Syd4754
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I’m in my second year at uni and I’ve always been organised with essays and started them at least a month before they are due and given myself time, in first year I got really high marks the lowest being 70% and my highest being 83%, I’ve recently got my results back for my first two essays in second year and I got 65% and 54%.

I’m really gutted about the 54% , I tried really hard in the essay so it’s really knocked my confidence.

Does anyone have any advice on this, could I still pull my mark back and do good?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Syd4754)
I’m in my second year at uni and I’ve always been organised with essays and started them at least a month before they are due and given myself time, in first year I got really high marks the lowest being 70% and my highest being 83%, I’ve recently got my results back for my first two essays in second year and I got 65% and 54%.

I’m really gutted about the 54% , I tried really hard in the essay so it’s really knocked my confidence.

Does anyone have any advice on this, could I still pull my mark back and do good?
What feedback did you get on the 54%? If you still dont get why it was marked lower than you expected then do ask for more feedback. It's not the end of the world but you need to understand how to improve for next time
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Syd4754
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Thanks for your reply. The feedback I got was that it was too descriptive and not detailed enough and that there is a limited number of relevant sources! It was a 4000 word essay and I used around 18 references so I feel that I used a wide variety of sources but it obviously wasn’t good enough. I’m just so gutted!
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Mike. T
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First, if you are writing an essay of 4000 words and expect to get above 70%, you should have above 25 references that should not be older than 5 years. You also have to be careful with the kind of journals and articles that you patronise when doing your research.

You should spend sometime researching the subject and what has been written about it previously before venturing into writing.

From your previous grades of 80 percent and above , you're not a poor student, you just need to spend more time getting around stuff.
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EssayDoctor
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(Original post by Syd4754)
I’m in my second year at uni and I’ve always been organised with essays and started them at least a month before they are due and given myself time, in first year I got really high marks the lowest being 70% and my highest being 83%, I’ve recently got my results back for my first two essays in second year and I got 65% and 54%.

I’m really gutted about the 54% , I tried really hard in the essay so it’s really knocked my confidence.

Does anyone have any advice on this, could I still pull my mark back and do good?
Happy to try and help, but need more information.

What's your subject, where are you studying? What's the grading scale? Is it Oxbridge scale (i.e. 70+ is a first)?
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toronto353
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(Original post by Mike. T)
First, if you are writing an essay of 4000 words and expect to get above 70%, you should have above 25 references that should not be older than 5 years. You also have to be careful with the kind of journals and articles that you patronise when doing your research.

You should spend sometime researching the subject and what has been written about it previously before venturing into writing.

From your previous grades of 80 percent and above , you're not a poor student, you just need to spend more time getting around stuff.
BIB: this is nonsense, OP, don't listen to this advice at all. It doesn't matter how old the secondary literature is; some topics won't have been explored by scholarship in the last five years and perhaps in the last twenty or thirty. Manuscript readings, for example, may date back to the Victorian period or even earlier. It similar matters not one bit how many sources you use. What matters with references is how you use them, i.e. how you critically engage with them and their arguments. My advice would be to look at the feedback and re-read your essay with it in mind, seeing if you can see how to improve your essay. I'd take the opportunity to speak to the marker if possible to ask for their advice as well, then simply apply it to your next essays. The best feedback is that which we feed forward to our next piece of work.
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Mike. T
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(Original post by toronto353)
BIB: this is nonsense, OP, don't listen to this advice at all. It doesn't matter how old the secondary literature is; some topics won't have been explored by scholarship in the last five years and perhaps in the last twenty or thirty. Manuscript readings, for example, may date back to the Victorian period or even earlier. It similar matters not one bit how many sources you use. What matters with references is how you use them, i.e. how you critically engage with them and their arguments. My advice would be to look at the feedback and re-read your essay with it in mind, seeing if you can see how to improve your essay. I'd take the opportunity to speak to the marker if possible to ask for their advice as well, then simply apply it to your next essays. The best feedback is that which we feed forward to our next piece of work.
It appears that you only read OP's original post and didn't follow though this thread and his subsequent comments.

OP already alluded that he used 18 references and was told it isn't enough.

