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Before anything else, it is important for me to summarize and soak in all of the feedback I have received so far. As the weeks progressed, I noticed that the critique I received was very much like the feedback sandwich that Peter explained in the first week – the ‘constructive stuff’ squeezed between two wholemeal slices of ‘positivity’.

“I enjoyed the flow and logic of your journal but I found it a bit heavy to read, too many big words – perhaps over-written?
Highlight the main key lessons as it can drag out. However, your punctuation was on point and your writing shows a very clear understanding of the readings."

I appreciate all the feedback I have received because it has truly lifted the awareness I have for my writing. However, in all honesty, much like Argyris (1991) proposes, I have never been handed feedback the way MGMT300 allows which caused me to be a bit defensive because up until now, I never thought that I had an issue with “heavy writing”. I had put in place defensive routines such as not explicitly enquiring about an issue of mine but instead using past experiences to find an appropriate solution. This was to prevent myself from experiencing embarrassment (Argyris, 1991) from the idea of not knowing what to do. The unintended consequence of this routine is that it has prevented me from identifying and reducing the causes of this embarrassment.

As I use the second stage of Daudelin (1996) to search for possible reasons for this, I realised that heavy writing has always been prevalent in my style since high school. I remember when my year 11 English teacher crossed out a whole paragraph with the brief note “less is more”. My “can do attitude” at the time, blinded me from seeing what I needed to work on because although half a page had been crossed out, I was given an impressive grade. So I continued with the thought that doing the same thing would get me the same mark. Linking back to the previous reading on feedback, I wish my English teacher had looked at the bigger, long term picture for my benefit (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002) because the review process only prompted short term behavioural improvements (i.e. I just eliminated the crossed out paragraph from my writing). “Less is more” was not enough for me to change and I continued to use Argyris’ (1991) governing variables of minimizing losing and negative feelings while trying to maximize winning.

The tentative theory that I have come up with from all of this, is that my desire to critically analyse text, caused me to explain points that may have been irrelevant instead of pinpointing the ‘muscle’ of it all. This meant that although my writing was extensive and thorough, the best journal entry was stuck inside a fat blob of writing. So how do I fix this? It comes down to the basics. Draft, proof-read, edit and repeat until I am happy that my “bodybuilder of a journal entry” over-powers the “obesity of excessive writing”.

If you read over my past entries, you will find that I have tried to use most of the previous feedback to craft this very different journal entry of mine. From 1000 words to way less. From using “big, hard-to-understand vocabulary” to simplifying my words to as if my mind was talking. I have focused on the main points and have followed Daudelin’s stages of reflection. I have purposely disregarded some of the content from other readings because this week I have taken a different approach. Instead of using all the content to explain everything I have learnt, I have shrunk it down. So in the span of a couple of weeks, I feel that yes, I have put my “heavy writing” through an intensive writing boot camp and hopefully the results show.


Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4—15

Argyris, C. (1982). The executive mind and double-loop learningOrganizational Dynamics, 11(2), 5-22.

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48

Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2002). Charting your company's future. Harvard Business Review, 80(6), 76—83


  1. Ola my main man,

    • First of all I would just like to comment on the flow and easy style that you have with your writing. I enjoyed reading your reflection as you followed Daudelin's stages of reflection well which then enabled me to easily follow your thought process.
    • I like your idea on going over past critiques and showing the reader an example of somebody's critique of your work also helps the reader understand where you are coming from. I think going over other people's critique of my own work is something I also don't do enough but I too think it is valuable and an area I could improve in. Like you I also get defensive and think my work is good and doesn't need changing so I tend to breeze through comments and not take much notice of them - maybe like you should do with this feedback...just saying. I think I need to start enquiring into parts of feedback I'm not 100% sure on how to solve and this may help for my end journal.
    • Also just want to say that there is no need for you to be embarrassed. You have a heart of gold and I'm sure if you asked a question to anybody they would be willing to help so ask away as it will only benefit you in the future!
    • Because your reflection was so good I had to look for little problems and so I guess it looks a little picky but in your first paragraph you say "I never thought that I had an issue with “heavy writing”" and then in the second paragraph "I remember when my year 11 English teacher crossed out a whole paragraph with the brief note “less is more”" - possible slight contradiction. Just something I noticed when I was reading and something that you can smooth out easily and Im sure you will for your end journal. Just something to beef up the old feedback!
    • Having worked with you over the past few months I agree you certainly have a "can do attitude" and I believe this is all you need to succeed in life. If you want it you can get it. Seeing as you have this, it is also likely that you don't fail very often (as you point out by still getting the good mark with your writing). This links back to Argyris' point that those who hardly ever fail aren't used to being criticised and therefore I agree with you that this is what could have blinded you from seeing what you needed to work on - not a bad thing I might point out. It is good that you have seen this through the critique of yourself and you can only get better from here! 

    Well done mate!


  2. Ola,

    As Tim has written above, your journal flowed extremely well and provided an interesting read! You have really made an effort to follow the structure  provided by Daudelin and it has paid off as it allows the reader to see the steps that you are taking in articulating your problem, followed by your analysis and reflection of it. 

    I do find this journal entry hard to fault. I haven't read one that has been this in-depth and personal before and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would like to think that in the future I can follow suit and draw in not only experiences from Mikes Bikes but also from other stages of academic life. Your analysis of your writing from school and how this lead you to waffle in some cases shows that you have pin pointed an issue that you have and are making active steps to remedy it. This journal article is testament to that. You have chosen the relevant parts of the reading to accompany what you wanted to show and have articulated it succinctly. 

    Well done on being able to take the critique that others have given you in the past and work to improve on it. 

    Super super work (smile)