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Academic Skills Blog

During the University’s extended assessment period, you may have to write a dissertation or take an online ‘open book’ exam away from campus.

If you need to brush up your essay-writing skills and exam techniques, the Academic Skills Blog has lots of useful tips and short videos including:


Getting started on your essay
Analyse the key elements of the essay title and brainstorm questions to form an essay plan and start your research.

How to analyse essay titles and questions
Develop techniques to identify and understand what the tutor wants you to write about in the essay.

Understanding instruction words in academic essay titles
Understand the meaning of common instruction or command words so you know how to answer the essay question properly.

Including a thesis statement in your essay
Find out what a ‘thesis statement’ is and why using one in the essay’s introduction will help you to stay focused.

Make your writing flow – Logical connections
How using ‘logical connections’ provides an essential map for your reader to navigate your writing.

Make your writing flow 2 – Topic sentences
Using ‘topic sentences’ in paragraphs and how they create a framework for the ideas in your writing.

Make your writing flow 3 – Transitions
How using connections within and between paragraphs helps your reader move easily from one sentence to the next.

Make your writing flow 4 – Clear and concise style
The importance of using a clear and concise style to help your reader understand your meaning.

Make your writing flow 5 – Variety and rhythm
How adding variety and rhythm to your sentence structures helps improve the flow of your work and keeps your reader engaged.

Writing a reflective essay
Highlighting the key things you need to know to ensure you are making your writing ‘reflective’.

Exam preparation

Top tips for exam preparation
Essential pointers on preparing for exams, from attending online revision sessions to practising past exam questions

Top tips for taking open book exams 1 – Preparation
What to do when preparing for an ‘open book’ exam.

Top tips for taking open book exams 2 – On the day
What to do during the exam, for example analysing the question and planning your answer carefully.

Mastering multiple choice question (MCQ) exams
How to tackle an ‘MCQ’, for example familiarising yourself with the different question types.

More help on essay and reflective writing, dissertation support, writing business reports and verbal reasoning skills for assessment centre tests will be added soon. Follow @BathSkills on Twitter for the latest posts or subscribe to the Academic Skills blog.

Good luck!