Barry talks about enjoying researching and writing essays
Chapter details: Barry feels he gained a lot from drawing together multiple perspectives, balancing different ideas against each other, backing them up with evidence and concentrating his ideas within a short word limit
Barry
Subject: History of Art
Student status: Home, Mature Graduate
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Transcript:

I did find the essays very powerful. I'm not an actual researcher by inclination yet I enjoyed doing research and trying to get multiple views and multiple perspectives on what I was being asked to answer in the essay. I found 2000 words a very powerful concentrator of my ideas and my language and I also found the essay a very powerful way of coming to conclusions in, I hope, a balanced way by explaining what I was setting out to prove and then proving it, I hope, with some pithy and succinct example rather than by generalisations and generic comments about it. And so once I'd got a handle on how to answer the essays I think my marks came together rather better because I was able to be much more clear about what I was trying to achieve again so that was a very powerful focus.

You can research until you're blue in the face but actually having to write something down and come to a conclusion and answer a question within 2000 words is a really powerful way of focusing you to get your ideas down in a balanced but in a succinct fashion so I found that fascinating.