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Reflective Writing

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

Planning Reflective Writing

When choosing what to reflect on, the most exciting experience won't necessarily make the best essay. Consider what the person marking your assignment will be looking for (look at your brief). Which experience will be best? To help pick your experience, create a mind map or bullet point list.

1. Think of several experiences which match the topic of your reflective assignment.

2. Consider how each experience matches the topic.

3. Add any literature which you are aware of which links to your experience, and areas where you can deepen your reflection. 

4. Look at your mind map, which experience will make the best reflective essay? Select that one and begin searching for further literature.

Example Plan

Students who create a plan and check through it, usually write much better reflective essays. This is because their plan can help ensure their essay:

  • stays within the word count, by setting mini word counts for each section
  • flows better, by checking the overall plan
  • keeps focused on the topic by comparing the plan to the brief


Title: "Critically Reflect upon an experience of team working."

Introduction (10%, 100 words)

  • What the essay is about- handovers support good teamwork
  • Why teamworking is important- research to evidence this
  • Roadmap to the essay; First... Next.... Finally.

Main Body (80%, 800 words)

  • Briefly describe negative experience of teamworking on placement- bad handover (150 words)
  • Link experience to guidance by NHS and further literature on best handover practice (400 words)
  • Deepen Reflection- limitations on NHS guidance on handovers due to staff issues. (250 words)

Conclusion (10%, 100 words)

  • Summarise findings- although handover is important to good teamwork, good staffing is needed to achieve this
  • Action Plan