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Reflective Writing

Introduction


At University, reflective writing may appear to be more overtly encouraged on some units within some courses compared with others. For example, students who are required to maintain a ‘reflective’ journal or submit a ‘reflective assignment’ will, from necessity, be more familiar with this particular style of learning and writing.

Nonetheless, because reflective writing is associated with higher levels of learning, it is expected that all university students should develop skills that help them to learn from the process of reflection. In particular, reflection is a very important component of PDP. (Click for a detailed guide on Personal Development Planning)

Developing reflective skills will help you gain a more honest perspective of yourself which, in turn, means clearer identification of your academic strengths and of those areas that require a little more work.


More importantly, you will be able to recognize what affects your learning and performance and thus how to progress. This involves two main processes:

Reflection in Action = recognizing when something new is happening which may cause a surprise. Components of this reflection may comprise:

  • Recognition of the surprise

  • Review of a problem

  • Seeking extra information from tutor/literature/colleagues

  • Re-appraisal of previous solutions

Reflection on Action = thinking about something that has happened in the past and reviewing the way in which you dealt with it. This could lead to:




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