reflective writing learning experience

Reflective Writing

“Reflection is a mode of inquiry: a deliberate way of systematically recalling writing experiences to reframe the current writing situation. It allows writers to recognize what they are doing in that particular moment (cognition), as well as to consider why they made the rhetorical choices they did (metacognition). The combination of cognition and metacognition, accessed through reflection, helps writers begin assessing themselves as writers, recognizing and building on their prior knowledge about writing.” —Kara Taczak, “Reflection is Critical for Writers’ Development” (78) Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies

Reflective writing assignments are common across the university. You may be asked to reflect on your learning, your writing, your personal experiences in relation to a theory or text, or your personal experiences in an internship or other type of experience in relation to course readings. These are assignments, as Kara Taczak notes, that offer opportunities to solidify knowledge about our experiences and how they might relate to others’ experiences and existing research. Moreso, reflection can lead to more informed understandings of our own experiences and course content in ways that may make that knowledge more useful in future classes and practice. However, often  reflective writing  is not taught as an explicit writing skill and can be problematically treated as a less rigorous form of writing. Below are some broad writing tips that can help not only your reflective writing to be stronger, but also the reflective inquiry to be more meaningful.

Collect relevant evidence before you start writing.

Yes–we recommend using  evidence  in reflective writing! When connecting personal experiences to the readings, that means selecting quotes from the readings and then coming up with specific moments in your life that relate to those quotes. When reflecting on learning or growth, that might mean locating evidence (quotes) from your previous papers that showcase growth.

Be specific.

It’s really easy to see reflective writing as more informal or casual, and thus, as requiring less attention to details; however, strong reflective writing is very precise and specific. Some examples of statements that are too vague and meaningless include, “I learned a lot about writing this semester.” Or, “I feel like my experiences are exactly as Author B says in this quote.” Neither of these statements tells us much–they are a bit devoid of content. Instead, try to name exactly what you learned about writing or exactly how your experiences are related to the quote. For example, you might reflect, “At the beginning of the semester, unsure of how to summarize a text well, I was just describing the main the idea of the text. However, after learning about Harris’ concept of capturing a writer’s “project,” I believe I have become better at really explaining a text as a whole. Specifically, in my last essay, I was able to provide a fully developed explanation of Author A’s argument and purpose for the essay as well as their materials and methods (that is, how they made the argument). For example, in this quote from my last essay,...”

Focus on a small moment from your experiences.

It’s hard to not want to recap our entire childhood or the full summer before something happened for context when sharing a personal story. However, it’s usually more effective to select a very specific moment in time and try to accurately describe what happened, who was involved, and how it made you feel and react. When writing about a moment, try to place readers there with you–help readers to understand what happened, who was involved, where it happened, why it happened, and what the results were. If this is a more creative assignment, you might even include some sensory descriptions to make the moment more of an experience for readers.

Fully explain the quote or focus of each point.

In reflective writing, you are usually asked to share your experiences in relation to something–a perspective in a text, learning about writing, the first-year experience, a summer internship, etc. When introducing this focal point, make sure you fully explain it. That is, explain what you think the quote means and provide a little summary for context. Or, if you’re reflecting on writing skills learned, before you jump to your learning and growth, stop to explain how you understand the writing skill itself–”what is analysis?,” for example. Usually, you want to fully explain the focus, explain your personal experiences with it, and then return to the significance of your experiences.

Use “I” when appropriate.

Often, in high schools, students are taught to abandon the first-person subject altogether in order to avoid over-use. However, reflective writing requires some use of “I.” You can’t talk about your experiences without using “I”! That being said, we’ve saved this advice for the bottom of the list because, as we hope the above tips suggest, there are a lot of important things that likely need explaining in addition to your personal experiences. That means you want to use “I” when appropriate, balancing your use of “I” with your explanation of the theory, quote, or situation you were in, for example.

Reflection conclusions can look forward to the future.

In the conclusion, you may want to ask and answer questions like:

Write the reflection introduction last.

We always recommend writing introductions after you’ve drafted your entire essay–this allows you to actually introduce the specific essay you’ve already written (it’s easier to do and more likely to be strong). Reflective introductions have a little bit more flexibility. You do want to introduce the focus of your essay right away–and you might do that by naming it, by sharing a related anecdote, by naming a previously held idea/belief that has changed through learning happening during this course, or by explaining a reading or class discussion that make you curious about the focus you selected.

A Link to a PDF Handout of this Writing Guide

Health professionals and students’ experiences of reflective writing in learning: A qualitative meta-synthesis

BMC Medical Education volume  21 , Article number:  394 ( 2021 ) Cite this article

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Reflective writing provides an opportunity for health professionals and students to learn from their mistakes, successes, anxieties, and worries that otherwise would remain disjointed and worthless. This systematic review addresses the following question: “What are the experiences of health professionals and students in applying reflective writing during their education and training?”

We performed a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. Our search comprised six electronic databases: MedLine, Embase, Cinahl, PsycINFO, Eric, and Scopus. Our initial search produced 1237 titles, excluding duplicates that we removed. After title and abstract screening, 17 articles met the inclusion criteria. We identified descriptive themes and the conceptual elements explaining the health professionals’ and students’ experience using reflective writing during their academic and in-service training by performing a meta-synthesis.

We identified four main categories (and related sub-categories) through the meta-synthesis: reflection and reflexivity, accomplishing learning potential, building a philosophical and empathic approach, and identifying reflective writing feasibility. We placed the main categories into an interpretative model which explains the users’ experiences of reflective writing during their education and training. Reflective writing triggered reflection and reflexivity that allows, on the one hand, skills development, professional growth, and the ability to act on change; on the other hand, the acquisition of empathic attitudes and sensitivity towards one’s own and others’ emotions. Perceived barriers and impeding factors and facilitating ones, like timing and strategies for using reflective writing, were also identified.


The use of this learning methodology is crucial today because of the recognition of the increasing complexity of healthcare contexts requiring professionals to learn advanced skills beyond their clinical ones. Implementing reflective writing-based courses and training in university curricula and clinical contexts can benefit human and professional development.

Peer Review reports

Education of healthcare professionals supportstheir transformation into becoming competent professionals [ 1 ] and improves their reasoning skills in clinical situations. In this context, reflective writing (RW) is encouraged by both universities, and healthcare training providersencourage reflective writing (RW) since its utility in helping health students and professionals nurture reflection [ 2 ], which is considered a core element of professionalism. Furthermore, the ability to reflect on one’s performance is now seen to be a crucial skill for personal and professional development [ 3 ]. Writing about experiences to develop learning and growth through reflection is called ‘reflective writing’ (RW). RW involves the process of reconsidering an experience, which is then analyzed in its various components [ 4 , 5 ]. The act of transforming thoughts into words may create new ideas: the recollection of the experience to allow a deeper understanding of it, modifying its original perception, and creating new insights [ 6 ]. RWis the focused and recurrent inspection of thoughts, feelings, and events emerging from practice as applied to healthcare practice [ 7 ].

Reflection may be intended as a form of mental processing or thinking used by learners to fulfill a purpose or achieve some anticipated outcome [ 2 ]. This definition recalls Boud and colleagues’ view of reflection as a purposive activity directed towards goals [ 8 ]. For those authors, reflection involves a three-stage process, including recollection of the experience, attending to own feelings, and re-evaluating the experience. This process can be facilitated by reflective practices, among which RW is one of the main tools [ 9 ].

Between reflection-on-action (leading to adjustments to future learning and actions) and reflection-in-action (where adjustments are made at the moment) [ 10 ], RW can be situated in the former. It involves theprofessional’s reflections and analysis of experiences in clinical practice [ 11 , 12 ]. Mainly,RWinvolves the recurrent introspection ofone’s thoughts, feelings, and events within a particular context [ 13 ]. Several studies highlight how RWinfluencespromoting critical thinking [ 14 ], self-consciousness [ 15 ], and favors the development of personal skills [ 16 ], communication and empathy skills [ 4 , 17 ], and self-knowledge [ 3 ]. Thanks to the writing process, individuals may analyze all the components of their experience and learn something new, giving new meanings [ 5 ]. Indeed, putting down thoughts into words enables the individual to reprocess the experience, build and empower new insights, new learnings, and new ways to conceive reality [ 6 , 18 , 19 , 20 ].

Furthermore, RW provides an opportunity to give concrete meaning to one’s inner processes, mistakes, successes, anxieties, and worries that otherwise would remain disjointed and worthless [ 21 , 22 ]. The reflective approach of RW allows oneself to enter the story, becoming aware of our professional path, with both an educational and therapeutic effect [ 23 ].

Reflection as practically sustained by RW commonly overlaps with the process of reflexivity. As noted elsewhere [ 24 ], reflection and reflexivity originate from different philosophical traditionsbut have shared similarities and meanings. In the context of this article, we adopt two different working definitions of reflection and reflexivity. Firstly, we draw from the work of Alexander [ 25 ]: who explains reflection as the deliberation, pondering, or rumination over ideas, circumstances, or experiences yet to be enacted, as well as those presently unfolding or already passed [ 25 ]. Reflexivity at a meta-cognitive level relates to finding strategies to challenge and questionpersonal attitudes, thought processes, values, assumptions, prejudices, and habitual actions to understand the relationships’ underpinning structure with experiences and events [ 26 ]. In other words, reflexivity can be defined as “the self-conscious co-ordination of the observed with existing cognitive structures of meaning” [ 27 ].

Given those definitions,a philosophical framework for helping health trainees and professionals conduct an exercise that can be helpful to them, their practice, and – ultimately – their patients can be identified. There is a growing body of qualitative literature on this topic – which is valuable – but the nature of qualitative research is that it creates transferrable and more generalizableknowledge cumulatively. As such, bodies of qualitative knowledge must besummarized and amalgamated to provide a sound understanding of the issues – to inform practice and generate the future qualitative research agenda. To date, this has not been done for the qualitative work on reflective writing: a gap in the knowledge base our synthesis study intends to address by highlighting what connects students and professionals while using RW.

