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12 JANUARY 2014

Reflective writing: a basic introduction

Reflection is an exploration and an explanation of events–not just a description of them.

Genuinely reflective writing often involves 'revealing' anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as strengths and successes. This is fine (in fact it's often essential!), as long as you show some understanding of possible causes, and explain how you plan to improve.

It is normally necessary to select just the most significant parts of the event or idea on which you're reflecting. ... If you try to 'tell the whole story' you're likely to use up your words on description rather than interpretation.

It is often useful to 'reflect forward' to the future as well as 'reflecting back' on the past.

(Martin Hampton, Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement, University of Portsmouth)

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TAGS

academic skills • academic writingcritical explanation • descriptive commentary • explicit knowledgeexploration oriented design processhow-to guidesinductive reasoninginformal languageinterpretation of experiencelearning guides • Martin Hampton • naming and rehearsal • ongoing progress • ongoingness • personal diary • post-hoc analysis • practice narratives • practising professional • professional developmentreflective bloggingreflective journalreflective practitioner • reflective thinking • reflective writing • social interdependence theory • structured method • structured writing • structuring reflective writing • theory buildingtheory-in-use • think reflectively • thinking through writing • University of Portsmouth • vocabulary aid • writing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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