3.13 Stage 7: Checking and making arrangements - a week before the exam

Mistakes often happen because students are anxious and pressured for time when preparing for an exam. We suggest that, a week before the exam, you check and make notes along the following lines.

  1. The date and time of the exam.

  2. The whereabouts of the exam centre. If time is going to be at a premium on the day of the exam, it would be well worth checking how to get to the exam centre, and how long it will take. You can then decide on you
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8.5 Reviewing

Undoubtedly this is the most difficult phase to apply to revision and an exam or to the preparation and production of an end-of-course assessment. Most of us heave a huge sigh of relief when it is all over and then try to put it out of our minds during the weeks while we wait for the results. When these arrive, it is very difficult to think back to the exam itself or revisit the details of the end-of-course assessment. With very little feedback to help, learning how to learn from exams or the
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Appendix 1 Action Plan

In writing my assignments, I think I do the following things well:

I am fairly satisfied with:

I need to work on:

The first thing I am going to when I finish this toolkit is:

Good luck!


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6.1.1 Report planning

Table 2 highlights the elements of a science or technology report, though the same general principles apply in other disciplines too.

Table 2 The main elements of a science or technology report

Element Purpose Description
title attrac
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Introduction

Most academic courses will require you to write assignments or reports, and this unit is designed to help you to develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes. It contains clear instruction and a range of activities to help you to understand what is required, and to plan, structure and write your assignments or reports. You will also find out how to use feedback to develop your skills.


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4.2 Meaning and ‘form’

The question remains, what is this poem ‘about’? Or, rather, we should ask, ‘what kind of poem is it?’ Poems (paintings, ideas, music, buildings, historical documents) are not all ‘one kind of thing’. As we become familiar with poetry we learn to distinguish between different kinds of poem, or between different poetic forms.

Epic poems, for example, are extremely long stories about the doings of a noble warrior, voyager, or similar ‘hero’. Other char
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4.9 When there's too much to do

This can be a real problem in large conferences. If, for whatever reason, you join a conference later than the other participants, or are unable to be involved for a while, the prospect of joining in can be a bit daunting. There will be lots of messages you haven't read and you may feel that everyone else knows each other.

The main thing to remember is that everyone will be pleased to ‘see’ you when you do join in, and will be helpful and supportive. Here are some strategies you can
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3.3 Real time chat

Online chat is a means of having a quick written conversation with one or more people who are online at the same time. Compared with email, there's less of a time lag in waiting for a response. Messages are likely to be more spontaneous, and it can be anarchic when several people reply at once.


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2.3 Learning more

Consider your main use for the PC, and check that you have the skills or knowledge you need. Although some students use spreadsheets and databases, the key skills for most students are:

  • word processing study notes and assignments;

  • searching for information on the web;

  • using conferencing and email.

If you feel you need to know more about using your computer there are a number of options open to you.
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1.1 Ways in which computers can help you to study

Courses use computers for a variety of different reasons. These are a few examples.

  • To let you explore ideas and concepts in more depth, such as by using a multimedia CD-ROM or DVD with interactive exercises.

  • To help you communicate with others on your course. Online conferences offer a way to contact other students and staff for information, discussion and mutual support.

  • To allow you to analyse data, see pictures or
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5.1.4 History

There is no general dictionary or companion to the study of history as such. However, there are period and subject-specific companions and indexes, such as:

Jones, C. (1990) The Longman Companion to the French Revolution, London, Longman.

Consult those appropriate to your course.


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3.7.1 Technical considerations

Handwriting

Nowadays most people use a word processing package to write essays while some people may use a typewriter. However, if you don't have access to either of these you will need to hand-write your essay. Should this be the case, the ease of reading depends on the quality of your handwriting . It is only fair to your tutor to try to make your writing as legible as possible. This will take time and care. But when you have spent a long time putting an essay togeth
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2.6.2 Hansa's essay

Hansa's essay would get a higher grade than Philip's. But, like his, it has both strong and weak points.

Strengths

  • subtle understanding of Ellis's argument

  • excellent focus on the question in the title

  • generally sound structure

  • some very fluent writing in places

  • plenty of attack in the opening – pacey first paragraph

  • good sense of how to draw a conclus
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2.5.6 Essay presentation

Both Philip and Hansa presented their essays neatly, with no crossings out or obvious slips of the pen or type. And they make very few spelling mistakes. Philip puts ‘wifes’ for wives, ‘citys’ for cities and ‘carreer’ for career, and Hansa ‘sparcity’ for sparsity.

Spelling

People of
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2.5.5 Writing style

As we have seen, Hansa tends to use whole clusters of words and constructions that are a bit over-formal rather than wrong. She seems to be trying to impress her reader. For example:

They therefore fled from the country in order to escape the restrictions and consequent boredom placed upon them by the very limited pastimes that a high ranking women in the eighteenth century was permitted to indulge.


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2.5.2 Punctuation

Some of the sentences we have looked at are harder to understand than they might be because they are not very well punctuated. Punctuation marks are the ‘stops’ in a sentence that divide it up into parts. They make it easier to follow the meaning of the words. For instance, it is easier to read this sentence of Philip's if we put a comma after ‘wealthy’:

With society becoming more wealthy, it was possible for t
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2.5.1 Sentences

We can see that Philip knows what a sentence is because he writes some perfectly good ones. For example:

In many ways going into urban life from the countryside was beneficial to woman of the upperclass.

This sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. It has a subject (urban life) and a main verb (was). As any sentence is, it is a self-contained ‘unit of meaning’. It m
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2.5 Other aspects of writing

Now we will look at the way Philip and Hansa wrote and presented their essays. Did you find them both easy to read? As regards Philip's, my answer is, ‘yes and no’. It is sometimes easy because he has a fluent way with words. But it is often difficult because he does not use enough punctuation to help us make sense of his words, and because of certain mistakes he makes. I found Hansa's essay easier to read. Her writing is more technically correct and more assured than Philip's. But
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References

Ashworth, P. (2003) ‘An approach to phenomenological psychology: the contingencies of the lifeworld’, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 145–56.
Bordo, S. (1993) Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press.
Burkitt, I. (1999) Bodies of Thought: Embodiment, Identity and
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