reflection about creative writing subject

What is Creative Writing? | An Introduction for Students

But what exactly is it all about? And if you’re new to the subject, how can you get started? 

Creative writing is all about using your imagination and creativity to express ideas and thoughts in a way which is personal to you. Quite simply, it’s about adding your own ‘flair’ to writing, going beyond the traditional boundaries of academic or other technical forms of literature.

Learn more about what creative writing is, what the different types are, as well as some top tips on how to get started - all with this helpful guide and introduction to creative writing.

What is creative writing?

As the name suggests, creative writing is a form of writing that goes beyond the traditional realms of normal, professional, academic or technical forms of writing. 

Instead, it encompasses a number of different genres and styles across a whole range of fields of both fictional and non-fiction writing; storytelling, playwriting, poetry, prose, journalistic, and more. 

Though the definition can be quite vague, creative writing can, for the most part, be considered as any type of writing that is original and expressive of oneself. Typically, it can be identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, focusing on elements such as character development, narrative and plot, infusing its structure with imagination, invention and story. 

In this sense, creative writing can technically be considered any writing of contemporary, original composition - it's bound by no standard conventions and uses a whole range of elements in its craft.

In an academic setting, creative writing is typically divided into fiction, poetry, or scriptwriting classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, not defined by pre-existing structures and genres. 

What are the different types of creative writing?

Creative writing comes in many forms, encompassing a number of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of creative writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

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What makes a good piece of creative writing?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that there is no pre-defined description of what it means to create a ‘good’ piece of creative writing. As the very name suggests, creative writing is an imaginative process, created by the individual with all their quirks and personalities.

Creative writing doesn’t fit one set genre and therefore there will never be an umbrella definition to describe the ‘perfect’ piece. Just think about a Gothic short story and then compare it to the features of a great Romantic poem - the two are so very different - it wouldn’t be unfair to judge them together. 

However, with that being said, there are a few general principles that you can follow to make your creative writing as strong as it can be - by making it as authentic and true to you as possible:

Know your audience - All great stories begin with a target audience in mind - because it’s exactly what you need to know in order to really tailor your writing and connect with them. Therefore, any creative writer should begin their writing by plotting out exactly who they want to read their work. Once you have this in mind, your writing will naturally begin to take direction and flow in a way that seems appropriate to your audience.

Write what you know - Quite often, the best stories are those which we can connect to and relate in one or another way to our own lives. Or, they’re stories which seem so authentic that you could imagine it to be about the writer’s own life. Now, this doesn’t mean that you quite literally have to write about your life, but drawing on knowledge you have about different elements of our lives to give your story some authenticity and more believability.

Creativity is key - Creativity is one of the most important elements of creative writing. It’s what sets you apart from other pieces of writing in your genre. Of course, this doesn't demand that you write a tale about a totally fantastical and mythical world with unique creatures - but simply use your creativity to think a little outside the box and put a unique twist on things; using literary devices like metaphors, alliteration, and varied sentence structure to make your work unique and interesting.

Push your imagination - One of the great things about creative writing is that there is no definition or rules on ‘how’ to write. It’s a much more subjective genre, and one which relies heavily on your own interpretations. Therefore, you should push your imagination to the limits to see what the end result could be. Some of the most interesting pieces of literature are thought-provoking or make us question the writing or world around us - where could your story take us?

Plot a loose story arc - Despite the loose bounds of creative writing, it is still advisable to plot a loose story arc for any piece of literature you create. Story arcs are critical at giving your writing direction and purpose, helping you to write the whole piece at a good pace, without writing any superfluous content or ‘waffle.’ Follow your story arc, and your writing will have a strong structure, pace and direction - keeping your readers more engaged.

What are some techniques used in creative writing?

To make their writing stand out, writers often employ several creative writing techniques and literary devices, including:

Character development - The process of creating a well-rounded, realistic character with depth, personality, and clear goals or motivations.

Plot development - The story of your piece of writing - how it develops, unfolds, and moves along in time.

**Point of view **- The perspective from which a narrative is told. It indicates who is telling the story and how the information is conveyed to the reader. Quite often writers will play with the point of view of the central character or protagonist to trick the reader and twist their perspective. 

Dialogue - Refers to the speech and conversations characters use to speak to one another. Dialogue and the language choices a character makes can be pivotal in helping define their personality.

Literary devices - Such as metaphors, similes and alliteration to make creative writing more imaginative and descriptive. These are used in a myriad of ways by writers to make their writing more vivid, interesting and engaging.


Can creative writing be taught?

Of course! Creative writing can be taught, and is a very popular subject for university students, and for those who attend our summer courses . 

Those who pursue the subject of Creative Writing will typically study a variety of texts from different periods of time to learn more about the different genres of writing within the field. They’ll become familiar with some of the leading creative writers from generations past to present, as well as some lesser-known and emerging writers in the industry.

Inspired by what they’ve learnt in the classroom, it’s not uncommon for Creative Writing students to also participate in regular workshops and scratch sessions, where they bring a piece of their writing along to class and have it read by other students and the tutor. They’ll leave with constructive feedback on how to improve their writing, or recommendations of other works which they may want to read to take influence from.

How to start creative writing

If you’re interested in getting those creative juices flowing and improving your writing craft, read some of our tips below on how to start creative writing :

Read as much as you can - For creative writers, inspiration comes from a whole range of sources, but most commonly, from other writers. There’s some excellent examples of creative writing throughout history that all writers should be inspired by. Read a variety of genres by different authors to get a real feel for what type of writing you may want to do. Need some inspiration? Check out our blog: 15 Classic Books to Read

Start journaling - Starting a journal can really help to unleash your inner creativity. Getting into the habit of writing each day about literally anything that’s preoccupied you that day will help you practice the art of writing. The more regular you journal, the more you’ll build your confidence. You never know, you could even find your next great idea from something you’ve journaled about!

Attend a Creative Writing summer course - If you’re just starting out as a creative writer and looking to collaborate, share ideas with others and workshop your writing, then joining a creative writing summer school could be a great option. Our creative writing summer courses are designed to help you extend your creative writing toolkit; you’ll analyse some of the industry’s greatest writers, as well as workshop some of your own writing with your peers.

Practice using literary devices - Literary devices, such as metaphors, similes and rhyme can really help you write more vividly and create really descriptive, imaginative scenes. Practice using them regularly and you’ll soon watch your own creative writing start to flourish. Need some ideas to help you get practising? Look around your house and pick a random object. Then, practice using 5 literary devices to describe that same object - see where your creativity can take you!

Write, write, write! - When it comes to how to start creative writing, one of the biggest pieces of advice we can offer is to pick up your pen or laptop, and start writing. Whether you have a single conversation starter for a character, or a complete narrative arc, you will only begin your creative writing journey when you physically do it. Even if you have no idea on what to write - look for writing prompt inspiration from all around you. The more you practice unleashing your creativity, the easier it will be to write over longer periods of time.

Creative writing is an expressive form of literature; one which demands you to use your own creativity, imagination and story to portray a particular message, emotion, or plot. It defies the traditional bounds of other forms of writing and is completely subjective to our own preferences and experiences.

For those looking to get started with creative writing, it’s important to really immerse yourself in the world of literature, reading and writing as much as you can - and even workshopping your work where possible. Creative writing summer schools and evening classes are a great way to meet other like-minded students, share knowledge and feedback, and really upskill yourself.

Study Creative Writing in Oxford or Cambridge

Interested in joining a Creative Writing summer course? Learn tried and tested writing techniques from some of Oxford and Cambridge's greatest published tutors on our 2-week English Literature and Creative Writing summer course .

Whether you’re new to the subject or looking to advance your skill set, our programme will help develop your own writing voice and style, while learning crucial elements of structure to help your work flow. You’ll learn from our expert tutors - made up of literary critics, authors, and university lecturers - in either the historic city of Oxford or Cambridge . 

It’s the most influential learning environment, with the most inspiring tutors - guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing!

Contact us to find out more or apply today to reserve your place.

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My Reflection in Creative Writing

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reflection about creative writing subject

Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts

reflection about creative writing subject

Creative Nonfiction: An Overview

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This resource provides an introduction to creative nonfiction, including an overview of the genre and an explanation of major sub-genres.

The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) genre can be rather elusive. It is focused on story, meaning it has a narrative plot with an inciting moment, rising action, climax and denoument, just like fiction. However, nonfiction only works if the story is based in truth, an accurate retelling of the author’s life experiences. The pieces can vary greatly in length, just as fiction can; anything from a book-length autobiography to a 500-word food blog post can fall within the genre.

