From staff nurse to nurse consultant Academic essays part 6: planning your essay

10 December 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 22


John Fowler, Educational Consultant, explores academic writing

I've just estimated that as a nursing lecturer I must have supported approximately 6000 students on an individual basis in writing one of their essays for submission as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Procedures vary at different universities and have changed over time, but the standard way that personal tutor support is structured for students is to allocate about 40 minutes of individual tutorial time with a lecturer for each formal assignment. This may be face to face, in small groups or online. From this experience I developed a simple tutorial structure that, if the student followed it, gave them an almost 100% potential for a successful assignment grade. The tutorial time is split into two 20-minute sessions. Session one is to review the student's 200-word bullet point plan and the second tutorial, about 6 weeks later, is to review 300 words of a sample page of what they considered to be their finished written standard. The structure of the plan will be considered in this article and the 300-word sample writing will be considered in the next article on demonstrating comparative analysis.

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