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Why You Should Use a Free Online Notepad for Journaling and Reflection

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to find the time to sit down and reflect on your thoughts. Journaling is an excellent way to express yourself, organize your ideas, and track your personal growth. However, traditional pen and paper journaling can be inconvenient at times. This is where free online notepads come in handy.

Convenience of a Free Online Notepad

A free online notepad allows you to journal whenever and wherever you want. You don’t need to carry around a bulky notebook or worry about losing it. With just an internet connection, you can access your notes from any device. Plus, you won’t have to worry about running out of pages or ink.

Security of Your Thoughts

Keeping a physical journal can also raise concerns about privacy. If someone were to find your notebook, they could read your personal thoughts and feelings without your consent. A free online notepad provides a level of security that traditional journals cannot offer. Most online notepads have password protection features that allow only you to access your notes.

Organization of Your Notes

Online notepads also offer organizational benefits that physical journals lack. With the ability to create different folders or tags for each note, it’s easy to keep track of specific topics or themes within your journal entries. Plus, many online notepads offer search functions that allow you to quickly locate specific entries based on keywords.

Additional Features for Journaling

Many free online notepads come with additional features that make journaling even more enjoyable and effective. For example, some platforms offer templates with prompts that encourage self-reflection or gratitude exercises. Others may have options for adding photos or voice recordings into your notes.

In conclusion, using a free online notepad for journaling and reflection offers numerous benefits, including convenience, security, organization, and additional features. Whether you’re a seasoned journaler or just starting out, consider giving an online notepad a try. Who knows? It may become your new favorite way to reflect and express yourself.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


reflective journal writing examples

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Examples of Reflective Writing

Types of reflective writing assignments.

A journal  requires you to write weekly entries throughout a semester. May require you to base your reflection on course content.

A learning diary is similar to a journal, but may require group participation. The diary then becomes a place for you to communicate in writing with other group members.

A logbook is often used in disciplines based on experimental work, such as science. You note down or 'log' what you have done. A log gives you an accurate record of a process and helps you reflect on past actions and make better decisions for future actions.

A reflective note is often used in law. A reflective note encourages you to think about your personal reaction to a legal issue raised in a course.

An essay diary  can take the form of an annotated bibliography (where you examine sources of evidence you might include in your essay) and a critique (where you reflect on your own writing and research processes).

a peer review  usually involves students showing their work to their peers for feedback.

A self-assessment task  requires you to comment on your own work.

Some examples of reflective writing

Social science fieldwork report (methods section), engineering design report, learning journal (weekly reflection).

Brookfield, S 1987, Developing critical thinkers: challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting , Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

Mezirow, J 1990, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: a guide to transformative and emancipatory learning , Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Schön, DA 1987, Educating the reflective practitioner , Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

We thank the students who permitted us to feature examples of their writing.

Prepared by Academic Skills, UNSW. This guide may be distributed or adapted for educational purposes. Full and proper acknowledgement is required. 

Essay and assignment writing guide

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  • How do I write reflectively?
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UNSW's Education Festival 2023 Published:  6 Nov 2023

How to Write a Reflective Journal with Tips and Examples

  • How To Create a Reflective Journal

One of the most commonly used and therapeutic ways to utilize your journal is to reflect upon experiences you deem profound or that had an impact on your life. Getting it all down on paper can really give you a completely different perspective on things. Writing in your journal can be an incredibly useful tool to help you better understand yourself and the world you operate in. Reflective learning journals are also a great way to find creative solutions to difficult problems.

So, what exactly is a Reflective Journal?

A reflective journal (aka a reflective diary) is the perfect place to jot down some of life's biggest thoughts. In a reflective journal, you can write about a positive or negative event that you experienced, what it means or meant to you, and what you may have learned from that experience.

A well-written journal can be an important tool. As with any tool, to get the most benefits, you need practice. This could mean forcing yourself to write, at first, but after a while, it will become like second nature. Write down your entry as soon as possible after the event. This way, the details will still be fresh in your mind, which will help later in your analysis.

