All entries for Tuesday 08 November 2005
November 08, 2005
Dear Students in Group 1 from 12–1 on Thursday,
As you know, next term I will have problems teaching the class at this time, but I think that it is best if we change the time for next term. Many of you have not written to me with the spaces in your timetable. Please do so asap.
1. Try to use the passive voice – less of 'I think', 'I am going to' – and more of 'It is suggested by … that…', 'This essay will ….'.
2. Don't generalise unless the point you are making is common sense or generally known. Otherwise you will need to go into more depth – this is where research comes in.
3. Use a referencing system – see the Department of English Undergraduate Handbook p.11.
4. Think more about the effect of meter – James Fenton's An Introduction to English Poetry can help here.
5. Imagine that the reader has never read the poem that you are writing on and that they are ignorant of any knowledge about the Romantics. You have to prove your claims by using textual citation – from the specific poem and from other texts that will support more general points made.
Essay Writing Session
This Friday (Week 7) Dr. Cathia Jenainati is holding two essay writing sessions which will be of great help to all of you in my classes.
10–12 in H545
1–3 in L4 Chemistry
After marking your assignments, I have a few tips to remember in future:
1. Plan your work carefully with an eye to structure. One of the specifications for giving a high mark is 'Highly developed organisation of overall argument'. The organisation of your argument is an extremely important factor in creating a convincing, cohesive argument – the marking criteria mentions the need for 'very effective and persuasive argumentative writing'. If you are having trouble with structuring your essays or creating a cohesive argument, see a Royal Literary Fund Fellow – you can book appointments through the English Department Office.
2. When thinking about what angle or argument you are going to adopt in relation to a text, be ambitious. High marks are given out for an 'ambitious argument or project carried out successfully'.
3. Be detailed in your textual analysis. High marks are given for 'outstandingly perceptive commentary on a number of details of the text'.
4. Show that you are enthusiastic and engaged with the text. By this I don't mean comments such as 'Wordsworth is a very intelligent man' or 'I love this poem'. Rather I mean that you should show your engagement through your felicity of style – the mark scheme mentions 'convincing and vivid presentation of an engaged response to the text'.
5. Research – you need to show that you have knowledge of the subject area that you are writing in and you need to integrate textual citation elegantly. Ultimately you need to show that you have engaged with the arguments of other critics and you needto show how your argument relates to the angles of other critical texts on that subject.