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Reflective Writing

This online study guide covers the key features of reflective writing.

Compare your experience to the literature

Explicitly linking and comparing your experience to the literature is an important element of reflective writing. This is where you analyse the experience. 

Sometimes your experience will match what the literature says. For example, your experience of teamwork on placement, matched NHS guidance on good teamwork. Sometimes your experience can be different to what the literature suggests, which is fine too. But it is important to explain these links in your writing, and try to make sense of any differences. 

The video below shows different methods of comparing your experience to the literature (the term 'theories' is used in the video).


Title: "Briefly reflect on how a nature video made you feel"

Watching a video on the ‘Breath-taking Beauty of Nature’ (YouTube, 2018) made me feel calmer and happier for a short while after watching the film. This link between experiencing nature first-hand and positive mood has been well documented (Depledge et al., 2011; Silva et al., 2018; Ulrich, 1981), and is something that I believe helps my own mental health. The importance of mental health has been brought to prominence over the past 15 years (Mind, 2021), including most recently by the Government  in their ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign ( 2022). This may be the reason why I spend more time thinking about my mental health than I did ten years ago, and is why I now take part in activities which improve my mental health, such as watching nature videos.