Reflection Essay Starters

Below we offer two examples of thoughtful reflective essays that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI). We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.

Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CSUCI Code of Conduct.

View the examples

View Sample Reflective Essay #1

View Sample Reflective Essay #2

Want to become a better writer? 

CI's Student Writing web site has how-to videos, writing samples for different subjects, and many other resources to help with your writing.  

View CI's Student Writing site

Careers in English and Writing

The English program at California State University Channel Islands prepares students for a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers, including:

  • English teacher
  • Social media strategist
  • Media production (film, TV, internet)
  • Print and digital publishing
  • Law
  • Corporate communications
  • Foreign service
  • Human resources
  • Foundations/non-profit management

Learn more about CI's English Program

It can sometimes be difficult to start a sentence to express ideas, or find words to show the relationship between ideas. Below is a list of possible sentence starters, transitional and other words that may be useful.

To introduce

This essay discusses …

… is explored …

… is defined …

The definition of … will be given

… is briefly outlined …

… is explored …

The issue focused on ….

… is demonstrated ...

… is included …

In this essay …..

… is explained …

… are identified …

The key aspect discussed …

… are presented …

… is justified …

Views on …. range from ….

… is evaluated …

… is examined …

The central theme …

… is described …

… is analysed …

Emphasised are …

… is explained and illustrated with examples …

 

To conclude

In summary, …

To review, …

In conclusion, …

In brief, …

To summarise, …

To sum up, …

To conclude, …

Thus, …

Hence, …

It has been shown that, …

In short, …

 

To compare and contrast

Similarly, …

In the same way …

Likewise, …

In comparison …

Complementary to this …

Then again, …

However, …

This is in contrast to …

In contrast, …

And yet …

Nevertheless, …

Conversely, …

On the contrary, …

On the other hand, …

Notwithstanding …

Whereas …

In contrast to …

That aside, ...

While this is the case …

... disputes …

Despite this, ...

To add ideas

Also, …

Equally important ...

Subsequently, …

Futhermore, …

Moreover, …

As well as ....

Next…

Another essential point…

Additionally, ...

More importantly, …

In the same way …

Another ...

Then, …

In addition, …

Besides, ...

Then again, …

Firstly, ... secondly, ... thirdly, ... finally, ...

To elaborate, ...

To present uncommon or rare ideas

Seldom ...

Few ...

Not many ...

A few ...

... is uncommon

... is scarce ...

Rarely ...

... is rare ...

... is unusual ...

To present common or widespread ideas

Numerous ...

Many ...

More than ...

Several ...

Almost all ...

The majority ...

Most ...

Commonly ...

Significant ...

... is prevalent ...

... is usual ...

Usually ...

To present inconclusive ideas

Perhaps ...

... may be ...

... might be ...

There is limited evidence for ...

... is debated ...

... is possibly ...

... could ...

... may include ...

 

To give examples

For example, ...

... as can be seen in ...

... supports ...

An illustration of ...

... as demonstrated by ...

... is observed ...

Specifically, ...

... is shown ...

... exemplifies ...

Such as ...

As an example ...

To illustrate, ...

For instance, ...

 

 

To show relationships or outcome

Therefore ...

As a result ...

For that reason ...

Hence, ...

Otherwise, ...

Consequently, ...

The evidence suggests/shows ...

It can be seen that ...

With regard to ...

After examining ....

These factors contribute to ...

It is apparent that ...

Considering ... it can be concluded that ...

Subsequently, ....

The effect is ...

The outcome is ...

The result ...

The correlation ...

The relationship ...

The link ...

The convergence ...

The connection ...

... interacts with ...

Both ....

... affects ...

Thus it is ...

... causes ...

... influences ...

... predicts ...

... leads to ...

... informs ...

... presupposes

... emphasises

... demonstrates ...

... impacts on ...

... supports ...

To present prior or background ideas

In the past, ...

Historically, ...

Traditionally, ...

Customarily, ...

Beforehand, ...

Originally, ...

Prior to this, ...

Earlier, ...

Formerly, ...

Previously, ...

Over time, ...

At the time of ...

Conventionally, ...

Foundational to this is ...

In earlier ...

Initially, ...

At first, ...

Recently ...

Until now, ...

The traditional interpretation ...

 

To present others' ideas

According to …

Based on the findings of ... it can be argued...

… proposed that …

As explained by …

… states that …

… claims that …

However, ... stated that …

... suggested …

… concluded that …

Similarly, … stated that ….

… for example, …

… agreed that …

Based on the ideas of …

… defined …. as ….

… relates …

As identified by …

… disputed that …

… contrasts …

With regard to … argued that …

… concluded that …

… confirmed that …

... argues ….

… highlights …

… demonstrates …

… found that …

… identifies …

... wrote that …

… demonstrated …

… also …

… reported ….

… pointed out that …

… maintained that …

… hypothesised that …

… expressed the opinion that …

... also mentioned ….

... asserts that ….

… identified …

… goes on to state/suggest/say

… emphasises

… challenges the idea ….

… showed that …

… explored the idea …

 

Adapted from the following source

Manalo. E., Wont_Toi, G., & Bartlett-Trafford, J. (2009). The business of writing: Written communication skills for business students (3rd ed.). Auckland: Pearson Education New Zealand.

 

Updated August 22, 2012

One thought on “Reflection Essay Starters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *