Top 8 Tips to Apply the Bortons Model of Reflection in Thesis Writing

Thesis writing is one of the most highly researched tasks of academic writing that demands deep reflection on the selected topic. Among a variety of models of reflection, students mostly consider the Bortons Model of Reflection in thesis writing. It is a useful model for reflective learning that helps students to properly structure and write their papers. “It provides an organised way of increasing awareness (What), evaluating information (So What), and experimenting with new behaviour (Now What)”. -Terry Borton When you start applying this Borton 1970 model of reflection, it positively impacts your research process. But today’s students easily get fed up with these demanding and reflective things, so they prefer to get thesis writing services from experts. These professionals have all the expertise to use this model of reflection in their work to make it more accessible and understandable. Here, we will guide you on how to get benefit from such models as well as some expert tips to apply Borton’s Model of Reflection in thesis writing.

What is the Borton Model of Reflection?

The Borton Model of Reflection was initially developed by Terry Borton in 1970 and is now widely used for educational purposes. It increases your deep thinking and analysis capabilities about the work you are doing. It is not only beneficial for students but also assists professionals to think deeply about their actions and their outcomes. This Borton reflection revolves around three basic questions:
  1. What?
  2. So What?
  3. Now What?
Image source: Semantic Scholar It is one of the most straightforward methods for reflection, often applied by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Its role is to ensure that all sentencing decisions are equal and fair without any racism. Anyone can use this Borton reflective model due to its simplicity and easy entry point. Furthermore, this model is ideal for beginners and students because it helps them reflect effectively in real-world situations.

Top 8 Tips to Apply Bortons Model of Reflection in Thesis Writing

Many of you are still unaware of the usage of reflective models in daily learning opportunities. But no more ignorance of such a useful model that can assist you during your research and thesis writing. From improving your research to polishing your written document, this model is everything you need for a sincere reflection on your subject or field. So, let’s see some expert suggestions to use this Bortons model of reflection during your research projects like a thesis.

1. Plan Your Reflection Early

When you start working on your thesis, your first task after topic selection is to do thorough research on the thesis topic. During this research phase, your reflecting skills play an important role, and you often get this from a thoughtful mindset. You should work on collecting relevant data from the literature and analyse it well. Use this Bortons model of reflection from time to time and review your work progress.

2. Use a Reflective Journal

Wondering how to use this reflective model in thesis writing? Well, you need to think about its basic three Borton’s model questions: what, so what, and now what and evaluate your data on the basis of these queries. Keep a notebook along with you in which you routinely respond to these questions and try to find their answers. This will make it simpler for you to include your reflections in your thesis and help you keep track of them.

3. Organise Your Thesis Based on the Model

After using Bortons model of reflection in your research journey, its purpose doesn’t end here. It also helps you to structure and organise your thesis well. You should develop and organise the discussion and conclusion sections of your thesis around these three questions. It also assists you in making sure your thesis is thorough and thoughtful.

4. Solving Research Queries

Start your research process under the application of Bortons model of reflection. You should evaluate what your original inquiries were for your research and how you collected the data. You should also describe the main actions you took during research. Assess your collected data and add justifications when it is needed. Furthermore, you should evaluate these answers and see what you would change for the next research projects.

5. Reflecting on Challenges and Solutions

Here, you should describe any obstacles that you faced during thesis writing while using Bortons model of reflection. These challenges may come from the collected data, your own analysis, methods of research and so on. You should reflect on these challenges and find out their reliable solutions. In the end, analyse the end results you have gotten and relate them to your own abilities to solve various problems.

6. Analysing Your Educational Path

Summarise the fresh insights and abilities you obtained during your thesis journey. If you have used any novel research methods through reflection, elaborate it clearly in your work. It will also help you to contribute to your field and learn more about your field of expertise. Don’t forget to examine the “why” behind what you have learned and add justifications to it.

