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Joseph41

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[GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« on: January 13, 2016, 05:18:37 pm »
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Hello (this is such a pretty colour!)

So once again, this will be focused – initially at least – on Arts at Monash. I would really, really like for this to be able to expand to a) other faculties, and b) other institutions. Unfortunately, my scope of experience is sort of limited to Monash Arts. So if you’re reading this and think that you could offer an interesting perspective from whatever you’re studying, please contact me or post in this thread.

Writing essays can be a struggle. You get taught, rather vaguely I think, ‘how to write an essay’ during school. Perhaps you worked with the ‘TEEL’ principle, or something similar. But during uni, things are different. There are many different types of essay – even doing Arts at Monash alone – that you may come across. Each has its own style, its own specificities, its own standards and its own conventions. Each expects you to write in a different way, and that can be frustrating. From my experience, this is something that you’re never really taught – at least not in any sort of depth. And so, this post.

Essay writing isn’t something that you can just fluke. The old ‘you won’t be able to write this essay overnight’ thing isn’t true, but it certainly holds that you won’t be able to write a great essay in that timeframe. You need time. You need to practise until your writing is clear, concise and easily readable. Nailing this skill early in uni can go a huge way to maximising your results and, indeed, making the most of your uni experience.

I’m going to structure this post in the following way. First, I will outline four of the major essay types that I have come across in my studies to date: a Linguistics essay, a Philosophy essay, a Psychology essay, and a History essay. Then, I will offer some more general advice, including referencing, presentation and detail, timing and, of course how to actually write the thing.

Why should you listen to me? I don’t know; I don’t have any concrete reason or any sort of qualification in the field. Some of this post may very well be inaccurate (please inform me if you dispute anything, by the way; it would make for a good discussion). But know that I have been precisely where you are now. My lowest unit score over my three years was a High Distinction, and I’m really passionate about (hopefully) helping new or existing students who may be struggling.

Essay types in Arts

This is, of course, not even close to an extensive list. Important to note is that essay conventions can and will change even from unit to unit within faculty or school, let alone variation across universities. The take-home point here is to always consider the unit guide as the final word. Over my three years doing Arts, I have written thirty assessments that I would consider ‘essays’. They are as follows, if anybody is interested.

Spoiler
PSY1011: The effects of taste aversion therapy on alcoholism
ATS1314: Australia: is it time for a Bill of Rights?
ATS1325: A media analysis review of the Partition of India
ATS1325: Political factors undermining America’s involvement in Vietnam
ATS1338: A review of Lentine & Shue: ‘Linguistics at Work’
PSY1022: The impact of communication method on social conformity in university students
ATS1315: The rights of the child
ATS1326: Kiva Microfunds: transparency, acceptability
ATS1326: The effects of globalization on Vietnam
ATS1371: Singer’s ‘Principle of Equality’
ATS2637: The morality of soliciting the services of sex workers
ATS2637: Leon Kass’ accounts of human organ donation
ATS2667: Euphemism as a force of language change
ATS2676: The importance of bilingual education in modern Australia
ATS3639: Obligations of the affluent to the poor
ATS3639: The intergenerational conflict of climate change
ATS3679: Utterance type development in boys and girls with Down syndrome
ATS3872: Conceptions of ‘the Self’ in Nyaya, Mimamsa and Buddhist philosophy
ATS2640: An analysis of Mellow: ‘Iraq: A Morally Justified Resort to War
ATS2640: An analysis of McMahen: ‘Child Soldiers: The Ethical Perspective
ATS2640: ’Torture lite’ and the ‘ticking-time-bomb’ case
ATS2683: A linguistic discourse analysis of Joe Hockey’s Budget Speech: 2014-15
ATS3627: The soft power of bubble tea in Taiwan
ATS3673: A critical review of Trudgill: ‘Standard English: What it Isn’t
ATS3673: Changing word formation processes in English
AMU1311: Women in Australia in the field of Medicine
AMU2450: Idealist and materialist conceptions of culture
AMU2450: Liberal-democratic and Althusserian conceptions of culture
AMU2906: Buddhist transsexuals in Thailand: media, society, ambivalence
AMU3630: Substantive and procedural justice in key international institutions

As you can see, there has been a fair bit of variety (#yayArts!). Let’s start where my heart most fondly lies: Linguistics.