5 Reasons To Write a Reflective Journal

Reflective journals are most often used to record detailed descriptions of certain aspects of an event or thought. For example, who was there, what was the purpose of the event, what do you think about it, how does it make you feel, etc. Write down everything, even if you don't have a clear idea of how this information will be helpful. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why people find reflective journals so useful:

  • To make sense of things that happened. What you write should sound as if you are describing the details to someone who wasn't there. Be as descriptive as possible. Just the act of writing down the details of what happened may give you perspective that you may not have otherwise considered had you just continued to think about it.
  • To speculate as to why something is the way it is.  Your views can come from your own common sense, or from something you have heard at a lecture or read in a book. Either way, speculating why something is the way it is can be a very useful exercise in reasoning.
  • To align future actions with your reflected values and experiences.  After positing your interpretation, continue to observe the subject of your speculation to decide whether you want to stick to your original views, or make changes. That is one of the great things about an online journal--you can make changes to your entries at any time.
  • To get thoughts and ideas out of your head.  Writing down your thoughts can help relieve pressure or help resolve problems. It will also help you focus the task at hand.
  • To share your thoughts and ideas with others.  Getting opinions from others about what you wrote can help you clarify your feelings for a deeper understanding of yourself.

The Reflective Journal Thought Process

When writing a reflective journal, you are simply documenting something that has happened in your life that requires you to make a change or consider the impact of your decision. Your journal, in many ways, is a dialogue that you are having with yourself. You are forcing your brain to think critically about something and to produce written words accordingly.

The worst thing you can do to a creative flow is to start inputting criticism before your thought is complete. Allow yourself the time to make a mistake and keep going. Who cares if you didn't phrase that exactly how you should have or you didn't spell that word right? Those things just aren't important here. Find whatever works for you.

4 Tips To Get Your Reflective Journaling Started

Writing a reflective journal requires not only that you describe a learning experience, but also that you analyze the topics covered and articulate your feelings and opinions about the subject matter. There is no set structure for writing a reflective journal, as the diary is meant for your own use. The writing process is entirely free-form. However, there are certain guidelines to follow that will make you more successful at this. Here are some basic tips at how to write a reflective journal. 

1. Always Keep the Journal Nearby

The first step in learning how to write a reflective journal is as simple as being prepared to jot down your thoughts and opinions on something you are learning anytime the mood strikes. For example, if you have an insightful observation about a book you're reading while on the bus, it pays to have your journal with you. Penzu's free diary software  come in handy in such a situation, as online and mobile entries can be made in your Penzu journal from any location.

2. Make Regular Entries

While you can write in whatever form and style you please, it's important to write regular entries, even if a moment of inspiration doesn't arise. This ensures you are reviewing content and actively thinking about what you have learned. This will develop your writing and critical thinking skills while keeping you organized. In the end, this should enable you to better understand specific topics you are studying.

3. Participate, Observe, Summarize and Contemplate

While reflecting is the main part of keeping a reflective diary, it's also vital that you first participate in a learning activity, make observations and summarize facts and experiences. For example, if you are writing a lab for science class, be sure to first cover what you did and what the goal and outcome of the experiment was prior to elaborating on your ideas and opinions of what was discovered. Reflective journaling is first about participating and observing before writing.

4. Review Regularly

Take time to read over previous journal entries and see how new experiences, additional knowledge and time have altered how you think and feel about the material you've been analyzing and contemplating. This will make the journal more valuable to you personally, as it will shed light on how you've grown. 

Reflective Journal Topic Examples

To create a reflective journal that really provides detail on your overall perspective on a variety of different situations, consider using one of the prompts below to help with your thought process.

  • Write about which relationships have the most meaning to you and why. Include ways you can grow to help maintain these close relationships and get rid of the toxic relationships currently in your life.
  • Write about what you are learning at school or in college.
  • Write about someone in your life who has experienced a positive change and how you can learn from their situation.
  • Write about what you want out of the next five years of your life and what you can do to achieve these goals.

If you’re looking for more topic examples, check out these great reflective journal prompts

Reflective Journal Example

The passage below is a sample reflective diary entry about losing a job:

“This week I lost my job because my employer thought I was not consistent in my work. At first I was a little upset, because I'm always on time, and I complete what I can by the end of the day. I couldn't figure out what she meant by stating that I wasn't consistent in my work. After thinking about the situation, I realized that I can only complete the work assigned to the best of my ability. What she doesn't realize is that the problem started because I constantly received incomplete reports. Whoever ends up with my former job will have the same issues if that problem isn't addressed first. However, knowing that I did what I could will allow me to continue to move forward with a positive outlook for the future.

A reflective journal is a personal account of an educational experience that offers a variety of benefits, from enhancing your writing skills and helping you retain information to allowing you to express your thoughts on new ideas and theories.

When keeping a reflective journal, it's important that you have privacy and convenience. Penzu's online account and mobile platform offer secure access and the ability to write entries from anywhere, and your diary will never get lost or stolen.

There's no time like the present - start your free online journal today!

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  • Reflective Journal

What is a Reflective Journal?

A reflective journal is a place to write down your daily reflection entries . It can be something good or bad that has happened to you that you can self-reflect on and learn from past experiences.