Additionally, the genre borrows some aspects, in terms of voice, from poetry; poets generally look for truth and write about the realities they see. While there are many exceptions to this, such as the persona poem, the nonfiction genre depends on the writer’s ability to render their voice in a realistic fashion, just as poetry so often does. Writer Richard Terrill, in comparing the two forms, writes that the voice in creative nonfiction aims “to engage the empathy” of the reader; that, much like a poet, the writer uses “personal candor” to draw the reader in.

Creative Nonfiction encompasses many different forms of prose. As an emerging form, CNF is closely entwined with fiction. Many fiction writers make the cross-over to nonfiction occasionally, if only to write essays on the craft of fiction. This can be done fairly easily, since the ability to write good prose—beautiful description, realistic characters, musical sentences—is required in both genres.

So what, then, makes the literary nonfiction genre unique?

The first key element of nonfiction—perhaps the most crucial thing— is that the genre relies on the author’s ability to retell events that actually happened. The talented CNF writer will certainly use imagination and craft to relay what has happened and tell a story, but the story must be true. You may have heard the idiom that “truth is stranger than fiction;” this is an essential part of the genre. Events—coincidences, love stories, stories of loss—that may be expected or feel clichéd in fiction can be respected when they occur in real life .

A writer of Creative Nonfiction should always be on the lookout for material that can yield an essay; the world at-large is their subject matter. Additionally, because Creative Nonfiction is focused on reality, it relies on research to render events as accurately as possible. While it’s certainly true that fiction writers also research their subjects (especially in the case of historical fiction), CNF writers must be scrupulous in their attention to detail. Their work is somewhat akin to that of a journalist, and in fact, some journalism can fall under the umbrella of CNF as well. Writer Christopher Cokinos claims, “done correctly, lived well, delivered elegantly, such research uncovers not only facts of the world, but reveals and shapes the world of the writer” (93). In addition to traditional research methods, such as interviewing subjects or conducting database searches, he relays Kate Bernheimer’s claim that “A lifetime of reading is research:” any lived experience, even one that is read, can become material for the writer.

The other key element, the thing present in all successful nonfiction, is reflection. A person could have lived the most interesting life and had experiences completely unique to them, but without context—without reflection on how this life of experiences affected the writer—the reader is left with the feeling that the writer hasn’t learned anything, that the writer hasn’t grown. We need to see how the writer has grown because a large part of nonfiction’s appeal is the lessons it offers us, the models for ways of living: that the writer can survive a difficult or strange experience and learn from it. Sean Ironman writes that while “[r]eflection, or the second ‘I,’ is taught in every nonfiction course” (43), writers often find it incredibly hard to actually include reflection in their work. He expresses his frustration that “Students are stuck on the idea—an idea that’s not entirely wrong—that readers need to think” (43), that reflecting in their work would over-explain the ideas to the reader. Not so. Instead, reflection offers “the crucial scene of the writer writing the memoir” (44), of the present-day writer who is looking back on and retelling the past. In a moment of reflection, the author steps out of the story to show a different kind of scene, in which they are sitting at their computer or with their notebook in some quiet place, looking at where they are now, versus where they were then; thinking critically about what they’ve learned. This should ideally happen in small moments, maybe single sentences, interspersed throughout the piece. Without reflection, you have a collection of scenes open for interpretation—though they might add up to nothing.


Reflection Of Creative Writing

Writing class reflection.

When I started college was not quite sure why I had to take a writing class even though my major has nothing to do with writing. I didn’t know what to expect because I had never just taken

Reflection Of My Writing Process

People have many ways that they write. Some do a process of doing drafts so they can look through, edit and make the paper better. Others will just write a paper and turn it in. My process consist of starting with making a thesis. Then from the thesis I create the topic sentences for the topic at hand. The best way to write the essay in a good format and have good detail in the writing I would write a paragraph a day. By doing that process it allows me to get what is needed out on the paper so none of the paragraphs are mixing content and making the paragraphs less structured. This process not only makes writing essays less stressful while also getting the paper done quickly.

My Writing Reflection

When I look back at my writing before having any college experience, I can see that I had a lot to work on. I can say that I was never really a big fan of writing anything much less essays. Even when I was younger, I just did not have a great big interest in writing. This was because I felt that I could not elaborate as well as others. I was not use to having to write anything really, but I now feel that I have a better grasp on the steps that I need to take to get my writing on the level that it needs to be.

We are already midway through the first quarter of my last year as a high school student. I find it hard to completely grasp how quickly this year is passing and yet I feel like we've already accomplished so much.

Reflection Of Writing : My Writing And Writing As A Writer

Coming into San Diego State University I wasn’t sure what to expect out of any of my classes, especially my writing class. In high school I had taken AP composition and language which helped me improve as a writer but even a college level high school course is not the same as an actual college class. Before college and throughout high school I didn’t think of myself as a great writer, I have always been very average at writing. At the start of the year I wasn’t a very strong writer but RWS 200 is a huge reason how I overcame challenges and became a better writer.

As a student entering the 10th grade my essay writing abilities were questionable at best. However over the course of my sophomore year I acquired new skills and techniques to construct and write essays. In some cases this class broadened my abilities already in place and in others it constructed new abilities to help strengthen others. All in all I am a better writer than when I entered my sophomore year. Despite all the positive changes to my writing style that have occurred over the past year some parts of my writing style require more effort to come to par with other parts of my writing style. As a writer over the past year I have reinforced my arguments well, and learned to develop a thesis better than I had, however I require more work

Olympian, Kim Collins said, “Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” This quote can also apply to students in school in many different ways. Students always want the best project or writing grade that they can possibly get. While that is a worthy goal it is not realistic because students are not perfect and they are still learning, and developing important skills. In my personal essays throughout the year I did strive for perfection, but I learned that I could not do it. I had to make slight improvements to better my writing for the next essay.

As a recent Egyptian immigrant to the United States, writing is the most difficult subject. In 7th grade, my writing process started to develop with the help of an amazing teacher. Ever since 7th grade I have been practicing wiring to be close to the high school writing slandered. I reached my goal last year when my act writing score is 6 point which places me in English 101. I doubted myself so, I took the Accuplacer test which also, placed me in English 101. I was scared when I saw the results that I’m going to fail this course. After taking this course, it made me more confident in writing and showed me my writing level which needs more practice. This class helped me improve my writing skills, by getting great feedback from my instructor

The Reflection Of My Writing As A Writer

After looking back at all the writing I have accomplished in this class and experiences I have faced in other English classes, I realized how they have affected me as a writer and where I stand as one as of now. The writer I am today has been greatly benefited with years of learning English in school and other literacy sponsors. Throughout the years, I have learned a number of ways to write and I have been positively impacted by these methods. I now know the type of writer that I am and how I write best and in under which conditions. Now, I have my own writing process that most likely differs from my peers.

This week I think my writing was better than the previous weeks because I had learned about many of different type of writing including cause and effect, positive and negative, persuasive writing and comparison which can help me to collaborate the style in my writing to show the variety of the structure. Also, this week I prepare an outline for the research project and I faced the problem on my idea which I’m not assured with this idea so this might be the problems when I write the paragraph. As a result, I got the advised that I should find more references to support the ideas. The another task in this week was listening. The teachers showed us about the listening exam which you have to answer in multiple choice. In my viewpoint, I think answer

Ever since a youth, writing has always been a thing of enjoyment for me. Throughout my life, I have written many essays and learned something new each time I wrote. In turn, this has helped me to become more aware on how to become a better writer and learn from my mistakes. From examining my own writing to receiving constructive criticism from teachers and peers, I can say there are various characterizations which I could utilize to describe myself as a writer. By taking this course, I hope to be more confident in my writing, as well as be able to constitute my own writing in a more positive way.

Reflection Surrounding The Writing Process

The class discussions surrounding the writing process and your feedback concerning adding personality to my writing will be the subject of this week's entry. First, I'd like to address the feedback concerning the personality (or lack thereof) that you've experienced in the writings I have submit thus far. Throughout my academic career, including my experiences in the “ENG 111” course the emphasis as to what constituted excellent writing has always been placed on syntactics, correct adherence to conventions of American English grammar, and putting forth great effort to elevate diction throughout the writing process (even if such diction might detract from the overall voice or tone of the final product). These precepts of writing being ingrained

What I learned while completing this project is that there is so many ways you can learn about different crafts. One, of the things that made me really look deeper into the words or phrases of a book was paying attention and re-reading the sentences of books, until i understood what the author was trying to describe weather igt was a time of day or a place. It was really interesting to see all the different ways authors have to incorporate crafts like the one I choose and the ones I got to see from my classmates when we presented our craft. It was very fascinating to find all this crafts that are possible, because now that I have the knowledge I am able to incorporate this into my own writing, and one day when I have a classroom of my own as

It is my belief that through this class and the tools provided, that my growth as a writer has grown through leaps and bounds I would never have assumed possible. It is not so much the skill I refer to, although I would think skill has gone up in some levels as well, but more so the appreciation for the craft of writing itself. Intially, at the start of this class my sole goal was to further my understanding and appreciation of the writer's and books that I so love to read. Through further evaluation within the first week, a few other goals came to mind, of which were, making writing a habit, finishing what I start, stop second guess my writing skills and making effective use of detail and description. Through the use of the many articles, various reading materials, whether poems or short stories, and especially through the workshop, I feel I was able to really push myself to accomplishing these goals. I have thus far learned how important it is not to be skilled at writing per say, but to have the will to write, that poetry is as much about it's sound as it is about it's subject, just how important character development is, how the narration and point of view of a story is essential to the way the story is told, and just how much of a difference peer's critiques can make to your writing.

