Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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Succeeding in postgraduate study

3 Reflective writing

In the previous sections we introduced a model and framework to help you structure your reflective thinking and reflective learning. Developing your reflective writing skills will help to ensure that your reflection leads to effective learning.

Reflective writing will help you to clarify, develop and demonstrate (to yourself as well as others) the connections between your prior knowledge and experience (theory and practice), your new learning, the rationale for your learning and future practice, and identify what you have yet to learn. Reflecting on your successes is a basis for successful practice, while reflecting on mistakes or problems can help you avoid repeating them or help to find an appropriate solution. This forms the basis of personal and professional development planning (continuing professional development or CPD). Do bear in mind that reflective writing is explorative in nature; it includes description (What? When? Who?), and analysis (How? Why? What if?), and can also result in more questions than answers. Figures 2 and 3 provide words and phrases that you may find useful in your reflective writing.

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Figure 2 Reflective writing: interpretation and analysis (Syed, Scoular and Reaney, 2012)
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Figure 3 Reflective writing: outcome and synthesis (Syed, Scoular and Reaney, 2012)

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