This systematic review addresses the following question: “What are the experiences of health professionals and students in applyingRWduring their education and training?”

This systematic review and meta-synthesis followed the 4-step procedure outlined by Sandelowski and Barroso [ 28 , 29 ], foreseeing a comprehensive search, appraising reports of qualitative studies, classification of studies, synthesis of the findings. Systematic review and meta-synthesis referto the process of scientific inquiry aimed at systematically reviewing and formally integrating the findings in reports of completed qualitative studies [ 29 ].

The article selection processwas summarized as a PRISMA flowchart [ 30 ]; the search strategy was based on PICo (Population, phenomenon of Interest, and Context),and the study results are reported in agreement with Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) guidelines [ 31 ].

Selection criteria

Inclusion criteria for the meta-synthesis were:

Primary qualitative studies published in peer-reviewed English journals.

With health professionals or health studentsas participants.

UsingRW in learning contexts (both pre-and in-service training).

Mixed methods where the qualitative part can be separated.

Articles should report the voice of participants (direct quotations).

Given the meta-synthesis indications, we excluded quantitative studies, non-primary research articles, meta-synthesis of qualitative studies, literature and systematic reviews, abstracts, unpublished reports, grey literature. In addition, we also excluded studies where participants were using RW in association with other learning tools and where the personal experience was not about using RW exclusively.

Data sources and searches

An experienced information specialist (MCB) performed the literature search on Medline, Embase, Cinahl, PsycInfo, Eric, and Scopus for research articles published from Jan 1st, 2008 to September 30th, 2019,to make sure we incorporated studies reflecting contemporary professional health care experience. Additional searchinginvolved reviewing the references or, and citations to, our included studies.

We filled an Excel file with all the titles and authors’ names. A filter for qualitative and mixed methods study was applied. Table  1 shows the general search strategy for all the databases based on PICo.

Four reviewers (GAr, MR, GAm, LD) independently screened titles and abstracts of all studies, then checked full-text articles based on the selection criteria. We also searched the reference lists of the full-text articles selected for additional potentially relevant studies. Any conflict was solved through discussion with three external reviewers (LG, MCB,SDL, and MH).

Quality appraisal

We used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP): it provides ten simple guiding questions and examples to examine study validity, adequacy, and potential applicability of the results of qualitative studies. Guided by the work of Long and colleagues [ 32 ] and previously used in other meta-synthesis [ 33 ], we created 30 items from the 10 CASP questions on quality to ensure we could provide a detailed appraisal of the studies. FDV and LD independently assessed the quality of included studies with any conflicts solved by consulting a third reviewer (MCB and LG). Researchers scored primary studies weighingthe proposed items and ranking the quality of each included study [ 34 ] on high ( n  > 20 items positively assessed), moderate (10 <  n  < 20), or low quality ( n  < 10).

Analysis and synthesis

MCB created a data extraction table, GAr, GAm, and MRdescribed the included articles (Table  2 ). Quotations were extracted manually from the “results/findings” sections of the included studies by GAr, MCB, LDand inserted into adatabase. GAr, GAm, MR, and FDVperformed a thematic analysis of those sections, along with participants’ quotations. Then, they inductively derived sub-themes from the data, performing a first interpretative analysis of participants’ narratives (i.e., highlighting meanings participants interpreted about their experience). The sub-themes were compared and transferred across studies by adding the data into existing sub-themes or creating new sub-themes. Similar sub-themes were then grouped into themes, using taxonomic analysisto conceptually identify the sub-categories and the categories emerging from the participants’ narratives. This procedure allowed us to translate the themes identified from the original studies [ 28 ] into interpretative categories that could amalgamate and refine the experiences of health professionalsor health students on the use of RW [ 29 ]. The final categories are based on the consent of all the authors.

Literature search and studies’ characteristics

A total of 1488 articles were retrieved. Duplicates ( n  = 251) were removed. Then, articles ( n  = 1237) were identified and reviewed by title and abstract. We excluded n  = 1152 articles because they did not match the specified inclusion criteria, based on the title and abstract. Consequently, we assessed 85 full-text articles. Sixty-eight records did not meet the inclusion criteria. At the end of the selection process, 17 reportsof qualitative research were selected. Figure  1 illustrates the search process.

figure 1

PRISMA flow diagram

Table 2 shows the characteristics of the included studies. Eleven studies involved healthcare students (58%, including nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, doctors, dentists, and oral health students), and six (32%, including doctors, occupational and radiation therapists) were referred to health professionals. In thirteen studies, participants were trained on RW before using it: this information could not be retrieved from the remaining articles.

Five articles reported studies conducted in the US, three in Australia, two in Canada, and two in Israel. The other studies were carried out in Italy, UK, Korea, Taiwan, and Sweden.

Critical appraisal results

We critically evaluatedall 17 studies to highlight the methodological strengthsand weaknesses of the selected studies. No article was removed on a quality assessment basis. Results of the quality appraisal are reported in Table 2 .

Meta-synthesis findings

Through the meta-synthesis, we identified four main categories (and related sub-categories): (i) reflection and reflexivity; (ii) accomplishing learning potential; (iii) building a philosophical and empathic approach; (iv) identifying reflective writing feasibility (for the complete dataset, please refer to supplemental material , where we have listed a selection of meaningful quotations of categories and sub-categories).

Given such categories, we developed an interpretative meta-synthesis model (Fig.  2 ) to illustrate the commonalities of the experience of using RW according to both students and professionals: RWas a vehicle for discovering reflection and allowing users to enter personal reflexivity to fulfillone’s learning potential, alongside the building of a philosophical and empathic approach. In their experience, reflection and reflexivity generate different skills and competencies: reflection matures skills such as professional skills and the ability to activate change and innovation. Reflexivity allows students and professionals to reach higher levels of competencyconcerning inner development and empathy reaching. Finally, from our analysis, participants, while recognizing the value of RW, also defined factors that could encourage or limit its use. Differences among participants’ groups are also outlined.

figure 2

Meta-synthesis model: RW as experienced by health professionals and students

Reflection and reflexivity

Within this category, we collected the users’ narratives about the experience of applying RW and its disclosing capacity. By using RW, participants confronted themselves with both reflection and reflexivity. This category includes two sub-categories we named: discovering reflection and entering personal reflexivity.

Discovering reflection

The sub-category shows that experiencingRW deepened their reflection on experiences, practice, and profession. Thanks to RW, professionals, and students could explore previously unexplored topics and learn more about themselves.

“ Writing initiated me to think about my experiences … ” (professional) [ 46 ]. “ I think it’s good for physicians to reflect on what we’re doing ” (professional) [ 50 ]

The analysis showed that RW was considered reflective when it provided an opportunity for those who applied it to stop, reflect and conduct an inner discourse on topics never considered before [ 44 , 46 , 50 ]. Some students affirmed:

“ Helped (me) reflect on positive aspects ” (student) [ 40 ]. “ I don’t usually think too much about what happens to me, but through critical reflective journaling, I was able to think carefully about things happening around me. This activity helped me to look into my mind ” (student) [ 44 ]

This sub-category explains transversal meanings coming from uniformly professionals and students.

Entering personal reflexivity

This sub-category includes data about RW enabling users’reflexivity. In this context, RW was considered training for reflexivity as it enabled participants to question themselves more often [ 48 ], reflect on their experiences [ 35 ], attitudes, actions [ 38 , 45 ], and also reconsider their actions and identify their strengths and weaknesses [ 40 , 44 ].

“ The questions in this study do make me stop and think about things – how I feel about what I’m doing in residency ”(professional) [ 46 ]. “ Helped me ID (identify) my strengths and weaknesses ” (student) [ 40 ] RW also helped eradicate the background noise that my mind does not yet know how to filter out [ 51 ] .

Interesting to note that this sub-category is more present in students’ narratives. While professionals referred to self-reflection practices (probably already acquired in other contexts), students often reported how RW helped them discover reflexivity.

Accomplishing learning potential

Our analysis showed how users RW used the technique to “Accomplish learning potential.”

According to the studies’ participants, RWcan enable a learning performancethat would be difficult to reach otherwise. In this context, participants addressed RW as a tool for“accomplishing learning potential.”Within this category, three sub-categories were highlighted: the improvement of skills, personal and professional growth, and assisting the change and development process.

Improvement of skills

Participants agreed that the development of skills and abilities through RWwas aimed at their clinical skills and –in relevant areas such as question asking – encouraged reflection and research [ 35 , 46 ]. Communication skills were also enhanced, as were their relationship with patients, family,colleagues, and friends [ 35 , 38 , 46 ].

Participants said:

“ Through reflective journal writing, my attitude towards learning has changed. I have been encouraged to be a proactive learner. (...) I have been able to identify necessary places for improvement and through research, question asking, goal-setting (...). I have improved my skills in relevant areas” (student) [ 35 ]. “I feel that it [participation in the study] has been a positive experience by motivating me to improve on my clinical, communication skills, and also my relationships with colleagues, patients, family, and friends ” (professional) [ 46 ]

Participants also reported that,in their experience, RWprovided an opportunity to assess and improve themselves and to enhance their self-confidence [ 38 , 40 ]. Cognitive skills, includinggaining more profoundknowledge and problem-solving, along withtime-management [ 35 , 40 , 46 , 49 ], were also enhanced: RW,therefore,represented a learning mode [ 45 ].

“ Without reflection, I absolutely believe these skills would be more unattainable for me ”(student) [ 35 ]

This sub-category applies more to students’ narratives. Health students mentioned the tools helping them most to develop their skills. Professionals focused principally on what RWcould improve (communication skills or organizational skills).

