Quick Writing

quick writing

A quick write is a teaching approach that asks students to reflect on what they have learned through a brief narrative. Students are asked to do a short free-write on a topic or question. In addition to helping students solidify knowledge or expose gaps in knowledge, it can provide the instructor with information about student attitudes and beliefs.

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  • Why It Works
  • Implementation
  • Video Exemplars
  • Research Evidence
  • Why It Works

    Why It Works

    Asking health professional students to reflect in writing can benefit them by:

    • promoting deeper learning through the ability to form associations and integrate information
    • resulting in a more positive learning experience
    • improving relationships among teachers and learner
  • Implementation


    1. Choose a topic or question that students would benefit from deeper reflection about, or that you would like to reveal underlying attitudes and beliefs about.
    2. Provide students with an open-ended question or writing prompt and give them a minute or two to free-write.
    3.If you are collecting the writing, it can be done anonymously or you can ask students to identify themselves. If the purpose is for students’ own reflection, you may not need to collect the responses.

  • Video Exemplars

    Video Exemplars

    Note: Standard YouTube License Terms 

  • Research Evidence

    Research Evidence

    Content Description: This article describes how interactive reflective writing fosters professional identity formation in medical education.

    • Wald, H.S., Anthony, D., Hutchinson, T.A., Liben, S., Smilovitch, M., Donato, A.A. (2015). Professional Identity Formation in Medical Education for Humanistic, Resilient Physicians: Pedagogic Strategies for Bridging Theory to Practice. Academic Medicine, 90, 753-760.

    Content Description: A review of research looking at the benefits of using student reflection in health professions  education.

    • Mann, K., Gordon, J., MacLeod, A. (2009). Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: a systematic review. Advances in Health Science Education14, 595-621.