Linguistics essays

Funnily enough, essays in Linguistics are relatively rare. At least in first year, and mostly in second and third year, most assessments take the form of short-answer exercises or analyses. Fairly unusual, unlike in other schools, is the need for consistent essay assignments.

Regardless, Linguistics essays most certainly do exist, and conventions are particularly stringent. From the list above, you can see some of the Linguistics essays that I have completed:

Spoiler
ATS1338: A review of Lentine & Shue: ‘Linguistics at Work’
ATS2667: Euphemism as a force of language change
ATS2676: The importance of bilingual education in modern Australia
ATS3679: Utterance type development in boys and girls with Down syndrome
ATS2683: A linguistic discourse analysis of Joe Hockey’s Budget Speech: 2014-15
ATS3673: A critical review of Trudgill: ‘Standard English: What it Isn’t
ATS3673: Changing word formation processes in English

The Linguistics department is strict on the use of APA 6th referencing. We will cover this style later on in this post. The main thing to know for now, though, is that APA requires in-text citations. No footnotes.

Here are some important things to consider in Linguistics essays:

1. Denoting speech

Spoiler
Tricky, sometimes, is knowing exactly how to highlight particularly interesting words. For example, I might want to speak about the etymology of the lexical item ‘interesting’. You will note here that I have used inverted commas (‘inverted commas’) but, for the sake of a Linguistics essay, this is going against the grain. Instead, italics are used to denote a particular part of speech. For example, interesting has an intriguing etymology. Here is a further demonstration, pulled from one of my essays from early last year.

Correct
The December, 2014 intake was by far the largest of the three; it accounted for 55.90% of the total words used. The vast majority (126) of these words were created through affixation. A highly significant 117 of these included the prefix –un. Many new entries were simply the negative version of existing words, such as unmagnified, unmeaningful and unmute. Perhaps coincidentally, there were also 126 adjectives in the December, 2014 data. The next most prominent word formation process was compounding, which accounted for 29 of the words.

Incorrect
The December, 2014 intake was by far the largest of the three; it accounted for 55.90% of the total words used. The vast majority (126) of these words were created through affixation. A highly significant 117 of these included the prefix ‘–un’. Many new entries were simply the negative version of existing words, such as ‘unmagnified’, ‘unmeaningful’ and ‘unmute’. Perhaps coincidentally, there were also 126 adjectives in the December, 2014 data. The next most prominent word formation process was compounding, which accounted for 29 of the words.

Incorrect
The December, 2014 intake was by far the largest of the three; it accounted for 55.90% of the total words used. The vast majority (126) of these words were created through affixation. A highly significant 117 of these included the prefix –un. Many new entries were simply the negative version of existing words, such as unmagnified, unmeaningful and unmute. Perhaps coincidentally, there were also 126 adjectives in the December, 2014 data. The next most prominent word formation process was compounding, which accounted for 29 of the words.

2. Appropriate metalanguage

Spoiler
If you have completed English Language 3/4, you should be familiar with what is called metalanguage. Basically, the language we use to describe other language. Linguistics is quite scientific insofar as it uses very precise terminology for very precise things. Demonstrating your knowledge, here, can really push your essay into the HD arena. Here is an excerpt from my very first Linguistics essay:

Spoiler
Words and morphemes are fickle and change in meaning depending on context. In a similar way to sick now meaning ‘favourable’ further to ‘unwell’, the Mc- prefix has undergone, and will continue to undergo, semantic shifts depending on its use.

It’s full of jargon – metalanguage. Morphemes, prefix and semantic shift all show an understanding of the material. This wasn’t a very good essay by any stretch of the imagination, but the language used was, at least, appropriate.

