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My Top Tips

by Megan Ball, Education, Culture and Childhood BA 1st year student

Keeping on top of your Reading!

In this course a lot of your modules will require you to do pre-session reading. At first it can look a little bit daunting to begin with — and I will bet the everyone on this course will feel this way! The way to deal with your reading will partly depend on how you work, but here is some key advice:

Work out when in the day you work most effectively (for me it is either late morning/early afternoon or when it is raining!).

Do not try and do it all in one sitting, for example if you have 2 chapter to do for 1 module and they average about 20 pages each break it down and take 5–10-minute breaks every hour.

Don’t be afraid to walk away for a bit and hang out with friends or take a walk, if you can’t concentrate then taking some time off from it will clear your head!

Juggling all your modules

The great thing with this course if that a lot of your modules are going to complement each other. What I mean by this is that during my 1st term I did 4 modules and I found that a lot of the time the material overlapped.

For example, I was doing Critical Curriculum, Social and Historical Constructs of Childhood, Education, Power and society and an Introduction to Criminology. I found that a lot of the time key research or writers or even debates over the same idea came up again in the different modules, which was great because if I didn’t quite get something the first time it would most likely come up again.

I would also recommend that you keep notes of the weekly content you do, for instance I did mind maps; I’m suggesting this just because it helps you for when you look back further on in your studies and shows the key ideas you were studying.

The essays and exams

It is never too early to start planning, looking into different arguments, and looking up reading that could help you.

Always have a plan! Otherwise, your argument could become vague and hard to read. It’s a good idea to check your work against the guidelines!

You can highlight different sections of your essays into what your objectives are looking for — this will give you a visual representation of what you may need to change.

Remember, you can leave an essay for a couple of days if you are stuck, when you come back it will look a lot clearer.

Always stick to one referencing system and make sure all your references are correct and you have citations, so you avoid accidental plagiarism.

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