Reflection is the examination of our own actions and experiences in order to learn from them. Writing is a vehicle for reflection, and helps to give permanence to our thoughts and ideas at a particular point in time.
By recording thoughts, ideas and emotions you will become more aware of the changes over time in your ways of thinking and doing. This is why you may be asked to do reflective writing as part of your course: it helps others to clearly understand what you have learned, and how you plan to use this in developing future work.
Engaging in reflective writing can help you to:
- clarify your thoughts
- question what you are doing
- make meaning of things by recording ideas, associations and connections between your work and other things you encounter
- develop metacognitive skills (thinking about thinking) by exploring what you think and why
- identify the emotions you feel as part of the learning process and how you can work with these
- make sense of the uncertainty you might experience in relation to self-directed study
- develop your writing skills and ability to put your thoughts into words
Next page: writing reflectively for yourself
Image: Leona McConnell