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Reflective writing: Reflective frameworks

“A framework ... can help you draw out the learning points from an experience by using a systematic approach”

Williams et al., Reflective Writing

There are many frameworks for reflective writing. Being aware of these frameworks (or 'models') can help you to maximise the learning from any experience you have. This is because they assist in the systematic deconstruction of experiences, helping you to ensure you ask the right reflective questions at each stage of an experience. This means frameworks of reflective practice can be used as a basis for the structure of a reflective essay.

Introduction to using frameworks of reflective practice

Often, reflective assessments will require you to use a framework or model for your reflection. Always ensure you read the assignment criteria carefully to make sure you are taking the right approach. You may be given a free choice on which framework to use, or you may be asked to choose from a selection. If you have to choose, you may need to justify your decision, but this is not always the case. Whatever your assignment asks you to do, you need to think critically about which model you use. This guide will later introduce you to the most common frameworks.

Frameworks of reflective practice

If your assignment requires you to make reference to a framework (or 'model') of reflective practice, you will need to choose a framework through which to structure your assignment. Each framework establishes a different approach to reflection and will require you to approach your writing differently. While not an extensive list, the reflective frameworks listed below are the most commonly used and each has its own page on this guide.


These frameworks of reflective practice can allow you to construct a greater depth of reflection than the experience (1), think (2), learn (3) model introduced previously. It is worthwhile researching other other models for yourself - all have their advantages and disadvantages.