Personal and professional growth

Participantsidentifiedthat RWhad promoted personal [ 51 ] and professional growth [ 35 , 46 ]. RW meant for participants:an ameliorated attitude towards work [ 46 ]; a development path for one’s job potential [ 38 ]; an enhancement of their introspective knowledge [ 51 ]; an enrichment of their expressive capability [ 38 ];an improvement of their interpersonal relationships with patients and colleagues [ 50 ] and developed their use of critical and reflective thinking [ 38 ].

“ Reflecting introduces a new aspect to clinic that focuses on the individual’s learning experience ” (student) [ 35 ]. “I think that it does change the way that you think about the practice of medicine and your own personal tendencies and your interactions with your patients and colleagues. And I think it can be a really powerful driver of culture change ” (professional) [ 50 ]

This sub-category is more represented among students than professionals. Students are ‘surprised’ at how important RW was to their learning. Professionals still recognized how RW was an essential driver of change for their clinic activities.

Assisting the change and development process

We labeledthe third sub-category“assisting the change and development process.”The changeinvolvedintroducing modifications tothe way of working [ 48 ], assessing what needed to be changed to achieve a work-life balance [ 51 ], understanding elements that did not allow change, and how to act on them in the future, and also considering new and important issues [ 46 ], further information [ 51 ] and new ways of thinking. This sub-category equally explained the meaning given to RW by students and professionals.

“ I think writing answer to some of these questions has allowed me to reflect back on the year and think about specific important topics that I might not have thought about again.” (professional) [ 46 ]. (Reflective journaling encouraged) “Assessing and focusing on the changes that need to be done to achieve the balance in my life and being able to integrate that with my family and in my work as a nurse.” (Student 16/RJ2) [ 51 ]

However, thischange process could not be possible without witnessing change and becoming aware of it [ 38 , 46 ]. This allowedparticipants to ‘see one’slearning history and path of growth,‘have a picture of the problem, handle things differently, and broadening their vision of the problem [ 48 ].

Building a philosophical and empathic approach

The “Reflection and reflexivity” category is closely aligned with the “Building a philosophical and empathic approach” category. Participants defined RW as a means for nurturing an intimate and profound level of learning, i.e., a philosophical and empathic approach towards real-life professional issues. The third category consists of three sub-categories: the ability to find benefits in negativity/adversity, assuming an empathetic attitude, and the awareness of things, experiences,emotions.

Finding benefits in negativity/adversity

According to participants, RWexerted a therapeutic effect by encouraging professionals and students to focus on the present (43)strictly. It seemed that RWeventually reduced their emotional stress [ 44 , 51 ]. Likewise,in the contextofnegative experiences [ 49 ], its practice acted as a catharsis [ 46 ] that could even allow them tolook back at those experiencesafresh – enabling a change in perspective [ 39 ].

“While writing the journal entry, I felt like I was unloading something from inside myself and being set free. This process made me feel better ” (student) [ 44 ]. “It is always good to pause to reflect on my experiences. The most cathartic question was a few months back when I got to describe my really bad experience.” (professional) [ 46 ] “Very therapeutic. I wrote on a bad experience, but at the end, we were laughing at it.” (professional) [ 49 ]

This specific approach allowed the practitioner/trainee to improve their self-care and focus on work objectives [ 51 ]:

“Self-reflection and reflective journaling promote self-understanding and is another part of self-care.” (Student 5/RJ3) [ 51 ]

Even if more emerging from students’ voices, professionals appeared genuinely amazed at how learning can be generated out of negativity.

Assuming an empathetic attitude

Study participants stressed the fact that RWhelped them develop empathetic attitudes. It seems that RWemphasized the importance of sensitivity and empathy by trying ‘to be in someone else’sshoes,’ especially that of patients or colleagues [ 36 , 37 , 44 ].

“How reflecting on patient encounters through field notes allowed her to “take a walk in someone else’s shoes ” (student) [ 36 ]. “It helps you see the humanity... ” (professional) [ 50 ]

This approach also applied in contexts outside of work and helped the practitioner take off his/her‘white coat’ and understand that before being a professional,he/shewas a person and a human being [ 36 , 37 , 46 , 50 ].

“ Which has made me more open to other’s ideas and thoughts ” (professional) [ 46 ]

As previously mentioned, according to the participants’ statements, awareness was the cornerstone to effective personal and professional growth [ 40 , 51 ].

This sub-category is equivalently present among the participants’ groups. Nonetheless, different meaningscould also be highlighted. Students appreciated RWby stressing its value of allowing them to enter deeply ‘into the other’ inner world (mainly patients). Professionals claimed they could recognize the profession’s human and relational aspects, whichcould also be helpful for their extra-professional relationships (family members, friends).

Awareness of things, experiences, emotions

Impartially balanced among professionals and students, awareness was cited in terms of ‘how things have affected me rather than simply continuing to work in a robotic manner’ [ 46 ], the awareness of who one was and who one has become thanks to the process of change [ 51 ]. This professional and relational awareness made it possible to think clearly about one’s practice and the health resources present in the context of belonging [ 50 ].

“Just being aware of what I know now and what I’ll know by the end of the semester … is a great way to learn who I am and what I can change about me for the better.” (Student 9/RJ1) [ 51 ]

The process of awareness that was facilitated by how their RW allowedthem to transform shapeless and straightforward ideasinto words and givethem a specific value and emotional charge [ 36 , 47 , 51 ]: it wasan authentic opportunity to turn emotions and feelings into something tangible –a journey of discovery and personal acceptance [ 43 ].

“ After two years or so, when you look back, it’s like, oh,that’s how I was feeling at the time, and right now, I feel differently. There is also this level of satisfaction. Like you have matured out of this thinking ” (professional) [ 47 ]

Identifying RW feasibility

The fourth category consists of three sub-categories: perceived barriers/impeding factors, facilitating factors, and when and how to use RW. Students and healthcare professionals who had the experience of practicing the RW in their work identified both limitations and facilitating factors and indications about when and how to use RW.

Perceived barriers/impeding factors

Some study participants (almost entirely students) identified several barriers to their activity. Some students could not see the benefits and thought RW was a waste of time [ 35 , 38 , 51 ]. However, others, who did see the potential benefits still felt that they lacked the time needed to devote to RW [ 42 ] or, sufficient mental space to report and describe a work situation, an excessive similarity of this activity to the regular working practice and, consequently, a lack ofmotivation to write [ 47 , 51 ]. In addition, some described the strainthey felt in writing down personal/professional experiences [ 47 ]. A lack of privacy was another problem, both for the concern about sharing the reflection and for the respect of confidentialityin writing itself [ 51 ]. Taken together,it appeared that some study participants did not recognizeRW as an effective means of help [ 39 , 50 ]. Althoughrealizing the potential of RW,others felt that their tutors did not provide noticeably clearexplanations of the aim of RW– which they would have found useful and motivating [ 45 ].

“ To be honest, not a great deal ( … ) it wasn’t really some revelation ” (professional) [ 50 ]. “ I got a hard time referring it [my experience] to citations … I could have sat and cried yesterday when I did my essay … when I actually read it [my essay] I thought, oh I don’t know what it means, myself ” (Female 2 - student) [ 42 ]

Facilitating factors

This sub-category was exclusively interpreted from students’ narratives. They valued the perspectives to use RWin their practice seeing it as a valuable tool to be applied throughout their career [ 35 , 45 ],with many students reporting that they would continue with this technique [ 38 ]. Studentssaw RW as a valuable means of staying focused on their own goals and needs [ 40 , 51 ]. They remarked that it helped them reduce stress, gain clarity in one’s life and practice [ 41 ], and spiritually connect with themselves [ 45 , 51 ]. Furthermore, RW enabled studentsto discover more information about their health and well-being, ‘it also helped me tie in ideas and beliefs from different sources and relate it to my own’ [ 51 ]. RWhelped maintain awareness and recall the medical being/human being dichotomy [ 37 ]. It remindedstudentsof the difference between studying literature and refining manual skills and the ability to learn from experience and mistakes [ 35 ].

“ During the interview, I felt an element of being more like a ‘normal person’ having a ‘normal conversation’ with another human being. This was a strange realization because it reminded me of the dichotomy that physicians may experience, being doctor versus human ” (student) [ 37 ]

When and how to use RW

Health professionals (a few) and many students finally mentioned the time considered most appropriate to use RW, underlining its usefulness primarilywas during hardship rather than daily practice [ 47 ].Moreover,RWshould not be forced onto someone in any given moment but instead left to individual choice based on one’s spirit of the moment [ 40 , 46 ].

“. .. like if you had a patient die; that would be the only time you might write it down ” (professional) [ 47 ]

Otherparticipantsconsidered instructions on RW to be too forceful and notapplicable to their own experience of reflection [ 40 ]. ‘Reflection wasn’t just signing on the line.’ It allowed constructive feedback for the trainee or the professional. Constructive feedback could be positive or negative, but it was a powerful tool for thinking and examining things [ 45 ].

In this meta-synthesis of qualitative studies, we have interpreted the experiences of health professionals and students who used RWduring their education and training. Given the number of studies included, RW users’ experience was predominately investigated in students. This result, although not surprising, raises the question of whether RW in professional training is being used. RW is not used in professional training as often as it is in the academic training of healthcare students.

As to this review’s aim, we could highlight continuities and differences from study participants’ narratives. Our findings offer a conceptualization of usingRW in health care settings. According to the experience of both students (from different disciplines) and health professionals, RW allows its exponents to discover and practice reflectionas a form of cognitive processing [ 2 ] and enablethem to develop a better understanding of their lived situation. We also interpreted that RW allows users to make a ‘reflexive journey’ that involves them practicing meta-cognitive skills to challengetheir attitudes, pre-assumptions, prejudices, and habitual actions [ 24 , 26 ]. This was particularly true for students: “entering personal reflexivity” appears to be newer for them than for the professionals who are likely to acquire reflexivity during academic training. Students seemed more focused on tools than RW-related results. This consideration makes us affirm that reflective capacity is in progress for them.