A reflective journal can help you to identify important learning events that had happened in your life. The events include your relationships, careers and personal life. By writing a reflective diary , you can find the source of your inspiration that defines you today. A reflective journal also provides a better understanding of your thought process.

Reasons to Write a Reflective Journal

  • To understand the things that have happened.
  • To reflect on why it happened this way.
  • To align future actions with your values and lessons learned from your past experiences.
  • To share and get your thoughts and ideas out of your head.

How to Reflect Effectively

According to Schön, there are two types of reflection, one during and one after an activity or event.

Reflection In-Action

When you are thinking about or reflecting while you are in an activity, you are using reflection in-action. Some reflection include:

  • Experiencing
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Thinking about what to do next
  • Acting straight away

Reflection On-Action

You can do reflect-on-action once the activity has finished based on what you can remember about it. Step back into the experience, explore your memory and retrieve what you can recall. Reflect and understand what has happened and draw lessons from the experience.

  • Thinking about something that has happened
  • Thinking what you would do differently next time
  • Taking your time

Examples to Reflect Effectively

Before the experience.

  • Think about the things that could have happened.
  • What are the things that you feel might be a challenge?
  • The things that you can do to prepare for these experiences.

During the Experience

  • Observe what is happening at the moment, as you make a particular decision.
  • Is it working out as expected? Are you dealing with the challenges well?
  • Is there anything you should do, say or think to make the experience successful?

After the Experience

  • Describe your thoughts immediately after, and/or later when you have more emotional distance from the event.
  • Is there anything you would do differently before or during a similar event?
  • What are the takeaways from this experience/lesson?

How to Write Reflectively

Use the three "W"s to write reflectively. The three "W"s are What , So What and What next .

What (Description)

Recall an event and write it down descriptively.

  • What happened?
  • Who was involved?

So what? (Interpretation)

Take a few minutes to reflect and interpret the event.

  • What is most important / interesting / relevant / useful aspect of the event, idea or situation?
  • How can it be explained?
  • How is it similar to/different from others?

What's next? (Outcome)

Conclude what you can learn from the event and how you can apply it next time.

  • What have I learned?
  • How can it be applied in the future?

Reflective Journal Prompts

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Here are the 10 writing prompts to guide you in self-reflection and self-discovery.

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  • Name someone that means a lot to you and why?
  • Write a letter to your younger self.
  • What is something you can do to focus more on your health and well-being?
  • What makes you feel at peace?
  • List 10 things that make you smile.
  • What does it mean to live authentically?
  • What is your favourite animal, and why?
  • How do you maintain your physical/mental health? What can you do to improve the methods of recovery?
  • List the things that you want to achieve this week.

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Reflective Journal: Inspiration, Ideas, and Prompts

Here's how to keep a reflective journal to deepen your self-awareness by examining your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors..

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  • May 04, 2023

Home » Day One Blog » Reflective Journal: Inspiration, Ideas, and Prompts

Keeping a reflective journal is a way to deepen your self-awareness by regularly examining your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a structured and intentional way. By taking time to reflect on your experiences and record your thoughts and feelings in a journal, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your reactions to the world around you.

In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of reflective journaling, some tips for getting started, and some prompts and ideas to guide your reflection journal writing.

What is Reflective Journaling?

Reflective journaling is a process of recording and analyzing personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings in your journal . A reflective journal can serve as a tool for self-exploration, helping you to uncover insights into your own motivations, values, and beliefs that may be hidden beneath the surface of your conscious awareness.

Reflective journaling can take many forms, such as writing down observations about one’s day, describing emotions and reactions to events, analyzing one’s behaviors and motivations, or exploring personal values and beliefs. Reflective journaling allows you to engage in a process of ongoing self-reflection and self-discovery that can support your personal and professional growth, deepen your relationships with others, and help you live a more authentic and fulfilling life.

A person writes in their reflection journal

Why Start a Reflective Journal? 10 Key Benefits

The purpose of reflective journaling goes beyond merely recording daily events; it encompasses the exploration of emotions, challenges, successes, and insights that arise from our interactions with the world around us. The purpose of reflective journaling is multifaceted and offers numerous journaling benefits , including:

1. Improve self-awareness

Reflection can help you gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This increased self-awareness can lead to greater clarity about your needs, values, and goals.

2. Enhance learning

Reflection allows you to process and integrate your experiences, which can deepen your learning and understanding of new information or skills.

3. Improve decision-making skills

Reflective journaling can help you identify patterns and themes in your experiences, which can inform your decision-making and lead to more effective choices.

4. Increase empathy

Keeping a reflective journal can promote greater understanding and empathy for others, as you gain insights into your thought processes and emotional responses.

