Prepared To Be Flexible
What Dr. X Wants. Just as some tutors are happy for you to
use ‘I’ in your essays and others frown on it, so tutors will often
have their own ideas about what they want to see in student writing.
This can include form as well as content. Here aresome examples based
on my own experience:
Some tutors like clear introductions; others
like students to get straight on with the subject.
Get To Know Them.
Some tutors like a dissertation to start with a literature review;
others prefer to see the theoretical background integrated into the
body of the dissertation.
Some tutors will just stop marking if you go over the word limit;
others don’t mind how much you write as long as it’s a good essay
and everything is relevant.
Some tutors like work that just shows good evidence that you’ve read
and understood the main points of a subject; others would rather read
work that challenges accepted ideas.
Sometimes an individual
tutor’s preferences go against the departmental style sheet. It’s just
not fair, is it? The only way to negotiate this is to try to get to
know your tutors a little and understand what they want. Don’t run away
the minute a lecture or seminar is over – why not stay behind and ask
a question? And why not compare notes with your classmates about what
particular tutors prefer and/or have said they want?