Challenging pre-assumptions and entering reflexivityenabledRWusers to realize how RW may develop their learning potential to improve skills and personal/professional growth. Skills to be enhanced are quoted mainly by students. Conversely, professionals could comprehend the final purpose of learning, achievable through RW, in terms of communication or organizational abilities. Professionals interpreted skills from RW as abilities to apply in the clinical activities to find new solutions to problems.

The category “Accomplishing learning potential”confirms what many authors highlight: putting thoughts into words not only permits a deeper understanding of events [ 6 ], enhances professionalism [ 52 ] but also improves personal [ 16 ], communication, and empathy skills [ 4 , 17 ]. In this context, RW fulfills its mandate by letting human sciences [ 53 ] and evidence-based health disciplines affect clinical practice. As noted [ 54 ], students and health professionals’RW training allowed integrating scientific knowledge with behavioral and sociological sciences to supporttheir learning [ 55 ].

Users understood that RWcould be a powerful means of developing empathy and developing their philosophy of care: this consideration is in line with a recent study from Ng and colleagues [ 24 ]. Additionally, some authors [ 4 , 17 ] stressed these empathetic skills and “humanistic”competencies as essential to care for patients effectively [ 56 ]. Professionals were amazed how negativity could generate learning through RW. On the other hand, by recognizingand writing experienced negative situations, students could free themselves from feelings impeding empathy.

By employing RW, users reported factors that could encourage or limit its use. These findings further illustrate that RW is not always a tool that is easy to use without adequate training [ 57 ]. Almost exclusively, students reported hindering factors (limited time, difficulty in writing and understanding assignments, privacy issues, feeling bored or forced). As to professionals, few describedRW as a very stressful activity. Although students could identify impeding factors, they also recognized many positive ones. For professionals, RW was not to be used every day but in ‘extreme’ situations, requiring reflection and reflexivity to be applied. In general, enhancing motivation to write reflectively [ 58 ] should be the first goal of any training to make the process acceptable and profitable for trainees. If this first stage is not accomplished, it will reduce RW’sapparent professional and personal effectiveness among health professionals and students substantially.

Strengths, limitations, and research relaunches

This review may enrich our knowledge about providing RW as an educative tool for health students and professionals. However, the findings must be applied,taking into account some limitations. We focused our attention only on recent, primary, peer-reviewed studies within the time and publication limits. Qualitative studies often are available as grey literature: considering it may result in a different interpretation of students’ and professionals’ experience in using RW. Therefore, our conceptualization should be read bearing in mind a publication bias and the need to expand the literature search to other sources. Besides limiting the risk of missing published qualitative studies, we reviewed the reference listsof included studies for additional items. Our meta-synthesis is coherent to the interpretation of the included studies’ findings.

At least two reviewers have conducted each step of this systematic review. We purposely did not exclude studies based on a quality assessment to maintain a robust qualitative study sample size and valuable insights.

During analysis, all possible interpretations were screened by authors, and an agreement was reached. Nonetheless, we did not cover all the possible ways to interpret the voices of students and professionals.

Since RW is not used in professional training as often as it is in the academic training of healthcare students, a research relaunch could be investigatingwhether and to what extent RW is being used in in-service training programs. Moreover, the studies included in this review were conducted within Western countries. Students’ and professionals’ perspectives from Africa and Asia are underrepresented within the qualitative literature about experiences of using RW. Therefore, geographicalgeneralizations from the present meta-synthesis should be avoided, and our paper reveals the necessity for RW research in other cultures and settings. Nonetheless, authors of primary studies have paid little attention to cultural and regionaldiversity. Therefore, we recommend furtherinvestigations exploring the differences between cultural backgrounds and howRW is recognized within training programs in different countries. Finally, additional qualitative and quantitative research is required to deepen our understanding of RW’s clinical and psycho-social outcomes in high complexity health practice contexts.

Our analysis confirms the crucial role of RW in fostering reasoning skills [ 59 ] and awareness in clinical situations. While its utility in helping health students and professionals to nurture reflection [ 2 ] has been widely theorized, this meta-synthesis provide empirical evidence to support and illustrate this theoretical viewpoint. Finally, we argue that RWis even more critical given the increasing complexity of modern healthcare, requiringprofessionals to develop advanced skills beyond their clinical ones.

Practical implications

Two important implications can be highlighted:

students and professionals can recognize the potential of RW in learning advanced professional skills. ImplementingRW in academic training as well as continuing professional education is desirable.

Despite recognizing the effectiveness of RW in healthcare learning, students and professionals may face difficulties in writing reflectively. Trainers should acknowledge and address this.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


Critical appraisal skills programme

Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research

Population, phenomena of interest and context

Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses

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GArwas responsible for the original concept. MCB performed the literature search on databases. MCB, GAr, GAm, LD, MR were responsible of data curation. GAr, MR, GAm, and LD screened titles and abstracts of all studies. LG, MCB, SDL, and MH served as external auditors. FDV and LD assessed the quality of included studies. MCB and LG gave a third opinion in case of disagreement. GAr, GAm, MR, and FDV derived sub-categories from the data. GAr, LG, MH drafted the first version of the manuscript. FDV, LD composed tables, and figures. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Meta-synthesis framework with participants’ narratives.

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reflective writing learning experience

Module 1: Success Skills

Reflective writing, learning objectives.

  • Examine the components of reflective writing

Reflective writing includes several different components: description, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and future application. Reflective writers must weave their personal perspectives with evidence of deep, critical thought as they make connections between theory, practice, and learning. The steps below should help you find the appropriate balance among all these factors.

1st Step: Review the assignment

As with any writing situation, the first step in writing a reflective piece is to clarify the task. Reflective assignments can take many forms, so you need to understand exactly what your instructor is asking you to do. Some reflective assignments are short, just a paragraph or two of unpolished writing. Usually the purpose of these reflective pieces is to capture your immediate impressions or perceptions. For example, your instructor might ask you at the end of a class to write quickly about a concept from that day’s lesson. That type of reflection helps you and your instructor gauge your understanding of the concept.

Other reflections are academic essays that can range in length from several paragraphs to several pages. The purpose of these essays is to critically reflect on and support an original claim(s) about a larger experience, such as an event you attended, a project you worked on, or your writing development. These essays require polished writing that conforms to academic conventions, such as articulation of a claim and substantive revision. They might address a larger audience than you and your instructor, including, for example, your classmates, your family, a scholarship committee, etc. It’s important before you begin writing, that you can identify the assignment’s purpose, audience, intended message or content, and requirements.

2nd Step: Generate ideas for content

As you generate ideas for your reflection, you might consider things like:

  • Recollections of an experience, assignment, or course
  • Ideas or observations made during that event
  • Questions, challenges, or areas of doubt
  • Strategies employed to solve problems
  • A-ha moments linking theory to practice or learning something new
  • Connections between this learning and prior learning
  • New questions that arise as a result of the learning or experience
  • New actions taken as a result of the learning or experience

3rd Step: Organize content

Researchers have developed several different frameworks or models for how reflective writing can be structured. For example, one method has you consider the “What?” “So what?” and “Now what?” of a situation in order to become more reflective. First, you assess what happened and describe the event, then you explain why it was significant, and then you use that information to inform your future practice. [1] [2] Similarly, the DIEP framework can help you consider how to organize your content when writing a reflective piece. Using this method, you describe what happened or what you did, interpret what it means, evaluate its value or impact, and plan steps for improving or changing for the future.

The DIEP Model of reflective writing

The DIEP model (Boud, Keogh & Walker, 1985) organizes the reflection into four different components:

Describe what happened, what did you do; Interpret: what does the experience mean to you as a learner; Evaluate: how valuable was the experience?; Plan: what will you do with your learning?

Figure 1 . The DIEP model for reflective thinking and writing has you first describe the situation, interpret it, evaluate it, then plan what to do with that new information.

Remember, your goal is to make an interpretive or evaluative claim, or series of claims, that moves beyond obvious statements (such as, “I really enjoyed this project”) and demonstrates you have come to a deeper understanding of what you have learned and how you will use that learning.

In the example below, notice how the writer reflects on her initial ambitions and planning, the a-ha! moment, and then her decision to limit the scope of a project. She was assigned a multimodal (more than just writing) project, in which she made a video, and then reflected on the experience:

Student Example

Keeping a central focus in mind applies to multimodal compositions as well as written essays. A prime example of this was in my remix. When storyboarding for the video, I wanted to appeal to all college students in general. Within my compressed time limit of three minutes, I had planned to showcase numerous large points. It was too much. I decided to limit the scope of the topic to emphasize how digitally “addicted” college students are, and that really changed the project in significant ways.

4th Step: Draft, Revise, Edit, Repeat

A single, unpolished draft may suffice for short, in-the-moment reflections, but you may be asked to produce a longer academic reflection essay. This longer reflection will require significant drafting, revising, and editing. Whatever the length of the assignment, keep this reflective cycle in mind:

  • briefly describe the event or action;
  • analyze and interpret events and actions, using evidence for support;
  • demonstrate relevance in the present and the future.

The following video, produced by the Hull University Skills Team, provides a great overview of reflective writing. Even if you aren’t assigned a specific reflection writing task in your classes, it’s a good idea to reflect anyway, as reflection results in better learning.

You can view the transcript for “Reflective Writing” here (opens in new window) .