5. Develop emotional Intelligence

Engaging in reflective journaling can significantly contribute to the development of emotional intelligence. By examining and understanding your emotions, you become better equipped to manage and regulate them effectively.

6. Reduce stress

Reflection journaling can be a helpful tool for managing stress, as it allows you to process your emotions and identify strategies for coping with difficult situations.

7. Facilitate personal growth

A reflective journal can be a catalyst for personal growth and development, as you identify areas for improvement and take steps to make positive changes in your lives.

8. Strengthen memory

Reflective journaling can serve as an effective tool for improving memory by encouraging you to actively recall and process daily experiences, events, and information. By regularly writing about your thoughts, emotions, and learnings, you reinforce neural pathways in the brain, making it easier to store and retrieve memories.

9. Foster mindfulness in everyday life

Reflective journaling encourages you to be fully present and engaged in the moment, promoting mindfulness and a deeper appreciation for daily experiences.

10. Gain a deeper sense of meaning

Reflecting on your life and your experiences can help bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose. The process of self-exploration and reflection can help you develop a greater sense of clarity and direction, and become more intentional about your actions and decisions.

A scene of reflective journaling with a notebook and cup of tea

What to Write About in A Reflective Journal: Inspiration and Ideas

If you’re just getting started with keeping a reflective journal, you may find yourself staring at an empty page. In a reflective journal, you can write about a wide range of topics, including your thoughts, emotions, goals, challenges, successes, fears, values, and beliefs. You can also reflect on your interactions with others, your relationships, and your personal and professional development.

Here are a few ideas for what to write about in your reflective journal:

When it comes to reflective journaling, putting your thoughts onto paper can be a profoundly clarifying exercise. Thoughts can often be fleeting and difficult to hold onto, but writing them down can give them a tangible form that allows you to gain a sense of perspective and distance from them.

“I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” – Joan Didion

Emotions and Feelings

Journaling can serve as a tool for emotional regulation, allowing you to process your emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Journaling about feelings can provide a deeper understanding of yourself, your triggers, and your needs, and develop strategies for managing your emotions. In addition to helping you manage your emotions in the moment, journaling can also create a record of your emotional experiences over time, which can help you identify emotional patterns.

“Having the courage to reckon with our emotions and to rumble with our stories is the path to writing our brave new ending.” – Brené Brown

Daily Experiences

Reflective journaling can also include writing about your daily experiences, including routine activities and interactions. By reflecting on the experiences of your day, you can gain insights into your behavior and thought patterns, and process the experience more fully. Writing about your daily experiences can also help you appreciate the small moments in life and find meaning in the everyday. Additionally, reflecting on your daily experiences in writing can be a helpful way to unwind and de-stress at the end of the day, and to process any difficult or challenging interactions that you may have had. By writing about your daily experiences, you can create a safe and supportive space for self-reflection and personal growth, and develop a greater sense of awareness and mindfulness in your daily life.

“There is, of course, always personal satisfaction of writing down one’s own experiences so they may be saved, caught and pinned under glass, hoarded against the winter of forgetfullness.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Keeping a reflective journal can offer a safe space to explore your memories and reflect on the formative experiences that have shaped your life. Writing about memories can help you process past experiences and gain insights into how they have influenced your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Reflecting on positive memories can also be a source of comfort and inspiration, while reflecting on difficult memories can help you release negative emotions and gain closure. Writing about memories can also help create a personal narrative of your life, which can help you develop a greater sense of identity and purpose. By writing about your memories in a reflective journal, you can honor the past, gain clarity about the present, and create a vision for the future.

“In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.” – Virginia Woolf

Reflecting on how you respond to daily events by analyzing your actions, reactions, and emotional responses in different situations can provide useful insights for understanding yourself. Through consistent self-reflection, you can identify patterns, triggers, and areas for improvement, allowing you to cultivate healthier coping mechanisms, make more conscious decisions, and ultimately, develop a deeper sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. This newfound understanding can lead to more effective communication and stronger relationships. (You can even go deeper through journaling about relationships. )

“Writing in a daily journal is important […] I’m able to reflect on my life, my actions, my behaviors, my memories and also the behavior of others around me.” — Nando Prudhomme

Personal Values and Beliefs

Reflective journaling offers a chance to clearly identify what you value and what you belief. Reflecting on your personal values and beliefs can help you identify what is truly important to you, and align your actions and decisions with your authentic self. Writing about your personal values and beliefs can also help you navigate challenging situations or decisions, by providing a clear framework for making choices that align with your core principles.

