects and replicate good ones?
  • Evaluate: Determine whether a topic is good or bad, desirable or undesirable, ethical or unethical, effective or ineffective, etc. Or is the topic somewhere in between?
  • Propose: Suggest a necessary action to take or propose a solution to a problem.

Provide logical reasons and evidence to support your main points. The more rigorous you are in challenging your assumptions, the more likely you are to gain useful insight into your topic. If you’re discussing something you’ve read, use evidence from the text to support your interpretation. If giving a general opinion or argument, base it on facts, common knowledge, current events, or evidence from researchers. If research is not an option, use evidence from lecture notes, textbooks, lab reports, or other class readings.

Come to a Conclusion

Now what? Think about the relationship between your main point and your class’s themes. What topics are on the syllabus? What has been the focus of class lectures and discussions? What do you think motivates your instructor’s interest in the topic? Why is the topic important to you or to your readers?

A strong conclusion will discuss the implications and significance of your ideas. If you point out a problem, propose a solution or suggest what might happen if the problem is ignored. If more research needs to be done, stress the benefits of finding an answer. If you are discussing a theory, show how it can be applied. And if you are giving an opinion, make sure your readers believe that your opinion matters.


What style should you use?Reflections tend to be informal, but the most appropriate style for a piece of reflective writing varies depending on the circumstances. If you’re writing in an academic context, it’s fine to adopt a more conversational tone than you would use in writing a research paper or journal article. It’s also acceptable to use first person (I, we, my, etc.), since you’re writing about your own observations. You should, however, still observe most of the other conventions of academic writing, such as providing support for your ideas and organizing information in a logical sequence.

If your assignment allows for greater informality, or if your reflection is written for yourself, you can explore your topic more freely and write more loosely. Even so, your reflection should still have a main point. Of course, in this exploratory style, you may not discover that point until writing your conclusion, which is why it’s important to revise. In particular, you need to include an introduction that orients the reader to the topic and organizes your material to show the progression of your thoughts. When you’re finished writing, take time to proofread for errors.

Special Effects

Especially if you are writing your reflections in a journal, you may want to use other modes of thought or expression to supplement your writing.You can make sketches, paste in photographs or interesting bits of material such as ticket stubs or fabric samples. Whatever you add, always provide at least a few sentences or a brief caption to help your read understand its relevance to your thoughts.

To assist the student in completing the assignment, a sample APA citationis provided for your reference list:

Hart, Carl L., and Charles Ksir. Drugs, Society & Human Behavior. McGraw-Hill Education, 2017.

Rios, Victor M., Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York University, 2011.

To assist the student in completing the assignment, the following instructions and information are provided:

  • Download the APA Paper Template Word document found in D2L Brightspace: Materials>Content>Papers
    1. Read the information including the instructions within the APA Paper TemplateWord document
    2. Edit the document according to the needs of completing the assignment
Research Paper 101
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Reasons to trust Research Paper 101

On Time Delivery

We pride ourselves in meeting the deadlines of our customers. We take your order, assign a writer but allow some more time for ourselves to edit the paper before delivering to you. You are guaranteed a flawless paper on a timely manner...

24x7 Customer Live Support

Our team at Research Paper 101 is committed to handling your paper according to the specfications and are available 24*7 for communication. Whenever you need a quick help, you can talk to our writers via the system messaging or contact support via live chat and we will deliver your message instantly.

Experienced Subject Experts

Online Experts from Research Paper 101 are qualified both academically and in their experiences. Many are Masters and Phd holders and therefore, are qualified to handle complex assignments that require critical thinking and analyses...

Customer Satisfaction

We offer dissertation papers as per students’ wishes. We also help craft out the best topics and design concept papers. By ordering with us, you are guaranteed of defending and making through those hard faced professors in the defense panel!

100% Plagiarism Free

We at Research Paper 101 take plagiarism as a serious offence. From the start, we train our writers to write all their papers from scratch. We also check if the papers have been cited appropriately. Our website also has a tool designed to check for plagiarism that has been made erroniusly. In essense, the paper you get will be 100% legit...

Affordable Prices

We understand that being a student is very challenging, some students balance between work and studies in order to survive. We therefore offer pocket friendly rates that are very competitive in the market.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.