Reflection Of Reading And Writing

Writing has always been something I dread. It’s weird because I love talking and telling stories, but the moment I have to write it all down on paper, I become frantic. It’s almost as if a horse race just begun in my mind, with hundreds of horses, or words, running through my mind, unable to place them in chronological order. Because I struggle to form satisfying sentence structure, it takes me hours, sometimes even days, to write one paper. It’s not that I think I’m a “bad writer,” I just get discouraged easily. Needless to say, I don’t think highly of my writing skills. When I was little I loved to both read and write. I read just about any book I could get my hands on, and my journal was my go to for my daily adventures. Although it’s

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Reflection Paper On Creative Writing

reflection about creative writing subject

Show More Reflection Essay I must confess that I’m most definitely not the Best Writer in the world, but I’m probably close to gold in Best Procrastinator. I haven’t completed as much, or tried as hard as I could have this semester, and now I’m paying for it. If staying up all night writing has taught me anything, it’s that you genuinely can’t expect your best work to be an assignment that you squeezed out in less than two days, although you can definitely try. I can try and tell myself that I will apply myself next semester, but chances are, I’ll probably do the exact same thing I did this semester. And for that, I’m really, truly, sorry. As an academic writer , my strengths lie within my passions. If the topic strikes my interest, it will probably …show more content… Creative writing is not a strong suit of mine, so staying within set boundaries makes the process of writing straightforward and uncomplicated. I can advance from Point A to Point B much easier if I’m not required to come up with the topic myself. Project 3 has been the most frustrating project to work on. The sources were incredibly hard to find, and a great deal of them were from the 1980s and 1990s, and irrelevant to today. Writing with others has also been easy, because I’m not a remarkable writer, and letting them take the charge puts me at ease. The biggest struggles I have encountered thus far are dealing with constructive criticism, and procrastination. For instance, I did not turn Project 2 in on time, as I didn’t care for what I had written and was embarrassed to let anyone see it. I’m slowly combatting my problem with criticism by letting those I trust review my works, and taking their comments seriously. My problem with procrastination, on the other hand, is a deadly disease. A permanent cure hasn’t been found, and it’s slowly killing me (and my grades). The only relief I receive is offering myself rewards when I complete something significant. If it is good enough, the things that need to be completed, will be executed within minutes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen particularly

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reflection about creative writing subject

Reflection About Creative Writing

Taking a creative writing class was a good way for me to express my thoughts and feelings onto paper, as well as read my other classmates stories. Reading stories created by other people lead me into their mind brain to experience what type of writer they were, it was an overall exquisite class. I believe that every person has a way of expressing who they are through writing stories of their own, fiction is the best way to express your creative imagination. This class that I took for two years helped me become a better writer and helped me understand the types of writers we have. The first book series I read that got me interested in creative writing was the Immortal Series, by Alyson Noel. I was never one for non-fiction, …show more content…

In this essay, the author

I believe that writing stories gives you more of an appreciation and understanding for a good book. All of the ideas that make a book come alive is from one author with an amazing imagination, who can captivate someone’s mind and tuck them into their world for a few hours. Every day in class I was allowed one hour to dedicate my time into a story, it is almost like entering your main character’s mind and acting as if it was you. I never had any interest in writing before entering high school, I never enjoyed writing essays. I believe the reason was I did not find it necessary to write a 5-page essay on 'To Kill a Mockingbird '. In the real world we will write a page or two for job opportunities and some for the job itself, but hardly ever will you need to write an essay on some book or event in time; unless you went to college to become an English teacher, history teacher, lawyer, journalist, etc. Even though writing these essays were to help your "writing skills" why not write papers to help your future, such as; cover letters for future jobs, interview speeches, life goals, creative writing, or arguments for court cases if you wanted to be a lawyer? Books are only fun for me to read if I can do it on my own time with my own book, not

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10 Unique and Creative Reflection Techniques & Lessons for the Secondary Student

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As educators, we know how critical reflection is to the learning process. Getting students to reflect- deeply and meaningfully- is often one of the most challenging lessons we teach. I have found that both my middle school and high school students will often scoff at these reflection activities, providing the least amount of effort possible to complete the task they see as meaningless. I have been searching for and creating lessons and activities that will bring interest and engagement to this task. The following is a list of 10 lessons and activities I use regularly in my classroom to create a class of reflective learners.

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1. Growth Mindset and Goal Setting

The first step in developing a truly reflective learner is to develop the growth mindset within each and every student. Students do not naturally believe that reading and writing are skills that can be improved upon. We have all heard our students comment that they “just are not good at writing.” With this mindset, students are willing to accept poor scores, give less effort, and fain any reflection activity given. As we know, this mindset takes time to alter. I focus on these skills at the beginning of the year, but this concept can be taught at any time!


I love asking my students to create goals. We do this at the beginning of the year, the start of a new semester, a new unit, a new skill, etc. This is a great place to naturally build in those reflection conversations. As we close out that unit or semester, we can look back on these to reflect on our learning and set new goals. What a great life skill and habit to develop with our students! I use these engaging goal setting one pager activities to help my students craft these goals. They are guided and specific, but my students get a chance to be creative and have a little fun in the process! Click here to learn more about these goal setting one pagers!

Click here to download your own copy for free!

Click here to download your own copy for free!

2. Asking students to reflect on a deeper level.

The first few times I asked students to reflect on their thinking, I received reflections that were basic at best. I have created this poster to encourage my students to reflect at a deeper level. Similar to Blooms Taxonomy, the lower the question- the deeper the thought. I keep this posted in my room, and use this as a guide for open reflections on activities, daily work, or projects.

3. Model your own reflection.

I take the opportunity to model my learning and my reflecting whenever possible. After an activity or lesson, I will model my own reflection for students. I will also let students see when I make a mistake, so I can express what I have learned from this. I reflect on these in the same way I would wish my students to do after their own mistakes/learning opportunity!

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4. Reflect ‘n’ Sketch.

Click here for more information!

Click here for more information!

One of my favorite reflection lessons is the Reflect ‘n’ Sketch activity. When I began teaching, I only saw my students as readers and writers. I could see their struggles and successes within my subject alone. Then, after teaching tone and mood to a group of eighth graders, I asked students to draw a picture of the mood of a poem. Through this activity, I saw my struggling readers excel with beautiful artwork. I realized that my subject, English, is not the only skill to be had. Many of my students excelled in other areas, especially those who struggled in my class. This experience inspired my Reflect ‘n’ Sketch activity. This gives students the option to draw their reflections on a project or activity. Guiding questions guide their artwork, and students can still deliver deep reflections with a medium that inspires them.

5. Reflection Vlog

I tried this for the first time this past fall, and my students absolutely rave about the Reflection Vlog. I gave students the guiding questions found within the Reflect ‘n’ Sketch activity, and asked them to create a personal Vlog. After each major project or assessment, I asked students to add to their Vlog. Some students chose to upload their videos to YouTube, and others preferred the privacy of simply creating an iMovie or Windows Moviemaker video. With this medium of reflection, students were free to speak about their work, display their work, or add videos and pictures of the process of creating their work. Not only did students find this engaging, but they found that they were able speak freely about their learning. They have commented that they did not feel bound by words, grammar, structure, and organization within the reflection, so they felt that they were better able to express their truest feelings. I can attest to this as I watched their Vlog videos. They opened up more through this ‘on camera’ experience, than in any other reflection technique!

6. Analyze your work from the teacher’s perspective.

When introducing a writing assignment, I would often provide exemplars, or mentor texts, and ask students to assess these using the rubric that would assess their own work. Not only did students better understand the rubric, they better understood the expectations for the writing. This inspired me to have students assess their own work in a similar manner. I ask students to assess their own work from my perspective. This can be via rubric or by simply providing feedback that they believe I would give. Once students get to know me, this feedback can be eerily correct! This helps students to see their work from a new perspective, and often will encourage students to make revisions before they submit their final work!

7. Scrapbook

I have asked my students to create a scrapbook reflection on larger projects; this is especially effective for group work. Students take pictures of the process of their work, students working in their group roles, and of their final project. Each group member can showcase their own pictures or drawings of the groups work. Then students can reflect on their roles within the group, the process of collaboration, their impact on the groups success/failures, and on the learning that was derived from the project’s completion. Some students get very creative with this process, and truly enjoy this as much (or more) than the project itself!