Goals and Aspirations

Reflecting on your goals and aspirations can help you better prioritize your time, energy, and resources towards the things that truly matter to you. By reflecting on your goals, you can identify what is most important and meaningful in your life, and focus your efforts on pursuing those things. This can help you avoid distractions and time-wasters, and make the most of your resources. Reflecting on your goals can help you develop a greater sense of self-awareness , as you gain insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. By setting and pursuing meaningful goals, you can challenge yourself to grow and develop, and become the best version of yourself.

“I realized that journal writing was and is a powerful tool for personal growth, problem solving, monitoring goals, and documenting my life over time.” — Bakari Chavanu

Reflective journaling can also be a form of keeping a gratitude journal . Reflecting on what you’re grateful for on a regular basis can help you cultivate a more positive and optimistic outlook on life, and even boost feelings of happiness. By focusing on the good things in your life, you can shift your attention away from negative thoughts and emotions, and develop a greater sense of appreciation and contentment.

“The secret to happiness is simple. And it begins with gratitude.” – Dr. Sophia Godkin

20 Reflective Journal Prompts

Answering journal prompts can be a great way to deepen your reflective journaling practice. Journal prompts can help guide you into a reflective mood so you can think more deeply about your experiences.

Here are 20 reflective journal prompts to guide your writing and deepen your self-reflection:

  • What has been on my mind lately?
  • What is a repetitive thought I’ve been having?
  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What emotion did I experience today?
  • What triggered this emotion?
  • How did I respond to this emotion?
  • What happened today?
  • What did I think and feel in response to something that happened today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What challenged me today?
  • What did I enjoy about today?
  • What was something significant that has happened lately?
  • What random memory comes to mind right now?
  • What is one happy memory I have?
  • What have I been struggling with lately?
  • What do I need more of in my life?
  • What are my values?
  • What have I learned about myself?
  • What are my goals right now?
  • What am I grateful for today?

Reflective Journal Example

This reflective journal example aims to demonstrate how to practice self-reflection, as well as to inspire you to start your own reflective journal.

Date: May 4, 2023

Today’s Journal Prompt: What did I experience today?

Today was a day full of mixed experiences. The morning started off on a high note as I woke up to the sound of chirping birds outside my window. I was reminded that I’ve always associated spring with hopefulness and fresh starts. After breakfast, I headed out to work feeling refreshed and energized.

At work, I was assigned a new project by my manager. The new project means shifting my focus to a different strategy. I felt uncertain about this change, and had to take a walk to give myself some time to process my hesitancy. I know I need extra time when something unexpected happens, especially if it means I’ll need to rethink my regular daily tasks.

During lunch, I had an unexpected encounter Justin, an old friend from college. We had not seen each other in years, and it was a pleasant surprise to catch up. We reminisced about our college days and updated each other on our lives. I often miss my college days, and it seems strange so much time has passed since then.

After work, I decided to take a different route home and stumbled upon a small art gallery that I had never noticed before. I decided to take a peek inside, and I was captivated by some of the beautiful abstracts on display. The visit to the art gallery made me want to start painting again. I’ve missed having that creative outlet, even if it’s only a hobby.

The day took a slightly challenging turn when I received a phone call from my sister. She shared some personal struggles she has been facing recently, and it made me feel anxious—concern for her well-being, empathy for her situation, and a sense of helplessness for not being able to do more to support her.

As I sit here reflecting on my day, I realize that it was filled with a wide range of experiences, emotions, and encounters. I want to appreciate the small moments of joy and beauty in life, the value of personal connections, and the importance of empathy and understanding. I hope to carry these lessons with me and use them to better navigate the complexities of my life.

Wrapping Up: Your Journey, Your Reflective Journal

The practice of reflective journaling offers a wealth of benefits, from enhancing self-awareness to nurturing personal growth. By dedicating time to explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, you create a deeper connection with your inner self and foster a better understanding of your life’s journey. As you embark on this transformative practice, allow yourself the freedom to discover and express your authentic self, and remember that the key to growth lies in the consistent and honest exploration of your inner world. Embrace the power of reflective journaling as you discover new insights about yourself and your life. Happy journaling!

About the Author

Kristen Webb Wright is the author of three books on journaling. With a passion for writing and self-reflection, Kristen uses her experience with journaling to help others discover the benefits of documenting their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In her role at Day One, she helps to promote the power of journaling so people from all walks of life can experience the transformative power of journaling.

Photo of author and journaling expert, Kristen Webb Wright

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Reflective Journal Example

Forte center reflective journal.

On October 27, 2016, we met to obtain clarification on your work destinations and work performed on the day prior.

