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Reflective Journal Writing Tips

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The way you think and feel can be seen from different perspectives. Being influenced by emotions can reflect in pilling up problems which are crucial for self-perception. Journals are the means of a perfect place of all your ideas and events in a logical and well-structured order. Writing reflective journals for students will be easy if you follow the next recommendations prepared by experts.

What Does a Reflective Journal Writing Stand for?

All records from personal life as well as learning from experience process of an individual are called a reflective journal template. In a broader sense, it is a way of collecting thoughts in an analytical way with a bit of criticism. While writing this type of journals, several aspects are of the utmost importance: ideas, materials, techniques which are supposed to build a context of your reflective diary.

What are the Reasons to Write Reflective Journal?

The target audience of recording reflective learning journals and personal experience allows students to begin using various methods of addressing readers. It happens when the instructors are interested in the learning-related process as well as personal views of a student in conjunction with informal style awareness. Therefore, the reflective journal can make you an A-plus-student. Though, the audience is not limited, because it usually happens that a person decides for themselves to reflect ideas in a journal prompts. The main reasons for this are:

  • Reconsideration of actions and thoughts.

After a controversial situation, one may think about the results of it over the unlimited period of time. In order to get rid of hesitations, personal journals are advisable to write in a profoundly clear manner.

  • Conceptual perception of an event.

While being in a specific situation, a person relies only on her own experience. Reflective journals are means of analyzing a particular event as a concept, that is, as a whole.

  • Sharing thoughts and ideas.

Academic journals’ writing will help students think to clarify thoughts and emotions. Therefore, a deeper understanding of yourself can help you learn about how to use this method of writing.

The Critical Thinking Skills for Reflective Writing Assignments

Creativity interwoven with a hint of criticism is determinative while writing a journal. Thoughts and ideas are the basis of reflective thinking while relying on one’s own experience. It is worth noting that the reflective journal is not a little flow of groundless thoughts. Being a student, you have to remember that structure is a crucial element.

Pay attention to the assortment of words. This type of writing demands informal or semi-formal lexis, but as it is highly descriptive one part of speech has to suit another one. Writing in this manner will provide you with new ideas and your journal will be highly eloquent and well-appreciated by your university instructor and not only.

How to Get Started with the Ideas for a Journal?

The peculiarity of a reflective journal is that you describe your learning experience related to your own feelings and opinions. This way you analyze the offered topic and speak your mind on the subject matter.

  1. Our brains need to relax that is why not all ideas can also be transferred to paper, so, the first and foremost, jet down or record your thoughts in a minute when they arise in your mind.
  2. Make observations on everything that may influence your opinion on the subject matter. Try to work over an issue to the fullest. It will help you see the topic from a variety of perspectives.
  3. If you feel lack of ideas, try to develop one and the same example, but from different sights. This way is the best for placing new questions and trying to answer them relying on the same subject. Doing so you force and apply critical and analytical thinking.

Which Topics are the Most Thought-Provoking?

If you do not get the precise topic from your instructor or you have no idea how to connect your personal life experience with studying, here are some issues for you to develop.

  1. Write about people who influence you and whose example is advisable to follow.
  2. Refer to the traits of character which are both sufficient for studying and social studies.
  3. Write about the situation that has changed your way of thinking; describe it in a highly eloquent manner.
  4. Necessarily, mention the income from the endured case, no matter it is positive or not. Try to be yourself and sound down-to-earth and authentic.

The Method of Creating a Reflective Journal

As it has already been mentioned, each piece of writing demands structure without which it is aimless. In order to get a good grade and be satisfied with your input to the studying-teaching process, pay attention to this reflective journal template.

  • Introduction/Description.

Describe the situation and the context or the course. Be precise and do not make too long sentences. The beginning has to attract attention; therefore, it is advisable to use a hook sentence or a rhetorical question. Readers will be curious to know what happened next. This part of your writing process is usually the smallest.

  • Reflection.

In this part of your writing, you may refer to your personality. Describe your reaction to the stated situation. Let the reader know about your feelings and thoughts at this or that moment. Recollect the situation or a course from a number of aspects both positive and negative. Do not forget about mentioning the setting and each object that might influence your reactions. Use those parenthetical words and phrases that directly refer to you. For instance, for me, as for me, I feel/ see/ suggest, etc.

  • Explanation and Analysis.

This part of your reflective writing is responsible for gaining the real insight on the issue. You have to speak about it as if you are not a part of the situation, but just an observer. You will be amazed how the instance of the issue gets new colors and ideas, being not intrusive these feelings encourage students apply criticism on a new level.

Moreover, you can demonstrate self-development and experience you have managed to gain because of the situation. It is better to do at the end when the reader becomes relaxed and ready to predict the end of your creative writing.

  • Personal Action Plan/Conclusion.

At the beginning of this part, try to conclude in a general sense. Speak about non-personal results, taken measures or lack of them. After it let the readers get acquainted with your ideas and conclusions. Say what you have learned and gained from that situation. Mention how your behavior has changed being influenced by the issue. Do not forget mentioning what patterns of your actions and perception you would change if there was the similar situation.

All in all, a reflective journal for students is based on the real life, as the most prominent part of it is devoted to studying. Though, personal emotions, feelings, and ideas are included, try to be objective, because only this kind of writing can be critical. Reflective journals are beneficial for students, especially for those who are eager to connect their lives with writing.

Reflective Journals

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