Activity 2 - Identifying levels of reflection in writing

The aim of this activity is to give you practice in identifying different levels of reflection.

Below are 3 examples of journal writing about the same event - a 22 year old graduate reflecting on a presentation in their workplace.  The examples are taken from Jennifer Moon's The Presentation: an exercise in reflective writing *

After reading each one judge whether the graduate has used Descriptive, Descriptive Reflective, Dialogic Reflection or Critical reflection using Hatton and Smith’s (1995) criteria by selecting the link at the bottom of the example page.


Example 1


Example 2


Example 3


Hatton and Smith’s (1995) criteria

  1. Descriptive: - no discussion beyond description with no evidence of reflection
  2. Descriptive reflective: - description of events with some evidence of deeper consideration in relatively descriptive language.  No real evidence of alternative viewpoints.
  3. Dialogic reflection: - There is a 'stepping back' from the events and actions which leads to different levels of discussion.  A sense of 'mulling over' events is shown.  Evaluation of judgements and a consideration of possible alternatives for explaining and hypothesising about them is shown.  The reflection is analytical or integrative, linking factors and perspectives.
  4. Critical Reflection: - aware that actions and events may be 'located' within and explicable by multiple perspectives, but are located in and influenced by multiple socio-political contexts.


* resource 6 of 14 (copyright wavered) published in the book 'A handbook of reflective and experimental learning: Theory and practice', 2004 by RoutledgeFalmer, Oxon, ISBN 0-415-33516-7

Now have a look at further expectations of reflective writing that will assist you in practical ways.

Last modified: Friday, 23 October 2015, 9:30 AM