Skills for Business and Management

by Martin Sedgley

Reflective writing

Reflective writing and employability

How do you do reflective analysis?

Reflective assignments require you to address these questions:

a) How were you affected by what happened? (Feeling)

b) How did you make sense of that? (Thinking)

c) How did you then respond? (Acting)

Even more importantly, though, these ‘How?’ questions lead into the deepest question of all in reflective writing – ‘Why?’

  • Why did this situation affect you in that way?
  • Why do you believe this means what you think it does?
  • Why have you responded in the way that you did?

These can be difficult questions because they require you to not only describe your reactions (what happened, what you did …), but much more importantly to analyse why you reacted in those ways, and how you would like to respond differently to future, similar situations. A sample of that kind of reflective analysis from a management student’s essay is available below. Here, she reflects on her work placement, connecting that to related experiences on her management degree programme. Download the document and read the notes that follow it.

Moving from descriptive to analytical reflection: Martin Sedgley narrative over PowerPoint slides
Click here to download.