8. The Cube of Reflection

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I have use this Cube of Reflection after a group project. Students have a tangible cube that they roll to help them reflect together. The cube really helps them to think about their collective learning; they will use the reflection taxonomy to build their reflection to the deepest levels. Guiding questions help students with each level of this taxonomy. The fun cube fosters a collective reflection experience!  Students will:  -Remember it. -Understand it. -Apply it.  -Analyze it.  -Evaluate it. -Create it. 

9. Social Media

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I have created a Google site to mimic Facebook. Students can upload a picture of their project and reflect on their process or learning experience. I can also pose reflection questions and have students respond to these through this “Fake Facebook”. This can be equally effective on a class blog as well. For more details about setting up a class blog, check out this article on the left! 

Click on the image to grab this free resource!

Click on the image to grab this free resource!

10. Semester Reflection

I always try to do a deeper reflection at the semester break. For most of my classes, I will retain the same set of students into second semester. This transition practically begs for a deep reflection on the previous work before we have a fresh new start in the new semester. I break down my semester reflection into three categories: academic, out-of-school, and personal. This has helped my students to write a guided reflection that covers all parts of their life as a learner. 

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About the Author

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Liz is a collaborator on  and the founder of Teach BeTween the Lines . She has been teaching for over ten years; she has loved growing young minds through literature and the art of crafting the written word. She is currently working on her doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota, and holds an M.A. in Education from St. Mary’s University, Minnesota. She loves to write short stories in her free time, especially in those cold Minnesota winters. She is supported by a wonderful family made better by the addition of her two beautiful children.


Creative Reflection Technique: Everyone Wins When Students Map their Learning

Looking for a creative reflection activity? Try year mapping! Students map their learning by creating their very own personalized concept map...full of brain-based connections!

Inside: A meaningful end-of-year reflection technique for older students that combines the power of student-led learning with brain-based associations… 

Ever wish you could just find a rainbow that will lead you all the way to a real pot of gold? If we’re speaking in metaphors, you may be in luck. When it comes to teaching and learning, we all want students to “do the work.” Yes, they should be taking charge of their learning! But…how?

Year mapping is a powerful reflection technique that highlights a whole slew of power-house education skills.

So, if you’re in search of creative reflection techniques where students are driving the critical thinking bus, you’ll want all the year mapping details: What? Why? How? In this post, we’re going to dive in!

If you find that you are ready to start playing with this activity but are short on time to prep, you can find my starter kit here .


Year mapping is a blissful mixture of some things you probably already know about! Imagine a combination of one pagers , sketchnotes , and concept maps…without the limitation of a single page. I first learned about the general concept of year mapping from brain-based teaching experts Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers  who share that the practice helps students to see and celebrate what they’re learned in your class.

Intrigued, I set to work with figuring out what year mapping means to me and creating scaffolding materials I felt students may need to get started. In doing so, my brain was swirling with inspiration and ideas, and I started to well up with excitement. Done well, I thought, this could really be a reflection game changer!

For me, year mapping is an activity that requires students to reflect on everything they have learned in the class! Students work with peers or individually to identify big takeaways, key learning points, and make connections between overarching topics of the class. (You can choose the topics, students can pick, or you can select some together.)


Ever wonder if your teaching is clear? If you are curious whether students can make connections between units or learning standards, this creative reflection activity will give you valuable feedback to analyze.

For instance, can students explain the relationship between reading like writer and writing like a reader? Can they draw parallels between sentence structure and pacing techniques? Do they see how language elements and vocabulary impact an author’s style?

As students map their connections, they solidify their understanding of concepts, unearth the magic of how all parts of the course are interconnected, and even extend learning to life outside of school. (Ex. – Why is the writing process an important workplace skill?)

Due to the open-ended nature of this end of year activity, there are many access points for students of all readiness levels. That means it’s allows for efficient and practical differentiation! Plus, it really can be adapted to any occasion and format.

Another fabulous detail? YOU, the teacher, are free to confer with students, coach them through their review session, and fill in learning gaps where necessary.

Look how much brain-based connections are emphasized with this reflection technique!

Year mapping - a powerful creative reflection technique for older students!


Learning maps are visual representations of learning. When we ask students to create maps of their learning, we are, to some degree, putting them in the shoes of the teacher.

Think about it. What do you do when you sit down at the beginning of the year with your curriculum? Most likely…identify learning standards, group them into lessons or units that are related in content, and figure out how to draw connections between them. Part of this process is scaffolding skills. We teach parts of speech before sentence structure, and we teach story elements before theme. They are building blocks.

This is higher-level thinking!

Once students have the “topics” they will map, they go through a very similar process. Except…theirs is a reflective activity toward the end of the semester or year instead of a planning session at the beginning.

Students truly get to be creative because they really can arrange the topics on their “maps” in any way they desire, as long as they can show meaningful connections .

Think…spokes on a wheel, threads on a spider web, stops on a highway, or rungs of a ladder. Some may choose to use a line graph for their year, showing the points where writing, reading, grammar, and vocabulary intersected for them. Others may opt for books on a shelf and group them by genres that represent standards. What about a treasure map that moves from Unit 1 all the way to the final Unit? X marks the spot!

Creative thinkers will latch on to the visual aspect of the brainstorming stage. Working with partners and using graphic organizers can help to make the process less abstract for students.


First, students should identify the knowledge, skills, and big ideas they should include in their maps.

Once your students have identified their topics, they’ll be staring at…a blank paper. To complete year mapping, students really can use any medium they want. Consider some of the possibilities:

Regardless of the final product, I recommend having students do some brainstorming. You may want to give them directions, like this:

Organize categories…

Use the blank paper or sticky notes in front of you to begin thinking about how each of your topics is related to others on the list. It would be helpful to first create some categories . One example would be to organize topics by unit. What learning targets did we accomplish during our short story unit? Many of you probably recall we worked on analyzing story elements. In one category, you may include strategies for analyzing characterization, plot, and setting. (It may help to brainstorm some possibilities together on the board.)

Make connections…

You have all demonstrated that you can analyze a short story and identify the theme, but now I want to see your creativity at work! As you reflect on what you have learned this school year, try to map as many connections as possible between learning targets within and across units of study. How does grammar help us write? How does being an observant reader help us with writing? Can analyzing story elements help us to be strong writers? You can use the graphic organizers to help you put ideas together. This will be your brain on paper!

Choose your format…

Once you have a basic idea of how you want to proceed, you’ll want to choose your medium . Would it make most sense to represent your learning digitally or on paper? What size or how many pages would be appropriate to show a vast spread of learning? (Discuss the advantages and limitations of each.)

Remember your goal…

Your goal? Reflect on your year of learning and make as many powerful associations between lessons as possible! Show me what you know! Don’t forget to make revisions frequently! Add, subtract, combine, and simplify until you are happy.

There’s so much opportunity for students to use as much or as little scaffolding as possible with year mapping. Students who are ready for a challenge can push themselves to make more symbolic, higher-level connections, while students who need scaffolding can use graphic organizers to help them visualize where to put information.

So let’s consider what each step of this reflection technique might look like in the classroom.

Students find brainstorming pages helpful for pre-mapping . However, one size doesn’t usually fit all. So, you can offer some options and have students pick the one that fits their categories best. I like to provide a couple of basic graphic organizers because it helps students to understand what I mean by “categories” of learning. Offering a blank option is convenient for abstract thinkers.

Year mapping graphic organizers for middle and high school

Next, students organize their ideas into a more purposeful arrangemen t. You can show them a variety of options, and let those be springboards for creativity. You can provide organizers or have students spend some time researching flow chart style organization for inspiration. Sticky notes work, too!

Encourage students to think about how they can show connections between important ideas and emphasize learning. Students can add arrows, shapes, and colors. This is usually one of the biggest coaching opportunities as you confer with students. Once students grasp the idea of how to categorize their learning, we can encourage them to get out of the “silo” mode. Those categories are connected to the larger picture… how ?

Digital year mapping example; creative reflection activity

Year maps can be digital (like the examples pictured above), or they can be print (my personal favorite!). It really doesn’t hurt to give students the choice if you have the means for them to complete the creative reflection either way.

When students complete year maps digitally or on paper, it’s important to stress that typically more than one page or one slide is needed to truly be comprehensive.

While the examples pictured so far have been for English Language Arts, this reflection technique really can be powerful in any subject area. See the example below, which was created by a ninth-grade math student.

Year mapping math example; end of year creative reflection on learning


You may find that adding a writing reflection deepens students’ thought process. Students can reflect on the effort they put into the class, on the parts of the course that were most rewarding and challenging, and on their contribution to the greater body of learning.

