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  • 13 Dec 2019


It is a theoretical model that inspires people to view their experiences in a systematic way that they had encountered during a particular situation or event. Often, it makes people extract the opportunities in growing their experience and improve for the better. 

The Gibbs model of reflection became significant in clinical practice since it enabled the nursing students to acquire the necessary practice knowledge and adapt to different environments of placement, building on their self-esteem and satisfaction. These are much valued for development in their nursing professionalism.

The reflection focuses on assisting the students to gain self-confidence, establish when they should improve, and aid in improving their mistakes and behavior. Furthermore, reflection makes nursing students value their patients’ perspectives, have self-awareness, and acquire vital experience in handling the future.

The model facilitates writing a reflective assignment, that is, a recounting of one’s own life experiences and evaluating it in an unbiased manner. They might appear easy to write at surface level, but can be a tedious task when to be written actually.

This cycle analyzes the negative and positive impacts of an event by making people aware of their actions during the said event. It undertakes 6 stages:


This segment talks about the background information regarding the details of the experience the subject had gone through. Accounting for what you are truly reflecting on comes in this paragraph. Therefore, it is of utmost significance to provide the necessary information precisely to the point.


This section discusses your subjective feelings, thoughts, ideas, and behavior about the experience. For instance, it undertakes to answer some relevant questions – How did you feel at the time of the incident? What was going in your mind then?

A tip to remember while writing this section is to avoid chatty texts or nonsensical rambling even if you are about to strongly communicate your emotions. It is a big NO.


The Evaluation portion talks about your perceptions of how good or bad things went. Always consider these questions while evaluating – Was the experience good or bad? What was your reaction to the scenario? What possible alternatives could you have practiced?

It is a theoretical segment regarding the correct and incorrect measures you took. Remember to include references at least for this section always. Reflective assignments are quite usual for nursing students. 


The analysis takes into consideration of things that helped or affected you during the event. Your analysis can compare the experience of what you did with the literature you have read, that is, any novel you read or a TV series/ movie you might have watched.

This is the area considered generally when reflective assignments come into the life of the students with a critical scrutinizing of the scenario to be done.


The conclusion part is an exclusive platform to describe what you learned from the experience or what you could have done in response to that experience, be it whatever. If talking about a positive response, you can recount the procedures you will continue to execute to ensure a positive outcome.

In the case of a negative response, you can mention the things that can be further improved upon if the incident had negative outcomes. You can also write about how to avoid it from happening again.

Action plan

Action plans summarize your entire reflective writing. It can be about things you need to know before indulging in a particular incident, how to make it positive and steps you will take to improve it the next time the same situation falls upon you again. You can also talk about things that you need to learn or attend some training to improve your practice results.

While it might appear an easy task to chronicle your experience under the above-given heads, it is common for students to get confused between the evaluation, conclusion, and analysis stages of the Gibbs cycle as they have similar questions and repetitive results. And You can also read about essay marking.

The structure of Reflective Assignment goes as follows-

The format of reflective assignments may change depending on the audience you are targeting. They can be academic, or a general piece of writing for a magazine. For instance, in-class assignments, while the presentation format can vary, the purpose generally remains unchanged: tutors envision inspiring students to think keenly and critically about a particular learning experience or set of experiences. 

  • The introduction-The introductory part should envelop the experience where it was held and how long it lasted. Gibbs’ model can be explained here briefly. 
  • The topic description and analysis-This part consist of an elaborate write- up to about description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. The approach can be 2 fold-
  1. A focus on personal growth: 

 It is a type of reflective essay often used by tutors as a strategy for helping students to learn how to analyze their personal life experiences to promote emotional growth and development. This essay gives students a better understanding of both themselves and their behaviors.

  1. A focus on the literature: 

 This sort of essay requires students to provide a summary of the literature, post which it is applied to the student’s own life experiences.

  • Conclusion-While writing the conclusion, one should not repeat the conclusion of Gibbs’ model. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses and how one’s actions can be improved is the next step.

While the format of a reflective piece of writing may change, there is one element that will mostly remain the same, and that is the structure. 

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