Friday, 17 October 2008

The Essay Progresses

Sometimes I have real problems finding enough to say in essays to fill the word count required. For this course it seems to be that I am having the opposite problem.

I have drafted and redrafted the essay for the first part of the TMA, and I am still a few words over the limit set but it is possible that by careful rephrasing in one or two sentences I can lose the excess 24 words fairly easily. That is one of my tasks for tomorrow.

I felt from the start of preparing the material for the second essay in this TMA that I would have significant problems saying enough to reach the word count. My notes have been massaged, and drafted a couple of times, and I have just sat down to type up what I have written so far and I find that I have already used 417 words of my 500 word limit. This would not be a problem if it were not for the fact that I still have the two most important areas for comparison to write. It seems that this essay is going to turn out to require in excess of 600 words to carry out the task set.

The OU is very strict in its word limits for essays in the TMAs. If they say that the limit is 500 words, it must mean that it is possible to answer the question set in that number of words or slightly less. This means that after I have finished drafting this second essay, I am going to have to wield a fairly strict 'blue pencil' and ensure that I express myself a little more succinctly. I'm sure that it can be done, but I'm not sure that it is going to be a quick job. It looks as though there is quite a bit more work to be done on this TMA before it is ready to be sent off.

However, I have checked the course calendar, and with the additional reading that I have already done on later chapters of the course book, and the activities and exercises associated with them that I have also carried out, I am about 6 weeks ahead of schedule now. Part of this is because I am finding this course fairly easy after having spent a couple of years studying at postgraduate level, and partly because I am finding it so interesting that I don't mind setting aside the time to do the work.

The bonus in all of this is that because I am finding it fairly easy to keep myself occupied, my depression is nowhere near as bad as it was just a couple of weeks ago. Studying was my lifeline in the early years of my widowhood; it seems as though it is still maintaining my sanity and helping to lighten my mood even after all these years.


Caroline said...

In the dim and distant past I attended a posh girls school and one of the things that featured in our English work with monotonous regularity was precis. I could never see the point until I came to do academic essays and realised that sometimes axe wielding is a necessary part of the process - after all these years I still hate that part of the process - still, it's worse the other way when you are desperately trying to eke out too few points to reach the limit. Anyone who has done an essay will know just where you are coming from. I also get where you are coming from about occupying yourself to save your sanity in times of great loss - that's how I ended up running a business! x

The Shrink said...

Glad it's going well. If it's any consolation as time's moved on I've also found that I'm appallingly bad at generating any written work in a concise sort of fashion!