Anyone got 70% or more in an LLB Law essay?

Watch
This discussion is closed.
shinytoy
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 15 years ago
#1
hello

im averaging 67% in my degree, im second year. in my first year, though it didnt count, i averaged 64% .

My problem is, i do well in my exams, and generally get 60-69% . but with my courseworks i do so crap and even if i work very hard i can only get 40-49%. this really brings my grades down, and my high degree average is only cos in 2nd year only highest half modules go toward the degree and all of mines come from exams.

so my question is, does anyone have any tips on writing an essay to get a first?

if anyone has actually got a first in an essay please could they post it here, even just for a little while then take it down just so i can see what a good essay looks like.

my lecturers say my essays lack structure and are off-topic and lack maturity in writing.
0
Ariel4
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 15 years ago
#2
First of all, make sure you know what the question is asking you. ive written an essay before were i havent even awnsered the question, i failed needless to say!
Read as many books, journals and cases as you can and make notes on the topic. i find this is very helpful if its a difficult question thats hard to understand. i tend to start of with the basic books, such as elliot and quinn and nutshells, for the basic structure of my essay. then i use more heavy weight texts to elaborate on this, adding in journal articles where needed and cases and statutes to back up all my points.
Then make a structured plan from your essay notes, make sure everything you use is related to the question, you are just wasting words otherwise.
Make sure you have a good intro, this sets the tone of the essay. if you find this hard to write, leave it till last. it should say what the essay is about, and what will be included.
The conclusion should sum up the essay. if youve mentioned something in the intro that you havent been able to fit in the essay, then put it in the conclusion.
Use as many cases and other authorities as you can. make sure they are properly referenced and cited.
Read the essay through once youve done. this is so boring, but i always find loads of typos and grammatical errors. if you can, get someone else to read it through for you.
As for the maturity of your writing, try and use the same style as textbook writers do. however, dont over compicate things, i always end up confusing myself when i do that. dont use the same word to often in a sentence, use a thesasaurus, i dont what id do without one! never say "i think" or "in my opinion".
make sure you present both sides of the argument.
0
ellewoods
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 15 years ago
#3
(Original post by shinytoy)
hello

im averaging 67% in my degree, im second year. in my first year, though it didnt count, i averaged 64% .

My problem is, i do well in my exams, and generally get 60-69% . but with my courseworks i do so crap and even if i work very hard i can only get 40-49%. this really brings my grades down, and my high degree average is only cos in 2nd year only highest half modules go toward the degree and all of mines come from exams.

so my question is, does anyone have any tips on writing an essay to get a first?

if anyone has actually got a first in an essay please could they post it here, even just for a little while then take it down just so i can see what a good essay looks like.

my lecturers say my essays lack structure and are off-topic and lack maturity in writing.

I've had 1:1s in Company Law, European Law, Property & Trusts, Advocacy... think thats it....

I would advise making thorough notes, bullet points, to make sure you don't miss anything out. Link these where appropriate, because structure is absolutely key - when you've finished an essay, print it off, get someone else to read it to make sure it makes sense, read it yourself, and be prepared for a lot of "red pen" - cross things out, move them around - your work must flow and be logical.

"Off-Topic" writing is a big thing at my uni - make sure every single word you write is aimed at picking up marks for the question you are answering. Stay on your syllabus, and ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!! :rolleyes: Not only will you not get any extra marks for wandering off the focus, but as you may have found out, you may be penalised.

Im not really sure what to say for "maturity of writing" - maybe you need to write in a more legalistic style, which is detached and analytical.
I know at my uni to get a 1:1 the tutors specify that you must state the relevant law, absolutely accurately, then apply it critically to the facts / scenario you hand ie, there is lots of "well if this precedent was followed, this may be the outcome, however in X case this was the outcome, however X case may be able to be distinguished on the following grounds...."
Then reach a conclusion of what you think may be the outcome in this situation, and why.

I would recommend thorough understanding of any module before you attempt to answer any questions. Ask questions of your tutors, clarify points with them, and do every practice question / past paper possible. As I have just discovered to my detriment in last semesters' Evidence module, it only takes one instance of mis-construing the law, even on a small part of your essay, and you will come out with a scraped 60. :rolleyes:

Preparation is the key as I mentioned earlier. I would recommend having meetings with your tutors and trying to identify your problems with essays more specifically, because the difference between your exam grades and essay grades is worrying - you're clearly capable as your exam grades show, so don't let yourself down with essays.

