Quick Tip #1 – Westlaw searches

Quick Tip: –

If you are struggling to find information on Westlaw because your search is turning up too many results, try using the Westlaw subject hierarchy. This allows you to search journal articles, cases, legislation etc using the subjects which the document has been tagged with. It’s a considerably more exact way of searching than, for example, a keyword search.

It’s also very simple to use:

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Workshop: Assessment Criteria & Essay Structure

It was lovely seeing you at the workshop on ‘Assessment Criteria & Essay Structure’ yesterday.

Here are the slides that were used: Assessment Criteria Powerpoint Slides

We highlighted that it is important to have a good structure to help develop your arguments and make it easier or the reader/marker to understand the point that you are trying to make. To do so, we revisited the burger analogy from an earlier post.parts-of-a-paragraph

A good essay like a burger, will have an introduction (the bread bun), analysis (the filling – with different/separate components that support each other) and a conclusion (the bread bun base). It should have a logical and coherent structure, where the central argument is evident and the sections complement each other.

  1. Introduction

The introduction should outline the rationale behind your approach/work – that is, why it is relevant. Also, what is relevant i.e. what law you will use; scope and limitations – recognising the parameters of the task, as well as, your central argument. From there, it should also briefly touch upon how you’re going to answer the question, which primarily refers to the structure of your essay e.g. Part 1… Part 2… Part 3…

2. Analysis

In a burger, the ‘filling’ is arguably the best ‘bit’ of the burger, so the analysis should be the main section and ‘best bit’ or bulk of your essay. It will be formed of different components, which should be linked to each other and your central argument.

As per the assessment criteria, you should:

  • Summarise and synthesise issues arising from the law;
  • Be able to use academic arguments to support your work in a concise manner;
  • Be able to engage with these academic arguments;
  • Narrow and focus on relevant issues;
  • Consider areas for reform or recommendations

(For further details, please refer to the LLM Assessment Criteria in the LLM Programme Handbook, which can be found on UWE Blackboard).

To help your analysis, sub-headings can help ‘sign-post’ different aspects of your work and help break it down into specific sections.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion will finish your essay. It should link back to your introduction and the central argument that you introduced and summarise the earlier analysis. Because you’ll have already undertaken the analysis, the conclusion can draw on these earlier arguments. It should be noted that the conclusion is not a place to introduce new arguments or concepts.

 

 

 

Essay Structure

In this post, you can access an example of an LLM essay:  Example essay

This essay has been annotated to give an explanation of how essay structure has been used to answer the question. It must be stressed that there are many ways to structure an essay, and that a lot will depend on your personal writing style, the topic and the argument/s you wish to build. This example is intended only to show how structure may be used to form an answer, and illustrate the importance of structure within essays.

Please note: If you have problems downloading the essay, open the folder containing the download, right click on the file, and open with Microsoft Word.

If comments aren’t appearing on the right, you can click on the comment icon and this will open the comment bar.

Saving your work: OneDrive

Did you hear the story of the student whose computer was stolen and their coursework on it? Or the story where the student was in the middle of writing an important paper and there was a power cut?

(The last one was me recently, when there was a power cut on Frenchay campus!)

Or the broken USB stick the day of the oral assessment?

No, these are not horror stories to scare you, they are simply things that happened to friends or even myself! When you lose your work, it’s so frustrating trying to remember what you’ve written or retracing your thoughts, plus it eats into your time for assessments.

In the past, there weren’t many options available, but now you have all sorts of ways of saving:

  • On your computer
  • Google Drive
  • USB stick
  • OneDrive
  • Dropbox
  • Portable hard drive

Handy tip: It’s always good to save more than 1 copy of your work. Just in case something happens! I’ve had USB drives suddenly corrupt, but have always been thankful I keep a spare copy of my work on OneDrive.

Did you know you have 1Tb of cloud storage online as part of your UWE account?

You can access it via email. This can be accessed anywhere via your browser at home or at university or even your mobile phone.

How to access:

Click the little squares in the top left screen after logging into your UWE email. Then click ‘Onedrive’.

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You then can upload relevant documents by clicking the button ‘upload’.

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Not only that, you can make files available to friends and edit the same document at the same time! Here’s what you do:

Click the share icon and email friends. If you give them permission to edit, they can save their changes on the file without the tiresome job of emailing or messaging each other to and fro via email or Facebook!

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Workshop 17/11/2016 – Presentations & Poster/Pitch Advice

It was good to see so many of you yesterday. We hope you found the session helpful.

Here are the slides we used, as well as some key points, which you will no doubt remember, and be itching to put into practice!

slide2slide3If you are late for your presentation you will not be able to present, and will receive a no-score for your presentation.

Avoid holding large bits of paper, these can be distracting, encourage you to simply read from the page, or the paper can start to creep up and begin to cover your face!

While you are not expected to wear a suit, it is important to set the appropriate tone for the presentations, it is a formal assessment so please dress appropriately

slide4Do not rely on cloud storage, bring a USB drive with you, and then use the cloud as a back up.

Your presentation will need to be backed up by research, evidenced by a bibliography, this is best completed in a word document and printed separately, as it will be harder to read on a slide

Print out your slides so the examiners can follow the presentation, and refer back to slides after you have finished.

slide5Your examiners are the audience, talk to them, and not the cameras

They will be taking notes, so will not always be looking at you, do not be put off by this, it is not a bad thing, just continue with your presentation.

The questions will relate to your presentation, they are not there to trip you up they are to help you expand on your argument and improve your marks.

slide6slide7Avoid speaking in a monotone  voice, there should be natural inflection to your speech.

Pace yourself, try not to speak to quickly

Breathe! It helps a lot, honestly. Do not be afraid to pause for a moment, collect your thoughts and carry on with your point.

There should be a clear structure to your slides and this should be conveyed to the examiners with an outline slide which you then follow.

Link your presentation together, make sure you set out your aims at the start and refer back to them at the end.

slide8Avoid extensive text, keep to bullet points and expand on them in your presentation. It is too tempting to just read from the slides if you have this much text. Also, you will then loose the attention of your audience as they will be reading the slide, and not listening to you.

slide9Avoid animations, if you do use them, keep it simple.

slide10The text needs be big enough to read and in a colour which can be read.

 

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Attention to detail is important, check your spelling!

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slide17The focus of your poster should be on how your methodology and methods will be used to answer the question.

Your question needs to be a legal issue!

It needs to be justified, but you should not answer the question in the poster, you have not completed the research yet, and the poster is to demonstrate HOW you will do the research.

 

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A good poster will be easy to read and guide the reader around it.

Think about the structure of your poster

Avoid pictures that make it harder to read the poster, if you have text over images make sure the text is legible.

If you are using colours, make sure they do not render the text unreadable.

Keep text to a minimum, be concise, this will help the reader understand the poster in a short amount of time, excessive text will take up space and is unlikely to be read.