Reflective Writing

Details

  1. Class: Unspecified
  2. This template is published for use.
  1. Step 1: Gather all relevant assignment documents.
    Percent time spent on this step: 2%

    Instructions:

    You've made an excellent choice in using the Assignment Calculator to plan your time! Well done! To keep a copy of this schedule, click 'Print' in the top right hand corner and you can either print a copy or choose to print to PDF via the print menu. Mac and Linux users will find the option to print to PDF in the print menu on your machine. Windows users may need extra instructions, as only Windows 10 has a built-in PDF printer. Check this Digital Trends page for help with setting up a PDF printer on your Windows machine.

    The first step to a successful reflective assignment is to make sure you have all the information you need about your assignment. Your Learning Guide should be your first port of call. You may also find additional information on your unit vUWS site and in class discussions. If you need to, contact your tutor to clarify what you need to do.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  2. Step 2: Understand your assignment; select and focus your topic.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions:

    University assignments usually ask you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of particular topic areas related to the unit you are studying. Reflective writing tasks are often quite complex, so you will need to pay careful attention to what you are being asked to do. If you don't respond to the task instructions as given, you won't get a good mark even if you write it really well. If you have to choose from a range of questions or topics, you might need to do some introductory reading (e.g. from your textbook) or some initial reflection at this stage to help you decide.

    Use the resources linked below to help you get a good understanding of the task at hand. If you get stuck, you can also ask a Study Smart Officer or access Study Smart Online.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  3. Step 3: Develop a general reflective statement in response to the task.
    Percent time spent on this step: 15%

    Instructions:

    Even though your task is a reflective one, you will usually need to incorporate an understanding of the theories and concepts you have been learning in your unit. Create a mind map of everything you know about the topic and focus areas related to your assessment task (see step 2 and the resources on analysing your assignment question). You could brainstorm links between the topic for reflection and key concepts from the unit, as well as any sources from your unit reading list that might be relevant. Look at your mind map and decide on a few key areas that you would like to cover in your reflection.

    Then ask yourself ‘what have I learnt or experienced in these areas?’. You could also try some Activities to guide reflection to help you with this stage. Then formulate a general statement about how you could respond to the task (a 'working' reflective statement). This will help guide your research (the next step) so you don't waste time looking for the wrong information.

    Once you have done your research, your ideas might have changed (this is a good thing!). You can then come back and change your reflective statement in light of what you have read and how your ideas have changed.

    Useful resources:

    • Critical thinking (PDF, 112 KB) – see the mind map on page 2 for some points to consider as you start out

    Drop into a campus library and Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  4. Step 4: Design reflective process. Find and evaluate evidence and sources to address your reflective task.
    Percent time spent on this step: 15%

    Instructions:

    Use your mind map from Step 3 to identify areas where you need to do some further research, reading, and reflection.

    Researching effectively is a skill you can learn, and there are lots of resources to help you get started. If you haven't tried searching the Library's resources before, do the online tutorials on Successful Searching. Your future self will thank you!

    Do a quick scan of the articles you find to check if they are relevant. This will mean you don't have to spend time carefully reading something that turns out not to be relevant. Don't forget to evaluate what you find to ensure that it has scholarly APPEAL (video, 6:26).

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask a Librarian in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  5. Step 5: Critically read and further evaluate sources.
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%

    Instructions:

    Once you have a range of scholarly sources relevant to your reflective writing, read them carefully and take notes. Ensure you keep the citation information for each source with your notes so that you can cite your sources correctly. Take note of what points the sources agree on and what points they differ about – this is part of reading critically. Once you have done your reading, go back and look at your working thesis statement or research question, and revise it if necessary.

    Useful resources:

    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.

  6. Step 6: Develop overall reflective writing structure. Draft segments of reflective writing. Organise sources.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions:

    Sometimes your assignment instructions will prescribe a particular structure or headings for you to use. If this is the case, follow those instructions for structuring your reflecting writing and move on to Step 7. If there is no prescribed structure for your assignment, keep reading.

    Using your revised reflective statement (see Step 5), develop a structure for your reflective writing. Plan what you will write in each section. What will be your main points? What theory and literature will you link with these points? Which point should come first, and which should come last? Write a topic sentence for each main point and use them to start drafting your paragraphs.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  7. Step 7: Write first draft.
    Percent time spent on this step: 22%

    Instructions:

    Draft one paragraph for each main point, with explanation and evidence for the point you are making. You might need more than one paragraph for each section of the report (e.g. method, results, or other sections specified in the task instructions), but each paragraph should still make one main point. Then write your introduction and conclusion.

    Ensure that you cite the ideas you have used from your sources and include the source in your reference list. Use the referencing style specified in your Learning Guide.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  8. Step 8: Revise & rewrite – focus on content. Submit draft to Turnitin for Originality Report.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions:

    Read back over your reflective writing and check your content. Does your writing make sense? Have you explained everything enough? Do your ideas flow logically? Are your reflections linked to key concepts and literature from your unit?

    When you’re ready, submit your draft to Turnitin (check your Learning Guide to see if your unit allows this). The Originality Report (video, 2:59) will help you see where you need to paraphrase more carefully to integrate the ideas from your sources into your own writing.

    You could also see a Study Smart Officer or submit your draft to Study Smart Online (allow 24-48 hours) for feedback. Access this service via the Study Smart Online link in your unit vUWS site.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  9. Step 9: Polish and put paper in final form.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions:

    Review the Originality Report (video, 2:46) and/or feedback from a Study Smart Officer or Study Smart Onlineediting where necessary. You may need to rewrite some sections and correct any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors (use the spelling and grammar checker in your word processor as a start). If possible, ask a trusted friend to proofread for you. Then make any final corrections that are needed.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.
  10. Step 10: Submit your final version.
    Percent time spent on this step: 1%

    Instructions:

    Save your final version and you’re ready to submit! You should already be familiar with the submission requirements – take a moment to check whether you need to submit to Turnitin via a link in your unit vUWS site, or perhaps via another method. Do you need to provide a printed copy? If you need an updated Turnitin Originality Report (video, 2:59), allow for the 24 hour delay on this, although the digital receipt will confirm submission straight away. 

    Once you’ve submitted your reflective writing, celebrate and reward yourself for getting it done!

    When you receive your marked assignment, don’t forget to read the feedback and reflect on how you can use it to improve next time.

    Useful resources:


    Drop into a campus library and ask Library staff in red or chat with an Online Librarian or drop in to see a Study Smart Officer at your campus.