Good luck
2
shinytoy
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report Thread starter 15 years ago
#4
i dunno i think i do those things. when i get my land law back on monday i will post it on here. it was a problem question and i thought mine was good but i got 45% .

can anyone please quote even just part of any law essay that got a first just so i can see what is meant by 'mature style of writing'?
or even on google, any law type essay about anything that you think is in a good style to get a 1st.

do your essays look/sound like journal articles in the tone and method?
0
Ariel4
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 15 years ago
#5
(Original post by shinytoy)
i dunno i think i do those things. when i get my land law back on monday i will post it on here. it was a problem question and i thought mine was good but i got 45% .

can anyone please quote even just part of any law essay that got a first just so i can see what is meant by 'mature style of writing'?
or even on google, any law type essay about anything that you think is in a good style to get a 1st.

do your essays look/sound like journal articles in the tone and method?
If youre really having problems with essay writings, speak to your tutors. ask them for more specific pointers on the essays theyve marked. dont worry about not getting 1st's. your work has to be immaculate to do this! make sure you are as thourough as you can be, dont overlook anything. this requires a lot of work! youre clearly more than capable of doing it, as your exam results are good. it just takes practise.
0
Lauren18
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report 15 years ago
#6
I've got firsts on a couple of essays and on some midsessional exam questions and I think this is very much down to my writing style rather than content - feedback seems to back this up.

In the past I've been one for using long words and confusing syntax; but in the last few months I've been writing really 'simply' but more effectively and my marks have been surprisingly good.

I tend to go through a topic in general for a good few hours beforehand - if an essay is on voluntary manslaughter then I read through everything on manslaughter and make detailed notes, and then go through them to decide which areas are relevant (this helps you to be more selective I find). I easily waffle so every few minutes I look back at the question and really try to think about what it's getting at. I then start the essay and usually get bored quickly so will either read another textbook or find a related article online, the worst thing is to write when the 'flow' isn't there because you tend to end up with a vague and disjointed piece of work.

Other basic points, in my opinion, are to make your opening and closing sentences/paragraphs really first-rate - you want to start and end on a high and fill the inbetween with valid and critical argument.
0
Masta Killa
Badges: 0
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report 15 years ago
#7
i received my Contract 1, Tort 1, Constitutional, and Law & Legal Skills 1, marks back, and they were assignments... i got 71 in Contract 1 and Law & Legal Skills 1, 72 in Tort 1...but a [email protected] 55 in Constitutional, bringing my average to 67.25

i suggest you buy Question & Answer books as they usually have the best answers for different types of questions... this way you'll know where you are going wrong...
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 13
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 15 years ago
#8
(Original post by shinytoy)
i dunno i think i do those things. when i get my land law back on monday i will post it on here. it was a problem question and i thought mine was good but i got 45% .

can anyone please quote even just part of any law essay that got a first just so i can see what is meant by 'mature style of writing'?
or even on google, any law type essay about anything that you think is in a good style to get a 1st.

do your essays look/sound like journal articles in the tone and method?
The essays I've obtained firsts in have had the following features at their heart:

- A logical structure. I think this is so so so important. In a problem question find the best way to present everything, make you sure deal with the issues completely seperately. Make sure the examiner knows exactly where you are taking them.

- Relevant cases used well. I have not gone on Westlaw finding realms of extra cases, unless I have had a point that I felt my handouts did not give sufficient information for. In essays, I have used all the material suggested in lectures, and maybe looked up a couple of items referenced in foot-notes.

-Quoting judges. Actually identifying the ratio, and analysing it normally gets me a 'good use of case law' here comment in the margin. It also shows and requires an assimilation of the facts of the case and is a useful way of distinguishing the facts from one case to another, be it in an essay or a problem.

-Simple sentences! One point per sentence is crucial in legal issues. This ensures your sentences are relevant and focused.

-In problem questions- a very very thorough application of the law to the facts. Use of cases to back up the assertions you make.