7. Get Experts Feedback

After using the Bortons model of reflection in your thesis, you should then get feedback from your teachers, classmates and experts. As you share your reflection with them, they will give you their honest reviews which will help you to get instant results. These your own reflections will offer more insights and if something is wrong, such feedbacks also point out them.

8. Edit and Polish

After completing your thesis writing under the influence of Bortons model of reflection, it’s time to critically edit and analyse it. You should also do it while writing your thesis side by side. As you work on your thesis, go back over your thoughts and make any necessary revisions in light of fresh information and criticism. Furthermore, you can also get thesis writing help UK from professional writers. Their expertise and a strong grip on the reflection process will assist you in making your content 100% unique and original and also ensure your success in thesis writing.

Borton’s Model of Reflection Advantages and Disadvantages

There are various pros and cons of using the Bortons model of reflection. Before starting your reflection for thesis work, you should first get to know about these crucial points:


  • It was developed by a teacher to cater to students’ needs.
  • Among many other models, it is the easiest one.
  • Students can easily apply it due to its very limited three steps.
  • It is such a versatile model that you can use it in any situation and context, both educational and professional.
  • It is applicable to many different subjects and disciplines.
  • It’s an excellent starting point for those looking for reflective practices.
  • It helps you to learn the reflection process in a clear and simple way.


  • It is not a direct approach to achieving something.
  • It has a very general framework, which often looks ambiguous in some situations.
  • It is also very essential to follow its steps systematically, which becomes difficult for some students.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to determine where to begin the reflection process.
  • It is not universally applicable to every situation because everyone’s reflective provinces differ.
  • Being a very continuous process, Bordons’ model of reflection also creates problems in making it specific.

How Do You Reference Bortons Model of Reflection 1970?

Just like adding references to any information you take from others, Bortons model of reflection also demands proper referencing. Before adding citations to the data, you got from it, it is essential to find the original sources and add their full details in your bibliography. However, in case, if you have got the information from other sources instead of the original Borton’s original work, you need to make it clear where you found the reference. Swansea University states it is a secondary reference that students often use in their work. You should only include the details of the work you actually read in your reference list. However, it is suggested to always prioritise the use of original sources of information for more credibility by applying Bortons model of reflection. Example Citation for Bibliography: Borton, T. (1970). Reach, Touch and Teach. London In the text, you should usually mention the author and the year. Moreover, if you are quoting directly, include the page number as well. Example In-Text Citation: According to Borton (1970) …   … (Borton, 1970, p. 45). Example In-Text Citation for Secondary Source: Borton (1970) as cited in Melanie Jasper (2006) suggests that… … (Borton, 1970, as cited in Melanie Jasper, 2006). Example Citation for Bibliography: Jasper, M. (2006). Professional Development, Reflection and Decision-making.

Bortons Model of Reflection Examples

To apply any reflective model, including Bortons, you need some examples to get an idea of how to use this model to solve your relevant queries. Such as:
Image Source: Google The following is another example of using Borton’s reflective model in nursing:
Image Source: Research Gate

What Are the Four Models of Reflection?

The University of Cambridge states that we have the following commonly used four models of reflection:
  1. ERA Cycle
  2. Driscoll’s What Model
  3. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle
  4. Gibb’s Reflective Cycle


For newbies, it’s important to understand the value of reflection and the use of such models in their daily life activities like thesis writing. We understand that it is an innovative way to do your research, but you must take a start with this one. To enhance your research and writing skills, you should always apply Bortons model of reflection to your studies. If you don’t know how to do it well, this is our helpful guide with all the details to help you learn how to use the Borton model of reflection for your studies and thesis or dissertation. However, students mostly have a very short time and such reflective thinking is a very time-consuming task with your full concentration on academics. To save themselves from this demanding journey, students often buy thesis online from a credible source. Their expert team is very dedicated to offering a complete reflective analysis of your topic and making your thesis according to your demands.

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