How to Reflect – Key Questions
I explained in the last post, What is Reflective Writing, that the purpose of reflective writing is to show how our experiences have influenced our behaviour, using a balance of subjective and objective information. This will likely be the result of some deep thinking about the topic on your part. Once you have selected the experience that you plan to write about, it can be helpful to focus your thoughts by asking yourself some reflective questions.
Clearly what you want to say will depend on your own experience and how that has impacted you but, here are some suggestions to get your started.
Reflective Questions to get you Started
What have your learned about the topic or about yourself through your experience?
How and in what ways has this experience changed your thinking?
Has this experience helped you to develop in some way or allowed personal growth?
Has the experience affected you positively or negatively? Is it something that will continue to change things for you and if so, how do you feel about that
How did you arrive at the decisions and actions that you did? Would you change any of these looking back?
What are your general thoughts about this experience? How does it relate to other areas of you life and experience? How will it help you?
Making Reflection your own
These questions are just a starting point and you will be able to come up with some which are specific and relevant to the experience you are writing about, but knowing what you want to say about it and have learned from it is central to its success. Thinking deeply about it will allow you to write critically (using a blend of subjective and objective information) which is essential for this type of writing.
Part of the process is looking at your thoughts prior to the experience so make sure that you include that when you are writing about how it has affected you. Your opinions, attitudes and values will all affect how you respond, so the starting point for you will be relevant. Using statements such as, ‘At the time’, ‘Looking back’, and ‘I can see now’ can start the reflective thinking process and help to keep you on track.
Personally I have found the process of reflection to be really helpful in understanding the relationship between my thoughts, feelings and behaviour so it can help you to identity areas of strength and weakness which can be helpful too.
Other posts in this series
This post is the second in a series of five posts about reflective writing. The others will be published over the next few weeks as part of our Member Content so look out for them if you found this useful and would like to know more.