Reflective Writing Tips
Let’s have a look at reflective writing.
What is Reflective Writing?
Reflective writing is:
• Your response to experiences, opinions, events, or new information.
• Your response to thoughts and feelings.
• A way of thinking to explore your learning.
• An opportunity to gain self-knowledge.
• A way to achieve clarity and a better understanding of what you are learning.
• A chance to develop and reinforce writing skills.
• A way of making meaning out of what you study.
Reflective writing is not:
• Just conveying information, instruction, or argument.
• Pure description, though there may be descriptive elements.
• Straightforward decision or judgment (e.g. about whether something is right or wrong,
good or bad).
• Simple problem-solving.
• A summary of unit notes.
• A standard university essay.
How to write reflectively
What to discuss
• Your perceptions of the course and the content.
• Experiences, ideas, and observations you have had, and how they relate to the course or
• What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting, and why.
• Questions you have and conclusions you have drawn.
• How you solved a problem, reached a conclusion, found an answer, or reached a point of
• Possibilities, speculations, hypotheses, or solutions.
• Alternative interpretations or different perspectives on what you have read or done in your
• How new ideas challenge what you already know.
• What you need to explore next in terms of thoughts and actions.
• Comparisons and connections between what you are learning, this includes your prior
knowledge and experience; your prior assumptions and preconceptions; what you know
from other courses, units or disciplines.
As it concerns your thoughts, reflective writing is mostly subjective. Therefore, in addition to being
reflective and logical, you can be personal, hypothetical, critical, and creative. You can comment
based on your experience, rather than limiting yourself to academic evidence.
• Reflective writing is an activity that includes description (what, when, who) and analysis
(how, why, what if). It is an explorative tool often resulting in more questions than answers.
• Use full sentences and complete paragraphs.
• You can usually use personal pronouns like ‘I’, ‘my’ or ‘we’.
• Keep colloquial language to a minimum (e.g. stuff, guys).
• A reflective task may allow you to use different modes of writing and language, this includes
descriptive (outlining how something is or how something was done), explanatory
(explaining why or how it is like that), expressive (I think, I feel, I believe).
Tips for your reflective writing process
1. Think of an interaction, event, or episode you experienced that can be connected to the topic.
2. Describe what happened.
3. What was your role?
4. What feelings and perceptions surround the experience?
5. How would you explain the situation to someone else?
6. What might this experience mean in the context of your course?
7. What other perspectives, theories, or concepts could be applied to the situation
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Reflective Writing Tips