By including a writing component, students are encouraged to articulate the connections they made as well as identify areas where they could grow more. Naturally, this reflection process can lead to goal setting .

Set students up for productive written reflection by crafting questions that will lead them toward evaluating their learning and their work ethic. A thoughtfully designed written component has the potential to lead students to their best thinking.

For this reflection technique, I do provide content suggestions with a rubric , but I’m often pleasantly surprised with what students come up with on their own!

The reflective writing assignment should not lead to mounds of grading! Yes, students should always strive to be producing their best quality work, but for this assignment, I only recommend assessing ideas (if anything).

Engaging reflective writing assignment for the end of the year



If possible, working together on year mapping will provide more perspectives and associations, deepening the creative reflection process. From the brainstorming step to categorizing and emphasizing key ideas, students push one another’s thinking to new spaces.

Before asking students to create a map of their year, it may be helpful to show them some examples and ask them to evaluate the strengths and limitations of each.

Do the examples show clarity of ideas? Are the connections strong? Does the creator include enough high-quality examples and inter-lesson connections?

Having students walk through this evaluation process will make them more cognizant of the depth of their own thinking.


Like one pagers , hexagonal thinking, mind maps, and any other assignment that feels abstract and fuzzy at the outset, we as teachers will be able to lead our students through the process more effectively if we complete the work first! Before trying this reflection technique with students, I experimented with year mapping myself. In doing so, I realized I didn’t like what I came up with first.

Rough draft of creative reflection year map


Year mapping can be as low-key or as formal as you’d like. If you’re looking for a meaningful, creative reflection technique to prepare students for final exams, you probably don’t need to assess them. Likewise, if you just want a window into students’ learning from the year… (Did they make the connections you wanted them to? Have they really reached deep thinking about the standards? Where might lessons have not been as effective as possible?)… you probably don’t need to grade them.

However, if you’re using the year maps as a culminating project, I recommend using a rubric . You can identify categories and create proficiency scales with students, or you can define the success criteria yourself and discuss them with students while evaluating examples.

For the best results, coaching students throughout the planning, drafting, and revising process is the most valuable feedback you can provide them in terms of assessment. As you encourage them to make connections they haven’t, think deeper, and clarify ideas, students will have time to adjust and do the work they hadn’t yet completed.


Of course, one of the best ways to finish year mapping is to share the maps! Celebrate learning by having students display their maps or share highlights (favorite parts, most challenging learning experiences, and etcetera). Depending on your time constraints, this can be formal or a gallery walk style in which students have their work displayed, and peers walk around, leaving feedback. (Praises, questions, and ideas are helpful ways to guide peer to peer feedback.)

Year mapping is the perfect end of the year activity for reflection and review ! Of course, you can use this same concept at the end of a unit to make connections between smaller time segments as well.  Students can complete this activity in any amount of time, but the less time they have, the fewer connections they will make.

When students map their learning, everyone wins. Collaboration , critical thinking , and brain-based learning take center stage with this end-of-year reflection technique. End the school year meaningfully with learning maps !


“It was a great way to mentally assess the year. It not only helped me reflect on my own performance as a student but also helped me review the different topics that we studied throughout the year. When I was creating my map, I was unintentionally giving myself a brief refresher course that I will remember long after the individual lessons are forgotten. It was helpful to recap my ninth-grade learning before moving on to tenth grade. I know I will need these skills! This was a fresh way to remember the year and connect all of the dots in ways that I wouldn’t have noticed before.” – Elise, Freshman


If you are loving this reflection technique but don’t have the time to to put the scaffolding together, this starter kit will help you make it happen.

Year mapping is a creative reflection activity that prompts students to make connections between everything they've learned in a course.

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Creative reflection activity for the end of the school year! Students map their learning by creating personalized, detailed concept maps that capitalize on brain-based connections #EndofYearActivities #MiddleSchool #HighSchool

Melissa Kruse

An avid reader and writer, I've had the privilege of teaching English for over a decade and am now an instructional coach. I have degrees in English, Curriculum & Instruction, and Reading as well as a reading specialist certification. In my free time, I enjoy loving on my kids, deconstructing sentences, analyzing literature, making learning fun, working out, and drinking a good cup of coffee.

Meaningful Ways to End the School Year

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How to Write a Reflection Paper

Last Updated: October 25, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 24 testimonials and 85% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,619,194 times.

Reflection papers allow you to communicate with your instructor about how a specific article, lesson, lecture, or experience shapes your understanding of class-related material. Reflection papers are personal and subjective [1] X Research source , but they must still maintain a somewhat academic tone and must still be thoroughly and cohesively organized. Here's what you need to know about writing an effective reflection.

Things You Should Know

Sample Outline and Paper

reflection about creative writing subject


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Organizing a Reflection Paper

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To write a reflection paper, start with an introduction where you state any expectations you had for the reading, lesson, or experience you're reflecting on. At the end of your intro, include a thesis statement that explains how your views have changed. In the body of your essay, explain the conclusions you reached after the reading, lesson, or experience and discuss how you arrived at them. Finally, finish your paper with a succinct conclusion that explains what you've learned. To learn how to brainstorm for your paper, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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reflection about creative writing subject

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10 Reflection Questions for Writers

Review your work from the past few months or year to improve your writing.

Reflection is essential for improvement. Taking the time to do it intentionally will give you a clearer picture of where you’ve been and where you want to go. When it comes to writing, there’s more to reflection than just looking at your work.

You can’t just keep writing more and expect that you’ll automatically get better. You might, but you could also be getting worse. Being able to succeed means being able to identify what led to that success, and then repeating those actions. If you know what your best writing was and what contributed to that writing, you’ll be able to write even better in the future.

Look back at the past month, past few months, or the past year of writing. Then take some time to think through and answer these reflection questions.

1. What did you enjoy writing the most?

Burnout in writing, or any other activity, often comes from losing passion. Even when it’s difficult, you have to enjoy what you do. Otherwise you stop doing it.

It may not be as obvious as you think. Some of the writing I’ve enjoyed the most have been difficult to get started or hit a lot of writer’s blocks. But when I’m in the zone, I love it.

Think about the types of writing that you eagerly anticipate and that you happily spend hours on. How can you do more of that type of writing in the future?

2. What did you least enjoy writing?

There can be a sense of guilt when you don’t enjoy the thing you’re good at, that you get paid for, or that you’re passionate about. But in reality, everyone has aspects of things they don’t like, and it’s important to identify and acknowledge it.

Recognizing the types of writing that you don’t like to do can prevent it from poisoning your attitude towards the rest of your writing. You know you just have to do it for whatever reason, and you don’t like it. It doesn’t mean you hate writing. Being honest about what you don’t like to write actually helps preserve the things you do like to write.

Think about the writing pieces that you dreaded starting and that seemed to drag on forever. Are there ways to make them more bearable, or cut back on how often you have to do them?

3. What was most effective or successful?

One of the most gratifying feelings in writing or any type of work is that of making an impact. If you’re disconnected from the success of your work, it’s hard to see the significance of it, especially in the times you feel like giving up.

Success can look like a lot of different things, and it’s ultimately up to you to define. Depending on the type of writing, I might measure effectiveness by the number of views, by the number of likes or shares, by the number or quality of comments, or even by the success of a secondary goal like leads or revenue.

Based on what types of writing you do, define some markers to measure your success. Which pieces of writing hit the highest markers?

4. What was the most uncommon writing?

Comfort and routine can be the killer of passion and growth. It’s easy to write the same stuff out of habit or obligation. It becomes vital to recognize the writing that is a little different from your norm.

Attempting writing styles that are outside of what you usually do helps stretch you as a writer. Even if you’re not good at it or enjoy it, simply experiencing that writing style can add a new layer to your existing writing.

Think about the writing pieces that were the most different than what you normally write. Were there any that you enjoyed and could explore more?

5. What writing pieces are you most proud of?

In many cases, your writing is for someone else. Whether it’s a client or even your own audience, you write what other people want to read. Sometimes that brings limitations on what you could potentially do and it feels stifling.

The concept of meaning and purpose in your work is a huge driving motivator in your writing. There are pieces that I’ve struggled with and weren’t enjoyable the whole way through, but at the end, I felt I had written something that was of high quality and importance.

Think of the pieces of writing that you think you should be awarded for or should be published in wide circulation. What caused you to write that?

6. When did you write the most or the fastest?

Your best writing can be hidden in your physical performance instead of your feelings. You may think you’re good at or enjoy a certain type of writing. But that may actually be revealed in the times you’re able to get out large amounts of text quickly or write for hours at a time without taking a break.

When you’re really good at something or you really love something, time flies. Writing is one of those things that can really fly by or drag on depending on what you’re writing, so it’s important to notice what comes naturally to you.

Think about your best writing sessions. What was it that made the writing seem to come so naturally or easily?

