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Faculty of Humanities Study Skills Website

Reflective Writing

A student looking reflective

Reflective writing is a means of turning 'surface' learning into 'deep' learning. In brief, reflective writing:

  1. is not just an account of the event – it shows some analysis
  2. explores motives, including the views and motives of others, and considers them against the author’s own
  3. explores how reactions relate to behaviour
  4. questions ideas, considers them in depth
  5. includes other (potentially critical) perspectives as well as your own: it requires you to ‘stand back’ from the event
  6. mentions external information and how it impacted on behaviour
  7. doesn’t make one point at a time, but links ideas together
  8. recognises that the personal frame of reference can change according to the emotional state in which it is written, the acquisition of new information, the review of ideas and the effect of time passing
(Adapted from 'Reflective Writing: Guidance Notes for Students' Pete Watton, Jane Collings, Jenny Moon. (April 2001)


For more information about the role of reflection in learning, see Reflective Learning.

All material taken or adapted from the LearnHigher website's Critical Thinking and Reflection Resource Page.