Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Fresh Face Of A Law Student

I officially started lectures yesterday for my law degree! :D

I was really excited to finally be able to say that I am a law student. It seems a privilege to be studying such a demanding and enriching course. I'm buzzed up to really get into the course and start with tutorials and extra reading. I know that makes me sound like a nerd but it's true. I really want to throw myself into studying.

But it all seems a lot more different from studying A Levels. I now have more reading to do, harder essays to write, more self-study to do and a need for a higher level of organisation.

I love reading but the essays seem daunting. It's a bit like when you stop writing for a few weeks or months and then when you get back to the writing bit, it feels like you've forgotten how to write. I think it's going to be a bit like that. We haven't written any essays so far but I have a pretty good feeling that my ability to write decent essays has declined a bit.

If anyone can think of example essay questions for me to use to try out my essay writing, please can you leave the question in the comments section? It would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I'm also worrying about organisation. I'm simply the most disorganised person I've ever come across. Right now, I'm just writing my lecture notes into a refill pad but I've soon got to figure out how I'm going to organise things. Notepads? Type up notes? Folders? There are so many options and I don't know which to go for.

We have exams and coursework deadlines in Jaunary and I hope I'm ready by then.

And until I can figure out what my workload is going to be like, my posting on this blog will be minimal.

So here's to my first year of university!

And I hope everyone else who is in education right now also has a good year!

Kamille.

17 comments:

  1. I'm sure you will figure it out. Talk to other students, maybe older students, and see what they do.

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  2. Found your blog on TSR and I'm glad I did :D I'm also in the position of wanting to get into the world of writing.

    As far as university notes go, I wrote mine up in little A5 books - easy to take round with you (:

    keep up the writing!
    Sam
    http://artymessetc.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hello! It's nice to meet another TSR-er on here!

      I was thinking of using A5 books but I'm worried I'll be filling them in too quickly!

      Thanks!

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  3. Nerdy or not, I think it's great how you're so excited to be studying law! I wasn't enthused at all in college, which is why I ultimately flunked out, I think. You can never go far with something unless you're passionate about it, so already it seems like you're headed into this with the right mindset!

    And, oh gosh, I wish I could help think of example essay questions for you, but it's been so long since I've had to deal with essays in general that I'm afraid my mind is coming up blank!

    I'm pretty disorganized, too. I manage to organize things sometimes, but almost always it turns into a mess again in no time, heh. Good luck figuring out which organizational method is best for you!

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    1. I really hope I don't flunk. I couldn't be able to afford dropping out with so much debt!

      It's okay. I've found some in my textbooks.

      Thanks! I think some of us are just born this disorganised.

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  4. Congrats, Kamille! I love your enthusiasm for learning, and the degree course you've chosen. So many go into university (especially here in the States) without a clue what they're doing, why, and with no interest in the course they're on except they hope to scrape by and get a diploma at the end. So I sincerely hope you don't lose that enthusiasm and desire to succeed!

    As for essay-writing tips, there are some general principles that apply to most courses (my BA is in theology, and we had to write a fair few essays):

    1) Make sure you understand what the question is asking. If in doubt, as the professor/lecturer who set the question.
    2) Open your essay with a brief discussion of the question, why the question would be asked, and perhaps historical/social/cultural background if necessary.
    3) Next, discuss possible responses to the question, points to consider, relevant facts, etc.
    4) Draw your conclusion. How would you answer the question, and why?
    5) Respect word/page limits. Aim to write to the maximum of what's expected, never the minimum, but don't go too long. Your prof/lecturer has a lot of other essays to read!
    6) Let your enthusiasm show in your writing. Keep it academic, but be yourself too. This is probably the hardest thing for a fiction writer to do with academic writing, because the style is more restrictive. But if your lecturer/professor actually *enjoys* reading your paper, not only will that be good for your grade, but it'll get you noticed (in a good way). :)

    And NEVER be afraid to ask a question if in doubt. As Richard suggested, find some second year students that seem engaged with their course work and might be willing to give you direction. Perhaps let them read a draft of your essay, so they can give you pointers. If you have a tutor assigned to you (i.e., a member of the faculty to whom you can go with questions, problems, etc.), then make use of him or her. Don't be a hermit--make friends. But make GOOD friends. Quality friends. Friends who share your enthusiasm, and can encourage you. Not friends who are just there for the parties and don't seem to care about their work.

    I hope that's helpful to you. All the very best to you, Kamille! :)

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    1. I'm not 100% sure what I want to do but I hope this degree helps lol!

      Thanks for the advice! And for keeping it concise! I'm trying hard at making them enjoying to read but I find them so boring I can't imagine anyone else liking them.

      Yeah I'm going to be signing up to the mentoring scheme hopefully!I've got friends at the moment but they're scattered across a number of friendship groups!

      Thanks! :D

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  5. Congratulations and best of luck! Make the most of your time at university (especially as an undergrad) - it is an amazing period of your life and you'll make friends for life :)

    Ha, I loved it so much - i never left ;P

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  6. Also just to add (although colin covers it). It is essential for your essay to have a beginning, middle and end.

    hen I start an essay, I like to begin with broad opening statement "In the past few years, the question of xxx has been blah blah blah" then mention what you'll cover.

    "e.g. In this essay, I shall discuss x, y and z [usual repeating essay question here]. Specifically, addressing xxx etc. ".

    Mentioning exactly what you're going to cover helps with corrections but also your own structure so you don't wander in a tangent (v important in exam situation).

    Each point should be a new paragraph. I often recommend to students to do a spider diagram before writing/plot.

    Your conclusion then is just a summary of what you've said."In conclusion, "

    I know what I've said is obvious but you'd be surprised how many people forget simple structure. Important to reference and of course quote sources (with reference) to avoid plagiarism too.

    P.S. I have slides for exam prep if you want them on essay writing and exam tips (tis very general). Sure drop me a mail if you'd like them.

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    1. Should I mention the structure in the introduction?

      Thanks for the advice!

      Ooh! that sounds like a good idea!

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    2. Yes. At the end of your introduction in a sentence you would say something like. "This essay shall discuss xyz, specifically I shall first discuss x and its implications. Second etc. . . "

      Sending you slides now :)

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  7. Best of luck with Law School! How exciting. :)

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  8. Good Luck!I hope you have a good year and experience.

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