You may notice something else, too: the use of inverted commas. But here, they are used correctly. Typically, Linguistics uses inverted commas to denote meaning. So, for example, car ‘a personal automobile’. This can be handy for showing changes in meaning over time, such as wicked ‘evil, sinister’ → wicked ‘great, excellent’.

3. Presentation (line spacing, justify)

Spoiler
Like any essay, you want your Linguistics essay to look the part. Justify your work (for the ‘newspaper effect’), and set line spacing to 1.5 (although this may change depending on the unit). Sometimes, Linguistics essays are marked by hand – particularly those involving the International Phonetic Alphabet – so line-spacing is a must.

4. Presenting data

Spoiler
Often times, you will need to refer consistently to data sets. Presenting this can sometimes be a bit messy. For this reason, don’t be afraid to use tables – particularly for larger data sets. These may need to appear in an appendix if necessary.

Some units will even encourage the use of tables for one piece of data for sake of cleanliness and ease of reading. But crucial is that you label each table appropriately. Remember, individual words or phrases are italicised, and meanings are presented ‘in inverted commas’.

5. Long quotes

Spoiler
If you have a particularly long quote, for some reason, place it in indented text. Having a long, winding quote can detract from your actual work. For this reason, I tend to avoid them, limiting quotes to ensure relevance and necessity. But if you need to include a quote a paragraph in length, there’s not much point trying to hide it in the body of your text.

6. Be objective

Spoiler
In some Linguistics essays, you may be conducting actual research, or at least commenting on it. You may need to collect data, and/or hypothesize an end result. Your essay needs not be conclusive. You don’t need to make ground-breaking research. As such, don’t feel the need, in your conclusion, to overplay the significance of your research. If your study didn’t find anything significant, don’t say that it did.

An example from an essay from 2014:

Spoiler
Although these results support the hypothesis presented at the beginning of this paper, the study had too small a sample and may have been affected by too many extraneous variables to be accepted as conclusive, or even as significant.

The main point here, though, is that no study proves, nor disproves a hypothesis. Instead, use terms like supported.

7. Resources

Spoiler
Linguistics can be pretty daunting, especially if you’ve never studied it before. First year can be particularly difficult, for it covers a wide range of topics and content areas. One of these is phonetics and phonology, which requires knowledge and application of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The IPA includes a whole bunch of weird looking symbols, which aren’t really available in most standard fonts.

If you need them, you can download the following fonts:
-   Doulos SIL (my font of choice)
-   Charis SIL
-   Gentium (never used these last two)

You can also use this interactive IPA chart, and this resource is good for translating speech into the relevant IPA symbols.

Philosophy essays

Debatably most different to the typical essay that you may have written is the Philosophy essay. Philosophy, too, is quite varied in its demands. However, my experience has been that it is a little more flexible. What do I mean by that? Well:

1. Speak in first person

Spoiler
At least for many Philosophy units, it is completely fine encouraged to speak in first person. Gone are the days of This argue will contend that, replaced with In this essay, I will show. After all, this is your opinion.

Here is an excerpt from my introduction for an essay in ATS3630.

Spoiler
In this essay, I will focus on Gardiner’s ‘intergenerational storm’, along with the related factors of incomparable wealth and the ‘non-identity problem’. Whilst the particular course of action is largely beyond the scope of this paper, I will argue that the assumed conflict between generations need not preclude immediate action in response to climate change.
Along a related line:
2. Think outside the square

Spoiler
Have a heavily differing opinion to most others? Don’t be afraid to speak it. So long as you write about it well, and justify it, and make clear what you’re trying to say, you shouldn’t be punished for going against the grain. In fact, you may be rewarded for originality.

Some of the most famous philosophers in the world are horribly controversial. If you’re passionate about what you’re saying, it will probably be easier to write; go with your gut.

