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to hate academic essay writing

(29 Posts)
JesuslovesmethisIknow Mon 24-Jun-13 10:33:09

Am doing an undergrad course in nursing.

KNOW academia is important but really some of the essays are at best tedious and at worse, almost irrelevant. 3000 words... time after time....

Being dyslexic doesn't help.

Wish the course would teach us MORE practical and LESS of the nit picky academia (not talking anatomy and physiology - talking, cycles of reflection etc)

Stresses me right out!

KobayashiMaru Mon 24-Jun-13 11:02:43

yabu. If you can't get to grips with the theoretical side, its not the job for you. It's not all about the practical.

MrsCosmopilite Mon 24-Jun-13 11:06:52

Do you have any study guides that would help you, Jesus?

I've done a three-year undergrad (although it became 4 as I took time out to have DD) and am now on a masters p/t.

We were recommended the Sheila Cottrel Study Skills Handbook, and Brian Greetham's How to Write Better Essays.

I don't have dyslexia but I have struggled in the past to understand what was required. I am almost there although need a little refining. I'm thankful that my tutors give good feedback.

You should be able to get some support for the dyslexia side of things.

I always struggle to keep my essay word count down, fool that I am!

Sirzy Mon 24-Jun-13 11:19:39

With regards to your specific course yanbu.

People complain about nurses not having good bedside manner, not wanting to do basic tasks like changing beds but the training doesn't help with that when you spend more time in a classroom than on a ward getting the practical experience needed and learning on the job.

Yes being able to show an understanding of what you have learnt and the science behind it is important but there are plenty of others ways to do this

JesuslovesmethisIknow Mon 24-Jun-13 11:25:26

I am actually so far a grade A student (aside from one grade B) so I am coping with the academia kobay

I work blardy hard at it - it is just really frustrating as sooooo much is theory (and quite often very loosely related)

and I DO get frustrated!

The practical side should be as equally important and tbh it does not seem to get the same attention to detail!!!!

KobayashiMaru Mon 24-Jun-13 11:44:17

wanting more practical does not mean hating the essay writing. It's a proper academic course, it has to have essays. It's not "nit picky", its an attempt to make it a real worthwhile degree.

ShadeofViolet Mon 24-Jun-13 12:49:42


Am just starting 3500 words on a topic I could not give a flying fig about (not nursing though).

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 24-Jun-13 13:02:58

I feel your pain. I hate writing essays and am dyslexic - you can hate it!

How much support are you getting for the dyslexia? There really ought to be some.

Forgive me for saying, but I think it is a little bit silly to say that essays make nursing into a 'worthwhile degree' ... I mean, nursing has a pretty obvious practical value! I can see why they are making you write essays, but the ultimate goal isn't to teach you how to write a good essay, it's to check you're learning everything you need to. Given you're dyslexic, you will find this harder than most, so the mode of assessment isn't easy for you. You shouldn't beat yourself up about that.

ilovechips Mon 24-Jun-13 13:11:07

I think the idea is to move nursing away from being task orientated to evidence based, and therefore the essays are about teaching you good research methods...I remember thinking wtaf does this have to do with day to day nursing but I think it's true what they say about the real learning beginning the day you qualify - I've been qualified 5 years now and done post-reg courses, and whilst the subject matter of some pre-reg essays are irrelevant, the research and study skills learned have been useful. Good luck!

drwitch Mon 24-Jun-13 13:16:02

If you can write a good essay it shows that you understand enough of the subject to explain it to someone else. You will need to do this in your job (patients, HCAs etc). It will/should also give you the skills and the confidence to participate in meetings where important decisions are being made

Birdsgottafly Mon 24-Jun-13 13:18:33

Sorry, but i think that reflective practice and other subjects, Ethics etc are as very important to your practice.

Nursing has changed a lot and you need a range of skills and understanding to process in your career, especially if you want to go on to be a specialist nurse, who leads a clinic.

The studying of anatomy etc is obviously central, but along the way, it is important to keep going back to "what makes a Nurse, "good"" and how you use every event to improve, hence needing an understanding of reflection etc.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 24-Jun-13 13:21:25

drwitch - but she might be struggling with the stuff that isn't related to those skills in the essay, if she's dyslexic?

