Kingston University
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Hi everyone,

I'm a third year English Li student and just thought I'd post in case you have any questions. They don't have be specifically related to Kingston, although obviously I know more about our course.

Chloe

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RPall
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Hi, Chloe!

What advice would you have regarding getting good grades in English lit?
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(Original post by RPall)
Hi, Chloe!

What advice would you have regarding getting good grades in English lit?
Hi RPall,

Great to hear from you!

I think for me the top 5 things I would say helped me get good grades were:

1. Communicating with staff. If I didn't understand something or was really interested and wanted to look at it further I'd ask the relevent staff member and go from there. Staff seem to aprriciate the mature attitude.

2. Flash cards, Mind Maps and practice essays were my go to revision methods for A Level and AS Exams. I have to say exams were really not my friend! I got really nervous and stressed but these were things that helped me.

3. Being prepared to do my own research. I took and Extended Project Qualification at college and it was the best thing I could have done. I love research and I think if you can get some of those skills your work is more likely to stand out if you have a wider range of information. Plus English Lit degrees all include a lot of reading and a lot of research so you might as well get into the habit.

4. Read anything you like in your free time. Extra reading is always good because you never know where you'll be able to use it. I had a girl in my Literature Theory class who loved the X Men comics, she went on to use her love of the comics in an essay on Marxism! Strange but it worked!

5. Remember why you love it. Any course can get dull or tricky but make sure you remember why you loved it in the first place or why you're taking it.

I hope these answers help, please let me know if there is anything else I can help wit.


Chloe
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Skyy9432
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Hey Chloe, thanks for the AMA!

I'm starting English Studies with Creative Writing straight into 2nd year this September. I did English language at A-Level and would have taken Lit but the course was full by the time I got to the table. I did a year and a half on Uni Journalism before deciding to switch to this course to broaden the availability of what I can write and get a bigger chance to study things that interest me that I could utilise for essays, as opposed to the Journalist's "Find a new story and write it in as few words as possible" method. I've spent the last few months reading "Studying English literature" and taking notes from their first year reading list to try and catch up. Sadly, this has meant my joy-reading has taken a back seat while I attempt a years worth of reading in 2 months.

Basically, I'm nervous. I firmly believe this is the right course for me, but having not done English Literature since GCSE I'm worried I'll be caught off-guard by key-words or general "things" that I'm not prepared for.

Apologies if this seems like a bit of a ramble, what I'm wondering is if there's anything you can think of that I'm not doing to prepare for the course, seeing as I'm starting in 2nd year.

Thanks!
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em-robertss
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Hi! I'm going to be applying for English lit joint honours courses in September and I've just had my AS results back and I've come out with a C in English, so it's been my lowest grade
The college think there might have been a problem with my paper, or it may have been marked wrongly, but I have to decide whether to get it remarked and pay for it and everything myself, which I am going to do (If i have just messed up then I'm planning on re-sitting)
But I'm worried lots of unis will reject my application because they ask for an A in English, is there any advice whatsoever you could give me? haha thanks!
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(Original post by Skyy9432)
Hey Chloe, thanks for the AMA!

I'm starting English Studies with Creative Writing straight into 2nd year this September. I did English language at A-Level and would have taken Lit but the course was full by the time I got to the table. I did a year and a half on Uni Journalism before deciding to switch to this course to broaden the availability of what I can write and get a bigger chance to study things that interest me that I could utilise for essays, as opposed to the Journalist's "Find a new story and write it in as few words as possible" method. I've spent the last few months reading "Studying English literature" and taking notes from their first year reading list to try and catch up. Sadly, this has meant my joy-reading has taken a back seat while I attempt a years worth of reading in 2 months.

Basically, I'm nervous. I firmly believe this is the right course for me, but having not done English Literature since GCSE I'm worried I'll be caught off-guard by key-words or general "things" that I'm not prepared for.

Apologies if this seems like a bit of a ramble, what I'm wondering is if there's anything you can think of that I'm not doing to prepare for the course, seeing as I'm starting in 2nd year.

Thanks!
Hi Skyy!

Great to hear that you're moving to a subject you're really passionate about! I completely understand that you're nervous, but don't panic!

The fact that you care enough to have taken on extra reading is great. I was in a similar situation to you at the beginning of my second year, initally I was studying English Lit and Creative Writing but found that I was a lot more passionate about studying literature and so switched to full lit in my second year. Like you, I was incredibly nervous about what I'd missed but I shouldn't have been. It's rare that anything will be a huge part of second year, the only thing I'd suggest getting your grounding on is literary theory ( I'd recommend the Norton Anthology of Literary Criticism, it costs a bit but will help you with criticism in any essay). Just out of interest are you at Kingston?

My best advice though, would be just to ask. If you don't understand something don't panic, talk to the other students and most importantly your lecturers! They will know you have moved straight into the degree and to be honest most things they teach at A Level are completely different to degree...well that's what I found at least!