7. When did you struggle most with writer’s block?

Writer’s block is the number one enemy of any writer. You try to avoid it and forget about it. But trying to ignore the instances of writer’s block could detrimentally keep you from being able to prevent writer’s block in the future.

Though writer’s block can sometimes have no rhyme or reason, it’s important to look for when there is a pattern. If you can spot the factors that trigger it, you can proactively prevent it from disrupting your writing.

Think about the instances when you had the worst writer’s block. What do you think caused it, and have there been times that you were able to get past it?

8. What did you procrastinate most on writing?

Procrastination is a little different than writer’s block. Where writer’s block stops you from moving forward when you’re staring at a screen, procrastination keeps you from even sitting down at your computer. Being unable to get past procrastination can potentially rob you of some of your best writing.

Sometimes I procrastinate on work that I want to do or am good at doing. But there are other factors that just prevent me from going to my computer, opening that document, and typing the first word. Just like there are triggers that help you do something, there are also triggers that may prevent you from doing something.

Think about the times you put off writing something. What about that piece of writing or the environment you were in made it difficult for you to get started?

9. What environments were best for writing?

Besides the internal struggle that writers face, external factors play into how well you’re able to write. Everything from time to location to ambience have a positive or negative effect. Though you may not always be able o control those factors, completely ignoring them puts your writing at an automatic disability.

Every individual is unique. For me, music or complete silence is usually distracting, but background noise is helpful, such as at a coffee shop. I find late mornings and early afternoons as the most productive times. Sitting on a chair with a back rest at a table is most comfortable, as opposed to a stool or having the computer on my lap. So though I can write in a lot of other environments, I try to optimize for those to do my best work.

Think through the times when you’ve done your best writing and what environments you were in. What was the time of day, day of week, location, ambience, noise level, or any other external factors that contributed to your focus?

10. How has your writing style changed?

Writers change and evolve over time. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, and sometimes it’s just different. If you’re not aware of how you’ve changed, you could be going down a trajectory that you don’t want to.

Everything around you influences your writing, and your own writing influences your writing. Though you may want to write naturally, you also have goals for the type of writer you want to become. Therefore it’s important to evaluate how you’re changing over time and if it’s the direction you want to be headed in.

Think about the type of writer you want to become and the writing style you want to be known for. Look at how your writing has changed over time — is it the type of change you want to see?

By taking the time to reflect on your work, you can break out of writing from routine. You can change your pace of growth as a writer from gradual and accidental to accelerated and intentional.

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Creative Writing Reflective

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What Is Reflective Writing?

student working on reflective writing

Writers use reflective writing to analyze and examine an event, memory, or observation . In reflective writing, the writer reflects on the meaning and impact of the occasion.

Defining Reflective Writing

Most writing is creative writing, where you describe something that happened or you make up a story. However, reflective writing gives the writer insights and can lead to further learning. It is like rewinding your life to a past event and then thinking about how it affected your life, what you could have done differently to change the outcome, or what came out of the event.

Reflective writing isn’t just personal, however. Reflective writing is used in an academic setting to examine your response to a new experience or piece of writing. Reflective writing can also be analytical when applied to critical thinking or processing used in research. To begin reflective writing, start with reflection .

Reflection in Reflective Writing

Reflection is a mental process. It is contemplation or a long consideration. Thoughts or opinions that come to you while you are reflecting are called reflections. Unlike a reflection in a mirror, it is an interpretation of what is going on between learning and thinking.

Factors to Consider in Reflection

When you are writing about a reflection, there are factors that can affect how you express it. These are:

The Process of Reflection

When it comes to reflective writing, there are three important areas that you’ll want to be sure to focus on.


Description provides a short description of what you’ll be reflecting on, whether it’s a personal experience, academic subject, or research. Questions you might ask include:


In interpretation , you’ll focus on the area of the event, idea, or analysis that you feel is the most important. For example, if you’re doing a reflective writing of the birth of your brother, you’ll want to think about:

For the good or the bad, you learn something from every piece of literature you read or every experiment you do. Therefore, the outcome of reflective writing is going to focus on what you learned. Questions to help with reflection in this area might include:

Examples of Reflection in Reflective Writing

Reflective writing isn’t as easy as you might think it would be. Since you are reflecting on yourself or your thoughts or feelings about something, this might look like:

As I lay in bed, I often find myself wondering about this new world we live in. In one small second, my normal has drastically changed. Even leaving the house can fill me with fear. And I begin to explore all the different ways the world and I have changed.

You can also explore additional examples of reflection used in reflective essays.

Topics and Prompts for Reflective Writing

Here are a list of analytical topics for reflective writing:

Here are writing prompts to get you started on personal and creative reflective writing :

Reflective writing is an observation of something. The topic you explore might be academic, a past experience, or personal. Now that you’ve delved into reflective writing, explore what expository writing is.

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Reflection about creative writing subject

Reflection paper about creative writing subject, reflection about the subject creative writing, reflection about creative writing, reflection paper about creative writing, further information.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

Reflective writing is a process of identifying, questioning, and critically evaluating course-based learning opportunities, integrated with your own observations, experiences, impressions, beliefs, assumptions, or biases, and which describes how this process stimulated new or creative understanding about the content of the course. A reflective paper describes and explains in an introspective, first person narrative, your reactions and feelings about either a specific element of the class [e.g., a required reading; a film shown in class] or more generally how you experienced learning throughout the course. Reflective writing assignments can be in the form of a single paper, essays, portfolios, journals, diaries, or blogs.

How to Write a Reflection Paper . Academic Skills, Trent University; Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; Tsingos-Lucas et al. "Using Reflective Writing as a Predictor of Academic Success in Different Assessment Formats." American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 81 (2017): Article 8.

Benefits of Reflective Writing Assignments

As the term implies, a reflective paper involves looking inward at oneself in contemplating and bringing meaning to the relationship between course content and the acquisition of new knowledge . Educational research [Bolton, 2010; Ryan, 2011; Tsingos-Lucas et al., 2017] demonstrates that assigning reflective writing tasks enhances learning because it challenges students to confront their own assumptions, biases, and belief systems around what is being taught in class and, in so doing, stimulate student’s decisions, actions, attitudes, and understanding about themselves as learners and in relation to having mastery over their learning. Reflection assignments are also an opportunity to write in a first person narrative about elements of the course, such as the required readings, separate from the exegetic and analytical prose of academic research papers.

Reflection writing often serves multiple purposes simultaneously. In no particular order, here are some of reasons why professors assign reflection papers:

Bolton, Gillie. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development . London: Sage, 2010; Chang, Bo. "Reflection in Learning." Online Learning 23 (2019), 95-110; Cavilla, Derek. "The Effects of Student Reflection on Academic Performance and Motivation." Sage Open 7 (July-September 2017): 1–13; Culbert, Patrick. “Better Teaching? You Can Write On It “ Liberal Education (February 2022); McCabe, Gavin and Tobias Thejll-Madsen. The Reflection Toolkit . University of Edinburgh; The Purpose of Reflection . Introductory Composition at Purdue University; Practice-based and Reflective Learning . Study Advice Study Guides, University of Reading; Ryan, Mary. "Improving Reflective Writing in Higher Education: A Social Semiotic Perspective." Teaching in Higher Education 16 (2011): 99-111; Tsingos-Lucas et al. "Using Reflective Writing as a Predictor of Academic Success in Different Assessment Formats." American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 81 (2017): Article 8; What Benefits Might Reflective Writing Have for My Students? Writing Across the Curriculum Clearinghouse; Rykkje, Linda. "The Tacit Care Knowledge in Reflective Writing: A Practical Wisdom." International Practice Development Journal 7 (September 2017): Article 5; Using Reflective Writing to Deepen Student Learning . Center for Writing, University of Minnesota.

How to Approach Writing a Reflection Paper

Thinking About Reflective Thinking

Educational theorists have developed numerous models of reflective thinking that your professor may use to frame a reflective writing assignment. These models can help you systematically interpret your learning experiences, thereby ensuring that you ask the right questions and have a clear understanding of what should be covered. A model can also represent the overall structure of a reflective paper. Each model establishes a different approach to reflection and will require you to think about your writing differently. If you are unclear how to fit your writing within a particular reflective model, seek clarification from your professor. There are generally two types of reflective writing assignments, each approached in slightly different ways.

1.  Reflective Thinking about Course Readings

This type of reflective writing focuses on thoughtfully thinking about the course readings that underpin how most students acquire new knowledge and understanding about the subject of a course. Reflecting on course readings is often assigned in freshmen-level, interdisciplinary courses where the required readings examine topics viewed from multiple perspectives and, as such, provide different ways of analyzing a topic, issue, event, or phenomenon. The purpose of reflective thinking about course readings in the social and behavioral sciences is to elicit your opinions, beliefs, and feelings about the research and its significance. This type of writing can provide an opportunity to break down key assumptions you may have and, in so doing, reveal potential biases in how you interpret the scholarship.

