Study Skills

This last but one study skills session addressed essays and referencing. We began by looking at the different meaning of the shorthand markings that come when a essay has been marked. It is useful to note down their meanings here for future reference when I have essays marked-

awk- awkward
c/s-comma splice- a subject and a verb followed by another subject and verb needs braking down by a comma splice. This can be one of the following- comma, full stop, “and”, colon, semi colon. A semi colon is when something flows out of something else. A colon is generally used for list like items.
citation needed- a reference is needed.
commonly confused – this means that words with the same sound but two different spellings have been spelt the wrong way round eg getting “there” and “their” mixed up.
improper citation- Incorrect reference.
missing “”- missing speech marks.
p/v- passive voice being used too much eg “I think this ……” its better to use something like this; “one might think…..” Remember to be specific; “students in the south west think…” is better than “people nowadays think”.
run-on- without any punctuation or conjunction between two clauses.
sp- spelling
support- support what you are saying
vague- It is unclear what you are saying, you aren’t being specific enough.
wc- word choice
weak transition- to do with the structure of piece; linking paragraphs

After looking at these meanings, we moved on to explore essay structure and structuring ones sentences. At the start of the essay one has an intro which sets out the essay; what your going to do. It could also define something reader needs to know in order to understand what the topic you are adressing is. It may also be used to define any specialist terms. From here you move onto the main body. This is a series of points in the essay, each paragraph should building on the previous points. After you have made several points backed up by evidence you finish off with your conclusion. In this ending section you summarise key points and arguments of essay and end on conclusive note presenting your key findings. Its important to note that the conclusion can acually be inconclusive if you have both sides of the argument and find both to be of equal merit.

Finally we explored referencing; when you need to reference and how one should go about it. You dont really need to reference when it is common knowledge. So for example you wouldn’t need to reference something like the renaissance as its a commonly know art movement. You also don’t need to reference particular arguments and peoples points of view, however if you are in doubt then reference. The system to be used for referencing is the Havard System. For long quotes one can make them indented with a separate paragraph after a colon at the end of the sentence. In this case there is no need for speech marks. However, for a short quotes you need speech marks integrated into the sentence. In both cases you need a reference in the Harvard format at the end of quote. You also don’t always have to have brackets etc at end; for example; Cage (2010) suggests “music is therapeutic”, as opposed to Cage suggest that “music is therapeutic” (Cage, 2010, pg 101). In your references at the end of the essay list them in alphabetical order, if there are two books with same authors then list in date order.

I found this study skills very helpful and will be very useful to refer back two when I am writing various essay in the future.


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