Self Assessment

After taking all of these assessments, I learned a great deal about myself. I am now able to pinpoint several strengths I possess that I was unaware of beforehand.

Leadership Assessment Reflection

As a result it showed I easy express my emotions, I seek freedom of speech and enjoy opportunities to motivate others which were consistent across all three assessments. I found interesting that in my natural style I am extremely cautious at 77 but in my adapt style the score was considerably lower at 28. I wonder if this comes from having parents who raised me to believe that your name is all you have so you have to be cautious in all you do. However working in education you are consistently taking risk and seeking out new best practices to improve programs, departments and services we

Journal Entry Reflection

In last week's journal entry I stated that this week PVEPD would be conducting active shooter training, but the training is postponed for now. During this week’s shifts, I finished the putting together the emergency operation plan binders, cleaned the briefing room, and went to the department’s shooting range where I had the opportunity to shoot AR-15 and a Glock 22. I spent both Monday and Tuesday’s shift at the shooting in the basement of the police department. The shooting range which is located underneath the department and can be accessed through the parking garage. There are two rooms in the basement one room is storage for the gun range and the other room is the actually shooting range. Each room requires a special type of key and passcode

Hrm/531 Week 2 Individual Motivations

4. What did you learn about yourself from the Assessment? (What were your major strengths and weaknesses? How do you react to these results? How can you build on strengths and minimize or eliminate weaknesses?)

Pltw Reflective Journal

The quiz was fairly easy. I read though the documents a couple of times and I managed to get a 19/20. We did get a couple of extra days to study due to snow days and delays. This was in terms of support was somewhat slow. Most of the problems were just as simple as a force shutdown. Also, I helped Mrs. Chase startup the desktops for the PLTW rooms as well as getting the serial numbers off each laptop in the vault.

Fixed Mindset

When students encounter challenging tasks or experience failure, they make different attributions about the causes. They may focus on their intelligence or level of effort. How our beliefs about intelligence impact our goals and performance is the focus of Carol Dweck’s work (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007; Dweck, 1986; Dweck, 1999; Hong, Chui, Dweck, Lin, & Wan, 1999). Dweck’s implicit theories of intelligence involves two mindsets: the fixed view and the malleable view. People who have a fixed mindset often believe that their own intelligence is fixed entity that cannot be changed; and those who have a malleable mindset believe that their intelligence can be changed and increased (Dweck, 1999). These two mindsets have profound influences on students’ responses to challenging situations, potentially leading to the extremes of withdrawal of effort and learned helplessness (fixed mindset) or persistent effort and a mastery orientation (malleable mindset). Fortunately, mindsets can be altered and used as interventions to

Personal Narrative: I Am Cognitive

I was very surprised how accurate my results were, nothing was extremely surprising to me. The strengths I received after the test were; Competition, learner, focus, futuristic and significance really describe me. For example,I am very competitive person when I put my mind to do something, I will work hard to achieve it. I always want to give my 100% commitment to excel and for my dreams to become true. Yes I am not always focus but the fact that I am competitive will remind how other students are striving and that will put me back to work

Self Assessment Quiz

•After I completed all of these self assessments quiz, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am more of relate to art more than science. Even though I said that I want to me a Dentist for my future, but it was just a plan. Future can be change. Something that surprised me was the knowledge quiz because the occupations that listed were mostly related to my interests.

The Nurse Educator Course

This experience of writing my journals, and my reflection, has helped me to put my thoughts together and summarize my plan. My career goals are refined by this

Learners Learning Journal Essay

Question 1: For this Learning Journal you will write a paper about your own experiences. Using reflective writing, reflect the importance of pro-social behavior and altruism in your society or cultural tradition.

Ethostream Reflective Journal

I spend most of the day setting up Ethostream’s EGS. I did some re-wiring in your office and the 4th floor. Bill helped set the box up and we finished by 1pm. I spent 2-3 hours clean up old wires, hubs, and routers and putting them on my desk. I also been monitoring guest Wi-Fi to make sure it was still active.

Weekly Reflective Journal Analysis

The week flew by. I felt a day behind almost every day this week. The climate was another difference during the week. I had more time in the classroom than I have had and I felt almost out of place. Our new assistant has taken on my responsibilities within the classroom. Therefore, I am searching for my role in the classroom. I jump in when I see a need or help students catch up their work when they do not finish. However, this week is different because I was not an integral part in the rotations.

