This paper describes a labour efficient and cost-effective strategy to prepare few-layered of reduced graphene oxide like (RGOL) sheets from graphite. The self-propagated combustion route enables the bulk production of RGOL sheets. Microscopic and spectroscopic analyses confirmed the formation of few-layer graphene sheets of an average thickness of ∼3 nm and the presence of some oxygen functional groups with a C/O ratio of 8.74. A possible mechanistic pathway for the formation of RGOL sheets is proposed. The optical properties of the RGOL sample were studied in detail by means of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE). The experimental abilities of SE in relating the optical properties with the number of oxygen functionalities present in the samples are explored. The data were analysed by a double-layered optical model along with the Drude-Lorentz oscillatory dispersion relation. The refractive index (n = 2.24), extinction coefficient (k = 2.03), and dielectric functions are obtained using point-by-point analysis and are also checked for Kramers-Kronig (KK) consistency. © 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.