Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

Gibbs' Model of Reflection is commonly used in education, healthcare and psychology. You can find a full description of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle along with both student and professionally written examples in this guide.

We have a number of expertly written examples of reflective essays here.


Student viewing an essay on a laptop

We have various examples of academic essays written using the Gibbs' Model of Reflection. Click on a title below to read the full reflective essay:

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Essays

Title: Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Nursing Reflective Practice Essay
Type: Professionally Written Essay
Extract: A sample 2:1 nursing reflective practice essay on an encounter with a service user in a health care setting

Title: Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Business Reflective Practice Essay
Type: Professionally Written Essay
Extract: A sample 2:1 business reflective practice essay considering the effectiveness of the approach to primary research for a dissertation

Title: Reflection on Personal Development and Self-Awareness
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: It’s a critical reflection on the importance of personal development and self-awareness, which are necessary if one is successful in becoming…

Title: Reflection on Nursing Teamwork
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: Implementing an effective teamwork skill is essential in nursing. I would be reflecting on the dynamics of my own personal experience on Enquiry Based…

Title: Clinical Skills Reflection: Gibb’s Model
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: The skill that I will reflect on in this essay is the administration of an intramuscular Injection (IM). An IM is an injection deep into a muscle (…

Title: Gibbs’ reflective cycle
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: The aim of this essay is to discuss my learnings about the importance of team briefing, principles of asepsis, and Surgical Handscrubbing, as well as experiences throughout my placement.

Title: Individual Reflective Report On Gibbs Cycle Of Reflection Education Essay
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: The Gibbs cycle of reflection is used in 2 incidences in the report. The first incident is the group project for CLS course on starch and second…

Title: Gibbs Reflective Cycle 1988 Nursing Essay
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: I am a Paramedic registered with the health professions council and this essay will look reflectively at an incident I attended during the course of my duties…

Title: Reflecting on Individual Professional Practice with Gibbs cycle
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: Introduction. For the purpose of this essay, I will use Gibbs (1988) Reflective Learning Cycle to reflect on an aspect of individual professional p…

Title: Reflective Essay On Patient Encounters Using Gibbs Cycle Nursing Essay
Type: Student Written Essay
Extract: In this essay, I will reflect upon a experience which I had with a patient using the Gibbs cycle of reflection (Gibbs, 1998) to help to signpost my…

What is Gibbs' Reflective Cycle?

Student nurse writing notes on patient

Introduction to Critical Reflection

Central to the development of reflective theory was interest in the integration of theory and practice, the cyclic pattern of experience and the conscious application of lessons learned from experience. Since the 1970s, there has been a growing literature and focus around experiential learning and the development and application of reflective practice.

As adult education professor David Boud and his colleagues explained: "Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning." When a person is experiencing something, he or she may be implicitly learning; however, it can be difficult to put emotions, events, and thoughts into a coherent sequence of events. When a person rethinks or retells events, it is possible to categorize events, emotions, ideas, etc., and to compare the intended purpose of a past action with the results of the action. Stepping back from the action permits critical reflection on a sequence of events.

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle Flow Chart

Flow diagram for Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

The 6 Stages of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

  • 1. Description
    A description of the events that took place or "What happened?"
  • 2. Feelings
    What were your reactions and feelings to the situation?
  • 3. Evaluation
    Evaluate both the good and bad points of your experience
  • 4. Analysis
    What sense if any can you make from the situation? What ideas from your outside knowledge can you apply to this analysis. try to ascertain what was actually going on and not just how you felt about the situation. Look at difference and similarities in other people's perception of the situation.
  • 5. Conclusions (general and specific)
    What can be concluded about your specific situation or the way that you worked?
  • 6. Personal Action Plan
    This section is used to outline the steps you are going to take to apply what you have learnt from your experience and how you would approach a similar situation in the future.

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Critical Reflection FAQs

Nursing staff discussing patient care

Question: Why is Gibbs a good reflective model?
Answer: Gibbs' Reflective Cycle has proven to be a good model of reflection due to its clear and precise nature. Gibbs' Model of Reflection is now the most common type of reflection used in the education system, particularly within healthcare and education.

Question: How do you start a reflective essay?
Answer: When writing a reflective essay using Gibbs' Reflective Cycle the essay starts with a detailed explanation of experience or event that is being reflected upon. This may typically be a patient encounter or a description of a particular placement.

Question: What does a reflective essay mean?
Answer: The purpose of a reflective essay is to provide insight into a particular event or situation. By reflecting upon the details of the event, a practitioner or student can learn from the experience considering all the various factors that led to a particular outcome. For areas such as nursing it is not adequate to simply learn from experience, the experience must be analysed and reflected upon so that positive and negative elements of an experience can be used to improve future interactions.