Check your understanding of reflective writing and the things you learned in the video with these quick practice questions:


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  • Driscoll J (1994) Reflective practice for practise - a framework of structured reflection for clinical areas. Senior Nurse 14 (1):47–50 ↵
  • Ash, S.L, Clayton, P.H., & Moses, M.G. (2009). Learning through critical reflection: A tutorial for service-learning students (instructor version). Raleigh, NC. ↵
  • Process of Reflective Writing. Authored by : Karen Forgette. Provided by : University of Mississippi. License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Reflective Writing. Provided by : SkillsTeamHullUni. Located at : . License : Other . License Terms : Standard YouTube License
  • Frameworks for Reflective Writing. Authored by : Karen Forgette. Provided by : University of Mississippi. License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike

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Examples of Reflective Writing

Types of reflective writing assignments.

A journal  requires you to write weekly entries throughout a semester. May require you to base your reflection on course content.

A learning diary is similar to a journal, but may require group participation. The diary then becomes a place for you to communicate in writing with other group members.

A logbook is often used in disciplines based on experimental work, such as science. You note down or 'log' what you have done. A log gives you an accurate record of a process and helps you reflect on past actions and make better decisions for future actions.

A reflective note is often used in law. A reflective note encourages you to think about your personal reaction to a legal issue raised in a course.

An essay diary  can take the form of an annotated bibliography (where you examine sources of evidence you might include in your essay) and a critique (where you reflect on your own writing and research processes).

a peer review  usually involves students showing their work to their peers for feedback.

A self-assessment task  requires you to comment on your own work.

Some examples of reflective writing

Social science fieldwork report (methods section), engineering design report, learning journal (weekly reflection).

Brookfield, S 1987, Developing critical thinkers: challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting , Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

Mezirow, J 1990, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: a guide to transformative and emancipatory learning , Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Schön, DA 1987, Educating the reflective practitioner , Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

We thank the students who permitted us to feature examples of their writing.

Prepared by Academic Skills, UNSW. This guide may be distributed or adapted for educational purposes. Full and proper acknowledgement is required. 

Essay and assignment writing guide

  • Essay writing basics
  • Essay and assignment planning
  • Answering assignment questions
  • Editing checklist
  • Writing a critical review
  • Annotated bibliography
  • How do I write reflectively?
  • Examples of reflective writing
  • ^ More support

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reflective writing learning experience

Learn how to write a reflective text about a learning experience.


Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.



In January I spent three weeks volunteering as an English teacher in my town. I've been thinking about becoming an English teacher for a while so it was a good opportunity to see what it's like. The students had all just arrived to start a new life in the UK and they had a range of levels from beginner to intermediate. They came from a variety of countries and had very different backgrounds and experiences.

For me, the most important thing was the relationship with the students. I was nervous at first and did not feel confident about speaking in front of people. However, I found it easy to build good relationships with the students as a class and as individuals and I soon relaxed with them. It was a challenge to encourage the lower-level students to speak in English, but at least they understood a lot more at the end of the course.

At first, planning lessons took a really long time and I was not happy with the results. Classes seemed to be too difficult for some students and too easy for others, who finished quickly and got bored. I found it was better to teach without a course book, adapting materials I found online to suit their needs. I learned to take extra activities for students who finished early and that was much better.

I still need to continue improving my lesson planning. I would like more ideas for teaching mixed-ability groups and I want to plan the whole course better next time. That way students have a focus for each lesson and a sense of progress and of what they've covered. I'm also going to put more confident students with beginners when they work in pairs so conversation activities give everyone more chance to speak and students can help each other.

Overall, it was a really positive experience and I learned a lot. I've decided that I would like to become an English teacher in the future.

  • Reflective writing is more personal than other types of academic writing. You can use the first person ( I ... , My ... , etc.) and explain how you felt.
  • Think about the experience in detail. Explain what went well and what was challenging, and say what you learned in the process.
  • Short introduction to the situation
  • Evaluate the most important things about the experience, including solutions to problems
  • Say what you would do differently next time
  • Say what you learned overall.
  • Keep the focus on your learning process and what you will do better in future.




What was your last challenging learning experience?

Language level

Hi everybody. I'm trying to translate my project into English but honestly, it's very hard. I know is better to hire a translator but I want to learn more by translating it. I would like to share the first sentence of my project with you. Is it possible to take a look at it, please? and tell which part is wrong and why? I need to know can you understand it or not. " The global publishing network is a mechanism designed to unite publishers to integrate publishing industry. The network by revolutionizing the publishing process, delivers printed versions of text-based works such as books, articles, and magazines in less than an hour, regardless of the client’s location, and without printing and storing the works beforehand. During this process, if only a few seconds have elapsed since publishing a work in the network, the selling process of its print version starts at such speed. The objective of this mechanism is to remove intermediaries and storehouses, reduce the time of producing and delivering, and provide global access without geographical, cultural, and linguistic barriers. The network also strives to be a global gate for income generation for game, song, and movie companies and producers and sells Blu-Ray versions of their works through this mechanism. The distribution mechanism is the main idea of the network that completes many other features of this project."

Hello aliyaseri,

That sounds like a great idea and I'm sure you'll learn a lot, but I'm afraid we don't correct people's texts. 

If you have a specific question about a specific sentence, please let us know.

All the best, Kirk LearnEnglish team

I started learning English at school, when I was ten. I didn't like this language because i thought it was bored. I didn´t pay attention to the classes so I din't know anything. Now, I have absolutely notion that i should have paid attention. I really started learning English, last year, by myself, because in school, the level of English was already B1 and I was in A1. I started learning randoom things and with that I realize that my main problem was the grammar. I studied all the verb tenses. Right now, I still have difficulties on that but I am improving everyday. I´m going to Turkey next week without anyone that I know and I will spend one week there speaking just in English. Probably that will be a challenge for me but I want to explore my limits. My main problem now is the vocabulary. I have a lack of vocabulary wich doesn't let me maintain a normal conversation. I'm doing my best to pass that but I know it takes time. I'm in the B1 level right, and I'm so happy that I managed to be here. I'm really pround of me.

My last challenging experience was working az a Turkish<>Arabic translator in a factory which working in textile field, So I have to tranlate some phrases which I didn't before in this field. I tried to learn more about textile field and how they making this process of pants production.

When I started learning Spanish, honestly pronunciation was bit easy but verb conjugation was a total struggle for me since I studied on my own. I had gotten pretty good at some grammar points in Spanish but still couldn't speak, I was so overwhelmed and frustrated. It was really challenging to learn another language.

my last challenging learning experience (which even now lasts) concerns learning a Turkish and English, which are a very complex languages, also for people who, as me, has study with his mother language. especially when you study in a spicific major at university and you need onather language as module different of your mother language but you haven't it.

My last learning challenging experience was English and still. I'm trying to improve my speaking and listening skills and it's hardly being improved. I have tried many places but they were overrated and not good enough, but I don't give up and I won't stop until I'm fluent.

During the last two months, I started using online course platforms, namely Coursera and Linkedin Learning. I had been thinking about using them for a while but I'd postponed several times. Then I found a great online Academic Writing in English course and became a keen user of these services.

To follow a course on one of these platforms, you only need a computer -even a cheap one would be fine- and an internet connection. The quality of the contents was really high. Some courses ask you to upload a project at the end, and some do not. Each group has a mini forum for students to ask questions either to tutors or students and do peer review. So, you are on yourself since everything is online and there is usually no one couraging you to practise regularly, unlike a regular course. Moreover, other participants were not keen on doing peer review.

First, I found it a little bit hard to encourage myself to practise every day. Luckily, I got accustomed to this new way of learning quickly. I believe that the instructors designed the course in a way that helps students to study every day. Regarding the lack of peer review, I couldn't find a solution to this. I offered discussing each other's papers, works etc. to my friends -the ones I know in person- and they refused. So I imagined like I was a stranger reading my own paper. Although it sounds strange, as if playing chess alone, it surprisingly worked. The next time I use these platforms, I think that it would be better to ask a friend to start together, rather than to enrol alone. Or I can make research about which courses have an active community.

Overall, online courses are a great opportunity nowadays. They are beneficial since I only have to pay to get a certificate but it is free to watch the lessons and access materials. Some platforms offer high-quality courses and these certificates could make a difference on CVs.

My first job was very specific. It had a connection with my graphic design studies but it was completely new to me. We scanned images on a scanner and we flashed the texts on a printer. We created films that were sent to the printer. Then the computers arrived. The films have been replaced by digital files. I had to learn how to use the computer and the layout programs. This saved us twice as much time when we started working on the computer. Currently, we are going ten times faster than 30 years ago.

I have last challenging experience was about I was too sleepy but now I'm a hard working and non lazy person who do work hard on study.

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Reflective writing introduction

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Develop your writing style

Find out what reflective writing is and how to use it in your assignments.

Reflective assignments are different to standard essays. Here we'll cover some key elements for you to consider when writing reflectively. 

There are many models of reflection you can use in an assignment. Here we discuss some basic guidance for reflective writing but you should follow any additional guidelines you've been given on your course or module to meet your course requirements.

What is reflective writing?

Reflective writing:

Thinking reflectively

Thinking reflectively involves: 

Reflective writing structure

Non-academic reflective writing is usually unstructured – such as writing in a personal diary, learning journal, or narrative for design development. You should structure your reflective assignments. There are lots of ways to structure your reflective writing, but we explore one example here.

Reflection usually has the following major components:

Reflective writing example

This example of basic reflective writing can be split into three parts: description, interpretation and outcome. See how the example paragraph is broken into these three sections below the text. Full example text: 

Specific tasks were shared out amongst members of my team. However, the tasks were not seen as equally difficult by all team members. Consequently, the perception of unfairness impacted on our interactions. Social interdependence theory recognises a type of group interaction called “positive interdependence” (Johnson & Johnson, 2008, cited by Maughan & Webb, 2010) and many studies demonstrate that learning can be improved through cooperation (Maughan & Webb, 2010). We did not experience these with the initial task allocation. Nonetheless, we achieved a successful outcome through further negotiation. Therefore, we found that “cooperative learning experiences encourage higher achievement.” (Maughan & Webb, 2010). To improve the process in future, perhaps we could elect a chairperson to help encourage cooperation when tasks are being allocated.