3. Lie (well, be strong)

Spoiler
But in saying that, I have written a number of essays where, to be honest, I wasn’t speaking entirely from the heart. At times, it makes for a more convincing essay to be assertive. Compare these two statements:

Spoiler
Jones’ argument was okay, but I think she probably could have spoken more about an actual solution rather than just highlight the problems.

Spoiler
Jones, though competently highlighting the issue at hand, failed to offer any feasible solution. It is clear, then, that her argument does not hold for grounds X, Y and Z.

Not a huge difference, but the second one is clearly stronger. And if you can manage to convince your essay marker that you are correct, regardless of your actual argument, you’re going to do well.

4. Adhere to conventions in Philosophy

Spoiler
Like Linguistics and, indeed, most schools, Philosophy has some technical stuff of which you should be aware. Don’t worry – this will all be covered extensively in first year units – but there’s no harm being aware of it sooner!

Philosophy is a logical thing. It tries to make sense of the world, and does so through the use of ‘premises.’ Basically, ideas that are taken to be true. When premises are applied to a particular situation, or combined with other premises, they can form some sort of (often moral) conclusion.

For example, ‘It is always immoral to kill another person’ is a premise. Not necessarily a true premise, but that doesn’t really matter. We can show the premise in the following way, where ‘P1’ stands for ‘Premise 1.’

Spoiler
P1   It is always immoral to kill another person

Then we might have another premise, such as ‘Anna killed Billy.’ We can add this:

Spoiler
P1   It is always immoral to kill another person
P2   Anna killed Billy

In this situation, when combining the premises, we can see that it was immoral for Anna to kill Billy (based on P1). And so (‘C’ stands for ‘Conclusion’):

Spoiler
P1   It is always immoral to kill another person
P2   Anna killed Billy
C   It was immoral for Anna to kill Billy

This can be very useful notation when you’re trying to flesh out a moral theory or argument.

5. Don’t be a dick – don’t plagiarise

Spoiler
This is crucial in all forms of assessments, of course, but it is big in Philosophy. If you have an idea taken from somebody else, or based on somebody else’s work, give them credit. You’ll be academically smashed if you don’t. And doing so can often show that you are well-read.

Psychology essays

If you have completed Psych 3/4, you should be at least minimally familiar with the ERA (Empirical Research Activity). Psychology essays at uni are quite similar insofar as they follow similar guidelines. Here are some general tips.

1. Become anal about citations

Spoiler
My experience (this may change from individual to individual) is that the Psych department is absolutely red-hot on citation standards. You could lose a mark, for example, for having a comma out of place. In Psychology, you should be adhering to the APA referencing style. This makes sense, because APA stands for the American Psychological Association!

I have never used any referencing software; I get paranoid and end up doing it all myself, manually. But many people live and die by it. Other users, here, would be more in their element, but I’ve heard that Endnote is quite good.

2. Literature review

Spoiler
Many assessments may require you (explicitly or otherwise) to review previous work in the field. If you are then referring to this work during your introduction or another part of your write-up, it’s really important that you accurately report on the original research.

It can be very tempting to selectively read into previous literature to make them say whet you want them to say. There have been times where I have read a study close to what I wanted to find, and thought “Ehh, surely that’s good enough.” But it’s not, and including literature that isn’t relevant to your paper will detract from it. Even worse is incorrectly citing the results.

You can typically work out what a study will talk about in its abstract, so don’t feel as though you need to read every single word of every single page before deciding whether or not to use the paper. But if you’re going to use it, respect the research and use it well.

3. Structure your essay

Spoiler
I was once told that a good Psychology essay (depending on unit and other specificities, of course) is like an hourglass; it starts broad, becomes narrower, and is then broader again.

So in your introduction, you can speak generally; cite previous research in the field, and explain the context in which you are conducting the present study. Then, as your essay develops, you can get more specific, speaking exclusively about your study. Then, in your conclusion, you should explain the relevance of the study and its possible impact on the field.

Remember: broad – narrow – broad.