If you are assigned to reflect on course readings, consider the following methods of analysis as prompts that can help you get started :

2.  Reflective Thinking about Course Experiences

This type of reflective writing asks you to critically reflect on locating yourself at the conceptual intersection of theory and practice. The purpose of experiential reflection is to evaluate theories or disciplinary-based analytical models based on your introspective assessment of the relationship between hypothetical thinking and practical reality; it offers a way to consider how your own knowledge and skills fit within professional practice. This type of writing also provides an opportunity to evaluate your decisions and actions, as well as how you managed your subsequent successes and failures, within a specific theoretical framework. As a result, abstract concepts can crystallize and become more relevant to you when considered within your own experiences. This can help you formulate plans for self-improvement as you learn.

If you are assigned to reflect on your experiences, consider the following questions as prompts to help you get started :

NOTE: If you are assigned to write a journal or other type of on-going reflection exercise, a helpful approach is to reflect on your reflections by re-reading what you have already written. In other words, review your previous entries as a way to contextualize your feelings, opinions, or beliefs regarding your overall learning experiences. Over time, this can also help reveal hidden patterns or themes related to how you processed your learning experiences. Consider concluding your reflective journal with a summary of how you felt about your learning experiences at critical junctures throughout the course, then use these to write about how you grew as a student learner and how the act of reflecting helped you gain new understanding about the subject of the course and its content.

ANOTHER NOTE: Regardless of whether you write a reflection paper or a journal, do not focus your writing on the past. The act of reflection is intended to think introspectively about previous learning experiences. However, reflective thinking should document the ways in which you progressed in obtaining new insights and understandings about your growth as a learner that can be carried forward in subsequent coursework or in future professional practice. Your writing should reflect a furtherance of increasing personal autonomy and confidence gained from understanding more about yourself as a learner.

Structure and Writing Style

There are no strict academic rules for writing a reflective paper. Reflective writing may be assigned in any class taught in the social and behavioral sciences and, therefore, requirements for the assignment can vary depending on disciplinary-based models of inquiry and learning. The organization of content can also depend on what your professor wants you to write about or based on the type of reflective model used to frame the writing assignment. Despite these possible variations, below is a basic approach to organizing and writing a good reflective paper, followed by a list of problems to avoid.


In most cases, it's helpful to begin by thinking about your learning experiences and outline what you want to focus on before you begin to write the paper. This can help you organize your thoughts around what was most important to you and what experiences [good or bad] had the most impact on your learning. As described by the University of Waterloo Writing and Communication Centre, preparing to write a reflective paper involves a process of self-analysis that can help organize your thoughts around significant moments of in-class knowledge discovery.

Basic Structure and Writing Style

Reflective Background and Context

The first part of your reflection paper should briefly provide background and context in relation to the content or experiences that stood out to you. Highlight the settings, summarize the key readings, or narrate the experiences in relation to the course objectives. Provide background that sets the stage for your reflection. You do not need to go into great detail, but you should provide enough information for the reader to understand what sources of learning you are writing about [e.g., course readings, field experience, guest lecture, class discussions] and why they were important. This section should end with an explanatory thesis statement that expresses the central ideas of your paper and what you want the readers to know, believe, or understand after they finish reading your paper.

Reflective Interpretation

Drawing from your reflective analysis, this is where you can be personal, critical, and creative in expressing how you felt about the course content and learning experiences and how they influenced or altered your feelings, beliefs, assumptions, or biases about the subject of the course. This section is also where you explore the meaning of these experiences in the context of the course and how you gained an awareness of the connections between these moments and your own prior knowledge.

Guided by your thesis statement, a helpful approach is to interpret your learning throughout the course with a series of specific examples drawn from the course content and your learning experiences. These examples should be arranged in sequential order that illustrate your growth as a learner. Reflecting on each example can be done by: 1)  introducing a theme or moment that was meaningful to you, 2) describing your previous position about the learning moment and what you thought about it, 3) explaining how your perspective was challenged and/or changed and why, and 4) introspectively stating your current or new feelings, opinions, or beliefs about that experience in class.

It is important to include specific examples drawn from the course and placed within the context of your assumptions, thoughts, opinions, and feelings. A reflective narrative without specific examples does not provide an effective way for the reader to understand the relationship between the course content and how you grew as a learner.

Reflective Conclusions

The conclusion of your reflective paper should provide a summary of your thoughts, feelings, or opinions regarding what you learned about yourself as a result of taking the course. Here are several ways you can frame your conclusions based on the examples you interpreted and reflected on what they meant to you. Each example would need to be tied to the basic theme [thesis statement] of your reflective background section.

NOTE: The length of a reflective paper in the social sciences is usually less than a traditional research paper. However, don’t assume that writing a reflective paper is easier than writing a research paper. A well-conceived critical reflection paper often requires as much time and effort as a research paper because you must purposeful engage in thinking about your learning in ways that you may not comfortable with or used to. This is particular true while preparing to write because reflective papers are not as structured as a traditional research paper and, therefore, you have to think deliberately about how you want to organize the paper and what elements of the course you want to reflect upon.

ANOTHER NOTE: Do not limit yourself to using only text in reflecting on your learning. If you believe it would be helpful, consider using creative modes of thought or expression such as, illustrations, photographs, or material objects that reflects an experience related to the subject of the course that was important to you [e.g., like a ticket stub to a renowned speaker on campus]. Whatever non-textual element you include, be sure to describe the object's relevance to your personal relationship to the course content.

Problems to Avoid

A reflective paper is not a “mind dump” . Reflective papers document your personal and emotional experiences and, therefore, they do not conform to rigid structures, or schema, to organize information. However, the paper should not be a disjointed, stream-of-consciousness narrative. Reflective papers are still academic pieces of writing that require organized thought, that use academic language and tone , and that apply intellectually-driven critical thinking to the course content and your learning experiences and their significance.

A reflective paper is not a research paper . If you are asked to reflect on a course reading, the reflection will obviously include some description of the research. However, the goal of reflective writing is not to present extraneous ideas to the reader or to "educate" them about the course. The goal is to share a story about your relationship with the learning objectives of the course. Therefore, unlike research papers, you are expected to write from a first person point of view which includes an introspective examination of your own opinions, feelings, and personal assumptions.

A reflection paper is not a book review . Descriptions of the course readings using your own words is not a reflective paper. Reflective writing should focus on how you understood the implications of and were challenged by the course in relation to your own lived experiences or personal assumptions, combined with explanations of how you grew as a student learner based on this internal dialogue. Remember that you are the central object of the paper, not the research materials.

A reflective paper is not an all-inclusive meditation. Do not try to cover everything. The scope of your paper should be well-defined and limited to your specific opinions, feelings, and beliefs about what you determine to be the most significant content of the course and in relation to the learning that took place. Reflections should be detailed enough to covey what you think is important, but your thoughts should be expressed concisely and coherently [as is true for any academic writing assignment].

Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; Critical Reflection: Journals, Opinions, & Reactions . University Writing Center, Texas A&M University; Connor-Greene, Patricia A. “Making Connections: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Journal Writing in Enhancing Student Learning.” Teaching of Psychology 27 (2000): 44-46; Good vs. Bad Reflection Papers , Franklin University; Dyment, Janet E. and Timothy S. O’Connell. "The Quality of Reflection in Student Journals: A Review of Limiting and Enabling Factors." Innovative Higher Education 35 (2010): 233-244: How to Write a Reflection Paper . Academic Skills, Trent University; Amelia TaraJane House. Reflection Paper . Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence, University of Arkansas; Ramlal, Alana, and Désirée S. Augustin. “Engaging Students in Reflective Writing: An Action Research Project.” Educational Action Research 28 (2020): 518-533; Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; McGuire, Lisa, Kathy Lay, and Jon Peters. “Pedagogy of Reflective Writing in Professional Education.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2009): 93-107; Critical Reflection . Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo; How Do I Write Reflectively? Academic Skills Toolkit, University of New South Wales Sydney; Reflective Writing . [email protected] University of Leeds; Walling, Anne, Johanna Shapiro, and Terry Ast. “What Makes a Good Reflective Paper?” Family Medicine 45 (2013): 7-12; Williams, Kate, Mary Woolliams, and Jane Spiro. Reflective Writing . 2nd edition. London: Red Globe Press, 2020; Yeh, Hui-Chin, Shih-hsien Yang, Jo Shan Fu, and Yen-Chen Shih. “Developing College Students’ Critical Thinking through Reflective Writing.” Higher Education Research and Development (2022): 1-16.