How To Write A Reflective Journal

Supplemental. Mrs. Hungness indicated that she had accomplished a couple of the action steps we had identified for accomplishing her set goals. She reported that starting her new medication and taking it regularly for the last week has really made her feel better. She reported she feels her anxiety and depression have been more controllable this week. She stated she has been utilizing her planner more efficiently and did not take on any new tasks she cannot complete. She sent a second email to disability services as she feels this goal is important for her future academic success. Before our meeting this morning, Mrs. Hungness went out to breakfast with her fiancé and her roommate.

Nash Reflective Journal Sample

I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania. The town is very small, and everyone knows one another. I cam from a two parent home. My mom worked for the the unemployment office in our area. She was an interviewer for unemployment. Her duties included interviewing persons with claims to see if they were eligible for unemployment benefits. She worked for 35 years until it was time for her to retire. My mother took her time with me as a child. She made sure that I was in church every Sunday as well as throughout the week. I was involved in a lot of ministries including vacation bible to the choir. My faith is very strong, and I do believe that all things are possible through God. My mother raised me in church, and

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Reflective Essay Examples

Woman Using Laptop Writing a Reflective Essay

  • DESCRIPTION Woman Using Laptop Writing a Reflective Essay
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Self-reflection might seem like a no-brainer when you start a reflective paper. But, delving into your thoughts and experiences is harder than you might think. Learn what a reflective essay is and how to write one through a few examples. Plus, explore several topics to get you started.

What Is Reflective Writing?

Reflective writing is a form of creative writing where you examine an experience or situation through self-reflection. Through the course of creating the reflective paper, you describe insights that you gained or express your views on some experience. Reflective essays are typically personal writings about an experience, but they can be made up as well.

Tone and Structure

Self-reflection is a personal experience. Therefore, the tone and voice of the writing are personal as well. Written typically from a first-person point of view , these types of essays take the reader through a journey of growth and discovery.

The structure and format follow a typical essay writing outline . Begin with a great hook and a strong introduction . Pull the reader in without giving too much away, then provide a quick overview of the reflective topic. Next, in the body of the essay, move into the meat of the paper by describing your experiences and growth. Round out your writing with a solid conclusion that concisely restates what you learned.

Examples of Reflective Essays

Now that you have an understanding of what it takes to write a reflective essay, check out a few examples for inspiration.

My Little Brother

This essay example is written at a middle or high school level, reflecting on the arrival of a younger sibling.

In my short life, there are many experiences that could qualify as life-changing. Every new experience was, at one time or another, the first experience. For good or bad, each instance changed the course that my life has taken. But, the most transformative experience was the birth of my youngest brother. Joel is someone my parents often call a happy accident. At the time that my mother became pregnant, I was 13, and my other brother, Jake, was 10. We were what you would call a well-rounded, perfect family of four. We neatly fit into the perfect classification in nearly every way. We didn't realize what we were missing until the moment that my youngest brother first opened his striking blue eyes. In truth, I resented the fact that I would be having another sibling. Nothing needed to be added to our family, and my mother, already 38 at the time, was considered high risk because of her age. The pregnancy itself was full of complications that sent the straight course of my life into rollercoaster-like loops that my 13-year-old mind had a hard time comprehending. But now, I can see how forging through those loops helped me to roll with the punches that life inevitably brings The day Joel was born, my mother took me with her to the hospital rather than my father. It wasn't a planned move, but Jake and my father were both feverish; I was the next best alternative. Sitting with her through every contraction, I gained a new respect for just how powerful and strong a woman could be in what might be considered their weakest moment. Holding her hand and feeding her ice chips, I gained a connection with my mother that I didn't realize we were lacking. The moment my new baby brother came into this world, I realized two things nearly simultaneously. First, you don't realize how much you need something until it's sitting in your lap. Second, my life after this moment would never be the same. The moment he curled his chubby little finger around mine, I understood the words "happy accident" completely. There are many different experiences in life that have changed a part of me as a person. But, nothing so profoundly changed my views and outlook on life like the birth of my youngest brother. Joel's arrival was a life-altering event that caused me to see the world through new eyes.

Reading My Favorite Book

This reflective essay example about a favorite book is something you might find at the middle or high school level.

