A Critical Reflection (also called a reflective essay) is a process of identifying, questioning, and assessing ourdeeply-held assumptions – about our knowledge, the way we perceive events and issues, our beliefs,feelings, and actions. When you reflect critically, you use course material (lectures, readings, discussions,etc.) to examine our biases, compare theories with current actions, search for causes and triggers, andidentify problems at their core. Critical reflection is not a reading assignment, a summary of an activity, oran emotional outlet. Rather, the goal is to change your thinking about a subject, and thus change yourbehaviour.Writing a critical reflection happens in two phases. Analyse: In the first phase, analyse the issue and your role by asking critical questions. Use freewriting as a way to develop good ideas. Don’t worry about organised paragraphs or good grammarat this stage. Articulate: In the second phase, use your analysis to develop a clear argument about what youlearned. Organize your ideas so they are clear for your reader.GuidelinesThe following is a suggested structure that can help you work through your assignment:1. Introduction – A clear introduction with a thesis statement (answer to the question or response to the task) anda well-defined structure.2. Main body – Logically structured body paragraphs which include supporting evidence from academic sources.3. Conclusion – A clear conclusion which summarise key points, restate the thesis and make a recommendation /suggestion / prediction.Font You can use any font style available (as long as it is legible). Once you have chosen a style beconsistent, do not change to another. The standard font size for written assignments is 12 pt. The size of section headings is left to yourdiscretion but should not be unduly large.Appropriate description of context/criticalincident/experience/conflictThis section will set the stage for thereader and give the required context forthe rest of the essay. The writer hasincorporated enough details for thereader to understand the experience thatis the foundation for the reflection.AnalysisThe reflection goes beyond description ofexperience to an analysis of how theexperience informs the reflectors’ selfunderstanding, others, and/or courseconceptsClarityThe language is clear, and a reader is ableto picture the situation described.Abstract concepts are explainedaccurately. Both the situation and theconcepts are assessable to an uninformedaudience.Evidence of criticality/Recognisingcompeting perspectives/Use of theoreticalliterature Reflectors should be critical of multipleaspects in their reflections. They should becritical about their own actions andassumptions. You are required toincorporate literature/theory to supportyour reflections, or if your actions arebased on theory, the reflector should becritical of that literature. A good reflectiveaccount will accept that there are multipleperspectives to a situation and use thisinformation to get the deepest learning.Structure/Length/Presentation/Referencingand good academic practiceThe assignment is structured and inkeeping with the requirement stated inthe assignment brief. It incorporates bothin text references and a reference list inaccordance with the HarvardReferencing Guide.
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