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‘I can’t get my head round essay writing at university’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“Basically, I don’t think I’m clever enough to write at university standard.

“I found writing essays at A-level really easy and always had good marks but we had to do three essays last term and the highest I scored was 51%. The other two were 40% and 38% - which is a fail!

“I’ve been so disheartened since we got our marks back and can’t really figure out where I went wrong. The marking criteria aren’t very helpful.

“Any tips on how I can improve my writing? I feel like there’s something I’m missing and I’m so worried now that I’m not even going to pass first year!”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Are there any study skills sessions offered by your university? Salford offer referencing, planning and writing an assignment, critical and analytical skills workshops to name a few, they also have lots of helpful online advice to :)

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  • I think at degree level it's about the quality of the research that you find e.g you need to use a database (the library provide databases for us students to search). Once you spend a period of time doing general research in the database in your chosen area you can then start putting it together. Use more formal language and grammar. I'm in the same boat as you, I've only just learnt this myself and I'm 27 and have done a previous degree (BA not BSc) so the difference is huge. Good luck.

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