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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
Hi! I start university in October studying English language and Literature. If I’m honest I’m a little nervous so any tips in regard to revision techniques etc and just general ideas regarding what it’s like to study English at university! Thank you!
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Report 2 years ago

I studied English Literature at undergraduate and then did a Masters' in Scottish Literature. First of all, don't worry! I remember feeling exactly the same and worrying that all my revision skills and things wouldn't work at undergraduate level. It is a very different pace studying English at university, reading a novel or two a week rather than one a term and that does take some adapting. However, my advice would be wait and see how you on and wait until you settle into the course before worrying about how you will revise.

Personally, I started off by buying sticky tabs and sticking them in pages of all the novels with bits that I found interesting or relevant. I annotated poems on paper much as I would have done at secondary school using different coloured pens to coordinate with different levels of analysis e.g. meaning, poetic techniques, themes, etc.

When it came to writing essays, I would make notes on the novel on paper and then make notes based on secondary criticism that I got from the library as a way of prepping for essays. I would then write a fairly detailed plan and then start writing, then editing the final essay.

When it came to exams, the format of ours - at least in first year - was to write two essays on the books we had studied. I found the most useful way to approach exams was with the idea that I knew what I wanted to write about based on the texts and I would make notes based upon these topics. Then, when I got into the exam, I would choose a question that allowed me to answer with that knowledge and the main thing to focus on is that you are answering the question.

However, your tutors and lecturers will give you advise on how best to approach essays and exams, so don't panic too much at this stage.

My main advice would be to get your reading list for your first term under your belt, and do as much reading of those as you can. This will stand you in really good stead to get started.

Any other questions - just shout.


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