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    I've got absolutely no clue what a collections/prelim essay is supposed to look like. Can anyone give length/style clues or point me towards sample essays? I'm reading history.
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    (Original post by msperception)
    I've got absolutely no clue what a collections/prelim essay is supposed to look like. Can anyone give length/style clues or point me towards sample essays? I'm reading history.
    The essays can look however you wish (disclaimer: I read PPE). What's important is that you have an argument and you write it in 45 minutes to an hour. It's entirely different from A-levels in that there's no 'formula' that's to be followed.
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    (Original post by msperception)
    I've got absolutely no clue what a collections/prelim essay is supposed to look like. Can anyone give length/style clues or point me towards sample essays? I'm reading history.
    If you look at the old History examiners reports you will find clues as to what is bad in exam essays - the main complaint is normally people not answering the question...
    Length wise - you see everything from 3 sides to around 7+ depending on individual style. There is not a required length (for starters people's handwriting makes a huge difference to number of pages!) and longer does not necessarily mean better if you are not answering the question.
    As Baxman says, the key is to have an argument (take 10/15min to understand the question and work out your argument), to then deploy relevant examples to back it up and to keep the thread of your argument clear throughout the essay.

    If this is your first attempt at collections then don't worry to much, go into it thinking of it as a tute essay but written with a time constraint and no books to hand. Your marks and comments at the end will give you an indication of what you are doing right/could improve and you can then talk to your tutor about it if you are worried.
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    (Original post by msperception)
    I've got absolutely no clue what a collections/prelim essay is supposed to look like. Can anyone give length/style clues or point me towards sample essays? I'm reading history.
    I'm doing Law, but at any rate I wouldn't focus too much on length but instead try to really answer the specific question (and not churn out a tutorial essay!) You can write a (relatively) short answer and still do very well.

    I think for Law Mods last year I wrote 4-6 pages per essay on average? That said, this must be put in context of the answer booklet and handwriting size.

    Good luck!!
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    I'm a historian and a veteran of collections. My advice would be not to stress too much, but to treat it like a chance to impress your tutors. I've never done well in them ( lack of revision) and my tutors didn't think much of me for it. It can be helpful to do well so as to get good references in third year.

    General advice - don't try to write huge amounts without any direction, take 5 minutes to organise your thoughts and remember good quotes.
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    Collections usually scare me before I take them and then I always laugh at how much I "freaked out" over the whole experience when they end. Revise for them but don't take Collections too seriously. If you happen to do really terribly, yes your tutors will pick that up and they probably will schedule a meeting just to sort out any issues you may have. You'd rather find out the areas you aren't so great at before prelims/finals/Part As/mods so you can do something about it rather than panicking before your exams which (unlike Collections) actually count for something. As for format - write essays as you would for tutorial essays but timed. That means putting down the absolutely essential points. Structure is also really important. Make sure your argument stands out and try not to be bogged down with little details.
 
 
 
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