Hi. I'm Samantha.

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Essays about mile durkheim



(or at least a 2.1)
Since starting university I've had real trouble with writing decent essays; despite trying the best I've managed to get was a low 2.1 (the rest were 2.2s)
This wouldn't be a problem if I knew exactly where I was going wrong, but despite a few explanations from the tutors I still feel lost as to why I'm doing so badly.
I'm at Warwick, which means the work is pretty hard, but at A level I managed to easily get full marks in my essays and exams, and now I just don't feel clever enough to even be on the course.
People on my course who write their essays the night before and know nothing about the subject are pulling out high 2.1s and firsts, yet I spent three weeks on an essay and researched it thoroughly and only got 58

So I was wondering if anybody could help out by sharing how they do well in their essays. History/Politics students would be best, but any help would be great.
Rep. to anyone who helps out.

So I was wondering if anybody could help out by sharing how they do well in their essays. History/Politics students would be best, but any help would be great.

I haven't been given any essay marks back yet ( ) so I can't help out (and when I get the marks back I still won't be able to help out. )

I'm not at Warwick or doing history but I think the best thing you can do is talk to the relevent staff and ask questions until it becomes clearer for you.

I'm a law student, and what I'm going to say me seem really obvious but sadly I've found that when I decide to follow my own advice I do an awful lot better than when I don't.

1) Read the question.
2) Plan
3) Answer the question.

Obvious I know. But sometimes the more reading you've done, the harder it is to answer the question, which makes it more important to plan it. Try and finish it a day before you have to submit it so that you can go away and come back to it fresh and make sure you have written the essay you were asked to write rather than an essay about what you were asked to write which doesn't answer the question (or indeed about something entirely different!).

Right, well it's difficult to say, because I've had really high marks on essays that I though were rubbish, and vice versa.

But, I think the key is structure. I've always been told that in your introduction you need to outline very clearly what you are arguing. Then, go through your argument concisely and coherently, and conclude.

Also, when arguing, you need to be very balanced. So, if you're arguing in favour of a particular view, outline the criticisms of what you're saying, and try to back up your own argument.

Research is good, but the important thing is to use a lot of your own views, not just those of other authors. Use their points to make your own argument - make sure it doesn't just sound like a composite of what you've researched.

Go and see your tutors with your essay plans a few weeks before they need to be handed in, and ask them if what you've planned is what they're looking for.

I got 81% in both my essays this term, my secret is to disagree entirely with the question set (and then back it up obviously).

Question: “Does Durkheim succeed in avoiding human subjectivity altogether in his work?”'
My Answer: WTF. He never sought to avoid it in the first place! It's an intrinsic part of his theory!

Question: "Examine the relationship between gender equality and pre-industrial domestic production"
My Answer: "There was none, feminist methodologies are stupid, looking at history though a gendered perspective is ridiculous, all these authors in the set reading are idiots who just contradict themselves with baseless speculation"

They don't want you to prove you understand it. Its a given that you'd understand the material, they want more than that. Just repeating what they've taught you like a drone isn't the point. They don't want to hear their own opinions barked back at them, You have to put your own spin on things, make your own argument. Don't just regurgitate facts and theories.


also:
Read outside the reading lists.
Visit your Personal Tutor
Make use of 2nd/3rd year students
Ask to have a meeting with your seminar tutor and discuss your feedback.
Download the mark schemes from the websites

I got 81% in both my essays this term, my secret is to disagree entirely with the question set (and then back it up obviously).

Question: “Does Durkheim succeed in avoiding human subjectivity altogether in his work?”'
My Answer: WTF. He never sought to avoid it in the first place! It's an intrinsic part of his theory!

Question: "Examine the relationship between gender equality and pre-industrial domestic production"
My Answer: "There was none, feminist methodologies are stupid, looking at history though a gendered perspective is ridiculous, all these authors in the set reading are idiots who just contradict themselves with baseless speculation"

They don't want you to prove you understand it. Its a given that you'd understand the material, they want more than that. Just repeating what they've taught you like a drone isn't the point. They don't want to hear their own opinions barked back at them, You have to put your own spin on things, make your own argument. Don't just regurgitate facts and theories.


also:
Read outside the reading lists.
Visit your Personal Tutor
Make use of 2nd/3rd year students
Ask to have a meeting with your seminar tutor and discuss your feedback.
Download the mark schemes from the websites

Well, I just do politics but I can give you a few tips which should help you get a 2:1. Don't tell a story when you are writing your essay, make your point, expand on it and then move on don't spend ages on one point. Have at least 8-10 references- i.e. 8 different books, journals and internet references. Have a structure and stick to it. Reference properly and don't just use books either liek I said above, internet resources and journals are good too =] Make sure that you spelling and grammar is perfect. Use original thought, not just the ideas from your resources. Make sure that your introduction is awesome. Impress them with that first paragraph and they will look at your essay in a more favourable light. Make sure that you set out what you are gonna argue in your intro. Annnnd also answer all of the question. You can always take an essay plan to your tutor in advance and they can give you advice =]

I'd follow Screenager2004. just make the risky step outside of the box. But do it tastefully. in other words, have a very good understanding of the material prior to wandering around it and twisting the question in different directions.

(Original post by MayaTlab )
I'd follow Screenager2004. just make the risky step outside of the box. But do it tastefully. in other words, have a very good understanding of the material prior to wandering around it and twisting the question in different directions.

Yeah this is very important. You need a very strong grasp of the subject matter, if you aren't very informed and you challenge the question then it just looks like you didn't understand anything and it'll appear incoherent and confused!

In my department at Warwick, they actually provide the mark schemes for the essays, and all the top bands have the phrases "may inform/extend existing debates". I think its very important to go that extra mile.

Don't argue against someone just for the sake of arguing. Put together the argument you want to make and then make it, it shouldn't matter whether it agrees with the person marking it or not as long as it has been done well. Bringing in something original helps, as done trying to link different concepts.

(Original post by Natasharox )
Right, well it's difficult to say, because I've had really high marks on essays that I though were rubbish, and vice versa.

But, I think the key is structure. I've always been told that in your introduction you need to outline very clearly what you are arguing. Then, go through your argument concisely and coherently, and conclude.

Also, when arguing, you need to be very balanced. So, if you're arguing in favour of a particular view, outline the criticisms of what you're saying, and try to back up your own argument.

Research is good, but the important thing is to use a lot of your own views, not just those of other authors. Use their points to make your own argument - make sure it doesn't just sound like a composite of what you've researched.

Ditto this - I think that once you've mastered the technique of actually writing an essay, by which I mean the style and structure rather than content, you'll suddenly bump it up. I've had 2:1s on all three of mine so far, though I have three more still to get back and the feedback has been reasonably similar on each - I know how to structure it, but there is sometimes some depth lacking in actual content. So you can get a good mark with a well-structured, and only a reasonably well argued essay and a really good mark if your argument is strong as well.

What sort of feedback are you getting? Does it talk about content, arguments, structure? Or something else.

Also, one of the things I found confusing at first is that at my uni, History and Politics tend to like different things. The politics department is very keen on expressing your own opinion (though backed up with research obviously) while History likes you to develop an argument but with less focus on your own opinion on the matter and omore on analysing the opinions of others.

Referencing, spelling, grammar, punctuation etc are all hugely important and really easy ways to lose marks and several of my seminar leaders have said how important they are and how it can immediately turn them off an essay when these things aren't done properly.

Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about the marks you've received so far. I know in most of my groups there's a wide range of marks, and it is only the first year, and the first few essays. You're bound to improve and get a better understanding of what's required as the course goes on.

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