Reflective writing occurs when you analyze and write about what you have learned through an interaction, an event, or an observation. Reflective writing gives you insight into your thinking and learning by giving you time to consider the thoughts and emotions that took place during and after an experience.
Reflective writing can be both personal and academic. You can conduct personal reflective writing in a journal to look back on the day’s events, noting what you learned from your day and naming what you might do differently.
You may conduct academic reflective writing when you write discussing what a specific reading or assignment helped you learn. After reading a chapter in a book, you can briefly analyze what you learned; thus, you internalize the information
A common misconception happens when people believe reflective writing means to only recount the facts of the experience. However, reflective writing goes beyond explaining a situation or facts of an experience and explains the thoughts and feelings generated in the moment and discerned afterward.
Academic Reflection Writing Tips
Important Note: Be sure you have read the material of an assignment before finalizing an academic reflective assignment. A best practice is to read the material and wait a while before trying to reflect. If you are confused or unsure what the material meant, you need to go back and reread it until you fully grasp the subject.
When you start your reflection assignment, ask these questions to get you thinking:
- What did I find interesting?
- What was the author trying to say?
- What are the conclusions that I came to after reading it?
- Will I be affected by what I learned? In what ways?
Remember: For academic reflective writing, grammar and spelling are important. Careful proofreading is expected. Also be sure you follow the assignment directions.