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    If you don't care about the background story start reading from under the line

    I'm a first year uni student of a mathematical subject and haven't written an essay since GCSE. I scored A*s in all the GCSE essay subjects, and quite enjoyed them, but now I realise the the skills would have come in handy had I carried on to A-level.

    I'm becoming increasingly interested in topics that require essays, and to take optional extra modules in them and do other things that require writing skills I've got a lot to catch up on.

    I've also heard that other A-level essay subjects like History can be incredibly boring and I've always been curious about Literature and the different ways of expressing a point, so I think if I am going to do an essay A-level, English is the right one.

    ________________________________ ____________________________

    So is doing an A-level in English a good idea? Or are there other ways to go about it? I think that if you said I should just get practice without bothering with entering for A-levels I probably wouldn't do that well because 1) I wouldn't know where to start and 2) having an exam to work towards will help motivate me.
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    Would you be intending to do it at the same time as your undergraduate? That might be a bit much to handle OP, of course this depends on how much work you have in the 1st year :P

    Why not get a few good books that discuss essay writing skills and have a good attempt at home, then email them to some tutors and ask for constructive criticism. Go forwards rather than backwards, writing a fantastic A-level essay does not prepare you for the degree level ones, they look for different things and different (higher) standards of writing.
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    Seems like a good idea to me. The good thing about English is that it'll allow you to flex (or discover...) your creative muscles as well, which is not really possible with a subject like History.

    Are you sure you'll have the time to study for an A-level on top of your uni work?

    Another question I'd ask, and I'm sure you've asked yourself, is: are you sure you're doing the right degree?
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    (Original post by Frankly Vulgar)
    Seems like a good idea to me. The good thing about English is that it'll allow you to flex (or discover...) your creative muscles as well, which is not really possible with a subject like History.
    Call me a geek but that does sound like fun actually

    (Original post by Frankly Vulgar)
    Are you sure you'll have the time to study for an A-level on top of your uni work?

    Another question I'd ask, and I'm sure you've asked yourself, is: are you sure you're doing the right degree?
    Yes. I'm not worried about that. I just have diverse interests unfortunately. I always feel like I'm not developping a side of me as fully as I could do if I don't look at different things.

    As for the having time to study, I'm not quite 100%. But it won't actually matter so I could give AS a go, and if I end up not having time to prepare well enough to get a good grade I could just do AS again, rather than moving onto A2.
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    (Original post by easy_lemon)
    Why not get a few good books that discuss essay writing skills and have a good attempt at home, then email them to some tutors and ask for constructive criticism. Go forwards rather than backwards, writing a fantastic A-level essay does not prepare you for the degree level ones, they look for different things and different (higher) standards of writing.

    Could do that, but I don't know if tutors are willing to help people from different departments. I could always try it though. The thing is if I do that my goals won't be as clearly defined as if I work towards an exam...

    I'll have a flick through some books though. There could be some very good ones that give you clear goals to work towards as you go through them. Know any good ones?
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    (Original post by student5456)
    Could do that, but I don't know if tutors are willing to help people from different departments. I could always try it though. The thing is if I do that my goals won't be as clearly defined as if I work towards an exam...

    I'll have a flick through some books though. There could be some very good ones that give you clear goals to work towards as you go through them. Know any good ones?
    All departments within a university cross over at some time or other and you are paying to use ALL of the resources there. The tutors wouold be hard pressed to deny you, after all you would only be asking for pointers.

    As for good essay books, well I'm afraid I only know about law ones as my essays are structured slightly differently to English/History etc but good ones to look out for are those which have numerous essay examples to compare yours to. Also OP, I don't know which uni you are at but most have a local uni bookshop (such as Waterstones etc.) which house books especially for the local uni's. ANY essay skills books in there would surely be very good, they are ordered in on recommendation from the universities themselves.

    If you do manage to get some help from the tutors then THAT would be your goals thing sorted. You could ask them to set you deadlines for essay topics and submit them to them weekly/ monthly...dependent on how much time you have really.
 
 
 
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Updated: November 15, 2008
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