In this assignment you are asked to write a reflective essay which is an exercise for you in developing your critical thinking skills. A reflective essay requires you to think about and write about your ideas in relation to a specific topic and it is important to clearly understand what you are being asked to reflect about and how you feel about the topic. Because a reflection exercise is quite personal you will need to explore your own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, prejudices and knowledge about the topic so that you can gauge the level and degree of bias that you will need to moderate throughout your essay. For example if the topic is something that you feel strongly about (for example, gender issues in the workplace or environmental descruction), then you need to be careful that your essay does not just confirm your original beliefs and feelings. You need to ensure that you have truly explored the different perspectives, taken note of new or contradictory information and what insights this exercise has given you about your own views, feelings and beliefs. The PDF supplied at the following URL will give you some great insights into reflective writing that you may also find helpful. Also refer back to the material supplied for you in topic 1 on the study desk. Critical reflection writing differs from the typical academic essay writing in a number of key ways as follows: • A critical essay makes use of the first person (this is your reflection and your journey) • A critical essay considers the self as an object of inquiry (how do you feel?) • A critical essay incorporates experiences as a form of evidence (When I was faced with a similar problem I did…) • Both types of writing need to integrate secondary sources of evidence to defend propositions and conclusions • Both types of writing need to incorporate conventional technical writing conventions (grammar, spelling and structured logic) • Both types of writing follow appropriate academic citation and referencing guidelines. Finally a critical reflective essay requires you to consider the topic or question or issue posed and then describe the experience with details that prompt this reflection; Examine and analyse the experience through the integration of personal experiences and academic content to explain what has happened and why it may have occurred, and then discuss or provide possible responses, actions, changes that need to occur or recommendations and implications for the future. Topic For this critical reflection essay you are required to consider an example from your workplace that will allow you to write and reflect upon an issue that involves a business problem that you have faced that involves ethical issues. Your essay should include an examination of the business practice as well as the related ethical dimensions. In your discussion you need to evaluate both the professional practice issues of your example as well as the ethical principles and how these may (or may not) conflict. Use the techniques described in the first 4 chapters of the text book to assist you in this process and the information provided in topic 1 and the glossary. If you are not currently employed you can take an example from the news or other source to write about and reflect upon. Remember though that the example needs to be one that involves a business problem that allows you to comment on both professional practice issues and ethical questions.
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