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Writing a reflection is an important part of the academic process. Reflections are a way to demonstrate your knowledge, thinking and understanding of a topic or concept. Reflections give you the opportunity to take a step back and think about how the material you studied fits into the bigger picture of your course or major.

  • When writing a reflection, it's important to think carefully about the following:
  • What was the real-world relevance of what I studied?
  • How did my study of this material affect my understanding?
  • What connections can I make between my own experience and what I learned?
  • What implications does this have for my future learning or research?

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to craft an effective reflection that is academically sound and meaningful. It's also important to remember that your reflections should reflect your own thoughts and experiences, so don't be afraid to express your opinion in your writing.

Difference between Reflective Writing and Other Academic Writing

The ultimate goal of reflective writing is to use personal experiences to learn and improve, it requires a subjective approach. It is distinct from other types of academic writing, such as research papers and essays, which require an objective approach. Unlike other forms of academic writing which are primarily focused on abstract concepts and ideas, reflective writing allows you to explore meaningful connections between yourself and the material being studied - making it an invaluable tool for learning and personal growth!

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Different Types of Reflections

Reflection is an essential part of academic writing that allows you to analyze the material you are studying and make thoughtful connections between what you know and the new information learned. It can be a powerful tool in improving your academic performance — if done correctly.

There are several types of reflections, each with its own purpose and unique approach. Here are three of the most popular types:

Textual Reflections: This type of reflection requires an evaluation of a text or piece of literature. These reflections ask questions about how the material impacts your understanding of a particular area of study.

Experiential Reflections: An experiential reflection explores how an event or experience has changed your perspective. This type should include evidence-based reflection on your observations and feelings.

Narrative Reflections: Narrative reflections involve telling a story about something that happened or has affected you in some way. It should include thinking critically about the situation while describing it in vivid detail and exploring different emotions associated with it.

Framework for structuring a reflection

Various frameworks are used to structure reflective papers. You can find some of them below:

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Gibbs Reflective
Johns’s Model of Reflection Johns’s Model of Reflection
STAR Reflection Framework STAR Reflection Framework
DIEP Framework DIEP Framework

You've probably noticed that these frameworks are in a repetitive cycle that is because they are meant to be used for reflection on how to progress and improve when you have the same experience again in the future. The last one consists of a series of actions that are intended to assist you to reflect on a particular event, process, or experience.

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Tips to Consider When Crafting a Reflection

Composing a reflection can be a challenging task, especially for those who are new to it, but it doesn't have to be. With a few tips and tricks, you'll be able to craft an effective reflection in no time.

Clarify your Topic & Thesis

The key to any successful writing is clarity—you want to make sure your reader knows exactly what your topic is and why you’re writing about it. A great way to do this is by summarizing your thesis in the introduction and reiterating it throughout the rest of the paper. This will provide a consistent point of reference for readers, so they understand the core message of your reflection and its purpose.

Analyze and Reflect on the Topic

Once you have laid out the background information, take time to analyze what you have written as well as reflect on its significance. Ask yourself questions such as: How does this knowledge relate to my own experiences? What have I learned from my reflections? How do these reflections apply to my future goals? Answering these questions will help you deepen your understanding of the material at hand.

Check your Tense

Reflection in the present moment often involves analyzing a past event with the goal of reimagining it in the future. Make sure that you use the appropriate verb to show that.

Show what you learned

Focus more on what you learn and how it can be used in the future and less on describing the positive and negative aspects of the event that you experienced.

Make Use of Supporting Examples

As with any essay, using examples for support can be helpful in fleshing out a reflection piece and will help add credibility. Sources such as interviews, surveys and journal articles can be used as evidence to illustrate points in an essay that otherwise may not have been made as clear on their own.


In conclusion, crafting a successful reflection requires both creative and analytical thinking. It's not just about summarizing the text and then adding a personal touch – you should also be able to think critically about the topic, consider different angles, and then articulate it using your own words. As with any other type of academic writing, a reflection paper should be backed up with evidence, sound logic, and accurate information. It is also beneficial to draw on your own experiences, as long as they are relevant to the topic. With a bit of practice and guidance, you can write a powerful and compelling reflection that will leave a lasting impression.

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