Productive Things That Aren’t Studying
  • washing the dishes
  • making your bed
  • tidying your book/dvd shelf/shelves
  • cleaning the cupboard/wardrobe
  • reading
  • sleeping
  • writing a blog
  • planning your month/week/day
  • replying to messages or asks
  • responding to emails
  • sorting through letters/mail
  • clearing your email inbox
  • organising stationery
  • clean your sinks
  • clean your toilets
  • pet your pet
  • sort through old clothes
  • give to charity
  • go on a walk
  • go on a run
  • clean down any surfaces
  • work out
  • meal prep
  • get rid of empty shampoo bottles from the shower
  • clean out old food from the cupboard/fridge
  • empty out your school bag
  • call your parent
  • unfriend/unfollow people you no longer interact with
  • watch a TEDTalk
  • empty the bins/trash
  • clean the mirrors in your house
  • hug your pet
  • wash some clothes
  • buy any birthday cards/presents that you need to
  • reply to any old texts
  • make a tumblr post on productive things that aren’t studying

Bored of being told to listen to classical music? Here is a list of great study music from your favorite video games, movies and more. 

aesthetics and smooth

video games

ambient sounds

from the screen

acoustics / bands (with lyrics)

* personal favorites 

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#jasminestudyblrchallenge @justjasminestudying

day 18- make an advice post

I’ve actually been wanting to make an infographic for ageeesss so I had a blast at this challenge!!

Back to School: How to Get an A*/8 or 9 in an English Lit Essay!

Happy September, everyone!

As we all get our gears in motion to start a new year, I thought I would share my top tips for scoring the highest marks in English Literature essays. 

(P.S. Lots of these tips are applicable to other subjects too)


1. Don’t write about the character as if they are real

Unfortunately, this is a common error in English Lit essays. It is absolutely imperative to remember that a character is not a person, but is a construct of the writer in order to present an idea or theme. No matter the question, you should be linking your answer back to the writer’s ideas and theme of the text, even if it doesn’t seem obvious what the theme is on the first inspection of the question. Using the author’s name frequently in your essay will demonstrate that you recognise the character is not a real person - ‘Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle as…’

2. Don’t analyse the plot

Avoid analysing the plot or when things happen in the text. Don’t write ‘When X happens it makes us think Y’. Instead:

  • Analyse the writer’s use of language, structure and form to create meaning
  • Do a close language analysis of specific words/phrases, including a sound analysis (plosives, assonance, etc.)
  • Do a structural analysis of what happens when and why that’s important (Freytag’s pyramid)
  • Do an analysis of form (stage directions, dramatic monologue, etc.)

3. Keep your answer relevant throughout

You need to be explicitly answering the question - not going off on a tangent nor trying to change the question to suit an answer that you want to write. One way of avoiding this is by starting each paragraph with a topic sentence, summarising what that paragraph is going to be about and how it answers the question. Another method is simply by rewording the question into your answer at the start and end of every paragraph. At least. For greater impact, include synonyms of the word, which can also help with the readability of your answer.

4. Avoid PEE/PEEL/etc. where you can

Thousands of students are taught the same, basic Point-Evidence-Explain (or variant) analytical paragraph structure. If you want to stand out, show academic strength, and achieve the highest marks then you must break free from the chains of PEE! (This also applies for your introduction format. ‘In this essay, I will argue…’ gets pretty dull after reading it 100 times)

For my students, I will be teaching them to write What-How-Why paragraphs:

WHAT has the writer done?

HOW have they done it?

WHY have they done it/is it effective?

This way, your focus is always on why the writer has chosen to use that specific language/structure/form, but it allows you to be creative in crafting your response. Being able to discuss the ‘why’ of literature is the key to unlocking the highest grades. Reading through examiners’ reports this summer has made one thing clear - it is not enough to merely spot linguistic devices or structural features. You must explain why the writer has chosen them and why that is an effective choice (or not).

5. Avoid sweeping statements about context

The main advice here is to only include comments about the context of the text if it adds to the analytical point that you are making. They should not be a bolt-on sentence, but they should enhance your answer.

Further, sweeping claims like ‘All Jacobean women were oppressed by society’ is far too vague. On the other hand, a comment like ‘Lady Macbeth is a disturbing example of womanhood because she denies her gender at a time where the role of a woman was clear-cut, even patriarchal, in Jacobean society’ suggests that you have a greater understanding of how context can influence the writer’s choices.

6. A plan is your best friend

Always, always make time to plan your answer. A method I recommend is, first, circling the key words in the question (character/theme, what you are asked to do, where in the text you are asked to look, etc.). Secondly, write all of your ideas down onto the page, highlighting parts from the extract if you have that in front of you. Finally, select a judicious number of points that you are going to talk about (quality not quantity here) and number the order in which you are going to make them.

If you are writing a comparative essay, each paragraph must start and end with a comparative point about whatever it is you are comparing (characters/themes/etc.) I suggest the following format:

X is presented in both text A and text B. However, in A the author uses device 1 and 2 to demonstrate X. On the other hand, in B, the author demonstrates X via use of device 2 and 3.’ Then write one paragraph for each text. Repeat this again for another similarity. And again for a third - if you think that is appropriate.


Photo credit @eintsein 🌻

2

2/100 Days of Productivity

4.5.16

Today was majorly productive - I’m still a bit behind but I got so much done! The book in the middle “the Cold War” is one I’ve been reading on the train the past few days to try and expand my knowledge for history, but in a more novelised way because I find I take in information from books and textbooks differently. I also managed to finish f my ecologist notes as well as type up some history work and convert them all to pdf’s to print (Never let pdf converting build up - I had over forty files to convert) Also during the day I managed to cram in planning a history source question and a Ecologism question to consolidate some of my knowledge. Late tonight I think I’m going to do some more economics and maybe start writing my history questions and I’m super looking forwards to tomorrow because it’s Starbucks Thursday’s!! :)

one of my only real issues with studyblr is that it just ?? makes me want to study everything ?? like i’ll see a law student and be like,, damn I wanna learn law now !! or i’ll see a medicine student and decide I want to learn medicine or see a physics student and decide I want to be a physicist and I just ??? want to learn everything ever ??

2

04.04.17 45/100: sorry for the fact i went off on one last night. reading it back, i’m sorry if i came off as calling people fake or saying not to care ?? i meant that u don’t have to make everything look perfect all the time.

anyways - today im at home and i’m already on my second cup of tea at 11am. trying to read and highlight my revision guide before i make notes. it’s longer but idk it helps to cut down on things and i guess i do have 2 weeks to sort my shit out.