IT: Reflective writing
Student Sample Reflection
Language for reflective writing in IT
Although slightly less formal in tone, reflective writing is still a kind of formal academic writing. Therefore, it should follow the rules of good writing, including:
- structural elements (i.e. introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion)
- academic conventions, such as citing and referencing any published sources you may have drawn on.
The key difference is the space to write more subjectively than your other uni assignments. That means you can use the pronoun ‘I’ or ‘we’, and, most importantly, you are encouraged to articulate and engage with your feelings! This is useful if you are trying to deal with conflicting emotions that you may encounter in your learning or in your professional development (e.g. when you’re describing the ‘storming’ stage (Tuckman, 1965) in your group’s collaboration, where roles aren't fully established and conflicts arise related to working styles).
Below is some useful language when writing reflectively. Click the icon next to the words to reveal lists of alternative words and phrases and then click again to hide.
The best reflective learners and practitioners are constantly engaged in the processes described above. Effective reflection involves practice and making time to think about the experiences one has had.
Below are some questions suggested by Holm and Stephenson (1994) designed to prompt deeper reflection:
- What was my role in the situation?
- Did I feel comfortable or uncomfortable? Why?
- What actions did I take, if any?
- How did I and others act?
- Was it appropriate? Why/ why not?
- How could the situation be improved in the future?
- Have I learnt anything new about myself?
- How has it changed my way of thinking?
- What theory or knowledge can I apply to the situation?
- What bigger issues arise from the event or experience?
- What do I think about the broader issues?
How to write about your experiences
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford Polytechnic.
Holm, D. & Stephenson, S. (1994). Reflection: a student’s perspective. In A. M. Palmer, S. Burns & C. Bulman (Eds.), Reflective practice in nursing: The growth of the professional practitioner (pp. 53-62). Blackwell Scientific Publication.
Tuckman, B. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63(6), 384-399. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0022100