I’ve been pretty glad with how my essays have gone so far this term, especially with my average mark going up by about 5%.
My essays are a lot less cluttered and with stronger overall themes. Usually now I write down a lot of quotes from the book we’re studying, then after I’ve picked the essay question that I think would be easiest for me to talk about at length, I just pick out all the quotes that seem to match the question’s themes. I find that actually writing the essay becomes a lot simpler after this, as all the quotes usually form a good structure for me to work around. For example, if a question’s overall theme is ‘death’, there’ll be a lot of quotes about death in different contexts, so I just have to assign one paragraph each to talk about these different contexts.
Typing this reflection is starting to make me believe that essay writing is the easiest thing in the world, though of course that’s not exactly the truth. I’ve found that after I’ve typed the points that come quickly to my mind, thinking of new ones for the same themes are incredibly difficult. Therefore my essays seem to be shorter than the norm, but I feel like if I tried to extend them the added points would be off-topic or weaker than usual.
This brevity has occasionally resulted in a lack of textual evidence and supporting points in some places, so my main area of improvement will be to notice these weaker areas in my near-completed essays and to correct them. This also applies to any confusing or half though-out points I make, though I do these far less often than I did in Term 1.
So roll on the final two essays; there’s no more Beauvoirs or Freuds or 500 page behemoths, so I reckon these ones will go a lot more smoothly.