“The author has written a largely descriptive essay that has little in the way of critical analysis or originality. The author is advised to consider how an essay should be structured and, in particular, the importance of an introduction that should demonstrate a grasp of the question and define the scope of the essay.

Unfortunately, there has been little attempt to answer the question and thus the essay cannot be considered a success.”

I was, I must admit, a little stunned at first. Perhaps the results sheets had got mixed up? I protested. It was agreed that it was a little unlike me to get such a low mark, and so a phone call was made to the lecturer who’s assessed it to see if he was available for a chat.

I then started to read the first page of the essay that I’d handed in a few weeks back. …and sure enough, it was lacking in an introduction! What the hell was I thinking?! It simply is not an essay. It’s basically a bedtime story about Minamata, utterly lacking in structure, analysis, or originality. (Still, if you want to know about Minamata it is quite informative, clear here for a copy).

I was then able to have a chat with the Lecturer concerned, and I must say, he was mightily helpful. Recently, I have had a tendency to lose track of where I’m going in essays, to have no focus; he made a few suggestions as to how I might tackle this issue.

Well, I just have to put that behind me now.

My first exam is in 17 hours.

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