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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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2 Identifying key concerns

2.1 Your feelings about writing

Think for a moment about your reasons for studying this course. Is it perhaps because you don't understand what is expected of you in your assignments, or that you aren't clear about how to improve? What are your feelings about your writing skills? What previous experience have you had (if any) of essay or report writing?

Activity 1

You might find it helpful to write down your thoughts at this stage in your Learning Journal and keep them for future reference. You can look back on them at another time and see if they have changed in any way.


Don't be despondent if some of your responses are negative. It's the aim of this course to turn those negatives into positives. In a few months’ time, you should be able to look back on these initial responses and feel that you have made progress.

Do any of the following relate to your own circumstances?

  • It's a very long time since I've done anything like this. I've forgotten how to do it.

  • I'm not familiar with the British educational system. What I was taught seems to be quite different from what is expected here.

  • I feel I'm putting myself up just to be shot down. I'm really exposing my weaknesses.

  • I enjoy writing, but there seems to be a mystique to this kind of ‘academic’ writing that I can't fathom.

  • I love writing essays but this course requires reports, and I feel frustrated because they constrain my style.

  • I find that I write in one way for one tutor, and that's acceptable to her, but then the next tutor says I should do it differently. What is right?