4. Be scientific

Spoiler
Psychology is (debatably) a science. Treat it as such. Your language should be quite formal, objective, and in third person (usually, at least). Try not to let biases show. Actually, this is really important. If you have hypothesised that X will have so-and-so effect on Y, don’t conclude that it did have that effect, no matter the cost. Sometimes your study will be inconclusive and you will find nothing. That’s okay.

Formal language. Obviously an overstated example, but consider this:

Spoiler
The twenty-four year old sheila obviously wasn’t very smart because she couldn’t even work out that she had the placebo lolcats.

Would you take this sort of language seriously? Nup. And whilst I wouldn’t expect anybody to actually write anything like that in a university assessment, the more professional your language is, the more reputable your report will seem.

5. Presentation

Spoiler
There are really specific presentation requirements, such as font size, line spacing, centring, bolding, and all other sorts of things. You shouldn’t be pinged too harshly for any of this in first year, but you might as well make it as accurate as possible.

I spoke about becoming anal about citations. Similarly, you should be anal about presentation. This is precisely the sort of thing that many students will avoid, putting you well ahead of the pack. Sometimes I think that when I get HDs, my work isn’t any better or more significant than other students’ with lower marks; it’s just presented more nicely.

It does have an impact.

History essays

For some reason, this is what I think of as the ‘standard essay.’ Perhaps because it generally accepts Chicago referencing (my baby, which I will have to give up for Honours). I probably find History essays easier to write than the previous three. Why? I’m not really sure, but it could be due to the fact that it seems to be more a collation of information than actually presenting an argument. Or, if not, the argument will be based on a collation of information. Because I’m a pretty neutral and timorous guy, I enjoy sitting on the fence.

1. Facts

Spoiler
Make them accurate. “No shit,” you think. And, indeed, it does seem a fairly intuitive thing. But I guarantee that students misread dates, make typos, and end up contending that WWI began in 1814. To me, this shows two things: a) you haven’t proof-read your work (something we’ll touch on a little later), and b) your paper lacks credibility.

If you’re saying that WWI began in 1814 (1914, for those playing at home), why should the assessor believe anything else you’re saying? Be a stickler for accuracy.

2. Read widely

Spoiler
But don’t necessarily include everything you have read. It’s really important to have a wide understanding of your subject area, but you can include too many references. This has been my major weakness, I think: I include too much, and I reference too many papers. As a result, I either don’t elaborate enough on a number of topics that I have brought up, or don’t make my own argument clear enough.

So my advice is this: read as much as you can, and absorb as much information as possible, but be selective in what you actually include. Your essay should be the best of the best – not just the most information you can fit in the world limit.

3. Word count

Spoiler
Speaking of which, here is something I probably should have included for all four types of essay. It absolutely blows my mind when people submit papers that don’t adhere to the word limit. I simply cannot fathom how, or why, that would be the case.

If you have a word limit of 2,000 word, don’t write 2,800. I am a horrible over-writer. For something that’s meant to be a paragraph, I’ll write an essay. I was recently meant to construct a 40-page booklet, and ended with two-and-a-half times that. The present sentence is entirely unnecessary. But I have never, ever submitted an essay over the word limit.

What happens, then? A whole lot of editing. Again, we’ll reach this soon.

The same can be said for going under the word limit; although, for this, I have more sympathy. If you truly can’t find anything to write about (to me, this shows lack of attention during semester), there’s not that much you can do about it in a short period of time. But if you have too many words, you can always get rid of some.

Important to note is that most units will have a ±10% word allowance. That is, if the word limit is 2,000 words, you can write up to 10% more or less than that; the word range in this case would become 1,800 – 2,200 words. This means that the unit has already given you wriggle room; don’t push it.

4. Don’t re-write history

Spoiler
Feel free to bring a new perspective on a past event, but don’t as far as to make something out of nothing. Your lecturer and tutor will know more about whatever you’re writing on than you – that’s why they are in that position. Sometimes, you may even come across their own research that you may wish to reference. Oftentimes, they will have dedicated their entire life to researching a particular field.