Descriptions tend to be short – they explain what happened and what is being examined. For example: 

Specific tasks were shared out amongst members of my team. However, the tasks were not seen as equally difficult by all team members.


Intrepretation can include what is most important, interesting, useful or relevant about the object, event or idea. It could include how it can be explained, such as with theory. For example:

Consequently, the perception of unfairness impacted on our interactions. Social interdependence theory recognises a type of group interaction called “positive interdependence” (Johnson & Johnson, 2008, cited by Maughan & Webb, 2010) and many studies demonstrate that learning can be improved through cooperation (Maughan & Webb, 2010). We did not experience these with the initial task allocation.

The outcome should cover what you've learnt from your experience and what it means for your future. For example:

Nonetheless, we achieved a successful outcome through further negotiation. Therefore, we found that “cooperative learning experiences encourage higher achievement.” (Maughan & Webb, 2010). To improve the process in future, perhaps we could elect a chairperson to help encourage cooperation when tasks are being allocated.

Useful reflective vocabulary

Below are some words and phrases to help improve your reflective writing. 

You may need to talk about events, ideas or objects in your reflective writing. You can use a range of vocabulary to describe these items so there isn't any specific vocabulary for this section.

You should use the present tense to describe your idea, theory or model.

You can open personal statements with phrases like: 'For me', 'I found that', 'I felt that', or 'I believe...'. You also need to give your reasoning or evidence.

Interpreting the importance or value of something:

Clarifying the nature of the learning point or points:

Looking back and to referring to development over time:

Expressing your personal viewpoint, behaviour or action:

Highlighting similarity and difference:

Words and phrases for academic caution:

Introducing reasoning or evidence:

Describing the nature of your reflection:

Explaining what you learnt from your reflection:

Emphasis and the degree of understanding you've gained:.

Expressing what you have gained from the experience:

Expressing its future value:

Acknowledging uncertainty:

Words and phrases for what applying your learning to the future:

Johnson, D., and Johnson, F. (2008). Joining together: group theory and group skills. New York: Pearson.

Maughan, C., and Webb, J. (2010). Small group learning and teaching. Retrieved from

Download our reflective writing revision sheet

Download this page as a PDF for your reflective writing notes and to use our vocabulary aid.

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Academic writing style

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Basic essay structure

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Reflective writing

Writing reflectively: it is about you – putting the ‘I’ in reflection.

Reflective writing gives you an opportunity to think deeply about something you've learned or an experience you've had.

Watch the video below for a quick introduction to reflective writing. The video includes an example of reflecting on practice, but the approach is equally useful when reflecting on theory.

Video tutorial

Reflecting on practice.

Reflective writing may ask you to consider the link between theory (what you study, discuss and read about at university) and practice (what you do, the application of the theory in the workplace). Reflection on practical contexts enables you to explore the relationship between theory and practice in an authentic and concrete way.

"Yesterday’s class brought Vygotsky’s concepts of scaffolding and the ‘significant other’ into sharp focus for me. Without instruction, ‘Emily’ was able to scaffold ‘Emma’s’ solving of the Keystone Puzzle without directing her or supplying her with the answer – she acted as the ‘significant other’. It really highlighted for me the fact that I do not always have to directly be involved in students’ learning, and that students have learning and knowledge they bring to the classroom context."

What this example does well:

De-identify actual people you have observed or dealt with on placement or work experience using pseudonyms (other names, job titles, initials or even numbers so that real identities are protected). E.g.:

"The lectures and tutes this semester have broadened my views of what sustainability is and the different scales by which we can view it . I learned that sustainability is not only something that differs at an individual level in terms of how we approach it ourselves, but also how it differs in scale. We might look at what we do individually to act sustainably, such as in what and how we recycle, but when we think about how a city or state does this, we need to consider pollution, rubbish collection and a range of other systems that point to sustainability on a much larger scale."

"On the ward rounds yesterday, I felt Mr G’s mobility had noticeably improved from last week. This may be due to the altered physio program we have implemented and it allowed me to experience a real feeling of satisfaction that I had made a real difference."

Action verbs are usually expressing feelings and thoughts in reflective writing, e.g. felt, thought, considered, experienced, wondered, remembered, discovered, learned.

Reflecting on theory

Some reflection tasks are purely theoretical, where you are asked to consider texts you have read, or ideas you may have discussed in tutorials, and reflect on them.

"Comparing the approaches of Mayr and Ulich (2009) and Laevers (2005) to what 'wellbeing' means for the early childhood setting was very illustrative in that I discovered they seek to do similar things but within different frameworks. Analysing the two constructs highlighted that the detail in Mayr and Ulich’s framework provided a much richer framework in defining and measuring wellbeing than Laevers’ does."

Using the DIEP model

When writing reflectively for the first time, it’s not uncommon to produce a summary or description of the event or experience without deeply reflecting on it.

Reflective writing needs to go beyond simply summarising what happened. Your reader needs to gain an insight into what the experience meant to you, how you feel about it, how it connects to other things you’ve experienced or studied and what you plan to do in response.

To be sure you don’t leave out any of these critical elements of reflection, consider writing using the describe, interpret, evaluate, plan (DIEP) model to help.

DIEP approach adapted from: RMIT Study and Learning Centre. (2010). Reflective writing: DIEP .

You can and should refer to yourself in your reflection using personal pronouns, e.g. I, we...

Begin by describing the situation. What did you see, hear, do, read or see? Be as brief and objective as possible.

Starting phrases:

Interpret what happened. What new insights have you gained? How does this experience connect with other things you’ve learned or experienced before? How did the experience make you feel?

Make a judgement. How useful was this experience for you? What is your opinion? Why do you think this might be?

Comment on how this experience might inform your future thoughts or actions. How could you apply what you’ve learned from the experience in the future? How might the experience relate to your degree or future professional life?

[TS] The most surprising insight I have gained so far is how important recording and distributing succinct and accurate information is to the success of the project. [D] In the first week of my internship, I was asked to record some meeting minutes and distribute them to the project team and the client. [I] I initially felt offended as the task appeared trivial to me; it was something we rarely did during team meetings at university. [E] However, after speaking with my industry supervisor, I began to understand how important it is to keep a clear record of the meaningful points raised during meetings. [I] Making accurate notes of the key outcomes was harder than I expected as the rest of my team was relying on my minutes to know what they needed to do. [D]After reviewing my minutes, my supervisor agreed that they were sufficiently clear and accurate. [I] I’ve realised that poorly recorded minutes could have resulted in missed deadlines, miscommunication and costly implications for our contract. [P] To improve my ability to take notes I plan on reviewing the minutes made by my colleagues for other meetings and to investigate note taking techniques such as mind mapping (Trevelyan, 2014). Mind mapping uses links and annotations to record relationships between words and indicate significance. [I] This will help me to continue to develop my skills in this area and develop my ability to “prepare high quality engineering documents” as part of attaining the Stage 1 competency of written communication (Engineers Australia, 2018).

Trevelyan, J. P. (2014).  The making of an expert engineer: How to have a wonderful career creating a better world and spending lots of money belonging to other people . Leiden, The Netherlands: CRC Press/Balkema.

Ask yourself:

When editing your draft, try colour coding each element of DIEP to be sure you have a balance of elements.

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Reflection Toolkit

Reflecting on experience

A range of models that can be used to prompt and structure reflection on experience.

Using reflective models is one of the easiest ways to engage with the reflective process. The ones highlighted below will support you with structure, guidance and questions. Your use of these models might change depending of why you are doing reflection:

More information about the different places reflection may happen and how to produce reflections for assignments can be found on:

Producing reflections (within Reflectors’ Toolkit)

The last thing to consider is that viewing the reflective process as a structured model is just one approach; you might prefer to reflect freely with no structure. In that case see:

Free-form reflection (within Reflectors’ Toolkit)

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

reflective writing learning experience

What? So what? Now what? 

reflective writing learning experience

The Integrated Reflective Cycle

reflective writing learning experience

The four F's of active reviewing

reflective writing learning experience

The CARL framework of reflection

reflective writing learning experience

The 5R framework for reflection

reflective writing learning experience


Practice-based and reflective learning

Key features

Using academic evidence, selecting the content, getting the language right, useful links for reflective learning.

reflective writing learning experience

Follow the guidelines for your course. There is likely to be a word limit: you cannot write about everything, so select what will illustrate your discussion best. Remember that most of the marks awarded for your work are likely to be for the reflective insights and not for the description of events, so keep your descriptions brief and to the point.

Reflective writing is a way of processing your practice-based experience to produce learning. It has two key features:

1) It integrates theory and practice. Identify important aspects of your reflections and write these using the appropriate theories and academic context to explain and interpret your reflections. Use your experiences to evaluate the theories - can the theories be adapted or modified to be more helpful for your situation?

2) It identifies the learning outcomes of your experience. So you might include a plan for next time identifying what you would do differently, your new understandings or values and unexpected things you have learnt about yourself.

You are aiming to draw out the links between theory and practice. So you will need to keep comparing the two and exploring the relationship between them.

Analyze the event and think about it with reference to a particular theory or academic evidence:

Collecting evidence

There are two sources of evidence which need to be used in reflective writing assignments:

1) Your reflections form essential evidence of your experiences. Keep notes on your reflections and the developments that have occurred during the process.

2) Academic evidence from published case studies and theories to show how your ideas and practices have developed in the context of the relevant academic literature.

1)  Write a log of the event. Describe what happened as briefly and objectively as possible. You might be asked to include the log as an appendix to your assignment but it is mostly for your own benefit so that you can recall what occurred accurately.

2)  Reflect . You should reflect upon the experience before you start to write, although additional insights are likely to emerge throughout the writing process. Discuss with a friend or colleague and develop your insight. Keep notes on your thinking.