When it comes to books, I didn’t understand the appeal. I’d read one after another for each assignment not understanding what all the fuss was about. However, the moment I read Pride and Prejudice , it was like my literary eyes opened for the first time. It stirred love within me for classics I didn’t realize could exist. When I was first given the assignment of reading Pride and Prejudice , like many of my friends, I scoffed. With an eye roll, I internally calculated how much time I would have to read the book and write a report. I sighed at the loss of time with my friends for a stupid classic. Cracking open the cover, I was determined to hate it before even reading the first words. By the time I reached page 3, I nearly called it quits. But there was something about Elizabeth Bennet that quietly piqued my interest. I can’t say where, but somewhere along the way, my eyes devoured the pages instead of trudging along. The moment I reached the end, I was ecstatic and disappointed at the same time. Their ending had been perfect, but I realized I would miss them. Not only them, but I would also miss being part of their world. It was the first time characters of a story had affected me this way, so I tried to shake it off. However, after several days, that sadness carried me to the classics section of the school library. The moment I cracked open my next classic, my soul instantly felt more at ease, and I’ve never looked back. I never thought I’d say a book changed me, but in this case, it’s true. The love I found in Pride and Prejudice introduced me to a beautiful world of classic literature I can’t imagine living without. Despite not reading Pride and Prejudice for a while, it will always be my favorite book.

Reflective Essay Example about a favorite book

Reflective Essay Book

Creative communication.

This reflective essay example about the topic of creative writing is what you might expect to see at the college level.

I’ve always felt I excel in written communication. The skill of effectively communicating my thoughts and feelings through words and expressions seemed to come easily to me. However, I didn't realize how much my writing was lacking until my thoughts and feelings on writing were pushed nearly to their breaking point through my creative writing course. Learning the best way to manage time was a huge hurdle for me. I've always been a procrastinator. However, after the first day of class, I realized I would need to modify my thinking and approach to homework. I wasn't able to completely kill the procrastination habit I developed in high school, but I did learn some much-needed time management skills. I also learned how writing without the looming cloud of a deadline could open a creative door. A natural thinker and writer at heart, I thought I understood creative expression and wordplay... until my professor handed me my first grade. Upon looking at that striking "D" on the paper, I realized I would have to push myself harder and explore the depths my writing could reach. Not only did I learn to sharpen my technical writing chops, but I have found out how to dig into my creative soul to view my emotions and experiences in a whole new way. Going beyond the five-paragraph essay and fully exploring my feelings about a situation or action was challenging. This creative writing class pushed me to realize there isn't a limit on words when it comes to expressing something. I can convey a simple action a million different ways, and I mastered how to explore each one to find perfection in my written words. I also picked up new flexibility in my writing by opening my mind to different scopes of expression. Expressing all the changes that this class wrought in my writing is truly difficult. But, over the course of the eight weeks we spent together, I became a more competent writer. Not only do my words contain more depth and soul, but my writing itself has entered a whole new arena I didn't realize was possible. By studying new techniques and researching other approaches, I now have a sturdy foundation and a robust writing arsenal for future endeavors.

Reflective Essay Example about communication

Reflective Essay Communication

Finding the perfect topic.

Half the battle in creating a great reflective paper is finding the perfect topic to write about. Your topic should be something that you experienced, learned, or grew from. It could also be a topic that requires you to think more deeply about a place or book.

Some fun, creative topics for self-reflection include:

  • A fight with a family member - Why did it impact you? What did it change about you?
  • The moment you feel in love - Explore the feelings and emotions that come with love and how it changes you.
  • A sunset - What is it about the beauty of a sunset that impacts you?
  • Your secret spot in your house - What about that spot is so important?
  • Your first job - What was the experience like? Why was it meaningful?
  • Your first date - Examine your emotions on the first date. Did it live up to the hype or fall short?
  • Getting engaged - Discuss your feelings and the meaning of the experience.
  • Experience in a college class - Class experiences are designed to change or mold you in some way. Discuss how you grew and fell short.
  • Your first year in college - This is another larger-than-life event full of self-reflection.
  • Is college important? - People feel strongly one way or another about college. What are your experiences?
  • What college has taught you - How has attending college changed you and your thinking? Has it helped you grow as a person?
  • A vacation you'll never forget - What about the vacation was so memorable?
  • An incident you can't forget - Why can't you forget it? Explore your thoughts and emotions.
  • Your most embarrassing moment - Everyone's most embarrassing moment is different, but there is always a lot of growth.
  • Birth or death of a loved one - This can have a very profound effect on a person.
  • Public speaking - People are either good or bad at public speaking. How did you feel?
  • First fight with a friend - Were you able to get past the fight? How old were you? How did it change your relationship?
  • Big win or loss of a sports team - This could be a sports team you were on or a sports team you love.
  • Moving - This could be moving to college or moving away. Explore the way that the move affected you.
  • Helping someone - Did you ever help a family or someone in need? What was the experience like? How did it make you feel as a person?

The Art of Self-Reflection

Reflecting on a personal experience might seem like an easy essay to write. However, to ace your reflection paper, dive deeply into your feelings and choose a topic that triggers a strong emotional response.

If a reflective essay doesn't fit you, try exploring more about argumentative essays , including tips for making a compelling argument.


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