Reflective learning is an important feature of many radiography courses. Writing tasks are used both to promote and monitor student reflective learning. However, students may not always fully understand the rationale behind this form of learning, nor have clear expectations about the writing required. This paper reports on an intervention to address issues identified in student reflective writing tasks based on clinical experiences. Lecturers noted a lack of depth in student observations and tendency to express criticism in a judgemental and self-righteous tone. In response to this, a workshop was developed to prepare students for reflective learning and to develop their awareness and skills in the reflective writing process. Potential areas of difficulty in reflective learning are considered in this article, as well as how to promote a critical perspective while also encouraging students to maintain a positive regard for the patients, practitioners and institutions that enable them to learn on clinical placement.