OP, can you pinpoint what you do struggle with - do you find this stuff difficult to talk about in class, or is it just the 'getting it down on the page' bit?

RubberBullets Mon 24-Jun-13 13:26:56

I can't write essays to save my life. I simply write far too concisely and therefore cannot write enough words. I was made to resit my GCSE English Lang to be allowed to do my A Levels and got the same grade again, D.

It is very frustrating to be told by the teacher that I have answered the question better than others but have been massively marked down due to not writing enough words. Constantly being told that others who have written less relevant essays but simply filled up the word count by waffling have been given higher marks is really off putting. I had this both in school and college so not just the view of 1 teacher.

JustinBsMum Mon 24-Jun-13 13:30:49

I did an OU course and had to write 2000 word essays on several occasions, compressing loads of info but not leaving out anything relevant. It was a great lesson for me, never having had to write proper essays before. Also my grammar and punctuation had to improve or the info would not have made sense.
I think it does more than just test your knowledge, being able to write concisely and quickly is a useful skill.

Crinkle77 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:43:55

Is there anywhere you can go to in your university for support? I work in a university and students with dyslexia can apply for DSA funding to buy equipment and also one to one study support.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 24-Jun-13 16:45:11

Agree with crinkle - there should be a student support centre of some kind to help - even if you don't/can't apply for DSA, they should be able to provide some advice?

KobayashiMaru Mon 24-Jun-13 16:58:21

I don't beleive you fail because you write "too concisely". If you can write about the subject properly, there is always more to say, and if you are too concise, you learn how to be more verbose. Thats part of the point.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Mon 24-Jun-13 16:59:26

I've got to say, I agree with koba.

It is a good skill to write concisely, and not to waffle.

But if you'd answered the question concisely, you wouldn't get a D.

RubberBullets Mon 24-Jun-13 21:17:27

That was the feedback I had each time. I can only go by what I was told.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Mon 24-Jun-13 21:37:10

Op - I sympathise. I'm doing a masters at the moment. Loving the learning. Hating the academic style.

RubberBullets - it's relatively easy to get the 'right' answer in English (because there's rarely a 'wrong' one iyswim); the marks come for developing that answer in detail. Is that what the feedback meant? Not that you were too concise but that you didn't give enough detail?

Sleepyhoglet Mon 24-Jun-13 23:03:44

What subject? Don't complain about 3000. That's peanuts! Try a 20,000 masters thesis. or maybe don't, if it isn't for you. In fact, make it even harder and turn that into a research masters. Sorry. I'm very bogged down at the moment and 3,000 would be a dream.

littleblackno Mon 24-Jun-13 23:34:08

I feel your pain. I'm doing a post-grad at the moment - in a very unacademic area of work. I have 5000 due in next week. I've spent most of the day thinking "I must not look at MN..." while looking at MN (which has NOTHING to do with my essay.)

ifancyashandy Mon 24-Jun-13 23:34:27

Oh god, I miss writing essays. I loved doing them - the whole process of deciding which question, the reading and research on a subject I adored, the planning, the writing, the pouring over a thesaurus to find the right words for the number count, the writing and the re-writing. God I just loved it. Used to feel my brain physically expanding when trying to get my head round some French post modernist theory!

And the satisfaction of working hard all day on one and then having a joint (well, I was a student!) drink with my housemates when they got in from work. And the feeling if handing it in, knowing I'd worked my arse off!

Good job writing is a major part of my career now!

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Tue 25-Jun-13 10:49:41

I think 3000 is quite painful, actually. A longer piece you can get your teeth into, at least.

My thesis is about 80k at the moment, so honestly, I know! I hated writing essays my whole undergrad and they did not get easier.

A good moan on MN always helps.

imnotmymum Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:04

You should get help and sensitive marking with dyslexia. That reflection is imperative in the nursing profession it is important to keep reflecting on practice and improving and assessing what you doing so they teach it for that reason. Keep going (I am supposed to be writing my research methodology right now for my MA- Wiil at 11:00 ...

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