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'I had never written an essay before my nurse training'

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I have almost completed my nurse training and I have two final essays to complete before July.

I had never written an essay before starting university, it was all new to me and I didn’t know where to start.

In my first year we had six pieces we had to pass to allow us to carry on into the second year, I was so pleased that with my first essay I got an A-, with Cs following thereafter.

I used the information provided by the lecturers to get a draft in place, and spider diagrams to get all my ideas down in one place.

I passed all coursework assignments and moved happily into the second year which was mental health specific, as I had an interest in this area and I hoped that the essay writing would become a lot easier.

I learnt from the first year that time management is vital. It really helped to be organised with references and start an essay draft as soon as it had been set so that the topic was still fresh in my mind.

There were four essays to complete in year two and my average grade was a C. Some of the essays were harder than others and it showed in my grades. It has been hard work trying to write essays while onn placement, working and having a family, but as I have a passion to do the best I can I always made sure that I put in 100% effort.

I passed year two and moved into the third and final year. I have completed two essays so far which were set in the first half of year three.

I really enjoyed writing them, the subjects were research and the use of a therapeutic model in mental health. Because I enjoyed them I received the best results and achieved an A- and B+. Overall my marks have been up and down throughout but I know now that I have a passion for researching and I hope this will be an area I move into in the future.

Here are some points to remember when writing an essay that helped me:

  • Time - allow yourself enough time to jot down an essay draft, research and for a final tidy up
  • Support - make appointments with the lecturers of the module for help and guidance
  • Information - gather as much as you can from lectures or books
  • Spider diagrams can be useful to put an essay into some sort of order
  • Gather references first before writing the essay, the references will help to work out the structure and the order to write in.

Victoria Spurgeon is a third year mental health nursing student studying at the University of Brighton.

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