Reflective Writing

Coming from professional business area, I never get a chance to have any kind of academic writing. True, years ago I joined online class that required some kind of essay but that’s the one and only opportunity to showcase my flame skill in academic way. Like any other so-called writer, I also have personal blog but mind you, there is no high-quality material over there. My blog contains of travel writing, pictures galore and boring blabs.

That being said, my essays mostly were constructed by researching, peeking into other people’s writing and yes, I copy and paste them to my work then I re-write the story. They say that it’s paraphrasing. Oh no, now I’m talking too much. Back to the topic as mentioned in the title: I actually intend to tell you about reflective writing.

Last week, in the middle of mid semester break; I registered myself into four workshop sessions in my campus, University of Melbourne. One of them, the one that grabs my attention immediately was reflective writing. To be honest I never encountered this kind of essay so I waited eagerly for the tutor to begin the discussion. First statement in the very first slide was: “Reflective writing is… (complete the sentence).” Then she let us to have pair discussion.  Well, I tried my best, gave my own opinion while talking with stranger sitting beside me, before finally the tutor bothered to explain:

“This is kind of reflection in academic context which giving you as the writer to ponder the ideas and events you experience by drawing your own view, examining that feeling, freely raising question and doubt or even proposing solution upon particular problem. Main difference between academic writing and reflective writing is the first examines the issue, theories and facts whilst latter examines YOU as conduit of issues, theories and facts.

Reflective writing usually discusses about current event (hmm, US Presidential debate, maybe?), field work or might be specific case in lawsuit. Beware, despite of its free definition, doesn’t mean that you can write in any format you like. It is not sloppy writing, random ramble and it is not a Facebook status update! There is audience for your writing so you have to prepare it in thoughtful manner.

My kind of expertise doesn’t require reflective writing, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t need it. This essay is utilized in professional portfolio entries, learning journal (sure you can’t write poorly in serious journal), and logs of workbook or project evaluation.

Should you curious about what is the format difference among essay, report and reflective writing, let’s take a look into below table:


You can refer to yourself or others with I, me, you, we, us. Verbs that often being used are ones that reflect your feeling or thinking such as feeling, felt, considered, experienced, wondered, remembered, discovered, learned and the like.

Still confused? Now let’s try to practice following steps:


In case you have a doubt in starting your very first reflective writing, there are many resources available in the web. Unimelb student can freely access the material here: Airport and here.


Putri Utaminingtyas

Master of Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Personal blog:

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