Reflective Writing | Types of reflection | Gibbs reflective

Today, you will learn everything you need to know about reflective writing. You will go through a detailed outlook to study and develop the skills to write a good reflective paper. The writer has to have a firm grasp of writing skills as it takes a lot of effort and patience. There are many aspects to hurdle with, to foresee what all things a writer might need to produce a decorated reflective paper. This article will make it easy for you to understand about reflective writing and how to write.

What is a reflective writing

Reflective writing is your reflection or response stimulated from a particular event or situation. The event could be anything. It could be a thought, imagination or any incident. It is all about sharing your experience and thought that occurred while addressing such situation. 

It is a practice in which you analyse the situation consciously to draw conclusions out of it. This analytical practice will be written in your reflection paper and further, it would help the readers to understand similar situations. It would be helpful for them to proactively comprehend the situations better to make the outcomes better. You can check general guidelines about reflective writing pdf.

There are many things involved in the process of writing a reflection paper. You will dive into the situation or event deeply to explore new directions and possibilities. Then you explain the experience vividly with others. There are many forms of writing and reflective writing is a unique and distinctive form of writing. It requires you to skillfully observe and report the situation. There are plenty of online assignment help providers in Australia

The peace of mind is very important. You shouldn’t feel nervous or anxious while writing as it requires much patience and a broad spectrum of thinking. You must reconstruct the same situation again and relive it to properly analyse it. Try to stand back from the situation and develop an objective attitude. 

Although, you will be sharing your experience only still you need to be rigorous and thorough with the particular event. Do not get hassled with the details of writing a reflection paper. You will learn to write reflective writing the most easier through this article. You just have to consider some basic factors that are necessary to write a competent reflective paper. 

Key points to remember for reflective writing

  • You should keep your focus clear and concise. The fact that it is a subjective manner of writing, you should keep you approach logical. The statements that you write in the paper should please the reader and keep them engaged. It completely depends on you how you present the experiences logically. 
  • One way to make it certain is to support your statements with enough evidence. You must plan and think the theme of the events. First, consolidate all the thoughts that arise in your mind and make a note of every thought. 
  • It is not that difficult to keep a record of the main scheme of thoughts associated with the particular event. Make sure you write all the thoughts so that you don’t miss or skip any. It could be a consequential aspect to your paper. 
  • For instance, you should keep track of the statements that impressed or grabbed your attention the most. It could be a quote from a journal or book that you just recently read. It is an effective method to be certain of writing a good reflective paper. 
  •  Try to frame as many questions as you can to ponder more facts and details. It is essential, that is why is always recommended to develop an objective attitude. Reflective writing is more like sharing your own experience. Therefore, you must ask yourself what clicked your mind when you encounter a particular situation.  
  • You must reconcile the event again to know how did the situation affect you and which way. You should comprehend the situations better. The way you perceive things puts a major impact on your reflective paper. Your main job is to find the issues and problems involved in the situation or event. 
  • There are certain dilemmas associated with every event. It could be associated with the social, political or cultural aspects of it. If you are writing a reflection based on a book, you can keep records of the important episodes of the book that interested you the most. 
  • All investigations have different scenarios and events. They should be mapped together. It will help you to relate the scenarios and find new patterns to find a new theory or outcome. 
  • Create a good outline of your reflection. It will help you to keep all the segments of your reflection intact. Always remember all the segments of your reflection counts. If the segments of your reflective paper are properly organised, it increases the chances of your paper to get better appreciation. 
  • Start your writing in a subtle manner. Keep it brief in the start. Usually, your tutor will assign you to write a reflective paper that consists of a word count between 500 – 700. 

Learning more about – Reflective Writing

There are many genres of academic writing. In the writing field, reflective writing is the most prominent. It is chosen by many tutors. The students are assigned to work on a reflective essay. It is assigned to them by the tutors so that can evaluate the student’s experience and learning outcomes. 

The students are assigned to work on a reflective essay mainly to know about the student’s experience and learning outcomes. Reflective writing is one of the common assignments students come across during their coursework writing. It is recommended to take assistance from online services to get practical knowledge.

The purpose of assigning a reflective paper as a part of your assessment is to make you practical. You should have a practical approach while addressing a situation. You will be able to make connections between your learning outcomes gained from your studies and the things you need to practice based on the respective theory. The reflection is what you have learnt and how you display it to others to help them learn. 

It is all about demonstrating your thoughts. The thoughts that you collected while you were carried out by a specific event. You should be sensible while sharing your thoughts. Your thoughts should justify the reasons why you acted or responded to the event in a certain way. Most importantly, how your experience is going to help others to conclude a learning outcome. 

There could be many reasons for you to write a reflection paper. It can be written in many different ways. For instance, you might be writing your personal diary or log. But, the tutor will be interested in the style you chose to write. You shouldn’t keep it informal. You are going to write it to target a specific audience. You will be answerable for many things once you tutor starts evaluating your paper. 

You will be questioned to demonstrate your methods and your ideas that you implemented to put your learning into practice. You might want to keep a record of them too. Make sure to keep a record of your experience, learning outcomes, methods and conclusions before you start writing the assessment. 

Writing a reflective paper gives you a great opportunity to express your thoughts and share your experience. It gives the readers an opportunity to learn from your experience and widen their spectrum of knowledge to perform better in future. It motivates you to think all the factors crucially. Therefore, it increases your capability to think critically. 

It helps you in creating and applying new methods. The methods that further lead to the betterment of handling the situations wisely and more effectively. It is always recommended to keep notes of every thought and emotions. It is given such importance because it helps you in relating your thoughts with the practice and teaching provided in your university. Therefore, it leads to a better understanding. Your reflective paper will be used as a reference and guide by your readers. If you want then you can seek professional online help to write your reflective paper.