3)  Select . Identify relevant examples which illustrate the reflective process; choose a few of the most challenging or puzzling incidents and explore why they are interesting and what you have learnt from them.

Start with the points you want to make, then select examples to back up your points, from your two sources of evidence:

reflective writing learning experience

ii) theories, published case studies, or academic articles.

Use the reflective learning cycle to structure your writing:

This will make sure you cover the whole process and explain not just what happened, but why it happened and what improvements can be made based on your new understanding.

As a large proportion of your reflective account is based on your own experience, it is normally appropriate to use the first person ('I'). However, most assignments containing reflective writing will also include academic writing. You are therefore likely to need to write both in the first person ("I felt…") and in the third person ("Smith (2009) proposes that …"). Identify which parts of your experience you are being asked to reflect on and use this as a guide to when to use the first person. Always check your guidelines if you are not sure. If guidelines are not available then, in your introduction, explain when and why you are going to use "I" in your writing.

You will produce a balance by weaving together sections of 'I thought… 'I felt,…' and the relevant academic theories in the same section or paragraph. This is more effective than having a section which deals with the theory and a separate section dealing with your experiences.

Try to avoid emotive or subjective terms. Even though you are drawing on your experiences (and they may well have been emotional), you are trying to communicate these to your reader in an academic style. This means using descriptions that everyone would understand in the same way. So rather than writing, "The client was very unhappy at the start of the session", it might be better to write, "The client was visibly distressed", or "The client reported that he was very unhappy". This shows that you are aware that the client's understanding of 'unhappiness' may be quite different from yours or your reader's.  

When writing about your reflections use the past tense as you are referring to a particular moment (I felt…). When referring to theory use the present tense as the ideas are still current (Smith proposes that...).

Reflective Practice and Writing

This page contains helpful resources related to:

John Dewey, an educational philosopher, defined reflective thought as the “active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends” (Dewey, 1933, p. 9). He argued that reflection “…enables us to direct our actions with foresight…It enables us to know what we are about when we act” (p. 17).

Such deliberative thought and intention in our practice is critical to our success as educators.  Stephen Brookfield argues in his book Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (1995) that engaging in reflection helps us to:

There are several models of reflective practice that can help to guide our reflections on teaching.  Pick a model that works for you and use it to help guide and direct your reflection and writing about your instructional practices.

Among the simplest models proposed involves asking (Borton, 1970):

Figure 1. Borton reflection model

Borton reflection model

Gibbs (1998) proposed a more complex model that can help you think through all aspects of an experience.

Figure 3. Gibbs Reflection Model

Gibbs Reflection Model

The experiential learning cycle proposed by Kolb (1984) can also be used to promote and guide reflective thought and writing.  This cycle includes four stages to explain and guide how we can learn from experience.

Figure 2. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

Reflective writing involves thinking about an experience and trying to “make sense” of and learn from it.  While it may involve a description of the experience, a description alone does not constitute reflective writing.

Reflective writing must also include an interpretation and analysis of the experience.  The writer will consider what was important from the experience, why it occurred, what emotions it produced, how it could have gone differently, what was learned from the experience, and how that learning can be applied in the future.

Engaging in reflective writing presents an opportunity for deep and critical thought, which can result in new insights from your experiences.

Be honest and avoid censoring your thoughts

Take a step back

Write in response to questions

Narrow your focus

Consider keeping a journal for each of your classes

Borton, T. (1970).  Reach, touch, and teach: student concerns and process education . New York: McGraw-Hill.

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co.

Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing:  A guide to teaching and learning methods . Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as a source of learning and development . Englewood Cliffs. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sewell, C. (2017).   Reflective practice workshop. University of Cambridge.  Available:

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How to Write a Reflection Paper

Why reflective writing, experiential reflection, reading reflection.

Reflection offers you the opportunity to consider how your personal experiences and observations shape your thinking and your acceptance of new ideas.  Professors often ask students to write reading reflections.  They do this to encourage you to explore your own ideas about a text, to express your opinion rather than summarize the opinions of others.  Reflective writing can help you to improve your analytical skills because it requires you to express what you think, and more significantly, how and why you think that way.  In addition, reflective analysis asks you to acknowledge that your thoughts are shaped by your assumptions and preconceived ideas; in doing so, you can appreciate the ideas of others, notice how their assumptions and preconceived ideas may have shaped their thoughts, and perhaps recognize how your ideas support or oppose what you read.

Types of Reflective Writing

Popular in professional programs, like business, nursing, social work, forensics and education, reflection is an important part of making connections between theory and practice.  When you are asked to reflect upon experience in a placement, you do not only describe your experience, but you evaluate it based on ideas from class.  You can assess a theory or approach based on your observations and practice and evaluate your own knowledge and skills within your professional field.   This opportunity to take the time to think about your choices, your actions, your successes and your failures is best done within a specific framework, like course themes or work placement objectives.  Abstract concepts can become concrete and real to you when considered within your own experiences, and reflection on your experiences allows you to make plans for improvement.

To encourage thoughtful and balanced assessment of readings, many interdisciplinary courses may ask you to submit a reading reflection.  Often instructors will indicate to students what they expect of a reflection, but the general purpose is to elicit your informed opinions about ideas presented in the text and to consider how they affect your interpretation.   Reading reflections offer an opportunity to recognize – and perhaps break down – your assumptions which may be challenged by the text(s). 

Approaches to Reflective Inquiry

You may wonder how your professors assess your reflective writing.  What are they looking for? How can my experiences or ideas be right or wrong?  Your instructors expect you to critically engage with concepts from your course by making connections between your observations, experiences, and opinions.   They expect you to explain and analyse these concepts from your own point of view, eliciting original ideas and encouraging active interest in the course material.

It can be difficult to know where to begin when writing a critical reflection.  First, know that – like any other academic piece of writing – a reflection requires a narrow focus and strong analysis.  The best approach for identifying a focus and for reflective analysis is interrogation.   The following offers suggestions for your line of inquiry when developing a reflective response.

It is best to discuss your experiences in a work placement or practicum within the context of personal or organizational goals; doing so provides important insights and perspective for your own growth in the profession. For reflective writing, it is important to balance reporting or descriptive writing with critical reflection and analysis.

Consider these questions:

Consider the purpose of reflection: to demonstrate your learning in the course.  It is important to actively and directly connect concepts from class to your personal or experiential reflection.  The following example shows how a student’s observations from a classroom can be analysed using a theoretical concept and how the experience can help a student to evaluate this concept.

For Example My observations from the classroom demonstrate that the hierarchical structure of Bloom’s Taxonomy is problematic, a concept also explored by Paul (1993).  The students often combined activities like application and synthesis or analysis and evaluation to build their knowledge and comprehension of unfamiliar concepts.  This challenges my understanding of traditional teaching methods where knowledge is the basis for inquiry.  Perhaps higher-order learning strategies like inquiry and evaluation can also be the basis for knowledge and comprehension, which are classified as lower-order skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Critical reflection requires thoughtful and persistent inquiry.  Although basic questions like “what is the thesis?” and “what is the evidence?” are important to demonstrate your understanding, you need to interrogate your own assumptions and knowledge to deepen your analysis and focus your assessment of the text.

Assess the text(s):

Develop your ideas:

Make connections:

A Note on Mechanics

As with all written assignments or reports, it is important to have a clear focus for your writing.  You do not need to discuss every experience or element of your placement.  Pick a few that you can explore within the context of your learning.  For reflective responses, identify the main arguments or important elements of the text to develop a stronger analysis which integrates relevant ideas from course materials.

Furthermore, your writing must be organized.  Introduce your topic and the point you plan to make about your experience and learning.  Develop your point through body paragraph(s), and conclude your paper by exploring the meaning you derive from your reflection. You may find the questions listed above can help you to develop an outline before you write your paper.

You should maintain a formal tone, but it is acceptable to write in the first person and to use personal pronouns.  Note, however, that it is important that you maintain confidentiality and anonymity of clients, patients or students from work or volunteer placements by using pseudonyms and masking identifying factors. 

The value of reflection: Critical reflection is a meaningful exercise which can require as much time and work as traditional essays and reports because it asks students to be purposeful and engaged participants, readers, and thinkers.

How To Guides

Today's Bangkok Post newspaper

True IDC Experience Center launches a learning centre

The first of its kind in Thailand, True IDC Experience Center launches a one-stop learning centre for data centres and cloud technology

published : 26 May 2023 at 11:50

reflective writing learning experience

True Internet Data Center Co., Ltd. or True IDC, a leader in digital infrastructure services, has launched the True IDC Experience Center, the first learning centre for data centres and clouds in Thailand, located at the True Digital Park West building, under the concept of "Infinite Reflection to Your Digital Journey". The centre offers state-of-the-art media as a glimpse the world of digital life.

Mr. Theerapun Charoensak, General Manager of True IDC, said, "For the past 20 years, True IDC has been developing digital infrastructure services such as data centres and cloud systems and we became a leading service provider in Thailand that has consistently received international standards certifications. The launch of True IDC Experience Center is intended to spread knowledge and create new experiences for government agencies, private organisations, educational institutions, and the general public who are interested in learning about the world-class data centres and their working structure, as well as opening up a learning path for cloud services that will increasingly play a crucial role in the digital economy. This project is one of True IDC's sources of pride and will create benefits for the people, society, and the country, as well as reaffirm our leadership in infrastructure technology on all fronts, including consulting, service delivery, and learning centre.”

Tyler Qiu, Country Manager of Thailand, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said “Alibaba Cloud is very excited to showcase our latest cloud-based products and industry solutions at True IDC Experience Center. The project is a great initiative where visitors from varies industry sectors and different scale, educational institutions and general public can experience how the latest innovations and cloud technologies play a role in the development of a digital economy. True IDC is a market leader committed in advocating the crucial role of advanced technology in the digital world. We look forward to continue supporting organisations in Thailand to unleash their potential by leveraging the power of cloud computing."