Also try and email the lecturers or a tutor if you have one and ask if there's anything specific you should take a look at. It sounds like you're really passionate so that should carry you through!

Good Luck and please ask me any other questions you have!

Chloe
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(Original post by em-robertss)
Hi! I'm going to be applying for English lit joint honours courses in September and I've just had my AS results back and I've come out with a C in English, so it's been my lowest grade
The college think there might have been a problem with my paper, or it may have been marked wrongly, but I have to decide whether to get it remarked and pay for it and everything myself, which I am going to do (If i have just messed up then I'm planning on re-sitting)
But I'm worried lots of unis will reject my application because they ask for an A in English, is there any advice whatsoever you could give me? haha thanks!
Hi em-robertss,

Great to hear from you!

First of all that is a great grade for AS English Lit, it is a really big jump from GCSEs so congrats! If your teachers are also not happy I would definitely suggest a remark, especially if you feel that something isn't right. Re-sitting is also a good option if you feel you can do better.

As you are applying for a joint honors I would double check that they need an A, as some uni's lower the entry requirements for a joint honors degree. What uni's are you looking at attending It's definitely worth phoning/emailing around ask and explain your situation.

It sounds like you're on a good track, I would suggest that you do a really good personal statement as sometimes if they uni likes the personal statement it can really help you get your place!

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

Chloe
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Hi Chloe I'm going to start a degree in English at Sussex in September, and - I know this is such a typical question - I was just wondering how much I can expect the workload to increase between A2 and 1st year? Not sure if that makes sense!

I know there's meant to be about 10 contact hours a week, and were expected to do maybe 40 hours of reading, but on average per week, would you have a set number of essays due?

Thank you!
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somethingbeautiful
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Do you have a job lined up for when you graduate? Did your uni help you with career advice/searching/applications?
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Hi! I'm starting my English degree this year and I was curious to know if the course would involves things like oral presentations. I know the course structure might not be the same in every university but how many presentations have you personally had to give? It sounds like a pretty silly thing to ask but public speaking sends my nerves through the roof - maybe finding out about it from a Lit student beforehand could make it more bearable when the time comes. Thanks!
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Kingston University
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(Original post by acollins_)
Hi Chloe I'm going to start a degree in English at Sussex in September, and - I know this is such a typical question - I was just wondering how much I can expect the workload to increase between A2 and 1st year? Not sure if that makes sense!

I know there's meant to be about 10 contact hours a week, and were expected to do maybe 40 hours of reading, but on average per week, would you have a set number of essays due?

Thank you!
Hi acollins_!

Congratulations on gaining a place at university!

No worries! I found the reading easy to do as long as I was organised about it. We got given module guides which would list what would need to be read and when it would need to be read by. I'd set aside maybe 2 evenings a week or 1 evening and 1 weekend day to get it all done. Also a good tip is to get in any advance reading if you happen to like what you have on your reading list. If you don't finish a book on time, there's also pages like sparknotes so you know the overall plot before your lectures.

We don't have essays every week, it's very different to A Level. I only have an assignment to hand in at the end of term for each of my four modules. The only weekly things I have to do are reading logs where we put down what we've read (the assigned reading) and our thoughts on it.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions!

Chloe
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Kingston University
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
Do you have a job lined up for when you graduate? Did your uni help you with career advice/searching/applications?
Hi somethingbeautiful,

I'm just starting my third year in September so I don't have a job lined up yet but I know what I want to do. I will be studying for my Masters straight away and then applying for funding for my PhD, with hopes of becoming a lecturer and researcher.

Our career service KU Talent is brilliant, out of the many ways they help these are just a few
- Jobs Central, a jobs website that only hosts paid opportunities
- Relationships with employers
- Workshops for CV, Interview Techniques etc
- Hires students for roles so they have experience
- Each faculty have a specific advisor
- KU Talent Awards to show talent and achievement in a job sense

I'm lucky enough to be one of the students working for KU Talent in a social media role. This is really helpful because it means that I have more experience than most 20 year olds when applying for social media work to support my later studies.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you need any more help!

Chloe
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(Original post by sofsb)
Hi! I'm starting my English degree this year and I was curious to know if the course would involves things like oral presentations. I know the course structure might not be the same in every university but how many presentations have you personally had to give? It sounds like a pretty silly thing to ask but public speaking sends my nerves through the roof - maybe finding out about it from a Lit student beforehand could make it more bearable when the time comes. Thanks!
Hi sofsb!

Each uni is different as you know. For me personally I think I've only given two presentations and I know I should give two in my final year. I completely understand the nerves and it was one of the top concerns I get asked at Open Days so you are not alone! If you think it's going to be a problem and you really can't do it then go and speak to your lecturer you may just be able to do it to them or a smaller group. Lecturers are aware that not a lot of people are confident public speaking! If you can I'd try and push yourself though because it's a really valuable skill to have on your CV and stuff, and who knows if your passionate about the subject you might even enjoy it!

