How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Movie: 4 Easy Steps

Nov 22, 2023 | Articles

Writing a reflection paper is one of those rare cases when you get to reflect on your own feelings, ideas, and opinions. Often when you write academic papers, you have to do a lot of research work, but you should use your own opinions to a minimum. Of course, you can use your thoughts in an argumentative essay, but first you must rely on some facts, research, patterns, and so on. When you write a reflection paper, you have the opportunity to express yourself and your attitude to some problem or object of art, in this case, to a film. Writing a reflection paper on a movie is not just about describing how well the movie was shot, or how well the actors performed, or how you liked the movie plot. Therefore, we have prepared a detailed article on how to write a reflection paper on a movie and hope that after reading it you will be able to cope with this task quickly and efficiently.

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Step #1 Choosing a Movie for Your Reflection Paper

There are three options. The first option, from our point of view, is the most unsuccessful. This is when you have one specific assigned movie for which you need to write a reflection paper, and you cannot change this movie to some other one. There is no choice here, you will simply try to do the maximum in describing the film, even if it is completely uninteresting to you. And the second option is when the teacher gives you several films to choose from, and you just need to choose from this list. Because you roughly understand the direction of all these films and can decide what you think will be the most interesting to reveal in your reflection paper. You can select absolutely any film, often on a specific topic, or with a specific problem, and write a reflection paper on this film. It’s even a little more difficult, because the choice is very large. We advise you not to waste a lot of time, but to take on the first film that seems deep enough and fascinating to you. When deciding a film for a reflection paper, remember that the main thing is not how well its plot develops and how you like the actors, but how easy it will be for you to analyze it and whether it contains enough material to write a high-quality and fascinating essay. An exciting film is not always an interesting option for academic work.


Step #2 Watching the Chosen Movie with Intent

We are sure that trying to teach people to watch films may seem quite strange, because there is nothing complicated about it. The idea is that you just watch the movie from start to finish, you can make some notes, and then you write what you think about it. But we want to talk about how to watch a movie so that later there is no need to return to it again and immediately write a rather deep and successful reflection paper on a movie. First, be sure to watch the movie with a notebook and take lots of notes. We recommend using an old school notebook, that is, pen and paper. Because if you take notes on your phone, you will definitely be distracted by some notifications, social networks and the like. For the same purpose, we advise you to watch the film not at once, but to divide it into two or three significant pieces, such as the beginning, the climax, and the conclusion. Or simply divide the viewing time into half an hour. Because it’s very difficult to focus for two or two and a half hours. It is much better if you watch the film very intently, but in less time. This way you can see more interesting twists, write down more quotes, and it will be easier for you to write a reflection paper on a movie efficiently and quickly.


Step #3 Preparing to Write a Reflection Paper on a Movie

How quickly and efficiently you write an essay depends on how well you prepare for it. At this stage, write down the main ideas of the key insights and messages that you want to reflect in this reflection paper. Do a little research about the film, such as the background of the director, screenwriter, and producer. See if this film has any adaptations for Indian or Korean cinema. Read, maybe this film is based on real events, or based on some book. You don’t need to watch all the adaptations, or read the book. But the received information will help you write a deeper essay and will give you fascinating ideas that you can implement in this reflection paper. During the preparation process, be sure to take notes with references. This will help you quickly structure the work cited page for this essay and add citations inside the paper.


Step #4 Structuring and Writing a Reflective Essay on a Movie

When structuring your essay, you should first summarize what the movie is about in a few sentences. Present a clear thesis statement that outlines the focus of your reflection. Then you need to divide the analysis into several parts that will cover themes, personnel connections and key turning points in the film. If you describe these three parts, you can consider that you already have a fairly high-quality and deep essay. When you write this analysis, you must understand that in the end it must correspond to your primary thesis statement. You once again rewrite this thesis statement as conclusions, based on the analysis you did above. Do not try to invent some new structure for a reflection essay on a movie, because your professor expects from you exactly the same sequence that we have now described.

Don’t forget to leave time for final polishing, namely proofreading and editing. We advise you to make the most of available services on the Internet, such as Grammarly or Hemingway. This will help you avoid mistakes that can detract from the grade of a well-written essay despite good content.

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Thomas B.