Struggling to get a 1st class grade for your essay? Here are 8 things students forget to do that most often lose them marks for their essays. Get a 1st for your next essay!
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2. Things that are tough: Getting 70%+I felt like I worked really hard for that assignment. But in theend I got 62%. No matter how hard I work, I never quite hit a1st. What am I doing wrong?WeThere are so many students are in this boat. getcha.Pushing your mark from a 2:1 grade to 1st classis about finding those extra points of excellence.If, no matter how hard you work, youre neverquite hitting 70%, why not look back over yourpast essays and ask yourself honestly if youredoing all of these things: 3. 1. Make sure you understand the question There are two main ways students commonly misunderstand the question set for them. First, you can go wrong by simply notAs a result, students reading the question tend to:properly.Pay no attention to anyrestrictions on the scope ofWrite everything they knowthe question (forabout the topic rather than example, time answering the question.periods, jurisdiction or otherspecifics) 4. An example: ESSAY TITLE Has Radmacher v Granatino affected the enforceability of pre nup agreements in the UK? Discuss.WHAT SHOULD GO IN YOUR ESSAYLIMITATION OF SCOPEBrief explanation of what is meant by a pre nupJurisdiction: the question does not call for any detail on pre nups agreementin other countries beyond a brief mention such as unlike the Brief explanation of their unenforceability Netherlands where pre nups are binding. Key points from the caseHow these key points have affected the law as it Affect on enforceability: Only mention specific areas where there is stood previously a change between the old position and the new post-RadmacherHow the area is undergoing reform position. 5. More cluesELEMENTARY, my dear WatsonOther clues on what is expected of you come from the wording of the question for example, if yourtutor asks you to discuss an issue, you are expected to explain the issue, then give two or moresides of the issue and any implications. You can find out more about common words used in essayquestions on this page (scroll down to the lower half) : http://www.essay.uk.com/types-of-essay/then give two ormore sides of the //and any implicationsissueIts asking me to discussblahSecondly, there are many different essay types and each require different things. If youI need to explain theissue miss something thats required by the type of essay youll lose marks. Use the Types of essay guide to understand 6. 2. Use your marking schemePay attention.Most unis issue a marking scheme with each assignment. This is a recipe for how to get ahigher mark so scrutinise it carefully before you start and then review your essay againstthe scheme after youre done. There is usually an assessment handbook too, whichcontains more general advice on achieving the different grade bands.I know what myIts all in the marking tutor is lookingschemeforThis is easy. Time for a beerOkay, maybe I overdidit 7. 3. Avoid going off on a tangentThere will be no irrelevant material in a first class essay.The way to avoid this is, as youre writing, constantly revisit the questionand ask yourself why you need each sentence to answer it. Make sure youspell out to the reader exactly how each part of your essay answers thequestion.So this example You do this by illustrates that. (some point relevant to tying the pointanswering the essay back to the question)question. Explain how each point youmake is relevant to the essay Gulpquestion.Clever stuff 8. 4. Be original and dont use too many quotes The mark of first class work is originality. This means ideas of your own that are outside of the material youve been asked to read. You need to support these with strong arguments or citations to the material that led you to these conclusions, though your opinion on its own doesnt count for much!.TIP: TIP:Take the topic and CUBING follow these steps: Cubing can You wont get a higher sometimes be useful describe thegrade if all you do isto help generate newquote other peoples ideas around a topic words and particular topic. compare the material, especially iftopic to otheryour quoting (or things or topicsparaphrasing) is associate the particularly excessiveand comes over as a topicregurgitation of your analyse the topicreading material. apply the topic; and argue the topic. 9. 5. Get your referencing rightGo through this referencing checklist and make sure youre ticking off everyre, point. not just talking about citations.were STYLE: Have you used the correct style specified for your course? Forexample, Harvard, Oxford, OSCOLA, APA FORMATTING: Have you formatted the referencing in the essay andbibliography properly? Check your university guide there are manyvariations of the most common styles, especially Harvard. QUALITY: Have you used quality sources that are considered reliable suchas journals and leading text books? For law assignments, have you usedprimary sources as authority when they are available? QUANTITY: Have you used a good number of references within youressay to support your arguments? For most essays, relying on just 1 or 2sources wont be enough and high standard essays demonstrate that thestudent has conducted plenty of research. 10. 5. Get your referencing right (continued)re to check on your referencing.references up to date? For RECENCY: Where appropriate, are yourexample, dont use the 2004 edition of a text book if theres a 2012 editionout! AUTHENTICITY: Are your references authentic? For example, if you find areference to a journal within one of your textbooks, dont cite that journal asif you have a copy. Instead, refer to the journal as being cited in the book(each referencing style has a way to present this so check your referencingguide). AUTHORITY: Have you provided adequate authority for all of thearguments you have presented? Even if they are original and your ownopinion, you need to provide citations to material that helped you reach aparticular conclusion. 11. 6. Avoid generalitiesSweeping generalities are clear signs that you dontknow your stuff, and they really irritate lecturers. Avoid using statements like this:Most people think that It is commonly thought thatFor statements like: It has been established that, you can onlyuse them if you back them up with a credible source that genuinely shows that a particular point has been established. Ifyou cant find such a source, try and use something such as one 12. 7. Makethe question isFor example, if sure youve explicitly answered Do we value only whatthe question.westruggle for?, you can present So many students do a fantastic job of presentingall the evidence you like for very strong arguments , conclusive evidence and ove how we do and dont only a really impressive essay but they dont tie what theyvalue what we struggle for but written back to the question.unless you reach a conclusion, youve notanswered the question. Make sure youve got aparagraph that startssomething like, Inconclusion, it seems we do? Spell it tend to only value what we struggle for out!because (summarise the strongest arguments orevidence). 13. 8. Present your work impeccablyIt counts for more than you might think 14. Perfectpunctuation, choice ofPresentation includes spelling, grammar, presentationwords, tone, flow, signposting, a cover sheet and index where youhave been asked to provide one, and often referencing. There arethree points here. First, your university will usually reserve a certain amount ofPRESENTATION = BETTER MARKSmarks for presentation, often about 5%. These are the easiestmarks out of your whole assignment to pick up, so take extra carenot to lose them. The marking scheme we were providedwith to grade our students essaysincluded a note on the final grade to Secondly, the reality is that your presentation often influences faraward. Did the essay feel like a 2:1 or ayour grade far beyond the 5% allocated. A lot of the feel of the 1st? If a students paper was a few marks off a grade band, up or down, we werepaper comes from presentation. To get the best grades, yourentitled to move that essay into the gradepresentation needs to be impeccable. band where we felt it should sit Associate Lecturer. Third, you might have the best arguments in the world, but itspossible your presentation could be weakening them. Punctuationand word choice are two examples that can make an enormousdifference to the strength of your writing. If in doubt, consider 15. THATS ALL FOLKSFOR WATCHING. Please like and share if this has helped you.Check out http://www.essay.uk.com for