As such, you want to be strategic. I encourage you to offer a fresh slant, but there’s no point disputing fact. The following contention wouldn’t do you any favours. Just be smart about what you’re trying to argue or present.

Spoiler
The Vietnam War was nothing more than a myth perpetuated by the people of Oceania.

So, yeah (general advice)

There we have a (pretty vague) outline of four different essay types you may stumble upon in Arts. I will take this opportunity again to ask for assistance from other users to help expand this into a more comprehensive guide, encompassing other disciplines, faculties, and even institutions.

But for now, here is some general advice.

Referencing

Spoiler
I’ve mentioned a few times that referencing is important. You can get the full run-down of every citation style you may come across here. I have this bookmarked, and have referred to it extensively for every essay I’ve ever written. At one point, it was my homepage. Sad? Yeah, a little.

You will more than likely first come across Chicago, APA or Harvard, but other styles are certainly possible.

Presentation and detail

Spoiler
Always refer back to the study design. No matter what it tells you to do, do it. Even if you don’t usually do it. Even if it looks gross. Even if it goes against everything you aesthetically stand for. Just play the game and give them what they want.

If the unit guide doesn’t specify anything about presentation, my ‘go to’ settings are:
-   Garamond
-   12pt font
-   1.5 line spacing
-   Regular (decent margins)
-   Justified text
-   Word count presented
-   Cover sheet if required
-   Unit code, student number, assessment name presented somewhere
-   Pages numbered

Timing

Spoiler
You know what? Constructing a good essay can be genuinely enjoyable. Some of my favourite weeks at uni have been when halfway through an intriguing essay. That’s why I went to uni in the first place – to learn stuff, and to improve my skills.

But all of that goes out the window when you’re under the pump. If you’re trying to bust out a 3,000 word essay overnight, of course you won’t enjoy it. And you probably won’t learn much, either. Ultimately, the way I see it, by leaving it until the last minute, you are truly compromising your entire university experience.

So how do you fix this? Procrastination is something that just can’t be avoided, yada yada yada. Yeah, but also nah. See spoiler.

Spoiler
My advice is to adhere to the n±2 rule. This is something that I’ve done my entire life, really, but I stole the terminology from Brenden. (Brenden has, by the way, some very interesting thoughts on how to do well in uni. See this thread. I seriously think it’s a must read.)

What is the n±2 rule? Basically, if you have an essay due in 10 days, you should treat it as though it’s due in eight. And genuinely believe that that is the case. Manipulate your mind so that you always see deadlines before when they actually are. Not once have I submitted an assignment late. In fact, not once have I even submitted an assignment the day that it was due; it has always been early.

“Are you serious?” I hear you cry. Well, yeah, I am. The benefits of this method are huge.

Firstly, it encourages you to start earlier than you usually would. This makes for a more rounded and more in-depth paper due simply to the fact that you have more time to work on it.

Secondly (the most important point in this entire post, I think), it reduces stress and, in my case, has been good for mental health. Why make things harder for yourself? If you have the ability to, why wouldn’t you finish early? The earlier you finish, the sooner you can get on with other stuff.

It gives you a greater foundation to edit your work, which is crucial.

And, like working ahead in VCE, it means that you are ahead of the game. I’ve had a number of essays due in SWOT VAC that I’ve actually submitted much earlier. So whilst my peers are working away on their essays, all stressed, I’m preparing myself for exams.  I think your results will speak volumes.

How to actually write the bloody thing

Spoiler
Alrighty. So this is a hugely subjective thing. I would actually be super interested in hearing how other students approach essays, so feel free to discuss in this thread!

Basically, this is how I construct an essay.

1.   Organise myself.

I pick my topic. Good start. Then I work out what resources I might need: Google Scholar, the reader, the textbook, class notes, lecture slides, and whatever else. I have them all ready. I set up my essay document, with the aforementioned presentation details.

