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Journals are a part of the primary writing process that most of us might be familiar with; you must've kept a journal when you were younger. The words' dear diary' might evoke a sense of nostalgia (or cringe) in you. But as you develop a writing style and new ways to share learning experiences, you must've drifted from a journal.

But, do you know of a reflective journal? Yes, it is a journal, yet it serves a different purpose than collecting random thoughts. It is a form of writing popularly used by university students to reflect on their learning of a certain course, especially in nursing, management, and other extensive courses.

Learning a language requires reflective writing and journal keeping; it has been used for learning for many years now. Various studies have proved that it is a powerful tool to promote autonomy and help students learn effectively. Yet, reflective journals are exclusively used in a few professional courses and only at a university level.

Read forth to know more about reflective writing, keeping a journal, the benefits of such writings, and learn from reflective journal examples.

benefits of keeping a reflective journal

What Is Reflective Journal Writing?

Journaling is a technique for ensuring that you comprehend what you've learned from a certain real-world event. It will help you engage what you've realised through the theoretical assignments you'll have to finish. You reflect to gain some new useful knowledge.

Whenever you compose a reflection, you're endeavouring to go over the contemplations that ring a bell about a specific activity, like composing essays, introducing yourself to a class, or making a deal. You should always be able to keep track of your tasks and their outcomes by reflecting on them and possibly even help yourself do it well again.

It's a journey of reflection on what's been done,
studying it, and gaining from what worked and
what didn't. Quote by Conway, 1994

Such writing helps you think more thoroughly about your academic learning and improve from your missteps. You'll have the option to perceive how and what you've realised in class which can help you with reality and scholarly difficulties. You'll have the option to use what you've learned in school in genuine world circumstances.

If you write your thoughts down, it's simpler to visualise them and make a connection between your ideas, what you're understanding, and what you're practising. In the long run, your perspective can also be used as reference data and verification. You may refer to the attached reflective journal sample.

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Are Reflective Journals Effective in Learning?

A reflection is an act that requires introspection, elaboration and generating new information; It can help make learning more effective for students. Prompts - like 'What went as planned? Could it have gone any better? What do such knowledge and experiences teach you? What are your strategies to achieve better results in net time? - are useful for encouraging students to analyse their learnings and the learning process regularly.

Research shows that keeping a reflective journal for healthcare academic learning aids students' clinical decision-making skills and enhances their academic performance. Furthermore, reflective writing in health academia is usually published as a prominent literature piece. Reflecting on the various medical procedures and the professional use for such is usually beneficial for health professionals.

Did you know that in 1960,
reflective writing in physiatric
therapy by psychologist Ira Progoff?

1. Professional Growth

Keeping a reflective journal will help you analyse your strengths and shortcomings. You can keep track of your progress and what you can do to improve. Doing so is also useful in the professional world as you can work towards improving your professional practices.

2. Enhance Innovation

Innovation isn't developed in a day; it requires months or years of research, and many - if not all - researchers keep a reflective journal to record their progress. It helps them put down ideas, no matter how small or big. You can use a reflective journal sample to keep track of your innovation process and record your progress.

3. Facilitate Teaching

Teaching a whole class can be challenging; planning lessons, developing quizzes, and analysing students' progress takes regular record keeping. Successful teachers strive to know more about their student's academic performance than just their names and scores. Keeping a reflective journal will keep you updated with your student's progress and their areas of improvement.

4. Enhance Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Skills

Keeping a reflective journal will help enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving skills as you will keep track of your progress and the prevailing issues in your academia. You can put down the issues you face, the solutions for each, and the remedy's effectiveness.

5. Useful For Mindfulness and Improving Mental Health

Reflective journal keeping helps students stay aware of their academic journey, triumphs, and improvement areas. It supports mindfulness and promotes mental well-being. Students must watch their mental health with their academics to perform better in their assessments.

Writing a reflective journal helps you document the event in your progress that triggered a decision or ponder the consequences of those actions. Your journal is a conversation you're conducting with yourself in many respects. You're challenging your brain to consider things critically and develop outcomes.

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Tips for Maintaining a Reflective Journal

It is often harmful to discourage your creative flow when writing a reflection is to add additional comments when your ideas aren't complete. Allow yourself to make mistakes before moving forward. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes and misspelt a word; such things aren't very relevant. You should focus more on making entries in your journal regularly. Here are a few more helpful tips when keeping a reflective journal:

Tip: Even if you're writing about your own
experiences and lessons, your target
audience could be professional; See the
task requirements or inquire the professor
about it before you start writing.

  • The first step in writing a reflective diary is to be ready to scribble down your thoughts on whatever you're studying whenever the mood strikes.
  • As you can write in any format and manner you like, it's critical to keep up with frequent postings, even if creativity doesn't strike. This guarantees that you're revisiting the material and seriously considering what you've learnt.
  • While contemplating is the most important aspect of keeping a reflective journal example, you must also engage in a learning task, draw conclusions, and summarise knowledge and experiences.
  • Take a look back through your earlier writings to observe how fresh events, new information, and time have influenced how you feel and think about the content you've been examining and considering.

To learn from past mistakes, we must pay attention and generate still points in our lives to understand what our experiences have to say. Reflection may be made more frequent and realistic by tying it to other activities such as walking or your study ritual. Use whichever methods work best for you - writing, sketching, Blogging, and audio are all acceptable options. Begin slowly and gently, and before you realise it, you'll have built a contemplative practice that suits you.

If you need help with your projects or get your work done independently. Keep writing and keep striving to get better each day. Getting help is easy and quick; it ensures good grades. We can help you with drafting, writing, and proofreading through our experts. Fill out the form to get academic writing help today.

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About the Author



Bill is an academic expert in the fields of law, nursing, business, and management. His diligence in editing and writing assignments solutions has been applauded by students from around the globe; who swear by his eclectic writing style and subject matter expertise in Law and Nursing Studies. He is full time associated with My Assignment Services as a Senior Academic Writer and loves binge-watching on anything sci-fi.


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