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Reflective paper guidelines

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  • 1. Structuring the essay 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Examine the essay question Read the marking criteria Identify the event or experience on which you will reflect Ensure you maintain anonymity & confidentiality of patients and institutions involved Find answers to what, where, when, who, how, why to set the scene Note the main issues you have been able to identify in relation to the experience Think of ways you can relate these main issues to the literature (sources) Jot down further notes to demonstrate your understanding and insights gained (compare and contrast, cause and effect etc) 9. Relate your insights to literature 10.Make notes as to how you will make the connection between theory and practice clear 11. Note down how you will discuss your personal and professional learning needs SECTION DESIGN DESCRIPTION Introduction Provide a brief summary. Write a narrative of your experience with the topic upon which you are reflecting. Detail factual information, as well as your feelings and impressions. What the essay is about What exactly the essay focuses on Why it is important to analyze this How it will be developed (definitions, reflective model) Body Description of the event/experience and your feelings at the time Evaluation of the event/experience (what was good or bad about it) Analysis of the event/experience (cause and effect, compare and contrast) Compare your experience with your prior knowledge. Introduce any ideas that you had encountered. Point out why you feel the concept pertains to the experience. For instance, if you are reflecting on a lesson plan you had taught, you could discuss articles that you have read on writing and teaching lesson plans. Make sure you develop all the ideas of the introductory paragraph. Implications Analyze your experience according to the theoretical concept. Illustrate the ways in which your experience diverged from what the theory expects as well as how closely it conformed to theoretical expectations. Discuss why you feel the theory either described or did not describe your experiences. Are the implications for you, your colleagues? What needs to happen to alter the situation? What are you going to do about the situation? What happens if you decide not to alter anything? What might you do differently if faced with a similar situation again? What information do you need to face a similar situation again?
  • 2. What are your best ways of getting further information about the situation should it arise again? Conclusion Edit your reflection paper. Look for the thesis of your paper. Adjust your paper to keep a consistent focus on that thesis. Check for grammatical and stylistic errors Provide a summary of the issues explored Remind the reader of the purpose of the essay Suggest an appropriate course of action in relation to the needs identified in the body of the essay