Writing the comparative report
When writing your reflection, there are a number of points to consider:
The overall structure of the comparative report is outlined for you in the task. Within this structure, you need to include your description of the learning experience and your detailed analysis of your learning.
You must have three sections, as we outlined above:
- Comparison: In this section, include your description of the differences or similarities, along with your explanation for why the difference or similarity occurs.
- Reflection on learning: Under Reflection on learning, you need to highlight what you learned from the expert response. You should identify if this new knowledge reinforced, challenged, or added to your previous understanding of the case and the issues.
- Impact on practice: In this section, outline what you will do differently in your practice as a result of this learning. This should be practical, and include specific actions or strategies you will use if faced with the issues from the case.
Although you are writing about your learning and you might need to include a description of your emotional response to a situation or incident, you are still expected to write in a formal, objective manner. You can use the first person to discuss how your thinking has changed, and as part of the comparison process, but you should focus on your analysis and the implications for your practice.
The report has a word count limit. This means that you will need to be selective about the aspects of your learning that you include. We recommend that you select two or three key points of learning to focus on in your comparative report, rather than trying to cover everything.
A common challenge in reflective writing is finding a balance between description and analysis. While description is important to set the context and "describe" the situation and evidence, you will also need to demonstrate your ability to analyse it, for example by identifying a pattern of behaviour or a medical condition, or by connecting aspects of the scenario to your professional knowledge. You need to keep your description brief and relevant.
Different academics have different expectations around the structure and presentation of a comparative report. It is important to read all assessment instructions carefully. This includes reviewing the marking rubric, if it is provided. This will give you details about structure and word count specific to your task.
Check your understanding View
Bassot, B. (2016). The reflective practice guide : An interdisciplinary approach to critical reflection. London: Routledge.
Howard, J. (2019). Cognitive errors and diagnostic mistakes: A case-based guide to critical thinking in medicine. New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-93224-8