Reflective writing is common to many courses that involve practical placement-based activities such as teaching, social work and nursing. Reflective writing often benefits from using an appropriate reflective cycle to structure how to write about the situation and what was learnt.
Reflection consists of thinking critically about an experience and learning from it by:
Reflective writing therefore:
Many schools will recommend you use a reflective cycle such as Gibbs (1988) or Kolb (1974). These are ways of organising your thoughts so you can critically analyse the event and your feelings into a coherent piece of writing. They can help you produce writing that is more analytical and that goes beyond descriptively recording what happened.
Whichever cycle is used there are often three main elements. These main elements often comprise of smaller stages to put your feelings and actions into context and think about what you would learn from the experience:
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