How Tutorials at Oxford Summer Courses help improve your Essay Writing Skills

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Date of Publication: 30 April 2014

The Tutorial is structured around the essay you write. Before you go to the tutorial you will write an essay on a question set by the tutor, they will give you some reading to do and from that you will write them an essay before the tutorial itself. If this sounds a little scary then don’t worry! Not only will you have all the reading, but you will also have the residential deans (all Oxford students or alumni) to give you advice. Once you’ve written the essay the next stage is the tutorial itself. The tutorial will take your essay as the starting point for the discussion, the tutor will work through the argument you’ve made and take the discussion from there.

I found, as I had my first tutorials here at Oxford that I really had no idea how to write a good essay, but my fears were quickly allayed. While I wasn’t happy with what I had written my tutors were so helpful in guiding my arguments, helping me to understand what I had missed and how better to present it in my essays.

The good news is that along with your tutor at Oxford Summer Courses, the Residential Deans are there to give you advice. When you leave us at Oxford Summer Courses I can guarantee that you will not only have more confidence in writing your essays, but you’ll be writing better essays!

The discussion of your essay in the tutorial can be invaluable if you find that you’ve missed out some important content, or missed an argument – or (hopefully) whether you’ve managed to cover all the content you needed to! As you talk about your argument you’ll also see how you could improve your essay structure, you’ll also get comments from your tutor on the essay, which will help you with writing the next one.

This is incredibly valuable since writing essays is vital both at school and university, but it is really quite difficult to get right. It took me a long time to work out how to do it well. But, unlike submitting an essay to a teacher or to a lecturer you will be able to talk in detail about what you wrote with the person you’ve submitted it to. This is incredibly valuable and one of the best things about the Tutorial.

 

Read more about our teaching methods here: Our Teaching

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photo (c) John Cairns

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