Writing Tip

Focus on Reflecting, Not on Describing

Minimal time and effort should be spent describing the course content you are asked to reflect upon. The purpose of a reflection assignment is to introspectively contemplate your reactions to and feeling about an element of the course. D eflecting the focus away from your own feelings by concentrating on describing the course content can happen particularly if "talking about yourself" [i.e., reflecting] makes you uncomfortable or it is intimidating. However, the intent of reflective writing is to overcome these inhibitions so as to maximize the benefits of introspectively assessing your learning experiences. Keep in mind that, if it is relevant, your feelings of discomfort could be a part of how you critically reflect on any challenges you had during the course [e.g., you realize this discomfort inhibited your willingness to ask questions during class, it fed into your propensity to procrastinate, or it made it difficult participating in groups].

Writing a Reflection Paper . Writing Center, Lewis University; Reflection Paper . Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence, University of Arkansas.

Another Writing Tip

Helpful Videos about Reflective Writing

These two short videos succinctly describe how to approach a reflective writing assignment. They are produced by the Academic Skills department at the University of Melbourne and the Skills Team of the University of Hull, respectively.

How To Write A Reflection Statement – A Step-By-Step Guide

Matrix Blog

Do you know how to write a reflection statement? In this post, we give you a clear process for writing reflection statements.

reflection about creative writing subject

Do you know how to write a reflection statement? Reflection statements are tasks that will increasingly be part of your assessments. In the past, reflection statements were only set for Extension 2. Now they will be commonplace in Advanced English for both Year 11 and Year 12.

In this post, we will demystify reflection statements and give you a step-by-step guide to producing statements that will impress your teachers!

What is a Reflection Statement?

A reflection statement is a complementary task that will accompany other assessment types. A reflection statement requires students to discuss the process of producing the associated assessment task.

In a reflection statement, students need to explain why they made the decisions they did. The reflection statement also offers the student an opportunity to say what they think they did well, or did poorly. Students can reflect on what they would change if they could do it over.

If you want to learn more about why self-reflection is such an important skill for students, you should read this excellent article by Cathy Costello at Virtual library .

Why can’t you give a specific definition of what reflection tasks involve?

The exact nature of the reflection task will depend on the assessment task you’ve been asked to reflect on. To give you an idea of this, we’ll look at some examples of the tasks that reflection statements might accompany and what the reflection statements need to address.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of tasks where you could be asked to provide an accompanying reflection task.

How long is a reflection statement?

This will vary.

English Extension 2 reflection statements need to be 1500 words. If you’re not doing English Extension 2, it is unlikely that you will be required to produce something that long.

The tasks you will be set for English Advanced will range between 300 and 800 words. Most reflection tasks will be on the shorter side of things at around the 400-word mark.

Need help perfecting your reflections for Module C?

Learn how to write insightful and constructive reflections with our structured online video lessons, quality resources, and forums to ask your Matrix teachers questions and feedback! Learn more about Matrix+ Online Courses now. 

reflection about creative writing subject

Where will I encounter reflection statements?

You will be set reflective statements throughout Years 11 and 12. They can be attached to any assessment task for any Module.

However, due to the nature of the Common Module: Reading to Write it is likely you will be set one to accompany the main writing task for that Module.

Similarly, in Year 12, Common Module: Texts and Human Experience and Module C: The Craft of Writing are the most likely Modules where you will be asked to reflect on your process of composing.

Remember, there is no limit on how many reflections you will need to produce as they supplement a larger assessment task. You may need to write as many as two in both Year 11 and Year 12.

In the HSC English Advanced Paper 2 (from 2019) and HSC English Extension 1 Paper, you may be asked to write a composition and a reflection statement.

If you study English Extension 2, this is a mandatory accompaniment for your major work. (Please note, while the process discussed in this post is similar to the one for producing an Extension 2 reflection statement, it does not discuss the research and referencing components that you need to complete for an Extension 2 work).

Clearly, it is important to be confident writing reflection statements. Matrix students learn how to produce reflection statements and get help refining them.

The secret to producing killer reflection statements is to follow a process when writing them.

What we’ll do now is look at the process for how to produce ace your reflection statement.

How to write a Reflection Statement – a step-by-step guide

Like everything in English, there is a process you can follow to produce a reflection statement. Even though the specific task may vary. The process for writing the reflection will largely remain the same.

The process for writing reflection statements looks like this:

How to Write A Reflection Statement Step-by-Step

Flowchart: The Process for Writing a Reflection Statement

Step 1: Produce the main piece of work for the assessment

Reflection statements are never tasks in and of themselves, they supplement the main task. You will not be able to produce your reflection statement until you have completed and edited your main task.

If you are stuck on your main task and need help, you should read our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English  for detailed advice on all aspects of Year 11 and 12 English.

This can be useful. You may well discover that your reflection statement makes you reconsider some of your choices in your main task. In the process of writing your reflection statement, you may decide you need to redraft your main work.

This is one of the key purposes of writing a reflection statement. It forces you to consider what you have produced and the process of producing it. This is a key part of editing and improving your work.

Step 2: Read the assessment notification

Once you’ve produced your main piece of work, you need to revisit your assessment notification. A task that involves a reflection statement will come in two sections:

Rereading the notification is important as it will help you check that you have completed the main task correctly. It will also tell you exactly what you need to do for the second part of the task.

Step 3: Read the marking criteria

For every assessment task that you are given, you MUST be given accompanying marking criteria. Marking criteria are very important. They tell you explicitly what you need to do to get full marks for a specific task.

Reading through the marking criteria at this point serves two purposes:

Your reflection statement may have very different requirements for a Band 6 mark than your main task. It is important that you are aware of the differences.

Step 4: Unpack what the reflection statement needs you to discuss for a Band 6 result

Now you’re familiar with the notification and marking criteria for the assessment task, you need to get these understandings down in writing.

To do this, you need to take a few steps:

Now you’ve unpacked the question. This means you are now equipped to answer the question you’ve been set.

Next, you need to revisit your main task so you can see what you’ve done and evaluate how you’ve put it together.

Step 5: Reread what you have produced for your main task

Your reflection statement will require you to explain the choices you’ve made in your main composition.

You may not have thought too much about these things when you produced the work. And this is fine. It just doesn’t help you with the reflections statement.

If this is you, you need to read your work with an eye on how you have conveyed information. You must unpack how you have presented your ideas. Essentially, you need to reverse engineer your writing through textual analysis.

Some useful questions to ask yourself when doing this are:

Make notes while you do this. You want to be able to refer back to your findings in detail when you write the reflection statement.

Once you’ve finished this, you’re ready to start planning. By now you should have:

Step 6: Plan your reflection statement

As with any task, you want to plan things before you get stuck in. Planning your work forces you to consider what information you must include and how you will structure that information in your response. This is an important part of the critical thinking process.

Reflection statements need to have structure, too.

You need to ensure that you introduce your ideas clearly, then expand on them, and, finally, summarise and conclude your statement. Even if you only need to produce a 250-word paragraph, you still need to ensure that it follows the conventions of composition structure. You will lose marks for presenting idea soup.

To plan your response, you’ll need to get your notes on the task and your notes on your response together. Then:

Once you’ve got your plan together, you’re ready to write. Matrix students get advice on their assessment tasks from their Matrix Tutors and Teachers. It might be helpful to ask a peer or parent for their thoughts if your school teacher can’t provide advice.

Step 7: Write your introductory statement

The length of your introduction will be contingent on the specifics of your task:

When writing your introduction, you must:

Once you have produced your introduction, you are now ready to develop your discussion and discuss the specifics of your main piece of work.

Step 8: Write the body of your argument

Now you’ve introduced your subject matter you need to start presenting an argument. Even though you are reflecting on your own work, you still need to use examples to demonstrate how you’ve set about responding to the main task.

You will need to present several examples to support your argument, but the number of examples will vary depending on the length of the task you’ve been set.

For a shorter reflection, try to present two or three examples and discuss them in detail. If you need to produce several paragraphs, you should be aiming at around four per paragraph.

To do this:

Once you’ve done this, you need to conclude your reflection.

Step 9: Write your concluding statement

Your final statement needs to address the broad idea you have discussed in your response. It will need to be at least two sentences. A longer reflection will require a longer concluding statement; if you had a separate introduction you will require a separate conclusion.

To write your concluding statement:

Now you need to revise what you’ve written.

Step 10: Proof and edit your work

It is really important that you proof and edit your work before submitting. You don’t want to throw away marks on typos and unnecessary grammatical errors. Proofing your work is something you must do after you finish any task.

To proof your reflection statement:

If you would like to know more about the editing process, you should read Part 7 of our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English: How to Edit Your Work .

Now you’ve finished a second draft you can submit. If you can, you should try and get some feedback. Matrix students get regular feedback from their Matrix Tutors and Teachers. Feedback on your work allows you to take somebody else’s perspective and use it to improve your marks.

reflection about creative writing subject

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