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A fifth of students believe that teaching standards at their university are poor

A fifth of students believe that teaching standards at their university are poor, according to research.

A survey of 3,400 undergraduates by the website Student Hut found that 19.6 per are unimpressed by lectures and seminars.

Some 20.8 per cent believe that levels of support available outside of timetables sessions was lacking, it emerged.
Dan Lever, founder of Student Hut, which is a Trip Advisor-style website enabling students to rate their degree, said many students “feel that their experiences are not living up to the expectations they were sold in brochures”.

This corroborates our own findings about what students think of the quality of their tuition, and further validates our reason for being, and the services we offer. However bad the teaching might be at their universities, students can always come to us for advice and help with their university work, and can buy exemplary model essays which set the tone for the work they need to produce themselves.

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University often ‘wasted on teenagers’, says UCAS chief

Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), says that university is sometimes “wasted on the young” because many school leavers end up choosing the wrong degree course.

Too many teenagers, particularly those from middle-class backgrounds, seem to “sleepwalk” into university due to expectations from their parents, teachers and friends. It’s seen to be the “done thing” so sure enough, they end up doing it – and often without giving it proper thought.

In a speech to head teachers Mary Curnock Cook said the penalties for students who choose the wrong course can be severe. Many drop out or don’t do as well as they could. And all are saddled with large debts.

The comments – to a meeting of the International Baccalaureate Schools and Colleges Association in London – follow the publication of figures showing that more than 26,000 students dropped out of university last year.

Around one-in-15 undergraduates – 6.7 per cent – failed to complete the first year of their degree, while many more were forced to transfer to another course or university.

On the subject of debt and the cost of university fees, Mrs Curnock Cook said that the introduction of higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 was having a positive effect as it forced more 18 and 19-year-olds to “pause for thought” before making applications. No doubt it is also giving lots of middle class parents a similar reason to question whether university should be the default path immediately after leaving school.

The UCAS chief (who didn’t go to university until her 40s) said more school leavers should consider deferring a degree until their 20s or 30s to ensure they make the right decision. Lots of universities report that older, more mature students generally get better results too.

Of course, at whatever age a student decides to go to university, Oxbridge Essays provides a unique supporting role in helping students to make the most of their time, and to maximise their potential.

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Model Essays Make Model Students

Having a large team of writers who represent all of the major UK universities across a broad range of academic disciplines gives us a unique insight into the state of play across UK Higher Education. It’s a great resource to have available. So, from time to time we take full advantage to find out a bit more about what goes on in those establishments by surveying our teams of writers. We’re interested to find out any information that might have a bearing on the future products and services we could offer, and generally what we can do to help the current generation students with their university writing. The results are always interesting, and the most recent survey we ran was no different.

The best essay writing company in the UK
According to our writers, Oxbridge Essays is the best essay writing company in the UK. That’s what they said. Now, patently they’re a tad biased as they work for us, but a number of them also work for other essay companies so it’s not as though they’re uninformed.

They also felt that students who buy university essays from Oxbridge Essays have a significantly improved chance of achieving a 2:1 or higher in their final degree.

Our law writers felt that a student taking advantage of Oxbridge Essays’ service stands a better chance than other students of finding employment at London’s the most prestigious law firms.

This was all very welcome to hear, but it wasn’t primarily what we were asking them about!

Intrinsic problems in literacy
What we were primarily interested in was how today’s generation of students are shaping up with regard to their ability to think and to articulate those thoughts in writing. The bad news for UK education in general is that the same problems that have bedevilled us for the past few decades are still very much in evidence.

More than 50% of our writers who teach at leading UK universities have encountered students who are unable to identify an incomplete sentence, who don’t know the basic rules of grammar, and who have never received any guidance on how to structure a piece of prose. Over 60% said that they regularly encounter students who have never been taught techniques for how to answer an exam question. And more than 90% reported that their students have never been introduced to thinking techniques which would allow them to analyse, dissect or unpack a statement, hypothesis or argument.

As well as highlighting the same old failings in students attending university in the UK, our survey also revealed the way that universities are still failing to address these shortcomings.

Fewer than 5% of respondents who teach in university departments said that their departments provide any kind of guidance on academic writing. It’s not fair to tar all establishments with the same brush: there were some university departments who provided complete courses (10 weeks or more) in writing for first-year students. Sadly, those departments were very much in the minority.

Model Essays make model students
As our survey results make plain, there is still a strong imperative for Oxbridge Essays to continue to provide our essential services to students. Without our help and guidance with essays and dissertations, a large number of students at UK universities would not be able to achieve the grades that they are truly capable of.

Our model essays and the supporting analysis and materials we also provide are a toolkit that anyone can use to unlock the techniques required to take on a university course and be able to provide written work of the appropriate quality.

We see it time and time again: students who come through our doors unable to string their thoughts together can be transformed into writers perfectly able to turn in a well argued, finely structured essay or dissertation. Put simply, our model essays can be the difference between an academic ‘no hoper’ and a model student.

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Top 10 Tips for Writing a Dissertation Methodology

Masters Dissertations from Oxbridge Essays1. Problem. The methodology typically follows your literature review, so for the purposes of clarity and regaining focus it is useful briefly to recap the central research questions of your dissertation. Define and explain the problems which you seek to address.

2. Approach. Give an overview of your approach to primary research in order to guide the reader and contextualise your methodology. By identifying all methodological aspects to which to will attend – rationale, justification, sampling issues, etc. – you can signal unambiguously to the reader that you fully understand the implications of thorough, astute methodology.

3. Reproducibility. The ability to reproduce the results of an experiment is a hallmark of proper scientific method; in the humanities also, reproducibility indicates greater credibility and usefulness. Provide a detailed description of your techniques, such that those wishing to challenge your position could, if they wished, reproduce the same research.

4. Precedence. Consider whether your research methodology is typical of comparable research projects within your particular subject area. A review of the relevant literature will doubtless find some comparable endeavours, in which case the adoption of those methodologies may lend authority to your approach.

5. Justification. It is absolutely essential that you provide sound reasons for the methods your have chosen to conduct your research. This aspect is particularly important when adopting a novel or non-standard methodology. Approaches at odds with comparable endeavours require considerable rigorous justification.

6. Rationale. No matter what type of research, there is almost always a number of methodological approaches available. In your rationale, critically evaluate alternate approaches in order to defend the methods you have finally chosen. Weigh up the pros and cons of all relevant alternatives, including your own choice.

7. Reliability and validity. Essential considerations in all types of research, issues of reliability and validity must be explicitly discussed. Many matters fall under this area, including accuracy, precision, sources of error and statistical significance.

8. Sampling. Questions concerning sampling techniques and sample size can be considered under reliability and validity, but are often important enough to be given special attention. The impact of sample size upon statistical significance of your results is an issue of such importance that you should be mindful of this when designing and writing up your methodology.

9. Appendix. Keep your methodology chapter focussed and lucidly written by appending indirectly relevant material to the end of your dissertation. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological material should usually be placed in the appendix.

10. Generalisation. Include a section in your methodology which directly addresses the question of how far data obtained through your approach can be generalised. Bear this issue in mind when designing your methodology too, as results with general significance outside of your direct data set will tend to increase the persuasiveness of your eventual findings.

Link to: Dissertation services, Dissertation methodology, Dissertation methodology examples

Masters Dissertations from Oxbridge Essays

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Top 10 Masters Dissertation Writing Tips

Masters Dissertations from Oxbridge Essays1. Research objectives. When writing a dissertation at Masters level it is essential to consider all aspects from which the strength of the piece will be assessed. Original, relevant, manageable research objectives must be formulated – and stated with precision – in order to signal the serious and considered nature of the work you are to undertake.

2. critical review. It must be shown that your precisely stated research objectives were not snatched out of thin air but emerged as important questions from a thorough critical review of existing research and background literature. Your consummate ability to analyse critically a large volume of material must be coupled with an alert mindfulness of the relevance for your own avenues of research.

3. Deficiencies. Develop the confidence to turn your analytical gaze to existing research in order to identify shortcomings in your chosen field. Identification of deficiencies in existing knowledge is necessary to justify the particular direction of your research objectives, which aim to address such deficiencies and make a valuable novel contribution to the field.

4. Scope. It is not enough that the content of your novel findings be excellently communicated; you must also articulate the scope and position of your work in its broader academic context. Demonstrate your mastery of the subject area by clearly signposting how your dissertation fits in, as well as the limits of its scope.

5. Originality. Originality is, needless to say, a core component of extended pieces of work at Masters level. Having created suitable objectives, gained a thorough understanding of deficiencies in existing knowledge and remained mindful of the scope of your work, you have laid the foundations for making a genuinely original contribution to the knowledge base of your subject area.

6. Methodology. An absolutely key aspect of any dissertation is a thorough discussion of, and justification for, the methodology you have selected. Compare and contrast competing alternatives and thoroughly analyse each to make a convincing rationale for your final choice. Data collection methods should be described in detail such that your research can be reproduced by others. Qualitative research tools such as questionnaires should be put in the appendix.

7. Analysis. Irrespective of the type of research you have undertaken, an extremely important aspect of your final dissertation will be the quality of your analysis. For investigations with a heavy quantitative component, sophisticated statistical analysis will need to be in evidence. Bear in mind also that even more qualitative methods can generally be found to have some statistically analysable numerical component.

8. Findings. The final stages of your dissertation must include a detailed discussion of your findings and the conclusions that you have drawn from these. All conclusive statements should be diligently and precisely crafted to leave no room for ambiguity. Each should also be entirely defensible either empirically or by sound reasoning. A summary of results and conclusions should also appear early in your abstract.

9. Significance of your work. A proper concluding chapter is not complete without the serious consideration of the academic significance of your findings for the subject area. This area of discussion should directly recall material from the critical review of current literature and aim to place the present findings in a wider context.

10. Academic conventions. A short reminder where, at this stage, one should not really be necessary: be impeccably faultless in your fluent use of standard academic conventions, including appropriate use of appendices, bibliographies, abstracts, title pages, in-text referencing and footnotes.

Useful links: Masters Dissertation Examples, Custom Masters Dissertations, Masters Dissertations

Masters Dissertations from Oxbridge Essays

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