-Essay introductions-

Whilst I know many would hold the 'In this essay I propose...' to be the sign of a weak structure, I use it in my university essays because it seems to suit the desire structure. Further, it seems to be common place in academic writing by lawyers.

Spend a lot of time planning your essay and thinking of points. Then bring them together as neatly as possible in a few key points.

-Problem questions-

The introduction is simple and short 'Bob has five potential actions in contract', or 'In order to... Bob must show a vitiating factor was present at the time of formation'.

-Answering the question that is set,

This is SO important, as you could be missing a whole issue. E.g. we had a contract essay where it was necessary to define the 'classical theory' of contract law, and most people defined the classical approach, and hence fell down quite a few marks.

-Planning to the word limit,

If you plan your 1200 word essay properly it simply should not end up 3000 words long. Cutting something this size down can be problematic; people tend to make deletions which make sentences seem unnatural and tough to read. If you fell you will exceed the word limit, set guides for each section of your essay.



Other than this, remember that marking is subjective, and that most markers will push a borderline case down into the 2.1. It is as much a question of clarity and style as it is a question of legal knowledge in getting in first. A powerful way to push your marks up is to reach an independent conclusion showing wider and deep reading of the important issues. Good luck
1
x-CrAzY-x
Badges: 0
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 15 years ago
#9
the worst essay ive done got 50 marks... luckily that doesnt count towards my final grade. Another essay i did got 62 marks... i guess thats not bad.
0
Lady Narcissus
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report 15 years ago
#10
yes my best was 76%. its all structure like an above poster said. Mind you I think 80%s are hard to get in social sciences.

If you get say one 64% it bring you down a fair bit. This happened to me with one module.
0
x-CrAzY-x
Badges: 0
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#11
Report 15 years ago
#11
what are essays marked out of? ive never really thought about it before
0
Lauren18
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report 15 years ago
#12
(Original post by x-CrAzY-x)
what are essays marked out of? ive never really thought about it before
Well seeing as everyone's been talking about percentages... 100% :p:
0
LuverlyLawyer
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#13
Report 15 years ago
#13
Well actually I was told by a tutor that Law essays are marked out of 80% Odd though it may sound..!
0
Phonicsdude
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report 15 years ago
#14
Being marked out of a percentage is a conceptual impossibility.
Essays are marked as a percentage, so by extension they are marked out of 100.

And I have not received a first in the 3 essays Ive had handed back. I must go and collect the rest some time...(67% on WLO is my highest).
0
Socrates
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#15
Report 15 years ago
#15
Someone I know of (in my uni) got 79% on her first law essay!
2
Lauren18
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#16
Report 15 years ago
#16
(Original post by Phonicsdude)
Being marked out of a percentage is a conceptual impossibility.
Essays are marked as a percentage, so by extension they are marked out of 100.
'Conceptual impossibility' - I think not, 80%/100% is pretty clear don't you think?
0
LuverlyLawyer
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#17
Report 15 years ago
#17
I'm not an idiot I realise that being marked 'out of 80%i is a 'conceptual impossibility'. Hence why I said the comment of my tutor was a bit odd. I think what he meant was that while he was marking he kept the figure of 80% in his head as the highest possible mark and then graded accordingly.
0
Lady Narcissus
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#18
Report 15 years ago
#18
The highest I've seen is 82% sadly not me.
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 13
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#19
Report 15 years ago
#19
(Original post by LuverlyLawyer)
Well actually I was told by a tutor that Law essays are marked out of 80% Odd though it may sound..!
No some universities do operate upon these policies- I know Nottingham do in most subjects during the first year, but what they mean is a max mark of 80 etc.
1
killiefan
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#20
Report 15 years ago
#20
I gave my practice criminal essay for which I got 72 to my mate, as he got 25 in his and he has turned his mark round to 67 for the assignemtn we have just had back. He puts this down to my structure and the fact that I don't mince my words and get straight to the point in my essays.

I've had firsts for all my work so far apart from the one we've just had back from criminal, for which i got 68% and aparently I was almost there and was also slightly over the word count so prob lost a mark for that
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What is your favourite revision method?

Taking notes manually (22)
23.16%
Note taking apps (3)
3.16%
Flashcards (14)
14.74%
Revision guides (3)
3.16%
Past papers (48)
50.53%
Something else (let us know in the thread) (5)
5.26%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed