by Anita Asiedu '14, studying abroad in Australia
“Your thesis is your first sentence. It can even be a paragraph on its own. Next, you can have a paragraph outlining what your essay will be about. You could begin that paragraph by saying ‘there will be a discussion of…’ After these two paragraphs, you get right to defending your thesis.”
I sat amazed as my tutor--a professor who doesn’t teach but leads weekly tutorials/seminars that constitute the discussion part of the class--essentially tore down the writing philosophy I have cultivated during my time at F&M.
Even though I strongly disagree with my tutor’s prescribed writing method, I understand why Sydney University encourages it. Tutors and professors have to mark hundreds of essays that are worth so much of students’ grades (mine is worth 40%), that they must get through them as fairly and efficiently as possible.
And students’ role in this process? Cut to the chase as quickly as possible, preferably with your thesis. It’s not about making your essay stand out or be more interesting; it is about following rules.
I never thought I would say this, but I miss writing papers at F&M!