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Got children at Uni studying English ? Helpful e-book available

(17 Posts)
Missbopeep Mon 28-Oct-13 08:23:47

You all know who the author is don't you- Francis Gilbert? Former teacher and now author and journalist on all things educational.
But this doesn't mean the OP is not FG!

BeckAndCall Mon 28-Oct-13 07:19:31

This thread should not be about pag's apology. It should be about the ridiculous idea that one book will ensure an English student will achieve a first by sticking to its recommendations.

Ridiculous idea. Speaking as the parent of an English student at a RG uni hoping to get a first. So all that effort she's put in, the in depth study and original sources research - all she had to do was read this. Damn. Wish I'd known.

Is there one for biochemistry too? I'll make sure DD 2 reads it.....

Pagwatch Mon 28-Oct-13 06:59:38


I had already apologised. The OP has already graciously accepted my apology so is there a reason you need to keep flogging that as if I didn't.

Do you have some particular axe you are grinding, because you seem quite determined?

And DS1 is reading a couple of books a week so no, the extra book is not the issue. The op read like an ad

rhetorician Sun 27-Oct-13 21:44:23

Hmmm...I think reading the prescribed books for your course and listening to the advice your lecturers give you on all the topics outlined in the book would probably be more useful than reading a how-to guide. But if it helps, why not? My reservations are about the fact that students might think this is some kind of quick fix...

MrPricklepants Sun 27-Oct-13 21:39:48

But the OP really did look like an advert. It looked like someone coming on to peddle their ebook implying that it's an amazing source of information for English students.

whendidyoulast Sun 27-Oct-13 20:46:20

It's pretty weird to think that the few lectures and handouts you get during an English degree course render books unnecessary.

No matter how much you pay for it.

I also think that when someone posts a link to what she thinks might be a helpful and free book it's just not nice for everybody to rush to say their kids or their education are too superior to find it helpful.

The book clearly covers more than how to avoid plagiarism.

MadameDefarge Sun 27-Oct-13 19:17:21

If my child goes on to study English at uni, I would be devastated if he needed such a book.

If he is that stupid he should give up his place to someone worthier than him of further education.

Pagwatch Sun 27-Oct-13 18:06:42


Well at least I apologised for my rudeness
And my rudeness was born of
a) reading the post as an ad and
b) being a bit horrified at the idea that I am spending thousands of pounds on an education for my son which won't cover 'try to avoid plagiarism'.

You just seem to be rude for the enjoyment of it.
hmm indeed

cory Sun 27-Oct-13 16:55:42

I wouldn't be impressed by a Humanities faculty who didn't provide their own information about such matters as how to avoid plagiarism. Whether students take it on board or not is, of course a different matter.

I frequently have students sobbing that they had no idea about plagiarism, even though:

*all the information is in the Student Handbook to which they are directed when they start their year.

*they cannot submit an assignment without ticking the box to say they have read this information and understood it.

*the module coordinator provides an extra information sheet on how it applies to this particular module.

*the tutor gives a talk on it in the first seminar.

But it may just be that another book would do the trick.

However, I do think the way you phrase your OP is slightly misleading.

"all the basics students need to know to achieve highly on an English course at university" seems to suggest that if only you take on board the advice given and learn about all the areas he mentions you are bound to get a First.

No, you won't. Not if you can't write intelligent essays with interesting ideas. And not everybody will be able to do that, however dutifully they read up on the fables of Aesop etc.

Just like not everybody will be able to be a professional ballerina just because they know all the moves and put the right number of hours into exercising. To achieve highly you need that little bit extra.

It's more the other way round: even if you are highly gifted, you won't get anywhere without doing the things in the e-book, too. But doing them isn't the only thing that is required.

whendidyoulast Sun 27-Oct-13 15:18:11

Oh, yes, why on earth would anyone studying English benefit from reading a book on the subject hmm.

Agree that Pag's was an extraordinarily rude as well as a bizarre response.

Thanks for the link Abuelita. I'll mention it to students.

Pagwatch Sun 27-Oct-13 10:19:10

I am glad that was an x-post
I was rude but my rudeness was mine - nothing generational about it. I am never comfortable with the idea of stereotyping huge groups in order to insult one person.

If the e-book is free then it won't hurt for any student who feel the need to have a look. I remain of the view that anyone doing a decent quaity degree shouldn't need it. But thanks for the link.

Im pretty familiar with the fees situation. Thanks.

Abuelita Sun 27-Oct-13 09:02:05

Sorry, Pagwatch. Our messages crossed. I accept your apology and shouldn't have been so hasty.

The reasons why someone doing a degree course would need a book is that it gives useful advice eg about avoiding plagiarism. When I did my OU course I used the OU study guides and found them very helpful. Kindles weren't around then and I certainly would have welcomed a free resource to help me do my best.

The link was offered in a spirit of helpfulness, no more.

And the reason your son is having to pay so much is because this government with the connivance of the LibDems increased tuition fees. This makes me very angry but would be the subject of another thread. Young people are our future and we should be supporting them not saddling them with debt.

I wish your son good luck.

MrPricklepants Sun 27-Oct-13 09:01:11

this book covers all the basics students need to know to achieve highly on an English course at university

It does look like an advert and a highly doubt a free e book will cover all the basics and guarantee you achieve highly. Are you an English graduate who achieved highly and used this book?
There's nothing wrong with sharing but it does look like you're advertising it.

Abuelita Sun 27-Oct-13 08:56:27

Yes, I suppose it does sound like an ad. I thought it would be useful especially as it costs nothing at the moment. And no, I'm not the author.

And I can reply without being ill-mannered.

Must be a generational thing.

Pagwatch Sun 27-Oct-13 08:53:53

My reply was rude. I apologise.
But seriously - why the jeff does someone doing a full time degree course need a book.

Pagwatch Sun 27-Oct-13 08:45:24

Erm, he is studying at Exeter and paying a lot to do so.

Why the fuck does he need an e-book?
And are you by any chance the author?

Because this looks very much like an ad

Abuelita Sun 27-Oct-13 08:40:51

Written by an experienced teacher and university lecturer, this book covers all the basics students need to know to achieve highly on an English course at university.

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