Mrs. Piyatida Itiravivongs, President of the Cloud Business Department of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Company Limited, revealed that "True IDC is Huawei's cloud service provider and a key strategic partner. We are confident that the True IDC Experience Center will help everyone learn and experience the real thing. This also provides an opportunity to meet with cloud system experts who can offer suitable cloud solutions for business needs, helping startups, SMBs, and large enterprises access HUAWEI CLOUD services quickly. We are also committed to developing technology and services to better serve the digital infrastructure needs of customers."

Mr. Abhay Ghosalkar, Vice President of Secure Power Group, Schneider Electric, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, revealed that "The smooth operation of the digital life we enjoy today, whether it's banking, business, or entertainment through applications, depends on a strong, efficient, flexible, and reliable data centre from a trusted service provider with good support systems, such as security systems, performance and energy monitoring systems, to ensure smooth user experience. True IDC is one such service provider, offering complete data centres with convenient support systems, world-class technology, and international standards, enabling users who are start-ups and business owners to create innovative content without limitations while the end users have excellent experiences. As a partner of this project, we are confident that this will be a great learning resource for everyone on data centres and clouds.

Mr. Ekpawin Sukanan, Country Manager, Thailand, VMware, said, “We congratulate True IDC on the launch of the True IDC Experience Center. Enterprises in Thailand are embarking on an amazing digital transformation trajectory to unlock greater economies of scale, productivity and efficiency by tapping into the multi-cloud-based IT infrastructures. This experience centre should serve to illustrate the benefits multi-cloud can deliver, and help even more businesses understand how they can achieve tangible results to grow their business and succeed.”

reflective writing learning experience

Get to know True IDC Experience Center

True IDC Experience Center is part of an ecosystem for startups and technology entrepreneurs under the True Digital Park. This centre was created with the concept of "Infinite Reflection to Your Digital Journey," which refers to the endless reflection between the current need for digital transformation and digital infrastructure support. There are two zones within this learning centre: the data centre zone and the cloud zone, which are the two main businesses that True IDC provides to corporate clients. Each zone provides new knowledge to visitors by presenting information in an easy-to-understand way, adding to the visitors' technological know-how and experiences, as well as providing consultation and guidance to build understanding based on correct principles and lead to the use of good technology infrastructure.

The Data Center Zone allows visitors to experience the data centre facilities, mocked up within the True Digital Park building. It starts with the Data Hall, a small server room that provides an opportunity to learn about the various infrastructure and accommodating systems. Here the visitors will feel like they are in a real data centre. To learn more, visitors can explore the data centre virtually and learn about its operations through a 360-degree tour, which offers an immersive experience of the actual data centre that is not normally accessible to the public. Additionally, visitors can observe the work of the experts in the Command Center, who closely monitor the various systems to ensure they run smoothly around the clock and prevent issues that could potentially impact the digital systems within the data centre.

At the Cloud Zone, through a variety of exhibits, visitors can delve into the workings of cloud systems that underlie various online platforms in everyday life. They can also learn about cloud solutions from world-class service providers, observe the work of Thai cloud service developers, such as True IDC Cloud, and meet and chat with Cloud Heroes or teams of cloud service experts who are available for consultation throughout the day. The visit concludes with entertaining games and activities from the Cloudtalk Community, a well-known community in the IT industry.

Throughout its 20 years of business operation, True IDC has remained committed to developing services to meet the needs of customers of all sizes and industries, while also continuously innovating to disseminate knowledge and understanding of technology to Thai society, making it more accessible to the general public. We intend to be a leading force in propelling Thailand towards becoming a digital centre of ASEAN and on par with other countries on the global stage.

reflective writing learning experience

Those interested can visit the True IDC Experience Center every Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00. Visitors are also invited to join a free digital experience tour every Tuesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 14:30. The centre is located on the 2nd floor of True Digital Park West building (BTS Punnawithi station, exit 6).

Interested in booking a True IDC Experience Center tour? You can register and choose a date and time at Find more teaser video:  

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reflective writing learning experience


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  1. Using Reflective Writing to Deepen Student Learning

    Research in learning sciences illustrates the many benefits of reflective writing. When provided with clear and authentic prompts and given repeated opportunities to think about their course work and educational, professional, or clinical experiences, students are better able to retain and transfer learning to new contexts. Reflective writing often serves multiple purposes simultaneously ...

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    Yes-we recommend using evidence in reflective writing! When connecting personal experiences to the readings, that means selecting quotes from the readings and then coming up with specific moments in your life that relate to those quotes. When reflecting on learning or growth, that might mean locating evidence (quotes) from your previous ...

  3. Health professionals and students' experiences of reflective writing in

    Writing about experiences to develop learning and growth through reflection is called 'reflective writing' (RW). RW involves the process of reconsidering an experience, which is then analyzed in its various components [ 4 , 5 ].


    What is reflective writing? The word 'reflection' is often used as a broad term that covers a variety of writing practices at University. In most cases at University, you are required to link your reflection - whether on a problem, your practice, your values, or society - to theories. Different types of reflection the focus can be on ...

  5. Reflective Writing Guide

    Reflection is: a form of personal response to experiences, situations, events or new information. a 'processing' phase where thinking and learning take place. There is neither a right nor a wrong way of reflective thinking, there are just questions to explore. Figure 1 shows that the reflective thinking process starts with you.

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    1st Step: Review the assignment. As with any writing situation, the first step in writing a reflective piece is to clarify the task. Reflective assignments can take many forms, so you need to understand exactly what your instructor is asking you to do. Some reflective assignments are short, just a paragraph or two of unpolished writing.

  7. Examples of Reflective Writing

    Types of reflective writing assignments. A journal requires you to write weekly entries throughout a semester. May require you to base your reflection on course content. A learning diary is similar to a journal, but may require group participation. The diary then becomes a place for you to communicate in writing with other group members.

  8. How to Write a Reflective Essay

    1 Choose a tone. Before you begin to write your reflective essay, choose a tone. Because a reflective essay is more personal than an academic essay, you don't need to use a strict, formal tone. You can also use personal pronouns like I and me in your essay because this essay is about your personal experiences.

  9. PDF Example of Reflective Essay on Learning Experience

    Example of Reflective Essay on Learning Experience This essay is a reflective account on the progress I have made during the on-going nursing training programme I have embarked upon. The areas I intend to cover include the usefulness of assessment feedback for facilitating growth and for understanding the areas that need to be

  10. Reflective Writing- Learning Experience

    The document is based on reflective writing on learning experience. REFLECTIVE WRITING 2 INTRODUCTION AND REFLECTIVE JOURNAL SCOPE Learning is a continuous process, which needs to be prioritized in the community. Globally, learning is considered a powerful tool to success, which has been proven by research over the years. My course has specifically helped me a lot, regarding differentiating ...

  11. Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

    Overview. Gibbs' Reflective Cycle was developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988 to give structure to learning from experiences. It offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn't go well.

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    my last challenging learning experience (which even now lasts) concerns learning a Turkish and English, which are a very complex languages, also for people who, as me, has study with his mother language. especially when you study in a spicific major at university and you need onather language as module different of your mother language but you ...

  13. PDF A short guide to reflective writing

    4 A short guide to reflective writing Models of reflection There are frameworks that you can use to aid your reflective process. Alternatively, you may want to create your own. It needs to be a set of questions that you can ask yourself about an experience, plus a process by which you apply and learn from your reflection. Here are

  14. Writing a Reflective Paper

    Reflective writing is a process of identifying, questioning, and critically evaluating course-based learning opportunities, integrated with your own observations, experiences, impressions, beliefs, assumptions, or biases, and which describes how this process stimulated new or creative understanding about the content of the course.

  15. Reflective Writing

    Reflective writing: looks back at past experience to perform better in the future. analyses, explores and explains what happened and why. usually incorporates models or theory. uses academic language. considers strengths, weaknesses, anxieties and errors — you can use personal language such as 'I' and 'we' to talk about observations, emotions ...

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    Writing reflectively: it is about you - putting the 'I' in reflection. Reflective writing gives you an opportunity to think deeply about something you've learned or an experience you've had. Watch the video below for a quick introduction to reflective writing. The video includes an example of reflecting on practice, but the approach is ...

  17. Reflecting on experience

    Private reflections can take on any form and language you want. You can be as creative or structured as you want as long as you ensure you go through the reflective process of self-questioning. Reflection for an assignment often requires a particular language and structure. You should therefore always follow the guidelines provided by the staff ...

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    Key features. Reflective writing is a way of processing your practice-based experience to produce learning. It has two key features: 1) It integrates theory and practice. Identify important aspects of your reflections and write these using the appropriate theories and academic context to explain and interpret your reflections.

  19. Reflective writing

    Some examples of reflective writing assignments include: Analysing your experience of working on a group task. Critiquing a teaching or learning activity (self-review or peer review activities). Critiquing your experiences on a placement or internship. Describing a critical experience in your life that has shaped your view of the world.

  20. Reflective Practice and Writing

    Gibbs Reflection Model. The experiential learning cycle proposed by Kolb (1984) can also be used to promote and guide reflective thought and writing. This cycle includes four stages to explain and guide how we can learn from experience. Concrete experience - doing or having an experience. Reflective observation - thinking about the experience.

  21. How to Write a Reflection Paper

    Introduce your topic and the point you plan to make about your experience and learning. Develop your point through body paragraph (s), and conclude your paper by exploring the meaning you derive from your reflection. You may find the questions listed above can help you to develop an outline before you write your paper.

  22. True IDC Experience Center launches a learning centre

    True Internet Data Center Co., Ltd. or True IDC, a leader in digital infrastructure services, has launched the True IDC Experience Center, the first learning centre for data centres and clouds in ...