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1.3 Reflective writing

For some of the activities on this course, and for your learning journal, you have been asked to write reflectively. The difference between academic writing and reflective writing can be summed up by thinking about the word ‘I’.

Academic writing generally aims to develop a more detached, or objective, view of what is being discussed. So you might start an essay saying something like: ‘This essay will look at different ideas about learning’ rather than ‘I am going to write about learning’.

However, it’s fine to use ‘I’ when you engage in personal reflection. Indeed, it is almost impossible to reflect without using ‘I’. Using ‘I’ gives your writing a very personal ‘voice’ – it suggests that you are focusing on your own thoughts, feelings or actions. For example, you might write: ‘I enjoyed learning about my skills – it made me feel more confident.’