Hamisu Adamu Dandajeh, from Nigeria
MSc (Engineering and Computer Science): Sustainable Energy systems
"Attending a few tutorials at the start of my Master’s course really helped me understand how to go about writing an excellent essay. I did my first degree in Nigeria, where I didn’t have to do any written coursework, so when I came here I was a bit nervous about how to go about it. I had 17 pieces of coursework to do, and the criteria for marking involved so many different things. The tutor told me what a successful essay should be composed of, how to have an academic voice, and how to be critical. She showed me some examples of other students’ coursework and showed me how they were structured. It’s given me the confidence to write really excellent coursework and I think I have become more independent now. I just got my results yesterday, and across all my modules I got an average of 82%!"
Hossay Khorami, from the UK
MA (History): Islam and the West
"I did my undergrad in English and Spanish so I should be able to write an essay, but when it comes to Master’s level, I just have this fear that I’m not really prepared for it. I find it hard to judge how I’m doing, and my subject is outside of the areas that I’ve studied before. So I’m always a bit hesitant about the expectations, how I’m supposed to structure an essay, or whether my argument is clear. In tutorials, we worked on my introduction, and then checked to see whether the whole essay followed a good structure and flowed together. And both times we’ve done this, I’ve managed to get a distinction. So I’m really happy."
Arezki Elghers, from France
BSc Computer Science (4th Year)
"I’ve attended tutorials all the way through my degree. Maybe four or five each year. They’ve really helped me, especially with my report for my final year project. Sometimes when I write, I’m still thinking in my mother tongue, so someone reading my essay will say ‘I know what you mean, but it’s better if you express it in this way’. And sometimes the essays are really short, so every word has to count. In Computer Science, we’re not really comfortable with writing. We’re more problem-solving people, but I’m learning how to write the way my department wants, and I’m even showing other people on my course how to do it! I really want to say thank you to everyone for helping me and being really patient with me."
Michael Kwabena Gyawu, from Germany
BSc Mathematics (3rd year)
"I’m applying for a Master’s degree, so need to write a good personal statement. Before I came to the tutorial I had a lot of thoughts in my mind and ideas that I wanted to talk about, but writing them down was very difficult. I had so many examples I wanted to include and I thought they were inspiring me but they were not necessarily coherent. I had looked at some other examples of personal statements and I thought I would never be able to write an original statement like those. In the tutorial, we talked first about the structure, deciding which paragraph should come where and how to make the sentences flow together. Then we looked at ways to use my ideas better, like not just saying that I have realised my past mistakes, but also to say how I will do things differently in the future. I’m very very happy now with my statement. I feel that it’s what I wanted to write and I feel comfortable with it."