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Reflective Writing

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

Critical Reflective Writing

Questioning your own analysis of the experience is an important element of reflective writing, and is a good way to include critical writing in your essay.

In our writing, we need to evidence that we have questioned our analysis.

Questions to ask

Here are more examples of how you can be critical of your analysis:

  • Are there any alternative explanations for your experience?
    Thinking of different options
  • Are there any weaknesses or strengths to the literature?

    Comparing two items
  • Is your experience and evaluation transferable to other situations? What are the limitations?
    recycling symbol
  • What other factors affected the experience? Which was the most important and why?
    selecting different options
  • Are there any limitations to comparing your experience to the literature? How does this affect your conclusion?
    comparing two things
  • Are there competing views in the literature? Which one is the strongest?

Example

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 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. However, there has been far less evidence on the impact of engaging with images or videos of nature, particularly if this type of content is consumed as part of general social media usage. From my own experience, nature videos on social media are often part of a stream of short-form content, and on platforms such as TikTok or Instagram I feel my attention span is too short to gain any benefit from watching these. Therefore, although videos on these platforms can be quickly and easily accessible (Yeo et al., 2022), I will prioritise watching longer forms of nature videos in order to effectively support my mental health. 


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