Reflection writing is a genre that is frequently confusing for students. It is a form of academic writing, so the usual style and citation conventions apply (unless directed otherwise). However, in this genre of writing the student is encouraged to write about their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences, in response to course content. Reflection writing assignments are often given as a response to reading assignments, to check understanding and encourage students to think about what they have read.

Reflection writing is rarely used for high stakes writing assignments, but it can be stressful for students because the assignments seem unstructured. Similarly, the encouragement to write about first-person experience seems inconsistent with the advice found everywhere else, to write in as objective a way as possible.

Because of the emphasis on subjectivity, first person pronouns, normally discouraged in academic writing, are allowed – in fact they are necessary, as the self is the source of information for these writing assignments. However, the inclusion of first person pronouns and personal responses is not an invitation to write carelessly. Unsourced claims, informal writing, and second person pronouns are no more welcome in reflection writing than in any other genre of writing.

Hi Dr. Bergstrom, I’m writing bc this reading is super-interesting to me, you know?I’m writing because the articles I read have stimulated my thinking on a number of topics.