TrotskyiteRebel
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When I work on an essay I get 70-75 on it but never 80 I know 80 is possible, not 90, but definitely 80 is possible and some people do get it. How can you make a 70 essay to an 80? Have you ever gotten 80?
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Tanqueray91
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(Original post by TrotskyiteRebel)
When I work on an essay I get 70-75 on it but never 80 I know 80 is possible, not 90, but definitely 80 is possible and some people do get it. How can you make a 70 essay to an 80? Have you ever gotten 80?
Have you taken one of your past essays to your lecturer/seminar leader/marker and asked what could've been done better? I usually find for my essays it's the critique of what you're writing about which can do with improvement, but there're also simple things which you can pick up a surprisingly good number of marks for no effort... Well presented, and easy to read. References done properly...
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gjd800
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I didn't drop below an 80 in my final year, but I chose my modules to basically guarantee that (played to my specialisms). I have given a couple of 80s in my latest batch of marking. The main things are to be coherent, reference well, format well, have an original argument, or an argument with signs of some originality. But that's only philosophy, can't speak for others.
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LeapingLucy
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At my uni they never give marks above 75
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lilGem
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I got an 80 on my latest masters essay, honestly not sure how I did it. I just made good use of the journals I found, offered a novel insight into an area and evaluated the journal articles the way through.

(This is for a masters in Oncology so marking will likely be different for an UG/ humanities)

edit: it was a 1000 word essay
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DrawTheLine
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I'm a first year and just submitted my first essays a week and a half ago. I'm so nervous! I have no idea if they're good or not. I wrote in a similar style to how I did at A-Level, obviously including my own independent reading however I'm not sure if they're good enough. The limit was only 1000 words so I couldn't go into much detail about the studies or concepts being referred to, so I'm worried that the markers won't think I understand the topic and therefore give me a low mark. I spent 4 months working on them and re-read them so many times. How can I make sure my understanding comes through with a low word limit?
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Tanqueray91
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
I'm a first year and just submitted my first essays a week and a half ago. I'm so nervous! I have no idea if they're good or not. I wrote in a similar style to how I did at A-Level, obviously including my own independent reading however I'm not sure if they're good enough. The limit was only 1000 words so I couldn't go into much detail about the studies or concepts being referred to, so I'm worried that the markers won't think I understand the topic and therefore give me a low mark. I spent 4 months working on them and re-read them so many times. How can I make sure my understanding comes through with a low word limit?
As you say, it's incredibly difficult with such a low word limit... for me at least, first year was a lot more sympathetic to 2nd/final year, and there was some good guidance given in terms of how to improve. I've found that after first year, they pulled back on the word limits, and so I could express what I wanted to say more freely, without the constriction... I always comb through taking out anything that *really* isn't needed (I don't get why some people need to add 'thus' or other words which increase the word count). I try and take a quote/theory from elsewhere, and within the same sentence immediately critique it, before then taking some time to explain why. This allows me to make sure I get the point across that I disagree and why, even if I can't fully explain the (in)tuition behind it...
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Arima
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90+ is a myth.. the highest ive ever gotten on anything is 89 on an exam that was 99% recycled past paper qs.
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TrotskyiteRebel
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(Original post by Arima)
90+ is a myth.. the highest ive ever gotten on anything is 89 on an exam that was 99% recycled past paper qs.
We had one person who got a 90 in his dissertation but that was the only time in the history of the department. That was the only person who gor 90.
Some
Universities use RAW/UMS marks. You know like in A levels. But our uni doesn’t (Edinburgh) . Idk if that helps things.
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TrotskyiteRebel
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(Original post by gjd800)
I didn't drop below an 80 in my final year, but I chose my modules to basically guarantee that (played to my specialisms). I have given a couple of 80s in my latest batch of marking. The main things are to be coherent, reference well, format well, have an original argument, or an argument with signs of some originality. But that's only philosophy, can't speak for others.
That’s reassuring. Which uni was it if you don’t mind me asking?
Maybe it varies by university.
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username2789280
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70 - 75 is great; if you're in a social science subject and you're consistently pulling that kind of mark, you'll graduate near the top of your class.

80 is nice, but a bonus. Marking is also highly subjective; although marks are moderated or perhaps even double-marked, a high first might be marked at 75 by one grader and 80 by another. It's not really something you can aim at.

I think I got one mark of 80 at undergrad, in my dissertation, and a couple in taught units at masters. My advice is just aim to write excellent essays every time; make 70 your target and just write as well as you can. Eventually you'll produce something great and have the marks to show it. Don't worry if you never get an 80 - it's exceptional and highly variable by marker/institution.
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Principo
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I recently received an 88% on an essay in a second year social psychology course. The prof's remarks gave the impression the organization of the essay was key.
"Good use of headings and organization of information. Your paper was very easy to follow and the perfect length!"

Often we, especially in social sciences, want to write in a poetic or interesting way, but concise and methodological organization will get you points with the marker.
Always aim for the maximum length or slightly less, while still being concise. Edit out everything that isn't necessary. For a 2000 word essay, I've often written 3000 only to edit out 1000 unnecessary words. Minimum length essays tend to get lower marks.

Do some relevant "above and beyond" research to show you've really done your work. It can also help you add novel points in your paper that other students won't have. Creative angles that distinguish your paper from the possibly hundreds of other essays, a mark of idiosyncrasy, will definitely help your mark.
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