Need help to write a 2000 words reflective writing on the current MBA module, professional development. Please find the module information, assignment brief and sample for reflective writings. Ref in harvard style.
What is reflective writing?
Reflection involves looking back and evaluating your actions,
in light of the relevant literature in your subject, with a view to
improving your practice, task or analysis.
Note: Concepts of ‘reflection’ may vary among disciplines but
you will usually be asked to write a reflective essay where
relatively complex (often practical) tasks are concerned.
The purpose of reflective writing is to interrogate your own
learning and demonstrate the ability to apply theory or
conceptual processes to your practice or task in a meaningful
way. Whether you’re training to be a health specialist, a
lawyer, a scientist, a business person, an engineer, a teacher,
a historian or any other professional, you will be expected to
be a reflective practitioner. This means questioning your
everyday practice and implementing new knowledge gained
through this reflection in your job/research/study.
Elements of a reflective essay
As with any essay, it is important that you consult your brief
for specific guidelines, but usually, a reflective essay:
demonstrates your familiarity with relevant literature
shows ability to think critically and evaluate the existing
makes connections between the literature and your
experience (practical tasks)
reflects on your practice/experience and creates deeper
understands how aspects of your practice are relevant to
values your experience, shows how you learn from it and
makes recommendations for future action/practice
In this guide:
Purpose of reflective writing
Elements of a reflective essay
Differences between a
standard undergraduate essay
and a reflective essay
Tips for a great reflective
essay and examples
theory practice analysis
reflection on practice
The reflective cycle
A reflective cycle such as this one (compare with
Gibbs. 1988) can be used to develop each point or
in each paragraph: introduce the identified issue,
refer critically to theory/literature, provide
examples from practice, comment on the
relevance of the experience to the literature, and
show the implications, so you can move on to the
Note: Alternatively, you can begin with an example from
your practice and use the cycle to reflect on it and refer
back to the literature. Both approaches can be used in the
reflective essay, as appropriate.
Basic differences between a standard essay and a reflective essay
Standard essay Reflective essay
Subject A research problem-oriented analysis; an
often abstract and theoretical discussion
of a specific topic.
A less specified and often self-selected
discussion of your own practice/experience
with relation to the existing literature.
Evidence External. Uses primary sources and data
largely created by others.
Uses primary sources created by others
(documents, data, etc.) as well as yourself
(your own observations).
Voice An impersonal and objective discussion,
written in the third person.
Often asks for your own perspective; usually
written in the first person.
Knowledge Shows familiarity with the existing
scholarship on the subject.
Combines scholarship and your original
points derived from the task or experience.
Introduction Introduces concepts and outlines an
Introduces concepts and indicates how they
relate to own experience or learning.
Conclusion Relatively predictable. Draws the various
threads of the discussion together.
May focus on the personal learning points.
Often includes recommendations for future
Referencing Often a mix of primary and secondary
References to literature and own primary
sources (notes from practice).
Bibliography/ Reference List
Formatted in the style appropriate in your
Formatted in the style appropriate in your
Fig.: The reflective cycle (adopted from Burns and Sinfield)
Keep a journal and record interesting
things that happen in your practice/task –
they will become your database of
examples. Comment on them and try to
reflect as you go. This is your private
record and usually will not be assessed.
Think what topics/problems interest you
most in your subject and decide in what
ways they are relevant to your
Use the past tense when writing about
your experience (‘I felt’) and present
tense when referring to the literature
Tips for a great reflective essay
Consult your module reading list and
choose a combination of books and
journal articles that will allow you to get
familiar with the most recent and relevant
literature on the subject.
When reading literature, make notes on
the recurring themes and points of
disagreement. They will be very useful
when reviewing the existing theories.
Think strategically: plan your essay,
stagger your reading, schedule any
necessary meetings (with tutor, peers,
team members, librarian, etc.).
Your critical assessment of
practice/experience does not imply
focussing on the negatives. While
questioning your choices, try to stand
back, consider alternative viewpoints and
demonstrate how you can learn from the
experience, both good and bad.
Recognise your emotions and feelings
with regard to the task/practice and
consider their role and influence. BUT:
refrain from venting your frustrations;
again, be constructive.
Go beyond mere description and use the
critical thinking model to develop a
deeper analysis. Limit description to
elements that need reflective comment.
Keep an open mind about what you have
learned from your practice/experience.
Remember that not everything has to be
immediately ‘useful’. Try to demonstrate a
sense of journey – intellectual,
professional, personal – gained in the
The role of the community health team I was part of in this task was to offer the most
appropriate package of care for the patient after her release from the hospital. It was important
to ensure that the patient’s independence was maintained (Foster, 2014) while providing the
best support in terms of safety and nutrition (NHS England, 2015). I found the home visit
slightly uncomfortable as it was difficult for me to strike a balance between showing care and
not being too imposing. Instead of talking so much I could have focussed more on listening
and encouraging the patient to express her preferences. Next time I will try to be more
receptive to the patient’s wishes and concerns.
The experience of working on producing a historical film has shaken my faith in history as an
objective and detached record of the past, in the most classic Rankean sense (Green and
Troup, 1999). Elements of subjectivity constantly challenged my commitment to telling the
‘truth’ and I spent a lot of time getting frustrated and writing angry rants in my journal. I felt like
we were ‘just playing’ and couldn’t appreciate the larger truths I was in fact discovering in the
process. Having read Rosenstone’s (1995) take on the role of film in history, however, I found
the exercise a really good way to understand how history is told. I wish I had approached the
task with a more open mind. This may have resulted in a much better film.
Examples of reflective writing:
And finally… Remember that the reflective essay is a unique piece of academic writing in that it
involves a level of self-disclosure. This allows you to personalise it and make it more interesting!
Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (1998) Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. (2008) Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. (2 nd
ed.) London: Sage.
Moon, J. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London and NY: Routledge Falmer.
Shön, D. (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. London: Jossey-Bass.
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