characteristics of reflective writing

characteristics of reflective writing

The Importance of Reflective Writing

1. Introduction

Reflective writing seems like an easy aspect of fabricating an essay, and yet students are often stumped. For this reason, I’ve discovered that reflecting on their writing in an essay as a scientific idea-experiment, using this to test out and learn their ideas about a problem or a subject. At the beginning, while describing what reflective writing is, I’ll decide that the important thing to powerful reflective writing is “reflective thinking.” He describes this as “purposeful question about ideas, actions, or thoughts in order to further understanding and deepen belief.” Reflective writing offers the writer and the reader the possibility to become aware of subject matter, deeply engage with learning and to increase the skill to synthesize and analyze thoughts. Reflective writing is something that can basically be integrated into your everyday life. Many social people, teachers, scholars, and so on are asked to keep a reflection log or a reflective journal. This can be used as a tool to help develop an understanding of an experience that can later be developed into a position paper, a phase of a project, or a course project. It is thought that a reason for this will be to help individuals discover a journey of development and improve quality in future work.

2. Benefits of Reflective Writing

Certainly, the benefits of reflective writing are clear. It has been identified to assist the writer with understanding and interpreting an experience that has taken place. This is done through the writer being honest with their feelings about an occurrence, regarding what they thought, felt, and why they acted in a certain way. Reflective writing can also help develop the skill of critical evaluation to work which includes analysis and interpretation, as suggested by Alfaro-LeFevre. Stephenson also agrees, suggesting that a skill in reflection is a skill in practical problem solving. This skill is essential if nurses are to develop evidence-based practice. By analyzing an experience in depth, it is possible to improve the existing know-how and add to the knowledge base of a particular task, whether it is at the personal or professional level. The strength of the experience is only half of the equation, as the other half involves the interpretation of the experience which includes deciding what to do, if anything, with what has been learned. Reflection is also about making a decision to do something, based on the learning from an experience. This can be anything from changing a particular aspect of one’s life to completely altering future plans. Finally, reflective writing helps to identify areas of knowledge which the writer may need to learn more about. This is often about a particular area of the skill and knowledge within the context of the experience, such as understanding the new technology in a hospital ward or learning more about a medical condition. An example from my own practice involves giving an injection of an anti-inflammatory medication into a patient’s knee joint. In a bid to enhance my nursing competencies, I decided to learn more about the effects of the medication on joint inflammation and the nursing considerations for this treatment. From the above, we can see that the development of reflective writing is a natural progression for all healthcare practitioners as it develops the skills required for clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice to improve client outcomes.

3. Techniques for Effective Reflective Writing

A) Description B) There is internal dialogue (i.e. the sense making stage) C) Critical analysis D) Development of a new perspective E) There is a change in behaviour.

Reflective writing is a lot more personal than other forms of academic writing. In this kind of writing, your goal is to write your own personal feelings and thoughts about an event, the world, or about your thoughts. Reflective writing comes in many forms, such as journals, logs, and diaries. It is clear that this kind of writing is more subjective compared to other forms of academic writing. Reflective writing can be a very helpful tool in helping the writer hash out their thoughts and feelings on an event. Reflective writing can also be very beneficial to the reader, as learning from others’ experiences has been shown to be a very effective way of learning. There are many methods and techniques of reflective writing, and all of them depend on the writer and his line of thought. Studies at the University of Reading show that there are five stages of reflective thinking which can be stemmed to reflective writing. They are:

4. Examples of Reflective Writing

One commission the writer was involved in was to use a reflective practice tool. They were asked to identify three critical incidents within the counselling session and analyse these using the tool. The writer was familiar with reflective practice but had never used a specific tool. They found that this exercise was very beneficial and when continuing with supervision used a similar tool to analyse what they had done in their supervision session. The practice tool was a valuable resource that the writer would not have used had they not had to identify it as part of their reflective writing. This demonstrated that often when using reflective practice it will change what the individual does in future situations. The writer used stage two of the model to consider what was good and bad about the experience. This showed the writer that they had not allowed the client the opportunity of choice and it had resulted in a loss of empowerment. The writer felt disappointed about this situation and it is something they will carefully consider before taking a note in future sessions. This example shows that reflective practice can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience but can lead to personal and professional development in the long term. Stage four was used to identify how the writer could do something different next time understanding that it is best to plan to do something different rather than expect it will happen naturally. The skill of understanding has only come after going through the different stages of the model.

5. Conclusion

Michael Kardos describes how his reflective process ultimately helped him to make a decision about a career change. The reflection uncovered what it was that he really loved about drumming and helped him to identify how he could shift these skills and values into employment that had better prospects. Reflecting can help to provide new understanding and in Kardos’s case it changed his perceptions and allowed him to find a new sense of direction. A final extremely important outcome that Kardos mentions is that through reflection, he was able to track his development. This is important in learning and professional development and can enable better understanding and improve the outcomes of what we are doing.

By way of a conclusion, Michael Kardos says that “reflection has been a productive, enlightening exercise for me.” This simple statement shows the value of reflective writing. It can be an extremely beneficial process and provide a range of useful outcomes. The reflection can act as a sounding board for developing options and making decisions. Reflective writing can provide a higher level of learning through practice; it can encourage the habit of exploring an area, situation or knowledge with an open mind. In the long term, through being critically reflective, one can move away from doing things simply because they have been done in the past and move towards developing new possibilities and finding better solutions.

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