The benefits of reflective journal writing

Self-reflection is a skill that can be learned and is improved with effort, planning, and practice. Additionally, it goes beyond studying and analyzing the mind. Self-reflection also requires committed action. According to research, journaling can assist you in reaping the rewards of self-reflection by transforming inner awareness into action that is focused on reaching goals.

Even though they are frequently used in the instruction of disciplines like English and drama, reflective journals can be a beneficial learning tool for a much wider range of courses. Both law schools and scientific classrooms are already beginning to adopt them.

Journal writing, according to skeptics, is merely busywork for pupils and causes teachers a lot of needless extra work. However, proponents of journal writing have shown that, when done well, involving students in the activity of journal writing may be advantageous to both students and their instructors.

Writing a journal can help anyone reinforce their learning experience by capturing their developing thought processes as they write and discover new materials, and draw new conclusions.

Writing improves mental health and well being

Writing down thoughts and ideas literally rewires the brain. When we write down our thoughts and reflections, the brain engages in a challenging process of composition, synthesis, and storage. When words and thoughts are produced, the brain receives a signal that “this is crucial,” and it then identifies any incoming knowledge, chances, and resources that are relevant to reaching that goal. To energize the body and prepare us for action, to not only detect and attune with better clarity and focus, but also to perform for greater effect. Writing is a crucial skill for maintaining good mental health.

How to start writing a reflective journal

A journal gives us a space where our experiences can “come alive” and be better understood, changed, and improved. On the other hand, journaling benefits from structure and repetition just like any habit. Despite the fact that keeping a reflective notebook might seem difficult, it can be easily broken down into five sections, each of which provides a wealth of chances for observation, questioning, speculating, integrating, and criticising.

Despite the potential benefits, it is not always clear how to design and carry out a reflective diary assignment. Keep in mind the following guidelines as you start keeping a journal:

  1. Simply begin by outlining the circumstance or an event, including the specifics on the players, the settings, the circumstances, and what happened next.
  2. Think about your own reactions, feelings, interpretations, and conclusions.
  3. In order to discover the “why,” clarify your analysis by bringing theory into the situation or experience.
  4. Finally, draw knowledge together and make an effort to make good decisions.
  5. Also consider to create a plan for how you will carry out the actions and what changes you will make to achieve progress as you go.

Make sure the journal’s purpose is clear, whether it is to express one’s own ideas and emotions, develop and apply critical thinking skills, or a combination of these. This objective, as well as the writing style employed, should be taken into consideration while evaluating the magazine.


Stevens, D., & Cooper, J. (2009). Journal keeping: How to use reflective writing for effective learning, teaching, professional insight, and positive change. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publications.

Fenwick, T., & Parsons, J. (2000). Toolbox 2: Assessing learner journals. From The Art of Evaluation: A handbook for educators and trainers. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. pp. 155-161.

Ogilvy, J. (1996). The use of journals in legal education: A tool for reflection. Clinical Law Review, 3, 55-107. Columbus School of Law. The Catholic University of America.

Share your love