2.   Collate information/data if necessary

Often, I will have a secondary ‘resource’ document, which I update and use concurrently. Here, I will type out possible quotes to use, links to other resources, facts, figures, and anything else I think might be relevant. If I end up using the information, I put it in bold and green. If there is particularly salient information that I don’t want to miss, I put it in bold and red. Bold and blue is for information I feel I need to explore further before using.

I like it as a system, but I’m used to it. The idea is not to necessarily use this system, but to have a system in the first place. Trust me: essay writing is a lot easier when it becomes habitual and familiar.

3.   Make a plan

Not always necessary, I find, but when I feel I will struggle through an essay, a plan really helps. It might look something like this:

Spoiler
[Introduction]
[Literature review]
[Advantages of X]
[Rebuttal]
[Disadvantages of X]
[Rebuttal]
[Summary]

Just something simple. Sometimes, I even work off the plan itself. That is, include the sub-headings until right at the very end, just to ensure that I’ve stuck to my original plan.

4.   Write the essay

There’s not much I can say about this, and perhaps this is all you really came to this post for, so sorry about that. But really, what can one say? Nobody can write your essay but you. By this stage, you should have your resources and your plan. It should take nothing else but time.

5.   Edit the bajeebus out of it

Your first draft will never be your best essay. Perhaps interestingly, the majority of time I spend on essay assessments is in the editing stage, and not the actual writing stage. Proof-read it a number of times. If you’ve followed the n±2 rule, you will have time to sleep on it a few times before looking at it again for a new perspective. Get your family and friends to read it. Often, if somebody who’s never done the unit can’t understand what you’re saying, you haven’t been clear enough.

Labout over your choice of words, and delete all words that aren’t strictly necessary. Be very Orwellian in this way. (Follow what I’m saying rather than what I’m doing here, because as I’ve mentioned, I’m a notorious over-writer.)

Print out your draft, and edit it with a pen. Do this multiple times, and you will end up with a sick final product.

And then edit it some more.

So anyway, there are some thoughts. Note that most of this is just my opinion, and based on what has worked for me. I would love to hear others’ thoughts, queries or comments. And I would adore if anybody felt like contributing to this thread to expand its scope. I really think it could be a neat resource for new (and continuing) students.

Happy essay writing,
Nick. :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 05:29:30 pm by Joseph41 »
One wug.

brenden

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 05:22:39 pm »
+7
holllly fuuuuuuuuckkkkkk this is the best thing I've ever seen
✌️just do what makes you happy ✌️

qazser

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 05:53:35 pm »
+1
Not sure if Bangali_lok or Joseph41

Edit: Grats on instant sticky :0
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 05:58:36 pm by qazser »
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DeezNuts

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 05:56:40 pm »
0
holy crap!

book marking the f outta it!

would it be possible to post several essays to have a read through (full or excerpts)?

I think having examples of HD writing would be immensely beneficial for first year uni students to use as a benchmark/comparison.

Thanks again :) 
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Joseph41

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 01:58:47 pm »
0
holllly fuuuuuuuuckkkkkk this is the best thing I've ever seen

Oh, you!

Not sure if Bangali_lok or Joseph41

Edit: Grats on instant sticky :0

#bangalibandwagon

holy crap!

book marking the f outta it!

would it be possible to post several essays to have a read through (full or excerpts)?

I think having examples of HD writing would be immensely beneficial for first year uni students to use as a benchmark/comparison.

Thanks again :) 

I'd be fine with this, personally, but I'm slightly hesitant to do so considering the public nature of these forums. I know no AN member would plagiarise, but I wouldn't really want a lurker doing so, and then getting caught up in some sort of issue haha.
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Darth_Pepe

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 03:14:08 pm »
0
Oh, you!

#bangalibandwagon

I'd be fine with this, personally, but I'm slightly hesitant to do so considering the public nature of these forums. I know no AN member would plagiarise, but I wouldn't really want a lurker doing so, and then getting caught up in some sort of issue haha.