Terrible advise, indeed, to ask the OP to ignore using more sources and current ones at that. Yes, in classics, phillosophy and few academic disciplines, there may be no up to date sources and that is understandable. But in most cases and especially in social sciences, there is new theoretical thinking almost on a yearly basis, which places a big burden on students to demonstrate knowledge of new those thinking in what they present.

And chances are, all of OP's essays that scored him above 84 percent would have had nothing less than 20 solid references.
This is not to say that OP should not critically engage with available sources, I have only given him pointers based on feedbacks received.

Be sure not to confuse people on this platform with your rash and brash thoughts.
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toronto353
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(Original post by Mike. T)
It appears that you only read OP's original post and didn't follow though this thread and his subsequent comments.

OP already alluded that he used 18 references and was told it isn't enough.

Terrible advise, indeed, to ask the OP to ignore using more sources and current ones at that. Yes, in classics, phillosophy and few academic disciplines, there may be no up to date sources and that is understandable. But in most cases and especially in social sciences, there is new theoretical thinking almost on a yearly basis, which places a big burden on students to demonstrate knowledge of new those thinking in what they present.

And chances are, all of OP's essays that scored him above 84 percent would have had nothing less than 20 solid references.
This is not to say that OP should not critically engage with available sources, I have only given him pointers based on feedbacks received.

Be sure not to confuse people on this platform with your rash and brash thoughts.
As someone who marks university essays and teaches at university, I think I know what I'm talking about. OP may have been told to use more sources, but were they ancient sources? That's understandable that he should use more. However, if the marker means modern scholarship, then it is not about the number of references he used. The marker may have said that, but I can confidently say now that fewer references, engaged with critically, would have done the job and got him a good mark. The marker is offering him one way of improving his essay, but I am offering another from my experience. You cannot compare classics with social sciences. In my specialism, there was about twenty years without any development in the field or any scholarship, so they don't need to use references within the last five years to do well; the main pieces may have been written decades ago.

And, if anything, I'm simply correcting your terrible and ill-informed advice with my own subject-specific advice.
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Mike. T
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(Original post by toronto353)
As someone who marks university essays and teaches at university, I think I know what I'm talking about. OP may have been told to use more sources, but were they ancient sources? That's understandable that he should use more. However, if the marker means modern scholarship, then it is not about the number of references he used. The marker may have said that, but I can confidently say now that fewer references, engaged with critically, would have done the job and got him a good mark. The marker is offering him one way of improving his essay, but I am offering another from my experience. You cannot compare classics with social sciences. In my specialism, there was about twenty years without any development in the field or any scholarship, so they don't need to use references within the last five years to do well; the main pieces may have been written decades ago.

And, if anything, I'm simply correcting your terrible and ill-informed advice with my own subject-specific advice.
Another ill-informed claim.

"In my specialism, there was about twenty years without any development in the field or any scholarship".

Tell me what your specialism is and I will demostrate to you that you are either here to misinform or just to make unfounded claims.

There is no academic field with 20 years of no academic thinking or development. Prove it.
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EssayDoctor
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(Original post by Syd4754)
I’m in my second year at uni and I’ve always been organised with essays and started them at least a month before they are due and given myself time, in first year I got really high marks the lowest being 70% and my highest being 83%, I’ve recently got my results back for my first two essays in second year and I got 65% and 54%.

I’m really gutted about the 54% , I tried really hard in the essay so it’s really knocked my confidence.

Does anyone have any advice on this, could I still pull my mark back and do good?
That's a great question. Hitting the high notes on your essays is tough. Check this out from Sheffield Uni for a start - it's really good. If it helps I'd be grateful for a rep as I'm trying to help other students too. All the best. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301...skills/writing
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toronto353
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(Original post by Mike. T)
Another ill-informed claim.

"In my specialism, there was about twenty years without any development in the field or any scholarship".

Tell me what your specialism is and I will demostrate to you that you are either here to misinform or just to make unfounded claims.

There is no academic field with 20 years of no academic thinking or development. Prove it.
I teach classics, a subject for which there are multiple specialisms, sub-disciplines, and research areas, many of which have not been studied for decades for a whole host of reasons. I know what I'm talking about, which I very much doubt you do.
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