prompts for reflective writing

prompts for reflective writing

The Importance of Reflective Writing

1. Benefits of Reflective Writing

Enhancing enjoyment of writing with increased self-awareness comes the expansion of conscious thought and the deepening of the pool of information used in generating ideas. This theoretically results in a greater cognitive ability in reasoning and problem solving. By considering the writing task or topic and reflecting upon it, there is the opportunity to understand, question, and change many levels of meaning. So learning becomes more personal and therefore more meaningful. So what? When students are faced with a complex task, a critical reflection phase involves considering the many and varied aspects of the problem. By considering the various levels or dimensions of a problem or task, students may be pushed into a state of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling produced by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. This state of unease prods the organism to restore consistency among the cognitions. These changes move the student from just understanding on a superficial level to really believing the importance of the task at hand. This can result in a more permanent change in the students’ habitual behaviors and skills. Learning becomes an internal tool for change in understanding or behavior. One of the paramount experiences in reflective writing is doing so for an audience. To effectively communicate an idea through writing, the intended audience must be considered. Writing dialogue to or between the various levels of cognition and archiving it on paper provides a record that can be reflected upon in the future. Students can analyze their own thought processes and resulting understandings at a later date, and it will still remain available for an authentic assessment of the change or lack of change in their own beliefs. The students’ understanding can be seen in the changed quality of their actions. Writing for an audience also enhances one’s sense of self-efficacy. Coming to the realization that one’s writing can have an effect on another person is a powerful incentive to manipulate one’s own thought process and resultant product to a higher quality. This is often not hit by students in traditional writing tasks where the teacher is the only audience who marks the work, and the student knows that the teacher is really only assessing the grammatical and spelling accuracy of the piece and not its content. A higher quality work often leads to an increased sense of satisfaction and confidence. This confidence in one’s abilities is transferable amongst tasks and subject areas.

2. Techniques for Effective Reflective Writing

This depends on what your thesis is and what your subject matter might be. If your assignment is to reflect on an event, for example, you might want to write down what happened and how it made you feel, and then reflect on how the event changed you and what you have learned from it. If your assignment is to reflect on your own learning, or the process of creating a goal and attempting to reach it, for example, you might want to write down what you did, what happened and how it made you feel, then reflect on what went well, what went badly, and what you could have done differently. Or you might want to simply create a diary. At first, this might be the simplest way to write and can be the most creative. Just write a few lines on how your day went and how you felt and thought about what you did. With practice, this can be an excellent vehicle for reflective practice. After writing down a description of events and emotions, you can go back and analyze your thoughts and behaviors at the time and draw out conclusions about the person you were and the differences between how you were then and how you are now. Regardless of the type of reflective assignment you are writing, a linear process which moves from description to analysis to conclusion should be the basis of your work.

3. Prompts for Reflective Writing

For example, a student might describe an incident in which they took a negative attitude to an assignment by stating “I left the assignment to the last minute and handed it in half done”. This description of the event can be linked to the analysis by considering “Why did that happen?” The student may have felt the assignment was not important enough to expend time and effort upon. This then leads to the outcome of the event, with the student stating “The assignment received a low grade and I felt that I had let myself down in my motivation to succeed in my study”. Following this structure provides an easy link from the description of the event to its implications and makes considering future actions or changes an obvious step.

A useful structure to follow for a reflective prompt can be: Description – What happened? Analysis – Why did it happen? Outcome – What was the result?

What? Describe the event or activity. So what? Consider the consequences or implications of the event or activity. This is the heart of your reflection and is where the meaning of your experience and your learning takes place. Now what? Consider what actions or changes you should make as a result of your reflection.

Be aware of the three key terms for reflective thinking and writing: What? So what? Now what? These terms, and the questions associated with them can be used to create a structured reflection on an activity or event.

4. Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block in Reflective Writing

Make a schedule for writing and try to stick to it. Setting a specific time each day will make you more consistent with your writing. Getting into a routine will make it easier to keep writing. Don’t feel the need to have a perfect schedule; you can be flexible but be sure to set aside an appropriate amount of time. Set short-term goals, such as writing a specific amount in a certain period of time. However, be sure these goals are attainable or you will feel like a failure. Success with your writing will make it easier to continue. On the other hand, failure to meet these goals will help you be aware of what your barriers to writing are. Step back and take a look at your thought process. Do you feel that you want to write but don’t know what to write? Is it confusion about the subject or the assignment? Maybe you are unorganized. Figuring out what it is that is preventing you from writing will help you form another plan of attack. With that plan, if it fails, you at least have a better idea of what did not work. Finding the method that works may take time. Remember not to get too frustrated; a lot of writing is trial and error.

5. How Reflective Writing Enhances Personal Growth

When you’re writing an academic reflection, following the ripples all the way from the action to the feeling and on to the meaning can be quite difficult. To describe emotions, evaluate your knowledge, and connect action and theory is no mean feat. The deeper the level of reflection and the stronger the connection to the action that provoked it, the more learning can be derived from the experience. This learning is of use to one’s personal development and can be a source of inspiration, and even leverage, for new experience and growth. Thus, the creation of a personal learning plan to fully identify and explore a specific learning experience, be it a course module, a period of work and study abroad, or an additional curricular activity, can be an important catalyst for learning from any number of experiences to improve the quality of future experiences.

Place Your Order
(275 Words)

Approximate Price: $15

Calculate the price of your order

275 Words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total Price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic Level
Number of Pages
Principle features
  • Free cover page and Reference List
  • Plagiarism-free Work
  • 24/7 support
  • Affordable Prices
  • Unlimited Editing
Upon-Request options
  • List of used sources
  • Anytime delivery
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Writer’s sample papers
  • Professional guidance
Paper formatting
  • Double spaced paging
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
  • 275 words/page
  • Font 12 Arial/Times New Roman

•Unique Samples

We offer essay help by crafting highly customized papers for our customers. Our expert essay writers do not take content from their previous work and always strive to guarantee 100% original texts. Furthermore, they carry out extensive investigations and research on the topic. We never craft two identical papers as all our work is unique.

•All Types of Paper

Our capable essay writers can help you rewrite, update, proofread, and write any academic paper. Whether you need help writing a speech, research paper, thesis paper, personal statement, case study, or term paper, essay writing service is ready to help you.

•Strict Deadlines

You can order custom essay writing with the confidence that we will work round the clock to deliver your paper as soon as possible. If you have an urgent order, our custom essay writing company finishes them within a few hours (1 page) to ease your anxiety. Do not be anxious about short deadlines; remember to indicate your deadline when placing your order for a custom essay.

•Free Revisions and Preview

To establish that your online custom essay writer possesses the skill and style you require, ask them to give you a short preview of their work. When the writing expert begins writing your essay, you can use our chat feature to ask for an update or give an opinion on specific text sections.

A Remarkable Student Essay Writing Service

Our essay writing service is designed for students at all academic levels. Whether high school, undergraduate or graduate, or studying for your doctoral qualification or master’s degree, we make it a reality.