Is it okay in uni to have someone help you with your essays and assignments?

chasej

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 11:33:11 pm »
+3
I can't emphasis the timing advice enough - last semester I made a mistake and mistook a due date for an assignment and was forced to try and finish it all in a matter of a few hours - it was really stressful and draining. I can't imagine the unnecessary stress someone that regularly finishes/starts essays hours before the due date would incur.

Also make sure to fully read the unit guide and understand the assignment specifications/details and not just make assumptions about what you think the specifications would be, as that's what caused me to mess it up.

Is it okay in uni to have someone help you with your essays and assignments?

Yes, you just need to make sure it remains your own work. Like it's ok to have a friend or tutor help you fix up some wording/do some research/discuss etc., but it's not on to have them write or re-write a whole paragraph for you for example, or even re-write a sentence or two in a way which changes the meaning of the words and isn't just spelling/grammatical issues.

This falls under 'academic integrity' which is a very important thing to understand as it is taken very seriously. It is likely your first year lecturers would give you an overview but I advise you to spend 10 minutes and read the policies so you understand what is and isn't acceptable.

Here are links to the policies:
http://www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-procedures.html

http://www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-policy.html

http://www.monash.edu.au/students/policies/academic-integrity.html

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 02:27:00 pm »
+2
Still the best thing I've ever seen.
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Joseph41

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 02:31:09 pm »
0
Still looking to add perspectives from other disciplines/faculties, if anybody would like to contribute!
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Aqua97

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 02:55:54 pm »
0
say i wrote an essay, where can i get feedback on it? Or is that considered cheating?

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 02:57:12 pm »
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say i wrote an essay, where can i get feedback on it? Or is that considered cheating?

Before or after you submit it? (I assume before?)
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Aqua97

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2016, 06:12:25 pm »
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Before or after you submit it? (I assume before?)

Before, can i get like teachers from other unis to read that i know?

Joseph41

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2016, 12:35:42 pm »
+1
Before, can i get like teachers from other unis to read that i know?

Great question, and honestly a difficult one to answer. I assume you've read this page on plagiarism and collusion.

According to that page, plagiarism includes:
Spoiler
paraphrasing and presenting work or ideas without a reference
copying work either in whole or in part
presenting designs, codes or images as your own work
using phrases and passages verbatim without quotation marks or referencing the author or web page
reproducing lecture notes without proper acknowledgement.

... and collusion includes when you:
Spoiler
work with one or more people to prepare and produce work
allow others to copy your work or share your answer to an assessment task
allow someone else to write or edit your work (except for the use of a scribe approved by Disability Services)
write or edit work for another student
offer to complete work or seek payment for completing academic work for other students.

I think that top dot point for collusion is the most relevant one. To be really sure, I'd contact your Faculty or relevant tutor. My own view is that it probably depends on what type of feedback you're getting.
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Joseph41

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 09:51:36 pm »
0
I'm bumping this for the new year in case any first year students find it useful. :) And I'm also happy to field any questions on uni essay writing!
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extremeftw

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Re: [GUIDE] Writing a fully sick and hektik essay
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 10:52:57 pm »
+3
 I definitely think that you cannot understate the importance of correct presentation, referencing, structure, and writing. Throughout my time at Monash I've had to write loads of essays and it feels like as long as you structure your essay correctly and meet the requirements of the task that you are pretty much guaranteed at least a distinction if you write clearly and expressively.

 To prove that point, last semester I had to write an essay on American slavery for one of my history units. The essay was marked by the lecturer and he thought I didn't actually end up answering the question (oops..) as I kind of just presented a bunch of academic opinions without actually making a final, unified argument of what I thought. Nonetheless, he ended up giving me a 75 because he thought my structure, referencing, and the quality of my writing was very good.

 The moral of the story is that even if you aren't confident on an essay topic, that if you make an effort to express yourself clearly and follow the presentation criteria then you have every chance of getting a very good mark. Don't be scared or intimidated by essays because I've always found the marking at Monash to be fair and even quite lenient.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 10:54:54 pm by extremeftw »