I hope this helped!

Chloe
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Lord Kitchener
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How much do you read?
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What crime have you done
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Hi Skyy!

Great to hear that you're moving to a subject you're really passionate about! I completely understand that you're nervous, but don't panic!

The fact that you care enough to have taken on extra reading is great. I was in a similar situation to you at the beginning of my second year, initally I was studying English Lit and Creative Writing but found that I was a lot more passionate about studying literature and so switched to full lit in my second year. Like you, I was incredibly nervous about what I'd missed but I shouldn't have been. It's rare that anything will be a huge part of second year, the only thing I'd suggest getting your grounding on is literary theory ( I'd recommend the Norton Anthology of Literary Criticism, it costs a bit but will help you with criticism in any essay). Just out of interest are you at Kingston?

My best advice though, would be just to ask. If you don't understand something don't panic, talk to the other students and most importantly your lecturers! They will know you have moved straight into the degree and to be honest most things they teach at A Level are completely different to degree...well that's what I found at least!

Also try and email the lecturers or a tutor if you have one and ask if there's anything specific you should take a look at. It sounds like you're really passionate so that should carry you through!

Good Luck and please ask me any other questions you have!

Chloe
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Thanks for the response, you've made me feel a bit less nervous. That was the worry i was having about discussing literature with professors and 2nd year students. I do love both the aesthetics of language and the general subtext many stories can hold. I was just worried that I'll not be analyzing as in-depth or maybe not thinking of "key elements" that the more seasoned pro's are. However, your comment made me remember my time on Journalism, and how most seminars were a melting pot of conflicting ideas that we all collected and worked on. I guess I shouldn't be nervous about having a different insight into a book, but simply hope that my views can co-exist in the ideological trade network they set up in the class.

Nah, I'm going back to Teesside. When I first left journalism I had talked to the English tutors about arranging a transfer and frankly, I adore the way their course is structured. If only I had £9k I'd fund the first year myself to enjoy the modules!

Also, big thanks for that book! I still have SOOO much reading to give myself the background the other students got in 1st year. I also found Elements of Style was highly recommended while doing this reading, so that will have to make the list too. It's my own fault for trying to conquer the entire 1st year further reading in 2 months, but I really want to earn my place here.

Massive thanks for the reply! just wait, in a few days when I come to TSR for another reading break I'll have more panic to bombard you with
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(Original post by Skyy9432)
Thanks for the response, you've made me feel a bit less nervous. That was the worry i was having about discussing literature with professors and 2nd year students. I do love both the aesthetics of language and the general subtext many stories can hold. I was just worried that I'll not be analyzing as in-depth or maybe not thinking of "key elements" that the more seasoned pro's are. However, your comment made me remember my time on Journalism, and how most seminars were a melting pot of conflicting ideas that we all collected and worked on. I guess I shouldn't be nervous about having a different insight into a book, but simply hope that my views can co-exist in the ideological trade network they set up in the class.

Nah, I'm going back to Teesside. When I first left journalism I had talked to the English tutors about arranging a transfer and frankly, I adore the way their course is structured. If only I had £9k I'd fund the first year myself to enjoy the modules!

Also, big thanks for that book! I still have SOOO much reading to give myself the background the other students got in 1st year. I also found Elements of Style was highly recommended while doing this reading, so that will have to make the list too. It's my own fault for trying to conquer the entire 1st year further reading in 2 months, but I really want to earn my place here.

Massive thanks for the reply! just wait, in a few days when I come to TSR for another reading break I'll have more panic to bombard you with
Hi Skyy,

No worries I'm glad I could help! Don't try and read the whole anthology though it's HUGE, someone I know used it as a door stop :P You sound like your doing all the right things so don't panic. Your right that English Lit is so opinions based, as long as you can back your ideas up with theory or examples from the text you'll be fine.

Yes please do let me know if you have any more questions!

Chloe
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(Original post by Lord Kitchener)
How much do you read?
It really depends on what modules I chose to do. In my Second year I did the following on average

Independent Research - about 2 hours of research reading per week
Victorians - 1 novel every two weeks or 3 short stories a week
20/21st Century - 1 novel a week or poetry
Global literature - 1 piece of criticism every week or 1 novel every week/ 2 weeks

It really varies from course to course. Personally I set aside 1 evening and 1 weekend day a week OR 2 evenings a week to get my reading done.

I hope this helps
Chloe
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(Original post by FlyingNinja1)
What crime have you done
Haha, in terms of being a 3rd year English Lit student? Not returning my library books :P
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Kingston University
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Please let me know if you have any questions! They don't have to be specific to English Literature
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