Ways to pursue – Reflective writing

  • Graded
  • Ungraded


This is a kind of assessment given by your professor on a specific topic. It will be more like a project. It will be given to you in order to test your vocabulary and capability to demonstrate your learning and methods in the most interactive and formal way. 


It is more like your self-assessment towards some topic. Your choose to write a reflective paper based on your own experience. It could be sudden thought of emotions, or a journal that you read recently. It could be any event that you passed through. The kind of reflective paper is called ungraded. 

Types of reflection

  • Type 1
  • Type 2

The first type of reflection is written when you lively addressing a situation. It could be a sudden interaction that you had with someone or you were conducting an interview. Basically you were largely participating in that situation. Either the event was influenced by you or you got influenced by the situation. 

The second type of reflection does not include your involvement in it. The kind of situation in which you were not actively participating in it. You were addressing the situation from a distance like a spectator or an audience. You observe that situation or event very intensely and draw your conclusions out of it.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

You may come across various types of models. There are many different ways of writing a reflective paper using different reflective models. All of them have their unique methods of writing. 

We are going to discuss the most prominently used reflective cycle. You are going to learn about the Gibbs Reflective Cycle. Although, the format and structure of these models are different from one another some of the features are the same in all these models. 

A reflection is all about describing the incident or event. There are some key elements included in your reflective paper. You just have to keep them in mind. There are many questions involved in it such as what happened, who all were involved, how did it influence you etc.

The most important question is – What makes that event or incident so worthy to write a reflection upon?


Graham Gibbs first introduced this model. There are many stages in it. It was introduced in his book that is known by the name of “Learning by doing”. It was not introduced specifically show the structure of his model. It was merely a method that was recommended in his book. Later, it resulted as the most effective way of writing a reflective paper once the other writers started practising it. 

Today, the reflective model is widely used in many universities and most of the professors recommend it to the students. It is a very useful method. This method is used by many students that allow them to envision an activity, event or situation more critically, check every detail of the situation wisely. This makes them aware of their actions and improves their behaviour at every stage to improve the possibilities. 

By examining the positive and negative aspects of the event is the key to writing the Gibbs Reflective Cycle.


Learning from your experience is the most aspect of human’s life. The reflective writing is all about sharing experiences. You might have experienced something that others are completely oblivious about. It is likewise in other’s perspective as well. 

That is why people are more inclined towards the reflective paper. It allows us to live in the moments of others experience to learn what and what could have. As it has been previously discussed, there could be positive and negative aspects associated with any experience. It could be positive or it could be negative. It could be a combination of both aspects. 

Regardless, you can put good use of both the aspects. They are going to help you in tackling any future contingencies. The most intriguing fact about contingencies is they are always unpredictable. So, how does one be prepared for it? Reflective writing is the answer to it. It gives you an opportunity to peak into the experiences of another person. 

Gibbs Reflective Cycle not only helps you to understand the situation better but also helps you to find different ways to handle a similar situation.

There are mainly 6 stages involved in Gibbs Reflective Cycle

  • Description
  • Feelings
  • Evaluation
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Action Plan


In the description section, you will need to tell the writer about the context of your writing. You will share a little insight of your experience. You just have to give a brief description about your experience. 

Please make sure you do not share the crucial details in the beginning only. You should start describing your experience in a very subtle manner. If you wish, you can give some details of the person or entity that was largely participating in the event. You can describe a little about yourself. Let the readers know the purpose of your paper. 


In the second stage, you will share your feelings and thoughts about the experience. You should be very descriptive about your feelings. Also, mention what others would have felt in the same situation. 

Mostly, what people do is, they do not share their feelings honestly. You should not commit the same blunder. If you are not honest about your feelings, it will definitely compromise your reflective paper in so many ways. 

If you feel uncomfortable in sharing your feelings explicitly, you might use the method of perceptual positions. You can express feelings stimulated by a third person. Make sure, the feeling is described just the way it was. There should be no exaggerations or any missing points too. 

You should ask these questions to yourself – What were your feeling and thinking during and after that moment? How did the event influence you? What was the most intriguing and strange part of that event? Which moment influenced you the most? 


Now its time to evaluate the event itself. You should be addressing the people who were participating in that event. Find out the negative and positive turns of those events. Explain the directions of the event. Explain the part where your actions or others actions made a difference in the process of the event. 

If it was about a journal or book. Mention the main statements and quotes that were the main theme of the particular chapter. The quotes will be further referenced by the readers.


This could be the most important stage of your paper. Here you have to use your intelligence to judge the situations or statements. Find out the issues that were main to discuss. What were the actions that lead to the cause of the issue? What were the actions that helped to make the situation better?

Your professor or the reader will be very interested to read this part because here you will address the core issues of the situation and report feedback. 


Conclusion part comes next to the analysis. You must encounter the opportunities for improvisation. You can acknowledge the parts where you could have done better. The things that you have learnt from your experience. You have to find and describe different scenarios. Find the solution to the crisis. You should be able to find the opportunities where you could have reacted differently. 

If you are addressing a positive aspect, you should let know of the reader whether you would have done something similar that could have lead to a positive outcome. If you are addressing a negative aspect, you should let know of the reader whether you could have something to avoid the situation. 

Action Plan

Finally, you will suggest the necessary actions that need to be taken to better the situation. You will share your theory and ideology. You will share the methods and actions plans to encounter situations similar to that. If there are some limitations, you address them also. 

By Alex Walter

Alex Walter has been working as an academic consultant with for last one year. Alex holds a master degree in Psychology and currently on the verge of completion of PhD. With academic knowledge , Alex has guided many students in picking the right career choices. Alex also has a great experience in writing on academic topics