Millie
Subject: English Literature
Student status: Home, Finalist
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Transcript:

In the first year we had three different modules and they were all quite different styles of writing but then all the same as well they were all very useful and I think probably to be honest in first year it is about jumping through the hoops, it is about recognising different ways of approaching a text and being able to translate them into your own style whereas in third year I very much felt that it was my style. It was me responding to it in my particular way with confidence whereas in the first year I just simply didn't have that skill entirely because I was in a way mimicking what had been discussed instead of asking what was the best way to approach a question quite honestly.

OK so that was what you were doing in the first year but then in the second and third did it seem like you took control of it a bit more you were doing things that had value to yourself or were you still trying to second guess what examiner's wanted, how did it work after first year?

I think in second year quite simply it just clicked with me and I thought right like I said I just had the confidence to respond to a question. It wasn't so much about I wasn't second guessing examiners, it was obviously very useful to have a lecturer say 'This is the best way, the best way to strongly argue about something' but I've always tried to follow quite a simple structure but effective at answering an essay. That meant that I would obviously take in what lecturers said but I wouldn't always use it because you know sometimes it might just not be the way that I'd want to go about answering a question.

It would probably seem a bit false and then I think it's better to try to put your own style out there and have someone reassure you that it's good rather then desperately try and mimic what you've been told. So yeah it definitely changed in second year and I think it was changing in the first year it's just that I wasn't as confident and I just wanted to do well, I just wanted to pass and know that I was coming here again next year whereas in the second year and definitely in the third year it had all sunk in and I was doing it I think for my own personal value.

So it was almost as though you'd gained the confidence from having got the building blocks together in the first year and realised you were on the right track to then find your own voice?

Yes.

And that was just as valid as any other way of sort of answering the questions.

Yes I think you're bound to change your style as you go along quite simply because you read more, in honesty, because I think in first year I'd obviously done a lot of reading but it did seem at times quite a lot to take in because it was three different modules and things that I'd never experienced before or even heard about before in some of them. Whereas in second year like I said I had quite a better idea of what I wanted to do and what I'd read and what type of genres I'd do and what type of style and how to respond to that in an effective way.